Untitled Essay Research Paper The question of — страница 2

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future so little of his theories. Only through the writings of his students have we any idea of his philosophy. In the writing of Plato much thought is given to the concept of the human soul. Socrates presents the soul having three major ideas associated with it. The human soul is immortal, immaterial, and moral. The question of immortality was a principal subject of Plato’s speculations. In the "Phaedo" the chief argument for the immortality of the soul is based on the nature of intellectual knowledge interpreted on the theory of reminiscence of past lives; this implies the pre-existence of the soul, and logically derives its eternal pre-existence. The human soul is eternal, existing with neither beginning nor end. With Socrates, the individual aspects of the soul

became dominant. It’s individuality and its strict separation with the body. In dominant thought prior to the introduction of Socratic ideas, the human soul was naught but a small part of a great world-soul; a soul that included the souls of every creature and every object upon the earth and in the universe. In this scenario the actions of a human were of no consequence directly to the soul. There could be no concept of morality having any impact on personal life beyond the immediate. To Socrates the soul is the center of all human morality, the embodiment of "the good" in the human consciousness. Rather than just proceeding to rejoin the world-soul the individual soul must pay reparation for life on earth. A human that lives immorally, with disregard to the good will

impact the future of his soul. In Greek philosophy the souls that are damned live for eternity in a place of torture and torment. The individual soul gives humans motive for leading lives that are good and just. In Socrates own words "It is better to suffer injustice than to serve injustice." The care of the soul becomes dominant over the body. Care for the immortal aspects of the human and rewarding life after death will follow. Socrates ties an abstract set of values to the existence of the soul. To lead a life that is good and just is to seek throughout ones life the ultimate understanding; to fully recognize the good in the universe and to understand its place. Without the realization of this good we are unable to fully comprehend any form of existence. I originally

found fault with this assessment of life and the soul as a result of the seemingly complex and abstract values that a soul must live by. Upon further reflection the ultimate purpose of the soul is to seek understanding. Though abstract in nature, this goal is one that can be applied to every individual regardless of culture, creed or religion. Though I first considered this one of the week points in the Socratic theory in truth its universality, is one of its strengths. Socrates’ introduction of the individual soul includes an aspect of motive to the nature of existence. With this new found individuality a soul must worry about its existence, if it acted properly it would ascend to the Greek concept of eternal bliss. In my own unworthy opinion, to act with personal benefit in

mind is to act selfishly and therefore immorally. I concede to Socrates that a truly selfless act is impossible, for as humans we always have an ulterior motive behind the closed door of our direct consciousness. Why should it be different for the eternal existence of our soul? Though we may always have goals to work towards, basing ones life on the condition of afterlife is self defeating. Life must be lived from day to day with actions that further ones own immediate goals, whether they are to bring joy to others or to live quietly in peace. To have the thought of eternal salvation looming overhead is to live life with a bit