Plato 's Views On Love Essay

Plato 's Views On Love Essay

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A feeling that cannot be defined, an emotion that can only be expressed, and a word that is used in everyday life, is what we know as love. Throughout history, there have been many different opinions and interpretations of love. When a person is asked, “what is love?" many people find the answer more difficult to explain than they initially thought. The book Symposium describes love as, "the motivating force in all of us" (Page 11). The book also explains that Plato analyzes many kinds of love and one of those kinds of love may now be considered what one would call "Christian love." Christianity is a large influence on love today, particularly the fact that the Bible says God 's love is unconditional and he loves all creatures. This belief starts to somewhat conflict with Plato 's views because Plato links love to desire and God does not desire because he is perfect and does not need anything (Page 12). Throughout this book, many characters describe their own views and opinions on love and how a person should love another.
Phaedrus believes that Eros deserves respect because he is the oldest of the gods and men die in the name of him. He claims that a person would rather die in front of his/her lover than be a coward because love desires honor. He says that love should guide men if they want to live a good life. Phaedrus says, “So as I say, love is one of the most ancient and venerated gods, and one of the most effective in helping a person, during his lifetime or after it, attain goodness and happiness” (180b). I agree with Phaedrus that love is “most effective in helping a person,” because love has been known to heal and nurture people who have been deathly ill or in deep depression, but I also believe his views of lov...


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...eved through maturity, but I do not believe love is as complicated as he describes it. I agree with the other philosophers in that love is good and the reason for many peoples happiness. Socrates seems to think love is not as important in people’s lives. Love is beautiful and is all forms of goodness.
As one can see, Symposium hits the definition spot on by saying it is “the motivating force of all of us.” Majority of the population desires love and has the ultimate goal of being happy with another person. It seems as if love was difficult to describe in ancient times, and it is still difficult to describe today. Each person will have his/her own definition of love and that will never change. There will never be one definition of love that every human being will agree with. Love will remain unique to each individual no matter the changes in time or humanity.

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