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Plato's View of Immortality - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Plato’s view of immortality Immortality can be defined as the continued existence of a living thing. The Catholics define it as the doctrine that the soul of a human being will survive after death and will continue to live…
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Platos View of Immortality
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Plato's View of Immortality

Download file to see previous pages... The afterlife has been thought of as the connection between the present life and memories and the life of the being after the physical death. In religious circles, each religion has its own view and belief on these issues. There are those that uphold the belief that life continues into the afterlife and does not end even at death. Persons professing secular beliefs also have views on the afterlife (Corcoran 7). The materialists, for instance, believe the soul does not live on after death and thus perishes. This is because, in their view, life is a function of the organism. In pantheism, the belief is that the individual is absorbed and transformed into an infinite being. In the East, the belief is, however, different from the views held by other people elsewhere. It is believed that the soul of an individual, upon death, undergoes transmigration and animates humans or even animals. It means that the soul comes back to life but in a different form resembling another human being or the body an animal, and usually lower animals. There is also the belief that the soul of an individual undergoes the process of metamorphosis and its condition is improved. The history of the concept of death and immortality or the afterlife goes back from the time of Before Christ (BC). Different countries in ancient times had already developed views and beliefs about immortality. Egypt, for instance, had a rich belief in the afterlife. The pharaohs were buried with their property, mostly gold, and their servants. They were believed to continue ruling their subjects even in death. The Egyptians also offered sacrifices and offerings to the spirits of the dead. They also carried out proper funeral rights and embalmed or mummified the bodies of the departed. In India, the convictions of the afterlife were also there. They believed in Pantheism or the absorption of the soul into an infinite being. The belief of reincarnation also emerged in India. In reincarnation, a soul is transformed into other human beings or animals, but of a lower form. The doctrine of karma is also upheld among the Indians. It states that the human soul continues to exist through re-incarnations and depends on the past doings of the individual. Buddhists hold the belief that the soul is liberated from pain and labor and rests quietly. Therefore, it does not die or vanishes. This belief is found in the theory of Nirvana. In China, the belief of immortality also exists as evidenced by the act of helping the spirits of the dead through sacrifices. However, the Jews, as found in Judaism, did not believe in a future life. In Christianity, the belief is also strongly upheld and is supported by the Christian faith. Christians believe that the functions of the body cease upon death and that the body will resurrect (Corcoran 70). Having looked at the historical beliefs of the concept of immortality, we now look at Plato’s views of the same. Plato was a renowned scholar of ancient Greece and made enormous informed contributions to the different disciplines including geography and philosophy. He was a student of Socrates, another famous Greek thinker and philosopher. Plato was a believer in immortality. In philosophy, Plato’s views and teachings about immortality and the afterlife are found in his writings, which include the “meno”, the “Gorgias”, and the “Republic” (Wagner 15). Plato’s view on immortality is unique and differs significantly from other beliefs about the same. The soul, in Plato’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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