Apology by Plato

To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils. And surely it is the most blameworthy ignorance to to believe that one knows what one does not know. It is perhaps on this point and in this respect, gentlemen, that I differ from the majority of men, and if I were to claim that I am wiser than anyone in anything, it would be in this, that, as I have no adequate knowledge of things in the underworld, so I do not think I have. I do know, however, that it is wicked and shameful to do wrong, to disobey one’s superior, be he god or man. I shall never fear or avoid things of which I do not know, whether they may not be good rather than things that I know to be bad.

(p. 27)

-Plato, The Apology

Christianity affirms what Plato only nibbles at. Death is “the greatest of all blessings for a man.” It means that we can be in the presence of the triune God.

The Apology is a work that I have returned to since middle school. I am amazed at the mind power of Plato and Socrates. Since I attend a public university where academia is progressive, there is a tendency to neglect the ancient. After reading some of these dialogues, I am convinced that ignorance of the ancient is imprudent.


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