The State

yet prepared to grapple with the problem of evil; and in this poetic teaching he would have aU the perplexing difficulties of life evaded, and all inconvenient facts suppressed. "If they can be got to believe us," says Plato that shall tell our citizens

far as may be, treated as an impossibility.

is unholy, and that never up to this time has there been any quarrelling among citizens."1 Evil is to be kept out of sight, and, so m

Poetry is to tell its 1 noble untruth/ and no scepticism or criticism is to be allowed to breathe a breath of suspicion upon it.

Now, it may be true, as Plato thinks, that faith in God—a faith that good is stronger than evil, and even that it is all-powerful—is the necessary basis of our higher life, and that without some such faith morality is apt to shrink into a hopeless striving after an unattainable ideal, and must, therefore, cease to exercise its highest inspiring power* To hold that what we regard as best and highest is also the ultimate reality—the principle from which all comes and which all depends the great religious spring of moral energy. Even from early times the social union finds its consecration in the idea that union of men based on their common relation to a god, who is the guardian of the destinies of his people. On such a faith Plato

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment