Notes on The Apology Themes

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The Apology Topic Tracking: Death

Death 1: A man should not spend his time weighing up prospects of life and death, but instead be evaluating whether his actions are right or wrong, just or unjust. This is because it is the value and justness of our lives that count. Furthermore, we should not be afraid of death, as we do not know what it is. To be afraid of something that we do not know is to assume we know about it, and that is unwise.

Death 2: The son of Thetis does not care that he will die if he kills his enemy. He would rather avenge his friend and die, than live a dishonorable life of sorrow. This goes to show that people should not make decisions based on life or death, but on justness and fairness.

Death 3: Nothing should stop a man from fighting for what he believes in, not even death. Death should not scare anyone, as nobody knows what death is. Otherwise, that would mean they think they know what it is, and to think you know what you do not know is unwise.

Death 4: Nobody knows whether death is something we should look forward to or not, and yet people are afraid of it as though it were an evil. This goes to show that most people think they know what they do not know and are therefore not wise.

Death 5: Socrates says he would rather die a hundred deaths than terminate his philosophical life, for this is what he believes in. Furthermore, he is not afraid of death as he realizes that it is either a peaceful sleep or a place where you meet those who have died before you, and thus it cannot be evil.

Death 6: If they put Socrates to death, they will harm themselves more than harming Socrates. This is because his followers will criticize their lifestyles more than Socrates did, and they are younger and have more energy.

Death 7: To stand up for what you believe in is more important than to be scared of imprisonment or death.

Death 8: The death penalty is demanded. Socrates' request of a fine is denied, and the death penalty is given.

Death 9: If they had just waited a little while longer, Socrates would have died a natural death, and they would not feel guilty for killing one of the greatest philosophers, nor would they bear the criticism for doing this from the people who supported Socrates.

Death 10: Escaping death is not difficult; it is escaping wickedness that is difficult. Through wit, one can escape death. However, it is more difficult to face death and keep doing justice, than it is to escape death and be unjust.

Death 11: Socrates turns the tables on his jury by saying that although he is condemned to death, they are convicted of depravity and injustice by Truth herself.

Death 12: Socrates believes his death was brought about because the jury was trying to rid themselves of his criticisms of their lives. However, his followers will criticize them more than he did. The only way this will stop is if they improve the way that they live their lives.

Death 13: Death can be one of two things: an endless sleep or a migration of the soul to another place. Either way, it is something Socrates looks forward to. This is especially true of the latter where he will be free to examine the lives of all who have died before him without threat of death, as he will be immortal

Death 14: People should look to death as Socrates does, with confidence. If the contrary is true and people look to death as an evil, they will be considered unwise, as they are scared of something they do not know, and they think they know that it is evil, when in fact they know nothing of it.

Death 15: A good man cannot be harmed, neither in life nor in death. This is a belief that Socrates thinks everyone should have fixed in his or her mind.

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