Diotima Dialogue

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Chara: Diotima, is that you? Diotima: Good evening, little one. I’m surprised to see you walking through the park alone this late. What is your order of business? Chara: I’ve been searching for happiness, far and wide, day and night, yet it is nowhere to be found and I am in great distress. My friend Apostolos told me you and Socrates once spoke on this manner. Could you teach me what you know about this mystery of happiness? Diotima: Ah, yes. Our conversation was ages ago, but I do recall speaking on the subject. Let’s walk back to my home and we can discuss the matter further. What is it that you want to know? Chara: I have no joy. I can not bring myself to smile. What is wrong with me? What am I lacking that makes people happy? Diotima:…show more content…
Too many too count. I desire to be like Socrates, a teacher full of wisdom and understanding. I desire to bear children of my own and raise them up in virtue. I desire to please the gods and to bring them honor. I desire...alas, I have too many desires Diotima. My desires have led me to recollect over my sorrow and all that I lack (200D). Diotima: Aren’t all the things you desire good? Chara: I believe so. Diotima: And you don’t have any of these things? Chara: You are correct. Diotima: A-ha! There you have it. You don’t have what is good. This was what Socrates and I established while at a party long ago. The cause of one’s happiness is that they possess good things. Look at Socrates, he has philosophy. Think about some of the good things in the world—sports, money, and even philosophy. Obtaining these good things are what lead to happiness. Would you like me to help you find one of these to satisfy you (205D)? Chara: Of course! Please teach me how to be happy forever, for there is nothing that I want more…show more content…
If what I have said is false please show me the truth for there is nothing worse than ignorance. Chara: I am not confident in my thinking, but remind me again what happens once I have enough money to buy all I could imagine. Diotima: You find more things to buy. Chara: If I remember correctly, you told me that if you have all of your present needs, there will be no present desires (200E). There will be nothing left to desire. You also taught me that it is only the gods that have all they desire, so how can one ever find happiness if they can’t fulfill all of their desires? Are you saying that only the gods can be happy? These seem to be conflicting Diotima. Diotima: Of course not! Allow me to correct myself. Desires are both “what is not at hand and not present, what he does not have, and what he is not, and that of which he is in need; for such are the objects of desire and love” (200E). You must start by fulfilling one desire at a time. Shall we return to finding you some coins? Chara: Your offer sounds quite tempting, but remind me again how long you must hold tight to money to achieve happiness? Diotima: Socrates and I agreed that “Everyone wants to have good things forever and ever, [...] for this is common to all”
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