The Origin Of Love In Plato's Symposium

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In Plato’s Symposium, the characters give grand speeches about love, some giving accounts of love while others praise it. At this event, Socrates gives an account of love that once was told to him by the philosopher Diotima. She believed that the origin of love is the inherent human desire for immortality. However, Diotima’s account is inaccurate, and the true origin of love is the human desire for the company of other humans.
According to Diotima’s account of love, the origin of love is a desire for immortality. She insists that with a human desire to be creative, there is also a desire to be “re-creative.” Diotima believes that humans desire immortality because “reproduction goes on forever” and is what they have “in place of immortality”
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Everything that Diotima states in her argument is very true, but it is purely accidental that these desires are the origin of love. In the sense of a bodily reproduction, people have had children without actually being in love. The parents may be separated or never even have known each other personally to begin with. In these cases, they still love their children and wish for them to live on after their own death, but this is not a connection between a desire for immortality and love. It is simply a parent wishing the best for their own child. There is even less connection between these two concepts when it comes to psychic reproduction. Anybody can reproduce their own ideas and customs yet remain the same person. There is no reason for this type of change to lead to love. For example, there are many cases of prisoners who have committed horrible crimes turning to religion while in prison and becoming better people. While they are physically the same person as before, they have changed their own beliefs and ideals in order to atone for the crimes that they have committed. Learning and gaining knowledge also has no connection to love. A person can grow and learn throughout their lives, but this knowledge does not need to lead to love. Reproduction of one’s self through learning can be done by anybody, and therefore, it has no connection to love. The …show more content…
Thus, the true origin of love is the inherent desire to be around other humans. Humans are known to be social animals. Because of the way society is designed, it is impossible for people to go through their lives completely alone. In addition to this, humans who do find themselves in situations where they are truly alone go insane. This is most notable in prisoners who are put into solitary confinement. Being locked inside a room for twenty-three hours a day can really disturb a person’s mental health. They lose the ability to think about anything for an extended length of time, as well as having panic attacks and extreme paranoia. Humans are not meant to be alone, and therefore, this desire for relationships with others is the origin of love. Subconsciously knowing that being alone would negatively affect the brain, humans seek companionship with others in order to ensure that they will never be truly alone. Humans also desire happiness in their lives. Therefore, it is very important for many people to find a person who will make them happy. This desire for happiness goes hand-in-hand with the desire to not be alone because once a person finds someone who helps them achieve happiness, they can live enjoyable, happy lives together. As social creatures, humans want to spend their lives around other humans, and if they find someone who will make them truly happy, then they have found the person that they can love. Thus, making the desire

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