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[899a] or, thirdly, being itself void of body, but endowed with other surpassingly marvellous potencies, it conducts the body.

Yes, it must necessarily be the case that soul acts in one of these ways when it propels all things.

Here, I pray you, pause. This soul,—whether it is by riding in the car of the sun,1 or from outside, or otherwise, that it brings light to us all—every man is bound to regard as a god. Is not that so? [899b]

Yes; everyone at least who has not reached the uttermost verge of folly.

Concerning all the stars and the moon, and concerning the years and months and all seasons, what other account shall we give than this very same,—namely, that, inasmuch as it has been shown that they are all caused by one or more souls, which are good also with all goodness, we shall declare these souls to be gods, whether it be that they order the whole heaven by residing in bodies, as living creatures, or whatever the mode and method? Is there any man that agrees with this view who will stand hearing it denied that “all things are full of gods”?2 [899c]

There is not a man, Stranger, so wrong-headed as that.

Let us, then, lay down limiting conditions for the man who up till now disbelieves in gods, O Megillus and Clinias, and so be quit of him.

What conditions?

That either he must teach us that we are wrong in laying down that soul is of all things the first production, together with all the consequential statements we made,—or, if he is unable to improve on our account, he must believe us, and for the rest of his life live in veneration of the gods. [899d] Let us, then, consider whether our argument for the existence of the gods addressed to those who disbelieve in them has been stated adequately or defectively.

Anything rather than defectively, Stranger.

Then let our argument have an end, in so far as it is addressed to these men. But the man who holds that gods exist, but pay no regard to human affairs,—him we must admonish. “My good sir,” let us say, “the fact that you believe in gods is due probably to a divine kinship drawing you to what is of like nature, to honor it and recognize its existence; but the fortunes of evil and [899e] unjust men, both private and public,—which, though not really happy, are excessively and improperly lauded as happy by public opinion,—drive you to impiety by the wrong way in which they are celebrated, not only in poetry, but in tales of every kind. Or again, when you see men attaining the goal of old age, and leaving behind them children's children in the highest offices,

1 Cp.Plat. Tim. 41d ff, Plat. Tim. 41e ff, where the Creator is said to apportion a soul to each star, in which it rides “as though in a chariot.”

2 A dictum of Thales: Aristot. Soul 411 a 7 ff.

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