Socrates And Love Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

The world in which we live is one that is defined by languages; these are man-made means of communication like most other forms of communications the world knows of today. Often the terms that people are acquainted with are ones that are quite fluid, and often there is severe confusion because of this fluidity.Indeed a term such as love is one that is fluid; particular, in contemporary times, the word love is so often associated with other forms of emotions. For example, in fast-paced societies such as those in the west, love has come to be associated with physical love (sex). However, this is in contrast to those who search for the essence of love.Love is believed to have a more spiritual characteristic to it than what it is often accepted as in modern societies. Love is a term therefore, that has evolved from its original meaning. At the same time, it also must not be forgotten that love is not devoid of its original meaning, as there are doctrines and philosophical views of this word love that help few contemporaries hold on to its essence.To begin with, there are descriptions of love that are observed in Christianity. Particularly in the Gospel of Mathew, Jesus describes love as a unique form of devotion to God and to fellow-man. Love, however, was not only supposed to be revealed in this form through the Gospels, as it is a word that has been preached to man ever since the Ten Commandments were handed down to man.Two well-known aspects of love are observed in the Ten Commandments. These include: love for God and love for fellow-man. It is apparent through these two approaches of love, there is deeper significance in the meaning of love because of the value it awards to the existence of man. In contrast to the contemporary, distorted meaning of love, love mentioned in the Gospel of Mathew holds greater significance (Mathew, 2004).In addition to the meaning of love in the Gospel, Socrates also has his own unique views about this emotion or word. Socrates associates the word love with the right actions of human beings. He also pulls into play the gods' acceptance of right actions. Out of his in-depth thinking Socrates comes to a conclusion that:1. If the right actions are pious only because the gods love them, then the piety of an action would depend on the whims of the gods.2. If the gods loved pious actions because they were the right actions, then it can be said that there must exist some non-divine source of value (Apology, 2000).By these two possible answers, Socrates almost tells his listeners that a pious action need not be one that is defined by what the gods say; it may be one that is morally right, and so, the gods love it.In view of the word love, it might be asserted that by love Socrates refers to the natural acceptance and pleasure that the gods feel towards particular actions that are morally right. Here, one can observe the difference between Socrates' view of love and the meaning of love that is demonstrated in the Gospel of...

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