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[109] "Cratippus states his minor premise thus: 'But there are countless instances of prophecies being fulfilled without the intervention of luck.' On the contrary, I say there isn't even one. Observe how keen the controversy grows! Now that the minor premise is denied the conclusion fails. But he retorts: ' You are unreasonable not to grant it, it is so evident.' Why 'evident'? 'Because many prophecies come true.' And what of the fact that many more don't [p. 495] come true? Does not this very uncertainty, which is characteristic of luck, demonstrate that their fulfilment is accounted for by luck and not by any law of nature? Furthermore, my dear Cratippus—for my controversy is with you—if that argument of yours is sound, don't you see that it is equally available in behalf of the means of divination practised by soothsayers, augurs, Chaldeans and by interpreters of lightnings, portents, and lots? For each of these classes will furnish you with at least one instance of a prophecy that came to pass. Therefore either they too are all means of divining—and this you very properly deny—or, if they are not, then, so far as I can see, the two classes which you permit to remain are not means of divining. Hence the same reasoning employed by you to establish the two kinds which you accept may be used to establish the others which you reject.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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