In modern day America, I believe that people question the thought of God because there is little proof in his existence. In an effort to support my beliefs I will draw from the practices of Plato, who was a student of Socrates in ancient Greece. Considered one of the great ancient Greek thinkers, Plato spent most of his life developing his Theory of Ideas, which was a significant part of his philosophical beliefs. While Plato is thought to have expressed many of Socrates beliefs, his own philosophical ideas were displayed in his work The Republic.
The film that I am about to embark on is a quest to answer the familiar questions associated with the belief in God and higher power. The message of my film will tie together the idea that God takes no form, but rather that we are to “determine what is right, good, just and true” (Che) in our own lives. The journey that has led me to these beliefs is based on personal experience and my observations of those around me. Plato’s beliefs are similar to the conclusions I have come to on my own and I feel that it is critical to reference these historical teachings when answering these important questions.
In Plato’s The Republic he addresses the idea that “[the] concept of God is an intangible, impersonal entity that encompasses and is the precondition for all ideas, all reality, [and] all “Forms”. (Che) My personal belief is that Plato’s concept of God identifies all of the problems I see in the idea of an almighty being. While the concept of God is one that people belief will guide them to spiritual enlightenment, there is nothing more impersonal than a God who isn’t concerned with you specifically. The form of God is intangible, we cannot see, hear, or feel this entity, which provides me with little belief in the existence of God. In very simple terms, Plato talks about the belief in God by explaining that if someone enjoys something, “but does not understand enjoyment in itself, is himself ignorant of what is real”. (Che) Without understanding God, it is difficult to understand how people can truly believe in his existence.
“Wherefore we ought to fly away from earth to heaven as quickly as we can; and to fly away is to become like God, as far as this is possible; and to become like him, is to become holy, just, and wise”. (Landry) While Plato did not believe in the Christian concept of God, he believed in a God who possessed intellectual ability and knowledge. Plato was concerned less with the idea of who or what ruled the universe, and was more concerned with the explanation of the natural world.
“God serves as the origin or starting point from which all other aspects of the intelligible world can exist”. (Landry) I agree with this theory of Plato’s and it emphasizes my understanding in knowledge and the intelligible world as a way of separating myself from the physical world. Plato believed that death was the separation of body and soul, and defined philosophy as a preparation for death. “Plato believed that there was another world beyond this changeable and destructible one in which we live, one consisting of unchanging eternal Forms.” (Che)
Plato’s belief in an alternate world clearly aligns with a belief that I have had for quite some time. I do truly believe that while the soul and body coexist, they are separate entities and when the body dies, the soul lives on and becomes part of the word where unchanging eternal Forms exist. This idea of life after death curbs my fear of death and the ultimate unknown.
The movie Pi follows Maximillian Cohen, a number theorist, who believes that every question can be answered with numbers. There is scene in the movie where Max is talking to Sol in his kitchen about the 216-digit number that Sol had previously asked if he had seen. Max continues to tell Sol about the “religious Jews” he’s been talking to about number theories. He explains to Sol that these “religious Jews” use the…