"I know that I know Nothing..."

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Reflection on Socrates “Apology”

Submitted: December 16, 2014

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Submitted: December 16, 2014



“…for to fear death, Gentlemen, is nothing but to think one is wise when one is not; for it is to think one knows what one does not. No man knows death, nor whether it is not the greatest of all goods; and yet men fear it as though they well knew it to be worst of all evil.”

To be in greatness is what all men desire.


In our life today, where adverse influences of the world control and contribute a huge impact to our desires, will, and beliefs, we unconsciously submit ourselves to its deceitful allurement and enticement which we think can render us security and comfort but never know will only bring us to our downfall rather. Hunger for wealth, name, and status is what most of us crave to have, for we consider these things to be the most important aspects of our lives – center of our lives. Thus, we will do anything, everything in order for us to acquire these wants, to achieve these goals, to reach these dreams. We cheat and compete for the sake of all this foolishness. We lie and pretend that the world may accept and recognize us. We do not give emphasis to the true meaning of life but fear the unknown reality of death. For all we know is that we are capable of everything, thus we are afraid to die. We are afraid that everything we know and have done might end and lost forever. We are always thinking and conscious of what could happen in the future, that we never notice the present. That is the reason why we are deceived by what is laid in front of us, and this will certainly lead us to the path which we will only regret afterwards. We always believe in ourselves to the extent that we deny what the unexpected realities unfold to us.

In the end, what we have positively intended that we could have possibly done unfortunately brings us to the wrong path just because of our reckless judgments and selfish desires.

In spite of all this, there is one very important virtue Socrates impart to humanity regardless of his greatness and prominence. That is having the virtue of humility. I believe that this virtue has also become the primary reason that leads him to acquire the wisdom and strength which become the cause to envy by many. His famous statement “I know that I know nothing” clearly indicate the humbleness that resides within his very being. This statement in essence does not literally mean imprudence or foolishness for he is only referring himself as nothing before the omniscient and omnipotent God who he acknowledges and firmly believes. He definitely knows and undoubtedly be certain of the truth that one can only acquire true wisdom if he believes that he is nothing before the Almighty God.

Socrates’ wisdom and way of living bring him finally to his death but his memories and teachings will never remain in the graveyard of the past, rather it will forever be in the present constantly inspiring, encouraging, and teaching the desiring and yearning spirit of those who search for the truth. For some, they considered him unfortunate for the reason that he was not able to conquest the court trial and was rather sentenced to death; however, if we are going to look at the words he had said with conviction during his final moments – “But it is now the hour of parting – I to die and you to live. Which of us goes to the better is unclear to all but the God…” – for him, his life was not a major concern at all but what he believes and what he wants the world to know was what matters most to him.

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