The Ultimate Sacrifice for Justice

The Ultimate Sacrifice for Justice - The Ultimate Sacrifice...

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The Ultimate Sacrifice for Justice Question #2 Kristen Wallenslager TA: Sara Rouhi 10/30/2007 1
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In Plato’s The Apology , Socrates is characteristically defined as a man of the utmost wisdom and knowledge, but more importantly a man of justice. When his way of life was called into question before the entire city of Athens for corrupting the youth and making the government officials look poor, rather than pleading for a lighter sentence or taking the opportunity to avoid the death penalty, Socrates chose not to. Socrates chose not to avoid the death penalty because it seems as though he believed there is no reason to fear death, there was no sign of him being on the wrong path, it is not just to avoid death, and he felt as though he should be rewarded for his actions. First of all, Socrates seemed to believe that there is no reason for any man to fear death, including himself. He looked to death with confidence even though he did not know what it actually was because no man should “devise a way to escape death by doing anything at all” (Plato, 39a). Furthermore, for one to be afraid of something that they do not know is to assume that they actually know something about it. Socrates seemed to follow the thought that to believe that one knows something that they do not is unwise. Moreover, if people look to death as being evil, they think they know evil when in fact they know nothing of it. This is also unwise as they are scared of something unknown to the mortal man. Additionally, Socrates said that “there is nothing bad for a good man, whether living or dead” (Plato, 41d); therefore, there is nothing to fear. In addition, nothing should stop a man from fighting for what he believes in. Socrates made it clear that he would rather die a thousand deaths before he would terminate his philosophical life. This is to say that to stand up for what is just and right is more important than fearing the outcome, whether it is death or not. Also, Socrates actually looks forward to death as it will either be an endless, peaceful sleep or a transmigration of the soul. In the former, he 3
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The Ultimate Sacrifice for Justice - The Ultimate Sacrifice...

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