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Theseus

Theseus
[195] Full often have I argued out this subject with others. For there are those who say, there is more bad than good in human nature; but I hold a contrary view, that good over bad predominates in man, [200] for if it were not so, we should not exist. He has my praise, whichever god brought us to live by rule from chaos and from brutishness, first by implanting reason, and next by giving us a tongue to declare our thoughts, so as to know the meaning of what is said, [205] and bestowing fruitful crops, and drops of rain from heaven to make them grow, with which to nourish earth's fruits and to water her lap; and more than this, protection from the wintry storm, and means to ward from us the sun-god's scorching heat; the art of sailing over the sea, so that we might exchange [210] with one another whatever our countries lack. And where sight fails us and our knowledge is not sure, the seer foretells by gazing on the flame, by reading signs in folds of entrails, or by divination from the flight of birds. Are we not then too proud, when heaven has made such [215] preparation for our life, not to be content with it? But our presumption seeks to lord it over heaven, and in the pride of our hearts we think we are wiser than the gods.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • James Adam, The Republic of Plato, 2.379C
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