Socrates's Views of Death in the Apology and the Crito
Socrates's views of death in the Apology and the Crito are irrevocably tied to his definition of life and the way people must live their lives. For Socrates, life must be examined through constant questioning, and people must privilege goodness above all else. Consequently, even in the face of injustice, people must retaliate with justness because an injustice in the first case does not become just when offered in retaliation. No act, therefore, must be performed upon fear of death solely to preserve life because the preservation of life is not the primary concern.
Socrates did not stay out of politics because he was afraid that it would lead to his death. He freely admits in The Apology that he does not know the true nature of death or what happens to bodies and souls after death. However, the nature of death is irrelevant to his arguments because he does not believe death should act as a factor in any decision people make. All people's decisions must be based on examining their lives and choosing to live their lives in a manner that privileges goodness and justice.
Socrates was chosen by God to perform this activity within Athens. He considers it his obligation and the reason for his life that he examine himself and others to determine what is true goodness and justice. Socrates merely states that fortunately he was not required to perform this activity as an official in the public arena because he would certainly have been put to death before now. However, he will not desist from performing this activity in the private arena as he has been appointed to do merely because it has an effect in the public arena (55). He will champion justice in private life rather than public because it will provide him a longer period to perform this activity. It will not, eventually, however, ensure his life (56).
Socrates argues that he did not choose a public caree...