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Philosophy

The apology

According to the perceptions of Socrates, caring for the soul is an important responsibility for mankind because the soul is the true manifestation of an individual. The body of humans is only an instrument that facilitates the survival of the individual in a physical world. The beliefs of Socrates were founded on the survival of individuals in physical death and therefore the souls were considered as immortal. Socrates attributes the happiness as well as the wellbeing of an individual to the soul. Human soul is the basis of reason, self awareness as well as the moral sense. The soul makes choices between good and evil. Socrates also argued that, the perception of truth is not associated with the senses of an individual since the knowledge of truth is inherent in human beings and inscribed in the sources of people[1].

Despite the retelling nature of the texts ‘Apology’ and ‘Phaedo’ written by Plato, there are indications of contrasting perspectives presented by Socrates concerning death. According to the opinion of Socrates as presented in ‘Apology’, human beings are unable to have a clear knowledge concerning death until they have a firsthand experience of death, thus they must die. The argument of Socrates in as far as the soul is concerned is that it is perfectly immortal

Socrates use Apology to communicate his minds about death and suggests the impossibilities associated with predicting what is expected after death. This notion arises out of the impending death that Socrates must face after being sentenced to death. Although Socrates was sentenced to death, he was not ready to beg for leniency or any argument against the sentence since the fear of death was conceived as being insensible to him. Socrates argues that, the fear of death is a manifestation that a person is wise while in real sense he is unwise and that he knows but in the real sense he knows not. Socrates argues that death can prove to be a blessing to man although the perceptions of man are that death is evil[2]. Socrates holds the argument that no living human being has the knowledge of what will arise as a result of death and he presents some possible arguments concerning what can be anticipated from death. In the first place, he argues that, death can be a source of blessings.

Potential outcomes of death are highlighted by Socrates which are the basis of alternate and logical perception of a possibility of spiritual existence that is responsible for transcending the life on the earth. According to the arguments of Socrates, after the death of humans, the body stops existing. For the people whose lives have been philosophical, death is an issue that they should cordially welcome based on the argument that, the definitive philosophy point is gaining the freedom of the soul from the manacles that confine the body against transcending to sensory illusion. Death is presented in form of a constructive occurrence by Socrates and takes it as a transition and not an end. The life on earth was associated with spiritual cycles and that our souls once existed before we actually came in to being, that is in other bodies that lived before us.

Socrates was convinced that, the soul of a person was replaceable and therefore, sentencing him to death was not the best solution adopted by the jury because they had not solved the problem. Socrates argued that, the soul continue to live even after the body is put to death. The situation that the soul continues to live is an important point of discussion in life. If the soul continues to exist after the death of the body, then, Socrates argues that, it is imperative humans express their concern on the soul during their life (Park, 2010).

Socrates perceived the soul as being responsible for animation of life of an individual. The soul was attributed to human actions and equating it with ethical as well as intellectual capacity of human being. Socrates argues that, the soul is an ethical and a rational part in the nature of human beings and it therefore forms an indispensable aspect of the individual[3]. Socrates also argues that, there is no point in fearing death because death can be perceived as the absence of consciousness just like in a deep slumber, or it manifests a journey to a different place, and the two possibilities are considered to be good in the viewpoint of Socrates.

The ideas advocated by Socrates in Apology gives a clear perspective of death according to the philosophers. According to the philosophers, it is not possible to comprehend the concept of afterlife unless after going though death[4]. Therefore, death is considered to be very important in the definition of life and death is taken as end to life and all steps leading to death are not known. Therefore, the life that is known should be used as the basis of understanding death.

Reference

Park, R. E., (2010). Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science. Princeton, N.J: Princeton    University Press

Perry, J.,  Bratman, M. & Fischer, J. M., (2010). Introduction to Philosophy: Classical & Contemporary Readings, 5th Ed. N Y: Oxford University Press.

[1] Park, R. E., (2010). Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press

[2] Park, R. E., (2010). Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press

[3] Perry, J.,  Bratman, M. & Fischer, J. M., (2010). Introduction to Philosophy: Classical & Contemporary Readings, 5th Ed. N Y: Oxford University Press

[4] Ibid