Socrates, a renowned philosopher, is thought to be the first man to introduce the philosophy and bring it close to humanity. In his arguments, Socrates would either present philosophical ideas or bring up a new philosophy for his opponents to ponder. He was an intelligent yet, humble man who had a passion for knowledge. This passion is what drove him to question the meaning of death, something that was unknown for a long time. Despite the fact that death is inevitable, human beings fear talking about or even thinking about death. In fact, most people run away from death issues and try as much as they can to dismiss such thoughts from their minds. This has in turn left the issue of what happens during and after death unknown. However, Socrates is admired for examining matters of death in a stoic manner thus giving an idea of death in human beings. Socrates’ courage of facing death is spiritual or rather philosophical thus giving him the opportunity to express his ideas without fear.
Even after his findings regarding several philosophical matters, Socrates never put anything in writing. Much of what is known regarding him is through dialogues with Plato, writer Xenophon, and playwright Aristophanes. In one of the dialogues with Plato, Socrates on the issue of death indicated that people should not fear death. He goes on to explain that the fear of death ought to be scorned and resisted because death is inevitable. Socrates however, makes it clear that he has inadequate knowledge of the underworld. Nevertheless, he makes sure that much of the information regarding soul disposition after death is kept to him and fellow philosophers.
In the Apology, Socrates indicates that it is not worth living a life that has not been examined. In this case, he refers to death as the unexamined life. However, earlier on Socrates seemed prepared for death indicating that death would make him reunite with the gods and other philosophers who died before him. As such, Socrates is not afraid of death because he argues that death is a fulfillment of one’s life thus, it is purposeful. Nevertheless, death remains unknown to Socrates hence justifying the argument that death is unknown and those who fear it thinks they know while they know nothing. This is because fear of something you do not know is equal to pretense. It would therefore be justified to say that human beings pretend by fearing death since they know nothing about it.
Despite the fact that Socrates views death as purposeful and fulfillment of life, he is not very sure whether death is the best option. Socrates indicates that death is similar to a sleep that is dreamless. He is however not certain about this statement but given what happens in death, there are chances that this could be true. This is because when people die, apart from the malfunctioning of the heart and body systems, all other body parts are intact. As such, death is equitable to a dreamless sleep where the soul goes to another place that is unknown while the body is buried. It is difficult to dispute this statement because what happens after death remains unknown to man.
When Socrates argues that, the soul survives the body in death and is later rewarded for its virtues, he is close to the truth since most religious sects believe in the same. It is for that reason that prayers are held for the dead during their last send-off. The prayers are not held because of the body, which after burial decomposes to become soil but because of the soul. Although no one knows where the soul goes after death, prayers are meant to keep it in peace. Some people argue that the soul of a dead person lives among those alive only that it cannot be felt. That is why there have been cases of people asking their dead relatives’ souls to protect and keep watch over them. There have also been speculations about the dead appearing and talking in dreams of those alive. In other regions of the world, it is claimed that immediately after a person dies, the soul can be seen moving out through openings such as the door or window in the form of a shadow. No proof has been made out of the aforementioned, speculations because they lack factual explanations. However, it is true to attest that the soul departs the body upon death. The claim of having virtues rewarded is yet to be proven and just but a speculated position like the others. Nevertheless, a religion like Hinduism believes that the soul’s virtues are rewarded upon death whereby people are converted to animals such as cows, cats, and dogs among others upon death. The type of animal you become depends on the kind of person you were while alive.
Given the above discussion, it can be concluded that Socrates’ ideas on death have some degree of truth and only require confirmation of the positions. However, just like Socrates, it is possible to shift from one position to the other depending on one’s thinking, cultural background, and beliefs.