The story of two sisters, Melissa and Melinda, is one of deep philosophical analysis. The harsh scenario is of the two sisters’ brother, Matthew, who is involved in a horrific accident that essentially leaves him brain dead and only alive through a complex network of life support systems. According to Matthew’s last will and testament, he states specifically that if something of this sort ever happens to him, both sisters must mutually agree upon the ultimate decision of whether or not to proverbially “pull the plug.” This is a massive decision that will take great deliberation upon both parties to inevitably come to common terms with one another. Essentially, both sisters have their own aspect of what they should do regarding this predicament. This leads us into the great question at hand, what does the term “dead” mean to us and does the soul play into our outlook on what constitutes whether or not to pull Matthew off of life support and let him go.
Melinda is a firm believer in the existence of the soul in regards to the human body. She argues to Melissa that, “"His soul, Matthew's soul. That's what makes him the person he is, not just a brain doing whatever in his skull! You have to look at everything, not just the X-rays and blood tests!"(1) Melinda would have a significant chance of convincing her sister Melissa that souls do in fact exist by referring to Plato’s defense of the existence of souls to provide ammunition in defending her stance on the dispute. Melinda could argue the cycle of opposites or the argument of knowledge that Plato had utilized in his dialogue, Phaedo, to convey her beliefs. In these dialogues, Plato uses these defenses to justify Socrate’s beliefs in the existence of the soul. By referring back to these excellent examples that justify the soul, Melinda would almost seem able to convince her sister to agree with her. Melinda could argue that all things have an opposite, including the soul. Plato’s first argument...
Cited: (1) Laurents, Matthew M. Daude. An Invitation to Philosophy.
(2) Kemerling, Garth. Philosophy Pages. 2011 04/02/2012 <http://www.philosophypages.com/>.
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