Term Paper: Immortality of the Soul

Pages: 8 (2500 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The beginning is unbegotten, for everything, which is begotten, has a beginning, but the beginning is not begotten from anything; for if the beginning were begotten from anything, then the begotten would not come from the beginning. Since the beginning is unbegotten, it must also be indestructible; for if the beginning were destroyed, it could never be begotten from anything nor anything else from it, since all things must come from the beginning. Thus the self-moving is the beginning of motion. This can be neither destroyed nor begotten, or else the whole heaven and all of creation would collapse and stop and never again have motion or birth. But the self-moving has been shown to be immortal, and one who says that this self-motion is the essence and the very idea of the soul will not be disgraced. For every body which is moved from without is soulless, but that which is moved from within itself is the nature of the soul. And if this is true, that nothing else but the soul moves itself, then the soul must necessarily be unbegotten and immortal" (http://www.san.beck.org/SOCRATES4-What2.html#12).

This indicates as to how the soul rises above the boundaries of the space and time. Socrates, in the Republic explains about the soul being compassionate about greediness, ambitious, and knowledge and wisdom.

As such it is given that the "philosophical is the most capable of ruling. The symbolic image of these is the combination of a many-headed beast, a lion, and a man. The respective virtues of each are self-control, courage, and wisdom. When wisdom, which is the most divine quality, is governing, then the energies are successfully employed and the soul is in harmony. Socrates speaks to the intellect of his listeners, and says in effect, "Take charge of your life!" The classic text on the immortality of the soul is Plato's Phaedo, which describes the last hours of Socrates' life on earth. While awaiting the time of his execution, Socrates makes the somewhat surprising and humorous statement that the philosopher seeks death. They laugh, because many people might nod in agreement at this description of the philosopher. However, there is a secret doctrine against suicide as if man were a prisoner who had no right to open the door and run away. Socrates explains that this mystery is because the gods are our guardians, and we humans are a possession of theirs. We must wait until the gods call us. Socrates is not at all upset by death, because he believes he is going to the gods who are wise and good. The reason why even in life the philosopher is always dying is because death is the release of the soul from the body, and the philosopher is continually striving to free the soul from the desires, pleasures, and pains of the body. The philosopher is looking for the truth, and since the senses are imperfect guides, he turns his attention to the ideals and the intelligence of the soul. The soul perceives best directly within itself. When God releases us from the "foolishness of the body, we shall be pure and know ourselves all that is pure." Ultimate purification then is the final release from the body at death. Thus the philosopher practices dying and rejoices at the ultimate liberation" (http://www.san.beck.org/SOCRATES4-What2.html#12).

Hence, in order to exhibit that the soul is immortal, Socrates merges the philosophy of differing with the knowledge of the supreme spirits that rise above the corporal whereby the soul represents the philosophy of the imperceptible, static, reigning and commanding. Each and every one of the traits of the soul is superior as well as prolonged as compared to the traits of the carcass. Hence, soul needs to be graded as immortal by Socrates. Now let us lastly discuss the concept put forth by David Hume.

Hume gave the notion of a meta physical state where the materiality of the soul is nil and where the materiality of the soul is nil then it is very much possible that the feeling or the thought of feeling does not reach the immaterial nature of the soul. However, this metaphysical effect and nature of the soul does not make it possible for anyone to decide the true nature of the soul. He gives the scientific reason for the immortality of the soul; if at all the soul is immortal. When the soul leaves our bodies at the time of death, it travels and rises above our earth and enters in to a space that is filled with a weightless substance called ether. This ether then encapsulates the soul, making it expand and extend over the whole universe. This dispersion of the soul in the infinite time and space makes it rather immortal, as things in the universe are not things; they are the sparks that have an unending life span. And so the soul too has an unending life span.

From the above discussions about the immortality of the soul two things are clear:

One is that soul is immortal and that when it leaves the body it travels in time and space

Second, further insights, researches and discussions need to be done in order to understand the true character of soul and its immortal nature.


Hamilton and Caims ed. (1961) Plato - The Collected Dialogues W.K.C. Guthrie (New York: Bollingen Series LXXI)

Hume, David (1783) Essays On Suicide And The Immortality Of The Soul

Kant, Emaneul (2003) The Critique of practical Reason, http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/Outline_of_Great_Books_Volume_I/immortalit_bii.html

Socrates, http://www.san.beck.org/SOCRATES4-What2.html#12 [END OF PREVIEW]

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