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Showing posts from August, 2017

Plato's Republic and the Teaching of Jesus

Matthew 10:26-28, Luke 16:19-31 In his book The Republic, the philosopher Plato wondered what would happen if we could do anything we liked without being detected and punished. He drew on the fable of the shepherd Gyges who, after an earthquake, stumbled upon an ancient tomb where he discovered a magic ring. By twisting the ring in his finger or in his pocket he found that he could make himself invisible. Using his new gift Gyges went to the palace, crept into the queen’s bedroom, seduced her and then persuaded her to help him kill the king, a task for which the invisible ring also came in very handy. In The Republic Plato's mentor Socrates poses the question, ‘What might we be tempted to do if we thought we could get away with something wicked without being detected?’ The virtuous person would, of course, behave just the same way if they thought they were invisible as they would if they thought someone could see them. But are we really that virtuous? A security guard was the only pe…