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No Harm Can Come to a Good Man

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No Harm Can Come to a Good Man

Whether Socrates is portrayed correctly or not, he certainly was a great man. His contribution to western thought cannot be denied. For even if his teachings were different from what they are known to be at present, his influence on Plato is immense. And so, it is no small matter to describe the tragic passing of such a man as Socrates was and remains for philosophy today. Yet in all the indignation which is expected to arise at the death of Socrates, the panache with which he departs is captured excellently in Plato's “Apology.” Specifically, at the end of the "Apology," Socrates makes a very important statement that has had great impact on philosophy ever since its original proclamation. The Stoics in particular have taken this to be the cornerstone of their ideology. The statement made is that "you must regard one thing at least as certain—that no harm can come to a good man either in his life or after his death,” (Plato 100). The following examination focuses therefore on a brief explanation of the circumstances which lead to this statement being made by Socrates, as well as a closer look at why he thinks this to be the case. It is assumed that this statement is true, and validation for that assumption is to be sought as well.

So, first, why does Socrates make such a bold statement? Verily it is nothing short of his own death sentence. The people who accused and voted against Socrates, have decreed it that he is to die for impiety toward the gods and of corrupting the youth (Plato), in addition, it is known that Socrates has as a companion of sorts a "prophetic voice" to keep his philosophical endeavors regulated. Socrates himself states that this presence has not opposed him at an...

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... is safely sustained. Ultimately, the lack of knowledge on the subject of death is no grounds for its presumption to have any negative connotation. Thus Socrates leaves the people and the men of the jury, pronouncing that "it is time for us to go—me to my death, you to your lives. Which of us goes to the better fate, only god knows,” (Plato 100).

Works Cited

Aurelius, Marcus. "Meditations." Ancient Philosophy. 3rd Ed. Philosophic Classics, vols. 1. Baird, Forrest E., and Walter Kaufman. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Epictetus. "Encheiridion." Ancient Philosophy. 31 Ed. Philosophic Classics, vols. 1. Baird, Forrest E., and Walter Kaufman. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Plato. "Apology." Ancient Philosophy. 3rd Ed. Philosophic Classics, vols. 1. Baird, Forrest E., and Walter Kaufman. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2000. 82-100.
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