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Life and Death from Socrates' Perspective

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Life and Death from Socrates' Perspective

"The unexamined life is not worth living." (Socrates)

Aware of the fact that he was actually the wisest man in Athens, Socrates claimed his mission as assisting others to examine themselves, to reflect upon their beliefs, and ultimately, to foster their souls instead of upholding the values of their bodies. However, while performing his "task," Socrates had uncovered the ignorance of many citizens most of whom used to believe that they were experts in their fields. He also attracted some young Athenians to become his fellows. There is no surprise that Socrates gained numerous enemies who never stopped looking for chances to revenge on him. Afterward, when Athenians were desperate and frustrated by the collapse of the Athens' golden age, Socrates became their target to blame. He was accused of corrupting the youth and introducing different beliefs and was brought to a trial. Finally, Socrates was sentenced to death. Nevertheless, he showed no fear toward the death because from his point of view, human soul is immortal. They could destroy his body, but they could never harm his soul. Undoubtedly, Socrates has a strong belief in the immortality of the soul. Not only did he demonstrate that belief through words but he also conducted himself in such an admirable way that he deserved to be a model for the youth to follow.

In the last evening before his death, while his wife Xanthippe is crying miserably, Socrates still remains calm and wise as he always is. Socrates believes that death is not as bad as most people think; it is solely a journey to a better world. He is leaving for another place where his gods and fellows are wiser. "I ought to be grieved at death, if I were not persuaded that I am going to other gods who are wise and good, and to men departed who are better than those whom I leave behind." As a philosopher, a "wisdom lover", he perceives death as a continuation of his journey to find the truth, which is absolutely brighter than other common pessimistic beliefs about death. "There is yet something remaining for death some far better thing for the good than for the evil."

Socrates also holds a belief that death is a separation of the body and the soul. From his perspective, there are two parts of human being: the body and the soul. The body, which is the physical part of human being, is temporary, while the soul, which is metaphysical, is immortal and pure in origin. It is the body that dies when a human is killed; the soul still remains eternal. The soul is imprisoned in the body. Nevertheless, the soul, which was created in the metaphysical realm, wants to be free from the body and return to its realm. When death occurs, the soul will be separated from the body and depart the physical world for its better world.

However, during life, the body

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