Plato’s Republic: Is God Evil?

From Plato’s Republic (379b). A discussion between Socrates and Glaucon about whether or not an unjust man profits more than a just man. The following excerpt is Socrates speaking about whether good or evil is from God. I like the simplicity of Socrates’s logic and how he seems to be able to objectively come to an assertive conclusion.

Socrates: And is not God of course good in reality and always to be spoken of as such?

Glaucon: Certainly.

Socrates: But further, no good thing is harmful, is it?

Glaucon: By no means.

Socrates: Can that which does not harm do any evil?

Glaucon: Not that either.

Socrates: But that which does no evil would not be cause of any evil either?

Glaucon: How could it?

Socrates: Once more, is the good beneficent?

Glaucon: Yes.

Socrates: It is the cause, then, of welfare?

Glaucon: Yes.

Socrates: Then the good is not the cause of all things, but of things that are well it is the cause — of things that are ill it is blameless.

Glaucon: Entirely so

Socrates: Neither, then, could God, since he is good, be, as the multitude say, the cause of all things, but for mankind he is the cause of few things, but of many things not the cause. For good things are far fewer with us than evil, and for the good we must assume no other cause than God, but the cause of evil we must look for in other things and not in God.

Socrates doesn’t go so far as to declare the origin of evil, but that God must not be the source of it so we should look elsewhere. I like the objectivity in the logic above, regardless of what he may or not may believe about the gods.

Did the Catholic Church prevent Bible translations?

I was recently asked about the battles over individuals making English translations of the Bible during the Protestant Reformation years. I am Catholic and I like Reformation history, so get comfortable!

Paraphrased question:

In reading the English history of the Tudors, the Catholic church prevented vernacular translations of the Bible by torturing people who attempted to do them. Today the Catholic church doesn’t torture, so what changed?

What did you do before you existed?

What did you do before you existed? Have you ever pondered your personal experience before you existed? Do you ever think about the number of years that passed you by since man started recording history? Imagine how much time passed by since the formation of our planet. Do you remember the agony of waiting in line, for what seemed like eternity, just to get a flesh body for the human experience ride?

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One More Bit Of Good Advice

“If we did all that Plato or Aristotle or Confucius told us, we should get on a great deal better than we do. And so what? We have never followed the advice of those teachers. [. . .] If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance.”

C.S. Lewis

My very smart and published sister-in-law came across the C.S. Lewis quote above and asked if I had any agreement/disagreement with the quote. Along with the quote came the second nudge to write my own blog. After very little thought, I decided to publicly write down my thoughts knowing full well that I will likely destroy any future I may have hoped to enjoy in public office or a religious career. And so it begins…

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