June 27th, 2012

Amaebi, Kayre and Bobby1933 Read Plato's Phaedo

Bobby says: Granted that the immortality of the soul might be an appropriate topic for one's death day. are reason and logic the proper frame for such discussion?  I found Phaedo difficult but challenging on first reading, puzzling on second reading, and tedious and pointless on third reading -- pointless because the tools we use to enlighten ourselves about shapes, compounds, and colors may not be at all suitable for discussing souls.

When things come into the visible universe from the "Realm of Form and Ideas" (the Mind of God?, The Event Horizon?, The Cloud of Unknowing? the Tao?) they are transformed by processes that we do not understand and may never understand.  If the soul "remains" in that realm, even while being miraculously embodied, how this happens is incomprehensible.  The immaculate conception is rarely discussed in sex education classes.

My late great catechist, Father M.L. once commented about things invisible:  For those who believe, no proof is necessary; for those who do not believe, no proof is possible.

I will look at Plato's proof.  I think that this is Plato talking rather than Socrates.  This does not read like the man who said that his wisdom consisted soley in the knowledge that he knew nothing.  I will do this with the help of philosopher Fulton H, Anderson, late of the University of Toronto,*

Opposites pass into opposites in the visible world, death follows life and.life death.  This is the world to which the body belongs.  The soul belongs to the invisible world which is unvarying, changeless, and indivisible.  "Impossible" knowledge proves that the soul is preexistent if not immortal.  The main argument seems to be that since and life and soul are inseparable, the soul cannot die.

Could these arguments have persuaded Socrates'  Pythagorean, or cynic followers?**

*Anderson (Phaedo,  Plato, The Library of Liberal Arts, 1950) also shares his notions as to Socrates' character.: good, wise, just, fearless, thoughtful of others, sensitive to the sorrow of his friends.  He is also ugly, clumsy and possessed of "an infectious, ironic mirth and his perception of thoughts and persons (which) is instantaneous."

**I made a serious error earlier in saying that some of Socrates' followers were Stoics.  I confused Zeno of Elea founder of the (monist) Eleatic school with Zeno of Citium, founder of Stoicism, who was not born until after Socrates died. 

Peripheral questions
Why is there something rather than nothing.?
How does energy become light? (or does light become energy?)
How does light (or energy) become matter?
How does matter become life?
How does life become reflectively self-conscious?
Where does "soul" come in to this?

Daily Tao - 46

"When the world is right with Tao,"
Lao Tzu said,
"horses haul fertilizer to the fields.
When the world loses touch with Tao,
horses are trained for cavalry."

Nothing is more insidious than possession.
Nothing is more dangerous than desire.
Nothing is more disastrous than greed.

If you know when enough is enough,
you will always have enough.
The Beatrice Tao.

Daily Tao - 46