republic (books 6 - 10)
supposed to be speaking the truth.
At any rate, he replied, philosophers would say that he was
not speaking the truth.
No wonder, then, that his work, too, is an indistinct expres-
sion of truth.
Suppose now that by the light of the examples just offered
we inquire who this imitator is?
If you please.
Well, then, here are three beds: one existing in nature, which
is made by God, as I think that we may say--for no one else
can be the maker?
There is another which is the work of the carpenter?
And the work of the painter is a third?
Beds, then, are of three kinds, and there are three artists who
superintend them: God, the maker of the bed, and the painter?
Yes, there are three of them.
God, whether from choice or from necessity, made one bed
in nature and one only; two or more such ideal beds neither
ever have been nor ever will be made by God.
Why is that?
Because even if He had made but two, a third would still
appear behind them which both of them would have for their
idea, and that would be the ideal bed and not the two others.
Very true, he said.
God knew this, and he desired to be the real maker of a real
bed, not a particular maker of a particular bed, and therefore
he created a bed which is essentially and by nature one only.
So we believe.
Shall we, then, speak of him as the natural author or maker
of the bed?
Yes, he replied; inasmuch as by the natural process of crea-
tion he is the author of this and of all other things.
And what shall we say of the carpenter--is not he also the
maker of the bed?
But would you call the painter a creator and maker?