Why Does Plato Considers Ordinary Human Existence to Thatos Chained Prisoners in a Cave
WHY DOES PLATO COMPARE ORDINARY HUMAN EXISTENCE TO THAT OF CHAINED PRISONERS IN A CAVE? Plato in his famous Allegory of Cave compared the ordinary human existence to that of chained prisoners in a cave. According to Plato, we are all stuck in a false reality in this world like prisoners in a cave. His cave theory still applies today in the sense that the people are influenced and controlled by the world around them. They do not want to realize or seek the truth; instead they wish to live in the comfort zone inside the cave. THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE: PLATO, REPUBLIC. Plato assumed the existence of human life in a cave. In his view, human beings are tied as prisoners in a cave and they could only see the shadows of real things
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When one steps out of the cave, the eyes hurt because of the bright sun. It indicates that when human beings understand reality, it is difficult for them to understand. The only direct cause of liberation is self-knowledge which directly removes the ignorance. The daylight outside the cave represents the realm of knowledge. When a prisoner is released from the cave, he is acclimatized to the new environment and understands the ultimate source of light and knowledge. This is a metaphor of enlightment and learning. According to Plato, the prisoners who are released from the cave and attained enlightment will go back to the cave and rescue the remaining chained prisoners and tried to bring them out of the cave. Socrates famous quote “As for the man who tried to free them and lead them upward, if they could somehow lay their hands on him and kill him, they would do so”, this quote is true in the case of Socrates, Jesus, Gandhi, Hypatia, Totsky, Seneca… Most of the philosophers who preached the reality of life are beaten to death and some committed suicide. The prisoners are forced to look at the shadows because they are chained and they can see only the wall. But we forgot that there are many unknown things outside the cave. Likewise we are allowed to enjoy all the worldly pleasures of this world but forgot to think about the reality. We are doing things which others expected us to do. We are not aware of ourself and the real world. Today, we are chained by Media.