For as long as people have existed, we, as humanity, have struggled to discover and define our position on earth and within the greater scope of the universe and eternity. Greek philosophers, such as Plato, and early religious thinkers, such as St. Augustine, proposed theories that have largely influenced many modern people's perceptions on the position of humanity. It is difficult to determine the position of humanity because so many factors could be investigated, most of which are personal positions based on beliefs more than facts. Are we souls trapped within a body striving to discover universal truth? Are we spiritual beings struggling to overcome our flesh in an attempt to please an omnipotent God? Are we merely products of our memory? Are we defined by what we control? Are we eternal beings? Does God or some form of the supernatural affect our existence and purpose? Many issues must be addressed as one makes the personal journey to discover the position of humanity in relation to the world and eternity.
The ideas of the early philosophers, Plato in particular, have had a major influence on how people view their existence, and these ideas continue to influence people today. Plato's ideas have had a big influence over the belief that the human is divided into separate parts. Plato suggested that what makes humans different from other creatures and things is that humans have a soul and a body. While most people believe this, Plato, along with this division, emphasized that a human's soul is in a struggle to control or escape the body. In Phaedo, Socrates states, "the soul reasons best when none of these senses troubles it, neither hearing nor sight, nor pain nor pleasure, but when it is most by itself, taking leave of the body and as far as possible having no contact or association with it in its search for reality" (Plato, p.14). By making the purpose of humanity to obtain truth and then stating the body "prevents us from seeing the truth" (Plato, p.