Thursday, April 28, 2016

Death is a Good, Not an Evil by Socrates 1903

DEATH IS A GOOD AND NOT AN EVIL, taken from The Ethics of the Greek Philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle By Prof. James Hervey Hyslop 1903

See also The Mysteries of Death - 250 Books on DVDrom

Socrates In The "apology."

"Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good, for one of two things: either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by the sight of dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better, and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king will not find many such days or nights, when compared with the others. Now, if death is like this, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? If indeed when the pilgrim arrives in the world below, he is delivered from the professors of justice in this world, and finds the true judges who are said to give judgment there, Minos and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus and Triptolemus, and other sons of God who were righteous in their own life, that pilgrimage will be worth making. What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again. I, too, shall have a wonderful interest in a place where I can converse with Palamedes, and Ajax the son of Telamon, and other heroes of old, who have suffered death through an unjust judgment: and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own sufferings with theirs. Above all, I shall be able to continue my search into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in that; I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not. What would not a man give, O judges, to be able to examine the leader of the great Trojan expedition: or Odysseus or Sisyphus, or numberless others, men and women too! What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions! For in that world they do not put a man to death for this; certainly not. For besides being happier in that world than in this, they will be immortal, if what is said is true.

"Wherefore, O judges, be of good cheer about death, and know this of a truth—that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death. He and his are not neglected by the gods; nor has my own approaching end happened by mere chance. But I see clearly that to die and be released was better for me; and therefore the oracle gave no sign. For which reason, also, I am not angry with my accusers or my condemners; they have done me no harm, although neither of them meant to do me any good; and for this I may gently blame them."

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The following is taken from Death and Its Mystery By Camille Flammarion

No one knows what death is, and whether it be not the greatest of all good things for Man. Nevertheless, it is feared as though it were the supreme evil.
Athenians, you have just condemned me to death. The divine inner voice which, my whole life long, has never ceased to make itself heard in me, has to-day been silent, and I did not defend myself against your accusations. This means that what is happening to me is good. I am about to suffer the fate to which you have condemned me; but iniquity and infamy will cling to the memory of my judges. I accept my punishment, and they theirs. It was thus predestined, and, in my belief, all is for the best. When death comes near to Man, that which is mortal in him is scattered; that which is immortal and incorruptible withdraws intact.

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