Modern scholars love to present the classical Greek and Roman authors as godless men who promoted all of the immorality in fashion in today’s anti-Christian society. They are, however, liars. The wise men of the past were good, and knew many truths without the assistance of divine revelation. God, according to Catholic tradition, judges them not based on Christian truth, but on the truth that was available to them when and where they lived.
Consider this beautiful discussion of life after death from Plato’s Republic. Does this sound like the stuff of ungodly men?
“Socrates, when a man thinks himself to be near death, fears and cares enter into his mind which he never had before; the tales of a world of the dead below and the punishment which is exacted there of deeds done here, that were once a laughing matter to him; but now he is tormented with the thought that they may be true. Either from the weakness of age, or because he is now drawing nearer to that other place, he has a clearer view of these things; suspicions and alarms crowd thickly upon him, and he begins to reflect and consider what wrongs he has done to others. And when he finds that the sum of his transgressions is great he will oftentimes, like a child, start up in his sleep for fear, and he is filled with dark forebodings. But to him who is conscious of no sin, sweet hope is the kind nurse of his age.”Plato, Republic, Book I
I strongly recommend the study of the works of Plato in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy’s Platonic Philosophy course, currently being prepared online.
William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy