platos cave philosophy by lisa johnson Essay

Submitted By Warmcustardpie
Words: 606
Pages: 3

In Plato’s The Cave, unaware humans are forced to live in a false reality. They unconsciously choose to believe that everything they see is real and could not imagine living any other way. Plato is trying to portray that people often times get trapped believing in something, never questioning it. When given the opportunity to see things from a different perspective, the people living in the cave automatically refuse and become hostile. However, leaving the cave would lead to a new understanding of life, and truth. Plato’s The Cave perfectly demonstrates why it is better to question what we believe to be true, rather than to live in ignorance.
True understanding does not originate from what we see or hear. It is the result of observing and questioning information presented to us. By assuming that something is true, we deny ourselves reality. For example, if you only watched Fox News and you believed everything said, you would have a distorted view of the world. By only watching one news channel, you are exposing yourself to one-sided stories and situations. However, by looking at situations you hear on the news through several sources, you are able to see how each story overlaps and draw some truth from it. Our beliefs directly affect our thoughts, actions, and as a result, our futures. William Clifford’s The Ethics of Belief, describes a situation where a ship owner is deciding whether or not to send his ship out to transport a large group of people. The ship is old and he has doubts that the ship is safe to travel. Regardless, he chooses to sail the ship and bases his belief that the ship is safe off of the fact that the ship had sailed safely in the past. By ignoring his doubts and assuming the ship is fine, several people could die. Negative and even dangerous consequences can result from not questioning previous beliefs. Often times, people are reluctant to challenge or change their idea of reality. By seeing new information or by learning about different ideas, their old beliefs become threatened. In the story of Plato’s The Cave, the people living in the cave become angry when told about the different world outside of the cave. These people have spent their entire lives in a…