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Essay about Don't Be Afraid to Die in Socrates' Phaedo

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Throughout the course of the Phaedo, Socrates argues that the soul is immortal. Because he believes that his soul will live on forever, Socrates claims that he is not afraid to die. Socrates was sentenced to death and due to the fact that he took the poison earlier than when was necessary, many believe that he committed suicide. Contrary to what may be presumed about Socrates’ death, I will argue that he is a martyr and did not commit suicide.
Suicide is defined as taking one’s life for the sake of oneself. Killing oneself, does not necessarily mean suicide because suicide is inherently selfish and completely focused on the individual. The reason for killing oneself changes whether it is suicide or not. Suicide has a very negative
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“I do not expect any benefit from drinking the poison a little later, except to become ridiculous in my own eyes for clinging to life, and be sparing of it when there is none left” (152). He feels it is a waste of time “clinging on to life.” Instead, one should embrace death.
Socrates explains that philosophy is the preparation for death. In other words, Socrates has spent the majority of his life preparing for the separation of his body and soul. “…the one aim of those who practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice for dying and death” (101). He says that because our souls are immortal, we should embrace death and look forward to what it has to offer for our souls. To confirm this belief, Socrates again states, “…the freedom and separation of the soul from the body is called death…those who practice philosophy in the right way, we say, who always want to free the soul; and this release and separation of the soul from the body is the preoccupation of the philosophers” (104). A philosopher’s ambition, when looking toward death, is to free the soul from its body; therefore, when one dies, the soul lives on and the body does not.
I believe that Socrates plays the role of a martyr because of his passion and dedication towards finding evidence that supports his argument that the soul is immortal. Because Socrates questioned authority he was sentenced the death penalty. Socrates has so much faith that the soul will live on forever, that he
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