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NearokA
04-10-2004, 01:55 AM
Excerpt, Socrates speaking: "It seems that there is a narrow path which will bring us safely to our journey's end, with reason as our guide. As long as we have this body, and an evil of that sort is mingled with our souls, we shall never fully gain what we desire; and that is truth. For the body is forever taking up our time with the care which it needs and, besides, whenever diseases attack it, they hinder us in our pursuit of real being. It fills us with passions, and desires, and fears, and all manner of phantoms, and much foolishness; and so, as the saying goes, in very truth we can never think at all for it. It alone and its desires cause wars and factions and battles; for the origin of all wars is the pursuit of wealth, and we are forced to pursue wealth because we live in slavery to the cares of the body...."

"Veryily we have learned that if we are to have any pure knowledge at all, we must be freed from the body; the soul by herself must behold things as they are. Then, it seems, after we are dead, we shall gain the wisdom which we desire, and for which we say we have a passion, but not while we are alive..."

"In truth, the true philospher studies to die, and to him of all men is death least terrible."

"Does not this show clearly that any man whom you see grieving at the approach of death is after all no lover of wisdom, but a lover of his body? He is also, most likely, a lover either of wealth, or of honor, or, it may be, of both."

Don't be mistaken here, Socrates does not believe in suicide. He does believe that the only way to gain truth is through death, that one must be pure like the soul, free from earthly restraints to see the truth. What do you guys make of this?

Jacoby
04-10-2004, 02:01 AM
It seems like it makes sense, but I'm not sure. Socrates is a well-spoken man, and I agree with his idea here...but I do have a fe questions about it.
I do believe death brings truth, but that's only if you believe in after-life. I mean, what if death is the end, and you can't think or do anything? People sometimes don't recall anything when they wake from a coma, what if death is like that?

NearokA
04-10-2004, 03:52 AM
It seems like it makes sense, but I'm not sure. Socrates is a well-spoken man, and I agree with his idea here...but I do have a fe questions about it.
I do believe death brings truth, but that's only if you believe in after-life. I mean, what if death is the end, and you can't think or do anything? People sometimes don't recall anything when they wake from a coma, what if death is like that?

You are right my friend. It only matters if the soul can continue to exist after death and that the knowledge and truth you learn can still be contained. In Phaedo, Socrates and a few greeks argue just that, does the soul continue to exist in death?

Here are some counter arguements posed to Socrates by two foreigners, their names are Simmias and Cebes.

Simmias: What if the soul puts on successive bodies just as a person puts on successive garments until finally one day he wears his last garment and dies?

Cebes: What if the soul is like musical harmony? That the body be a lyre and when a person plays music, the soul be the harmony. Is it not the case when the lyre is broken, that harmony cannot exist? Does that mean when the body dies, so too does the soul?

Socrates responds to Cebes by saying that the soul is more than harmony. It has more dimesions. The soul can both manifest good and evil, while harmony can only be a good thing. Futhermore, Harmony cannot run counter to it's parts. In other words, Harmony cannot control the lyre. However, cannot the soul control the body?

Socrates responds to Simmias: Fire participates in hotness as snow participates in coldness. Fire will not be cold, nor snow will be hot. Likewise, odd numbers will never be even and even numbers will never be odd. For a number to be odd, oddness is essential. For fire to be hot, heat is essential. Now apply this to life and death. The soul is essential for life, thus it will never admit to death. And since it never admits to death, is it not immortal?

Perhaps in death, we really aren't aware. I mean, who has reason to believe the soul will be like what the body is when we are alive? Who has reason to believe that we control our souls and that we are aware of the surroundings? It may very well be an essence like energy. I mean, I don't have the answers here, but it is intriguing just to point them out, right?

Or perhaps you have to die to find out and not merely in a state of death. You know?

Or maybe there is no soul. Maybe in the last few breaths of your life, the truth is revealed to you and that's that.