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The Death Sentence of Socrates

            To suggest that Socrates wanted to die and intentionally had himself sentenced to death, is to misinterpret the meaning of his defense in "The Apology". Socrates clearly didn't wish to die. He adamantly defended himself and attempted to persuade the jury not to execute him. When the jury had placed it's votes, he accepted a sentence of death - not because he wanted to, but because the other options were even worse than death. Socrates predicted that he would be sentenced to death, and he accepted it, rather than sacrifice his integrity. But this doesn't lead to the theory that he wanted to die.
             From the outset, Socrates defended himself against his prosecutors. Clearly, this is not something he would do if he wanted to die. He also made a sincere attempt to convince the jurors of his innocence, indicating that he didn't desire death. Had he wanted to die, he wouldn't have tried to defend himself. Also, even after he has been sentenced to death, he spoke to the jurors who had voted to acquit him and thanked them for their mercy, referring to them as his "friends". This indicates that he felt that those who voted to spare him had done him a service. Why would he feel this way if dying was what he wanted? If Socrates really wanted to die, the people who tried to prevent his death wouldn't be his "friends" worthy of thanks, but instead, they'd be obstacles. .
             It would be easy to misinterpret some of Socrates' arguments as desiring his own death, however this is not the case. For example, Socrates repeatedly states that he does not fear death, that he would rather die than stop philosophizing, and that he will not run away from death. He even states that if they were to spare him, he would keep on doing what he had been doing all along. On the surface it may appear that he is advocating for his own execution, however, on closer inspection, we can see that he is stating that he prefers death to being a coward, pleading, or losing his integrity.

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