republic (books 6 - 10)
He looked at me in astonishment, and said: No, by heaven:
And are you really prepared to maintain this?
Yes, I said, I ought to be, and you too--there is no difficulty
in proving it.
I see a great difficulty; but I should like to hear you state
this argument of which you make so light.
I am attending.
There is a thing which you call good and another which you
Yes, he replied.
Would you agree with me in thinking that the corrupting
and destroying element is the evil, and the saving and improv-
ing element the good?
And you admit that everything has a good and also an evil;
as ophthalmia is the evil of the eyes and disease of the whole
body; as mildew is of corn, and rot of timber, or rust of copper
and iron: in everything, or in almost everything, there is an in-
herent evil and disease?
Yes, he said.
And anything which is infected by any of these evils is made
evil, and at last wholly dissolves and dies?
The vice and evil which are inherent in each are the destruc-
tion of each; and if these do not destroy them there is nothing
else that will; for good certainly will not destroy them, nor,
again, that which is neither good nor evil.
If, then, we find any nature which having this inherent cor-
ruption cannot be dissolved or destroyed, we may be certain
that of such a nature there is no destruction?
That may be assumed.
Well, I said, and is there no evil which corrupts the soul?
Yes, he said, there are all the evils which we were just now
passing in review: unrighteousness, intemperance, cowardice,
But does any of these dissolve or destroy her?--and here do
not let us fall into the error of supposing that the unjust and
foolish man, when he is detected, perishes through his own in-
justice, which is an evil of the soul. Take the analogy of the
body: The evil of the body is a disease which wastes and re-
duces and annihilates the body; and all the things of which
we were just now speaking come to annihilation through their
own corruption attaching to them and inhering in them and
so destroying them. Is not this true?