Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Book VII of The Republic by Plato and Genesis in The Holy Bible seem to be very contradictory to one another. In fact, if Plato was around at the time when the Church ruled all, his works would probably have been banned and he would be put to death. Whereas the Church thought that an explanation for everything was that god wanted it to be so, Plato seems to want to carry out the pursuit of knowledge. In "Genesis" Eden was a paradise which man was expelled from for gaining a wealth of knowledge. In The Republic Eden was a cave where man was a prisoner, but he had to be dragged out to gain knowledge. This essay will show the reader just how contradictory the two really are.

In earlier times, before Darwin and Copernicus, the Bible was the only way that anything could be explained, and if you ever dared contradict it, the Church, who governed everything at the time, would probably have had you killed.

But now with the recent growth of science there are ways to actually explain how things came to be, other than to just say that God created it out of thin air. In The Republic Plato describes man without knowledge as a prisoner in a cave, all he ever looks upon is shadows of different objects, never really knowing what the objects are. This almost sounds like a kind of hell. In "Genesis" man without knowledge lives in a paradise where there are no worries of any kind and man is immortal. This sounds to me like Heaven. In the cave man is content with what he has and eventually has to be dragged out so he can be enlightened. But in "Genesis" man voluntarily gained his knowledge, and was kicked out...