This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Socrates And Epicurus Live Life Without Fear Of Death

2768 words - 11 pages

Many people seem to fear death, but philosophers such as Socrates and Epicurus would argue that one has no reason to fear it. Socrates sees death as a blessing to be wished for if death is either nothingness or a relocation of the soul, whereas Epicurus argues that one shouldn't worry themselves about death since, once we are gone, death is annihilation which is neither good nor bad. Epicurus believes that death itself is a total lack of perception, wherein there is no pleasure or pain. I agree with Epicurus because Socrates doesn't give a sound argument for death as a blessing, whereas Epicurus' argument is cogent. I would also argue personally that death is not something to be feared because, like Epicurus, I see no sufficient evidence showing we even exist after death.

Socrates argues that one shouldn't fear death because it is actually a blessing. His premises for this conclusion are as follows. First of all, either death is nothingness or a relocation of the soul. If death is nothingness, then it is a blessing. If death is a relocation of the soul, then it is a blessing. Therefore death is a blessing (Plato's Apology (1981) 40c-41c.) In examining this argument, it is valid because the premises do entail the conclusion. Socrates doesn't have to argue that death is nothingness or relocation. He simply had to show that if death is one or the other, it is a blessing.

In order for this argument to be sound, however, the premises need to be true. The first premise immediately comes in to question because it appears to be a false dilemma. Socrates is asserting in his argument that there are only two avenues death might take, when in fact there could be other possibilities. For instance, couldn't death be an eternity of staring at the inside of a coffin six feet under (because your soul wasn't lucky enough to get relocated) as you are slowly eaten away by bugs and such? That might not be considered a blessing by some. Socrates doesn't seem to address this issue, but he does provide further support for his second and third premises.

Socrates argues that if death is nothingness or a lack of perception, it can be likened to a dreamless sleep. Everyone enjoys a dreamless sleep because one wakes up refreshed. Therefore, since a dreamless sleep is so pleasant, it could be considered a blessing. Socrates argues that nothingness is like a dreamless sleep because they are both a lack of perception, so one can conclude that death is a blessing because "all eternity would then seem to be no more than a single night" (Apology (1981) 40e.)

One might argue that Socrates can't assume that a dreamless sleep is counted among the most pleasurable of nights and days. I think that Socrates would reply that this is a reasonable assumption since, at times other than dreamless sleep, our body is carrying various perceptions of the senses for the mind to sort out. A lack of perception in which the mind is not inundated with so many messages could...

Find Another Essay On Socrates and Epicurus - Live Life Without Fear of Death

Epicurus and Marx’s view on Meaningful life

992 words - 4 pages considered to be simple and in a non-materialistic world. He believes “It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honourably and justly.”(Epicurus 2, p.27) Therefore, the Epicurus’ view rejects Marx’s idea of materialistic consideration in human production, instead Epicurus considers our own happiness or pleasure is the most important thing in our lives and one’s experience. On one hand, Marx thinks people are dehumanized in

The Trial and Death of Socrates

1656 words - 7 pages , in the last few moments of his address to the jury, audience, and his accusers, Socrates explains that a good man should never fear harm "in life or in death" (Plato, p 44; 41d). If he has led a life of virtue and service to the gods and his fellow men no harm can come to him (Plato, p 44; 41d). To fear death, he says, would be synonymous with impiety: the very offense of which he is accused. (p 44; 41d) Such teachings cannot possibly be labeled

David's "Death of Socrates" and G

1299 words - 5 pages Jacques-Louis David was a political figure as well as an artist. He was more closely involved in the political life of his time than any other contemporary painter. During the revolution David became a Deputy and voted for the execution of Louis XVI and his work is deeply marked by this fact. In his Death of Socrates David put Neo-classicism at the service of a morality based on Greco-Roman stoicism, self-sacrifice, and stern patriotism. The

The Trial and Death of Socrates

1017 words - 4 pages rather than be prison and exiled, he perhaps pay a fine but he had little funds to pay for the fine and with his proposal, the judges voted for the death penalty. The judges decided on the sentence of death by drinking hemlock. Socrates ends is Apology by saying that he cannot hold a grudge against those who accused him and asks them to care for his three sons as they grow older ensuring that they put goodness before selfish interests.

The trial and death of Socrates

702 words - 3 pages . He eliminates the option of exile stating he would not want to live in any other city then Athens, Which leaves only death or acquittal. I have considered all that has been said by both sides and have come to the conclusion that Socrates should have acquitted. I chose this option over death, because anyone in my opinion can make anyone else better no matter who they are. Hearing the testimony of both sides I also found that not only should Socrates be acquitted but he should be praised, since as all the evidence indicates he has done no harm, and any that was done was accidental and unintentional.

The Death Of Socrates

515 words - 2 pages The Death of Socrates By viewing the painting The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David, Socrates? loyalty to the Athenian government was far more important to him than his own death or friendship. He was more interested in teaching his students about his belief in reason and the law of justice before he died. Still, the students and friends were arguing with him and trying to convince him to renounce his teachings. Socrates was strong in

The Death Of Socrates

556 words - 2 pages The Death of Socrates By viewing the painting The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David, Socrates' loyalty to the Athenian government was far more important to him than his own death or friendship. He was more interested in teaching his students about his belief in reason and the law of justice before he died. Still, the students and friends were arguing with him and trying to convince him to renounce his teachings. Socrates was

'The Death of Socrates'

702 words - 3 pages silence". Some of the story told in the Phaedo is seen the scene portrayed in David's paintingBoth David's neoclassical painting and Plato's literary work depicts the closing moments of the life of Socrates. This is when he is condemned to death by hemlock by the Athenian government for his teaching methods, which aroused skepticism and impiety in his students. Although David's painting was an illustration of Plato's Phaedo, the scene in the painting was slightly different because was painted through a Roman point of view.

Morality and Laws in The Trial and Death of Socrates

1231 words - 5 pages and laws should be followed. Socrates explains his theory of the city and its rules as the nature of ones life. It is not moral to fight against it. We were welcomed to live in it and accept it how it is. A very important aspect of the city and its rules is that one is not forced to do as it dictates. One has the ability to choose between two options. You can either obey the city and its rules or not. If you want to go somewhere else you can

Erroneus Assumptions in The Trial and Death of Socrates

2336 words - 9 pages not worth living, and it is therefore inconsequential that the majority may put someone to death for refusing to abide by its opinions. Since Socrates has declared that life with this part corrupted cannot be endured, he cannot possibly fulfill this impious agreement. The opinion of the majority is that Socrates should be put to death; and, presumably, the opinion of the gods is in opposition to the opinion of the majority. Therefore, it is wrong

Fear of Death

1720 words - 7 pages them and ridiculed those who showed an ounce of fear while facing a battle. As he witnesses his close friend die he begins to fear his own death. He is afraid of wasting away and dieing in bed. At the end he comes to the realization that no matter what he did he cannot escape death and maybe it is time to live instead of worry about death that awaits him.

Similar Essays

Socrates And Epicurus: Why Death Should Not Be Feared

968 words - 4 pages end of the suffering; therefore, Epicurus' argument seems to be valid, and I personally also find it to be sound (Jackman 2006 (1)).I find Epicurus' argument to be significantly more convincing than Socrates' for why we shouldn't fear death. Epicurus' argument was more thorough, with more support, and he seemed to cover the possibilities of objection better than Socrates, who tended to go off on tangents, assuming things about death, without

To Live Without Fear In The Age Of Terrorism

914 words - 4 pages all feel we are a part of a country unique for its qualities of freedom and liberty. And we draw from the power of a free society to commit ourselves to this mission of prevailing against evil. Our goal is humane and simple: to return to a normal life-to live without fear.   WORKS CITED:             Cnn.com http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/conditions/10/15/anthrax/   Phoenix.com http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/this_just_in/documents/01823818.htm    

Short Essay Discusses Why Socrates Did Not Fear Death

614 words - 2 pages be so fearless in the face of death. Socrates does not even worry about the world losing a great mind when he is dead. He only has concerns for the overall well-being of Athens. Socrates is a very honourable man in sacrificing his life to better serve his city and it is enough to say that in being honourable and knowing that he is doing the right thing, he has no reason to fear death.When one has no reason to contemplate death because their life

My Notes To Review For Final. The Brief Overview Of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, And Epicurus

847 words - 3 pages (the whole body) is very important: function of the soul + virtue. Happiness is activity of the soul. Structure of the soul: 1) Rational a) contemplates theoretical truths, thinking about the universe and God; virtues - theoretical wisdom; we control our reason, solve problem; you choose the life how you want to live; b) reasons about daily life, you plan your life, you develop your knowledge that can be applied. 2) Irrational a) does not follow