Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno and Phaedo

Fearing the Horizon: Death and Fear in The Apology

Novelist Rossiter Worthington Raymond once said, "Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." A horizon, by definition, is no more than the range of one's knowledge or experience. With this explanation in mind, death is no longer a destination to be feared, but rather an adventure to be explored, full of uncertainties.

Long before Raymond ever put pen to paper, philosophical forefather Socrates devised a similar stance, concerning the actual relevance of fear of death for the living. Throughout the final speech of the Apology, Socrates claims that fearing the unknown is futile, especially when more realistic fears exist in one's own nature. In Socrates' opinion, death can only result in nothingness or the induction into another world, either scenario being preferable to a life of persecution. His argument does not rest solely on proving death an unworthy fear, but rather expands his case to claim that character flaws are far more detrimental to one's spirit than man's mortality. In essence, Socrates advocates practical and healthy fears for that which man can control, as opposed to resisting the inevitable death.


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