proof from logic alone of the immortal nature of the human soul
(05-13-2012, 03:36 PM)per_passionem_eius Wrote:
(05-11-2012, 05:28 PM)Parmandur Wrote: "One of the main themes in the Phaedo is the idea that the soul is immortal. Socrates offers four arguments for the soul's immortality:

"The Cyclical Argument, or Opposites Argument explains that Forms are eternal and unchanging, and as the soul always brings life, then it must not die, and is necessarily "imperishable".

But the human soul is not eternal, it's created and immortal. In the sense that all forms come from the mind of God, I suppose the human soul is immortal, but strictly speaking, it's not any more eternal than the soul of a rabbit.

Actually, a broader point I am making is that you need Revelation to tell you that the soul is created with a beginning and not eternal.

Quote:As the body is mortal and is subject to physical death, the soul must be its indestructible opposite. Plato then suggests the analogy of fire and cold. If the form of cold is imperishable, and fire, its opposite, was within close proximity, it would have to withdraw intact as does the soul during death. This could be likened to the idea of the opposite charges of magnets.

This sounds like an interesting theory, but not a reasonable proof.

Well, much like St. Thomas' "Ways" of seeing that God exists, this is not so much a proof as a way of seeing that the soul doesn't die.  Plus, following Socrates chain of thought would be better than the Wiki summary.

Quote:"The Theory of Recollection explains that we possess some non-empirical knowledge (e.g. The Form of Equality) at birth, implying the soul existed before birth to carry that knowledge. Another account of the theory is found in Plato's Meno, although in that case Socrates implies anamnesis (previous knowledge of everything) whereas he is not so bold in Phaedo.

To me this sounds like re-incarnation doctrine. Might he be talking about instinct?

No, he is talking about reincarnation (or more accurately, the transmigration of souls).  Christian Revelations tells us that we are not reincarnated, which is why St. Augustine developed his theology of Original Sin to deal with the same epistemological phenomenon that Plato used reincarnation to explain.  It is no coincidence that as people leave Christianity, belief in reincarnation or at least the possibility rises considerably.  By reason alone, reincarnation seems fairly plausible.  It is revelation that tells us we have a beginning, and that it is given to man once to die.

Quote:"The Affinity Argument, explains that invisible, immortal, and incorporeal things are different from visible, mortal, and corporeal things. Our soul is of the former, while our body is of the latter, so when our bodies die and decay, our soul will continue to live.

It's just a theory, it doesn't prove anything to me.

To be fair, this is following many centuries of Greek philosophers trying to figure out what it meant that things changed, or came to be and ceased to be, and other such questions.

Quote:"The Argument from Form of Life, or The Final Argument explains that the Forms, incorporeal and static entities, are the cause of all things in the world, and all things participate in Forms. For example, beautiful things participate in the Form of Beauty; the number four participates in the Form of the Even, etc. The soul, by its very nature, participates in the Form of Life, which means the soul can never die."

There's no reason why the form of beauty cannot be destroyed, if God wishes it. Again, this sounds like just a theory. I thought beauty was an accident anyway, like Nicole pointed out the number 4 is an accident.

Nicole is wrong about math, and I am not certain she is clear on substance and accident.  She would have to come up with some hefty authority for her ideas to hold any weight, to be honest.

Beauty is one of the transcendentals, along with Being, Good, True and One (though One and Beauty might be the same, and there might be one or two others, depending on who you ask).  As such, it is one of the Names of God Himself, one that even the pagan philosophers could understand as properly Divine.  Beauty in created things is part of their reflection of their Creator.  God can no more destroy Beauty than he can deceive or do evil.  It would be a contradiction of Himself.

And honestly, this is all theory.  The point is, a human without revelation can prove to their own satisfaction that they have a soul, and that it lives beyond death.  It is a point of the Faith that a person without Revelation can know, really know, that there is a God by reason alone, even if the details are off.

edited for quote block errors

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Re: proof from logic alone of the immortal nature of the human soul - by Parmandur - 05-13-2012, 05:48 PM

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