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If  “soul friendships” represent our highest attainment of friendship and  require great honesty and pure love, what might be our ethical  obligation to attempt to nurture such friendships?

Analyze, drawing upon examples from your own life, whether  such friendships are possible and explain some of the ethical  considerations that accompany them. 

Aristotle considers the highest level of friendship to be that of the  soul.  This level is observable in religions, communities, some private  organizations and lifelong friends.  It is the most profound level of  the three and is described as friends who love each other as they love  themselves.   Cicero & Quincey (1920) stated, “Whoever is in  possession of a true friend sees the exact counterpart of his own  soul.”  This is a deep human connection and is testament to for those  who share a level of intimacy which is reciprocated. A contemporary  phrase which society is mostly familiar with is ‘soul mates’ or simply  ‘soul friends.’

It is our ethical obligations to nurture this type of friendship  because I believe it enables us to survive as a species and allow our  respective cultures to remain and adaptive mechanism for our society and  physical environment.  What I am proposing is that sustaining “soul  friendships” have long term effects on the acceptance of diversity and  to degrade cultural inequities across the globe.  I also believe that  such friendships are possible and have been actively experiencing such  friendships for years.  Actually, a new friendship may be in the works.

A friend of mine, whom I consider a ‘good’ friend recently receive  some bad news from home.  She is currently stationed in Korea, so she is  isolated from a social scene.  I was very humbled to have received a  message from her stating that I was one of the first people that she  contacted to vent.  Realizing this, and with this class in mind, I am  happy to say that I am approaching this new development in our friends  as altruistically as I can.  Vernon (2010) allowed me to understand this  development when I read, “soul friendship is fundamentally the  unrepeatable experience of knowing, and being known, by that one,  particular person.”

References

Cicero, M. Tullius., De Quincey, T. (1920) Whoever is in possession of a true friend sees the exact counterpart of his own soul

Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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