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Thursday, February 9, 2023

More Regarding "The City of God"

I am finally to a more philosophical part of the book (9,300+ location in the Kindle) - I have persistently slogged through the many arguments against the Greek and Roman gods. And we arrive at his discussion of Plato. He describes Plato as the greatest of the philosophers having travelled Egypt and Italy in search of knowledge and truth, and adding his own brilliance. Here is a quote I'd like us to consider today.

Plato determined the final good to be to live according to virtue, and affirmed that he only can attain to virtue who knows and imitates God,--which knowledge and imitation are the only cause of blessedness.

Augustine makes the point, in agreement with with Plato, that all earthly things change and pass away, but that of the Supreme is eternal and changeless. So, it is useless to seek felicity in the body or mind.

Their conclusion is stated in the above quote. Virtue is what we should use as our guide in order to live in felicity. And virtue, perhaps the glitch for many people, requires us to know and imitate God - and therein is the path to a blessed life.

In many ways, in this "modern" time, virtue is scorned, and the opposite is portrayed in fiction and song and culture. It's a bit like Augustine's pages and pages bemoaning the violence and licentiousness in the theaters of his day. He ties that and the cavorting of the gods as major reasons for the fall of Rome, plus allowing the barbarians to gather at the gates and overwhelm in their invasion.

Many parallels to today it seems. I wonder if we have the wisdom and the will to turn to virtue, to seek to know and imitate God???

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