Saturday, April 16, 2011

Socrates: What if there were no hell?

"If death had only been the end of all, the wicked would have had a good bargain in dying, for they would have been happily quit not only of their body, but of their own evil together with their souls. But now, as the soul plainly appears to be immortal, there is no release or salvation from evil except the attainment of the highest virtue and wisdom. For the soul when on her progress to the world below takes nothing with her but nurture and education; which are indeed said greatly to benefit or greatly to injure the departed, at the very beginning of its pilgrimage in the other world." - Phaedo

This sounds very much like Pascal's Wager. Phaedo is about Socrates' reflection on death and the soul as he prepares to take the cup of poison, the 'cup' being another point of imagery that is in the Bible also.

2 comments:

Delirious said...

This reminds me of our new school district policy that is to take effect in the fall. Starting in the fall, no teacher is allowed to flunk a student.... How long will it take the students to learn that they don't have to actually try in order to graduate from high school? There are those who believe much the same way about heaven. They believe that accepting Jesus is the only step needed to go to heaven, and that they don't have to do anything else. In essence, they can willingly flunk the class of life, and still be able to graduate.

Looney said...

It makes one wonder if the educators who think these policies up actually finished school themselves!