„If, I say now, when, as I conceive and imagine, God orders me to fulfill the philosopher's mission of searching into myself and other men, I were to desert my post through fear of death, or any other fear; that would indeed be strange, and I might justly be arraigned in court for denying the existence of the gods… then I would be fancying that I was wise when I was not wise. For this fear of death is indeed the pretense of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. …this is the point in which, as I think, I am superior to men in general, and in which I might perhaps fancy myself wiser than other men — that whereas I know but little of the world below, I do not suppose that I know: but I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better, whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil.“

—  Socrates

29a–b
Alternate translation: "To fear death, is nothing else but to believe ourselves to be wise, when we are not; and to fancy that we know what we do not know. In effect, no body knows death; no body can tell, but it may be the greatest benefit of mankind; and yet men are afraid of it, as if they knew certainly that it were the greatest of evils."
Plato, Apology

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update Aug. 25, 2021. History
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Socrates167
classical Greek Athenian philosopher -470 - -399 BC

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„When I left him, I reasoned thus with myself: I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.“

—  Socrates classical Greek Athenian philosopher -470 - -399 BC

21d
Plato, Apology
Original: (el) πρὸς ἐμαυτὸν δ᾽ οὖν ἀπιὼν ἐλογιζόμην ὅτι τούτου μὲν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐγὼ σοφώτερός εἰμι· κινδυνεύει μὲν γὰρ ἡμῶν οὐδέτερος οὐδὲν καλὸν κἀγαθὸν εἰδέναι, ἀλλ᾽ οὗτος μὲν οἴεταί τι εἰδέναι οὐκ εἰδώς, ἐγὼ δέ, ὥσπερ οὖν οὐκ οἶδα, οὐδὲ οἴομαι· ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μὴ οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι.

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„Philosophy has taught me to rely on my own convictions rather than on the judgements of others and to concern myself less with whether I am well thought of than whether what I do or say is evil.“

—  Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, book Oration on the Dignity of Man

25. 160; translation by A. Robert Caponigri
Oration on the Dignity of Man (1496)
Original: (la) Docuit me ipsa philosophia a propria potius conscientia quam ab externis pendere iuditiis, cogitareque semper, non tam ne male audiam, quam ne quid male vel dicam ipse vel agam.

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„I don't know what God is, or what God had in mind when the universe was set in motion. In fact, I don't know if God even exists, although I confess that I sometimes find myself praying in times of great fear, or despair, or astonishment at a display of unexpected beauty.“

—  Jon Krakauer American outdoors writer and journalist 1954

Author's Remarks.
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith (2003)
Context: I don't know what God is, or what God had in mind when the universe was set in motion. In fact, I don't know if God even exists, although I confess that I sometimes find myself praying in times of great fear, or despair, or astonishment at a display of unexpected beauty. There are some ten thousand religious sects — each with its own cosmology, each with its own answer for the meaning of life and death. Most assert that the other 9,999 not only have it completely wrong but are instruments of evil, besides. None of the ten thousand has yet persuaded me to make the requisite leap of faith. In the absence of conviction, I've come to terms with the fact that uncertainty is an inescapable corollary of life. An abundance of mystery is simply part of the bargain — which doesn't strike me as something to lament. Accepting the essential inscrutability of existence, in any case, is surely preferable to its opposite: capitulating to the tyranny of intransigent belief. And if I remain in the dark about our purpose here, and the meaning of eternity, I have nevertheless arrived at an understanding of a few modest truths: Most of us fear death. Most of us yearn to comprehend how we got here, and why — which is to say, most of us ache to know the love of our creator. And we will no doubt feel that ache, most of us, for as long as we happen to be alive.

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