Expect Death, Cherish Life

Expect Death, Cherish Life Socrates’ and Augustine work is marked by the clear division between the respective philosophers’ differing ideas about the body and the mind. On one hand, Socrates believes in the separation of body and soul, with the mind living on forever, and the body serving its purpose only as protection.

Augustine, on the other hand, believes the body and soul to be damned by God with death, while still having a more realistic view of the soul and body as separate entities. Deciphering the language of both philosophers revealed to me that neither was fully satisfied with their lives as living organisms.Augustine lived his life serving his punishment to God as a slave, while Socrates focused on expanding his mind since the body, which makes human life possible, served no purpose once deceased. Both of these philosophers seem to give the word, “life,” a negative connotation. I am certain that no soul can survive on earth without a body. However, I am not certain that the soul remains with the body after death, for it may move onto an afterlife. I believe the body and mind are two separate entities that can only exist if they function as one unit.

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Given the opportunity to improve the soul and body, people should strive for advancement and self-satisfaction until we are eventually met at the inevitable end _death. Socrates approaches death with a fearless attitude. He knows and accepts that we will all perish on earthвЂ?while death is inevitable, it also represents the unknown. Instead of preserving the body to avoid death for as long as possible, Socrates believes in the betterment and purifying of the soul to prepare for what is to come. His view of values and morals being transcendent is achieved through reason, asking for an extremely logical and convincing argument.Furthermore, because afterlife is something that Socrates knows nothing about, he spends little energy agonizing over when it will arrive. Why devote years focused on when an inevitable event might occur, rather than on improving an everlasting known entity such as the soul? I agree with Socrates’ belief, too an extent. I agree that many people are too concerned with preserving the bodyвЂ?a protective cover for the mindвЂ?rather than focusing on improving themselves and the others around them.

However, I also believe that there are many people who inhibit body.Although we must not fear death and should instead develop our souls for the possible afterlife, there is still no proof of the mind living on after death. For society to achieve at its highest potential, people must focus on the betterment of their souls and the expansion of their knowledge, while still cherishing the present time by preserving and nourishing the body. I agree with Socrates that we should not fear death because we achieve nothing but lost time that could have been spent in a more productive way.

However, I disagree with Socrates because I believe being indifferent toward the body prevents us from achieving complete self- satisfaction. Socrates’ view provides a lot of optimism toward immortality, a main factor in the attraction of his theory. His dualism of the mind and body gives people something that they desire most: hope. There is little, if any, motivation to work hard and do good if no 2 2 part of the body lives beyond the soul. People are attracted to Socrates’ view because it gives their lives a purpose: to prepare for the afterlife.

Though Socrates presents a compelling and desirable argument, I simply cannot accept it.The mind is an entity that has an operating system completely dependent upon the body existence. Without the body, the mind is not only incapable of forming thoughts; but it cannot even function. The body and mind are two separate entities that function and operate as a single unit.

I like to think of the two as different businesses producing different goods. We would rather have each business maximize production rather than having one advance and the other decline. Similarly, f we develop both our mind and body, we maximize our production and overall well- being.In another light, Augustine believes that death is something to be feared, a punishment that was placed upon all humankind because of Adam and Eve’s sin. God created the body, and thus Augustine concluded that the body must not have been created Just to die. Man must have done something to deserve such a punishment. Augustine logic leads him to conclude that because of the actions of Adam and Eve, our race is damned, and death serves as the treacherous punishment for their actions.

To me, death as punishment is something I cannot accept and is the biggest flaw in Augustine argument.If we are inevitably going to die, how is death in anyway a punishment? Augustine claims that sin is the reason for our punishment, so can we conclude that sin is, in fact, inevitable? Death is nothing more than a shared event among all life forms. Although an interesting thought, I feel that treating death as a terrifying punishment is a dreadful way to live. How can anyone ever truly live if they are always focused on death? Augustine religious beliefs interfere with his logical train of thought and transform his perception of death to be reasonably pessimistic.Although pessimistic, Augustine outlook on death is quite similar to mine due to his particular use of realism. Socrates’ claim that the soul moves on too life after death is an extremely appealing and hopeful view, however, a bit unrealistic. Augustine offers an idea that accepts death as an inevitable event while also encouraging overall self- improvement, both soul and body included. If we were forced to live on earth until we reach death, why would we let our souls and bodies go to waste? Why would we not cultivate our minds and enrich our bodies until we have reached full potential?My opinion overlaps with Augustine, in that we shouldn’t focus on the finish line if we aren’t ready to cross it yet.

Provided time and opportunity, society should focus on refining its personal goals in order to go to sleep each night feeling like that one day was fulfilled. I think Augustine would agree that taking one day at a time and conquering each day individually is a much better approach to achieving success. If we have control over nothing other than our own potential growth, why would we hesitate to increase that potential?Unlike Socrates’ emphasis on imagination and unknown, my view on death aligns much closer with Augustine, focusing much more on the present time and how we as individuals, as well as a community, can develop and improve. Flaws exist in both arguments by Socrates and Augustine, yet there are still many statements made by both philosophers that make up the core of my overall stance on death. Socrates does an ideal Job of explaining the importance of success and self- distractions, while still focusing on doing “what is right,” or, “Just. I agree completely that without 4 4 hope, there is little purpose to life.

With nothing to look forward to, people lose motivation and drive. Whereas if there was something to strive for, something worth fighting for to earn, then life would be much more meaningful. However, death is not something we should take as lightly as Socrates. Socrates describes our body as a protective vessel that Just guards the mind.

To Socrates, the body is meaningless because he believes once we die, our souls separate from our bodies and go on their efferent ways.If we take death lightly and treat our bodies poorly, our minds will be unable to operate and explore, as the body and mind cannot work as two separate functioning entities. I have to disagree with Socrates in this situation because I know that the mind cannot operate without being accompanied by the body. Socrates’ idea, that if we live righteously our soul will never die, is an appealing one, but there Augustine ideas also overlap with mine, because he too believes death to be inevitable.

However, I disagree with Augustine when he claims death is a punishment.If death were punishment for our sins, then humans would’ve been originally created immortal (and that can’t be proved truthful either). Relying on a religious text to make an argument is always going to be a difficult feat, because there will always be beliefs that differ from one another. Unless you believe in Christianity, the foundation of Augustine argument is hard to accept as true. But then one might ask, how is an argument accepted as true? If we only use personal belief or religious texts as evidence in our arguments, can we ever fully validate them? I am still pondering the answers to these questions. 5 5