“And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened” (Plato 867) The Allegory of the Cave by Plato represents an extended metaphor that is to contrast the way in which we perceive and believe in what is reality. The thesis behind his allegory is the basic opinion that all we perceive are imperfect "reflections" of the ultimate Forms, which subsequently represent truth and reality. In his story, Plato establishes a cave in which prisoners are chained down and forced to look upon the front wall of the cave. In "Allegory of the Cave" there are two elements to the story; the fictional metaphor of the prisoners, and the philosophical opinion in that the allegory is supposed to represent, hence presenting us with the allegory itself.
Francis Bacon opens his essay, "Idols of the Mind" by showing the reader that exploration, testing, and reason combined is the only way to truly gain knowledge; only so much as the laws of nature are obeyed. He proceeds to introduce each of the four "idols of the mind": the tribe, cave, marketplace, and theatre, and why each of these keeps humans from true understanding. Bacon asserts that idols of the tribe are in the very basis of human nature, whereas idols of the cave are of each individual man. Idols of the Marketplace arise from the interactions of men with one another, and idols of the theatre are ideas perceived through the theatre of false scientific axioms as they stand now, according to Bacon.
One part of this essay that I particularly enjoyed was the anecdote of the shipwreck survivors. A man was shown a picture in the temple of people paying vows to God after having escaped a shipwreck. The man was asked how he could deny the power of God in light of such evidence. He responded by asking to see the picture of the people who had drowned after praying for rescue.
I liked this piece, not because I get enjoyment from trying to find ways to deny the existence of a God, but because it...