steps will be secure, or downwards in an irretrievable plunge over the precipice. Continual self-control leads to absolute self-mastery; continual failure to the utter absence of self-control. But all we can see is the slope. No man is ever at the hJremi>a or the summit, nor can we say that a man has irretrievably fallen into the abyss. How it is that men constantly act against their own convictions of that which is right, and their previous determinations to follow right is a mystery which Aristotle discusses, but leaves unexplained.
?Compare the passage In the Ethics, 1:11 ? ?Clearly there is in them [men], besides the Reason, some other Inborn principle pefuko>v which fights with and strains against the Reason? There is in the soul also somewhat besides the Reason which is opposed to this and goes against it.? ? Compare this passage with Paul, in <450723>Romans 7:23 ? ?I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members.? But as Aristotle does not explain the cause, so he suggests no cure. Revelation alone can account for the disease, or point out the remedy.?
Wuttke, Christian Ethics, 1:102 ? ?Aristotle makes the significant and almost surprising observation that the character, which has become evil by guilt can just as little be thrown off again at mere volition. As the person who has made himself sick by his own fault can become well again at mere volition; once become evil or sick, it stands no longer within his discretion to cease to be so. A stone, when once cast, cannot be caught back from its flight and so is it with the character that has become evil.? He does not tell ?how a reformation in character is possible, moreover, he does not concede to evil any other than an individual effect, knows nothing of any natural solidarity of evil in self-propagating morally degenerate races? (Nic. Eth., 3:6, 7; 5:12; 7:2, 3; 10:10). The good nature, he says, ?is evidently not within our power, but is by some kind of divine causality conferred upon the truly happy.?
Plato speaks of ?that blind, many headed wild beast of all that is evil within thee.? He repudiates the idea that men are naturally good, and says that, if this were true, all that would be needed to make them holy would be to shut them up, from their earliest years, so that they might not be corrupted by others. Republic, 4 (Jowett?s translation, 11:276) ? ?There is a rising up of part of the soul against the whole of the soul.? Meno, 89 ? ?The cause of corruption is from our parents, so that we never relinquish their evil way, or escape the blemish of their evil habit.? Horace, Ep., 1:10 ? ?Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.? Latin proverb: ?Nemo repente fuit turpissimus.? Pascal: ?We are born
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