Philosophical Debate

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The philosophical debate begins as Socrates states that a true philosopher “has reason to be of good cheer when he is about to die”, although suicide is not acceptable. Cebes is confused by what seems to be a contradiction because for those who would consider death a blessing, cannot take their own lives, but must wait for their lives to be taken from them. Socrates explains that the “gods are our guardians, and that we are a possession of theirs”, and so have no right to harm ourselves. True philosophers spend their entire lives preparing for death and dying, so it would be inappropriate if they were to be sad when the moment of death finally arrived. “I am afraid that other people do not realize that the one aim of those who practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice for dying and death.”
While the body desires pleasures of the flesh, the soul desires wisdom. Truth cannot be perceived by senses. So if the search for final and absolute truth is accompanied by one’s body, the person is bound to be deceived. “For whenever it attempts to examine anything with the body, it is clearly deceived by it.” A philosopher must avoid the lusts and desires that trouble the soul when it is imprisoned within the body. He knows not to place the highest value on the pleasures of the body, such as eating and drinking. Each pleasure and pain is like a nail that pins the soul to the body, making it less able to escape. A philosopher will break free of these nails by listening only to reason and preparing for a contented life after death. Socrates continues his argument by stating that justice, beauty, and goodness in their final or absolute form have never been perceived by the eyes, ears, or any other bodily sense. So as long as we are in the body and the soul is mixed with this evil, our desire for truth will never be satisfied.
The philosopher longs for the purification of the soul from the body which can be hoped for in death. “If we would have pure knowledge of anything we must be quit of the body, and the soul in herself of herself must behold all things in themselves.” That is why Socrates is not complaining at his impending death. He has spent his life preparing for it, in the hope that in the next world he will attain the wisdom and absolute truth he has sought in this life. Processes of thought are at its best when the mind is no longer troubled by distr...

... middle of paper ... born into this world can see or hear and I think he should not take these senses for granted. Plato would see this as a gift. And why criticize the gods, our masters, as Plato says, if the gods know all. Pleasure and pain are both physical sensations and therefore are both to be despised by Plato. Did the gods give us bodies to shackle and punish us? Or perhaps to experience what they cannot. While people worship gods, the gods, in a way, might envy us.
My philosophy in life is to enjoy life’s pleasures. In order to do that, one has to use his senses and body to the fullest extent. Every individual is unique and different and I believe that he must have his own philosophy on how to live a worthy life, as apposed to Plato’s universal theory. For him, it is to achieve absolute truth and wisdom and the only way he can do this is by preparing his current life for death. The whole life of philosophy is one long rehearsal of dieing. Whether this is valid or not is not a relevant issue. If he truly believes that, then he should pursue it. However, for others it may be something different and therefore he should not accuse others for not understanding the meaning of life and death..
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