The Values Of Life Of Plato And Lao Tzu

1252 words - 6 pages

Plato presents the truth, immortality of the soul and the divine as the main themes of his philosophy in his books, “The Trial and Death of Socrates” and “Phaedo”. While Lao-Tzu presents the natural world, the “Tao” and “doing nothing” as the main themes in his philosophy, which he presents in his book “Tao Te Ching”. They both see their philosophies as the main and ideal way of life, which they try to pursue. Plato and Lao-Tzu being different in many aspects have specific views and values of life, which they believe are true but at the same time they are suggesting a similar approach to it.

Plato truly believes in immortality of soul and the underworld. He states ...view middle of the document...

Believing in the underworld the Plato believes in some forms of the divine. “Will then a true lover of wisdom, who has a similar hope and knows that he will never find it to any extent except in Hades, be resentful of dying and not gladly undertake the journey thither?/One must surely think so, my friend, if he is a true philosopher, for he is firmly convinced that he will not find pure knowledge except there.” (16) This explains that Plato believes in divine forms as underworld god Hedes. He also explains why he believes that this philosophy is ideal for the life. The philosophers can find better knowledge in the underworld, afterlife than living in the actual world with the body. Plato is using this philosophy to defeat the death and that makes the life easier. “In fact, Simmias, he said, those who practices philosophy in the right way are in training for dying and they fear death least of all men” (16) Therefore, Plato suggests the philosophy where he believes in soul and underworld life where he sees better conditions for philosophers that let him to defeat the death and live without the concern of dying.

While the Plato in his philosophy includes the forms beyond the human life another philosopher Lao-Tzu in his philosophy sees every day life problems. Lao-Tzu suggests that doing nothing can make the ideal life. In his book “Tao Te Ching” he gives many examples how the world could change by doing nothing. “ The more prohibitions and rules,/The poorer people become./The sharper people’s weapons,/The more they riot./The more skilled their techniques,/The more grotesque their works./The more elaborate the laws,/The more they commit crimes./Therefore the Sage says:/Wo wu wei/I do nothing/And people transform themselves/I enjoy serenity/And people govern themselves./I cultivate emptiness/And people become prosperous/I have no desires/And people simplify themselves.” (57) These words tell us that the more you try to prevent the more complicated it becomes, the more rules are created the more rules are being broken. Therefore, the Lao-Tzu suggests the to do nothing, this means not do nothing at all but let the natural forces to control the life of people and just shape to get better life but not control those forces against the natural order of things. Lao-Tzu believes that his philosophy which suggests of “doing nothing” is the ideal for the life.

By believing in “doing nothing” the...

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