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[106a] would not the number three be imperishable?”

“Of course.”

“And if that which is without heat were imperishable, would not snow go away whole and unmelted whenever heat was brought in conflict with snow? For it could not have been destroyed, nor could it have remained and admitted the heat.”

“That is very true,” he replied.

“In the same way, I think, if that which is without cold were imperishable, whenever anything cold approached fire, it would never perish or be quenched, but would go away unharmed.”

“Necessarily,” he said. [106b] “And must not the same be said of that which is immortal? If the immortal is also imperishable, it is impossible for the soul to perish when death comes against it. For, as our argument has shown, it will not admit death and will not be dead, just as the number three, we said, will not be even, and the odd will not be even, and as fire, and the heat in the fire, will not be cold. But, one might say, why is it not possible that the odd does not become even when the even comes against it (we agreed to that), but perishes, [106c] and the even takes its place? Now we cannot silence him who raises this question by saying that it does not perish, for the odd is not imperishable. If that were conceded to us, we could easily silence him by saying that when the even approaches, the odd and the number three go away; and we could make the corresponding reply about fire and heat and the rest, could we not?”


“And so, too, in the case of the immortal; if it is conceded that the immortal is imperishable, the soul would be imperishable as well as immortal, [106d] but if not, further argument is needed.”

“But,” he said, “it is not needed, so far as that is concerned; for surely nothing would escape destruction, if the immortal, which is everlasting, is perishable.”

“All, I think,” said Socrates, “would agree that God and the Principle of life, and anything else that is immortal, can never perish.”

“All men would, certainly,” said he, “and still more, I fancy, the Gods.”

“Since, then, the immortal [106e] is also indestructible, would not the soul, if it is immortal, be also imperishable?”


“Then when death comes to a man, his mortal part, it seems, dies, but the immortal part goes away unharmed and undestroyed, withdrawing from death.”

“So it seems.”

“Then, Cebes,” said he, “it is perfectly certain

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