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phaedo   


necessity for the existence of the soul before birth, and of the

essence of which you are speaking: and the argument arrives at a

result which happily agrees with my own notion. For there is nothing

which to my mind is so evident as that beauty, goodness, and other

notions of which you were just now speaking have a most real and

absolute existence; and I am satisfied with the proof.

Well, but is Cebes equally satisfied? for I must convince him too.

I think, said Simmias, that Cebes is satisfied: although he is the

most incredulous of mortals, yet I believe that he is convinced of the

existence of the soul before birth. But that after death the soul will

continue to exist is not yet proven even to my own satisfaction. I

cannot get rid of the feeling of the many to which Cebes was

referring-the feeling that when the man dies the soul may be

scattered, and that this may be the end of her. For admitting that she

may be generated and created in some other place, and may have existed

before entering the human body, why after having entered in and gone

out again may she not herself be destroyed and come to an end?

Very true, Simmias, said Cebes; that our soul existed before we were

born was the first half of the argument, and this appears to have been

proven; that the soul will exist after death as well as before birth

is the other half of which the proof is still wanting, and has to be

supplied.

But that proof, Simmias and Cebes, has been already given, said

Socrates, if you put the two arguments together-I mean this and the

former one, in which we admitted that everything living is born of the

dead. For if the soul existed before birth, and in coming to life

and being born can be born only from death and dying, must she not

after death continue to exist, since she has to be born again?

surely the proof which you desire has been already furnished. Still

I suspect that you and Simmias would be glad to probe the argument

further; like children, you are haunted with a fear that when the soul

leaves the body, the wind may really blow her away and scatter her;

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