The Consolation of Philosophy

1006 WordsMar 27, 20055 Pages
In book III of The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius establishes the fact that God is the world's helmsman, the divine reason, the supreme good, the origin of all things. He demonstrates that God is omnipotent and omniscient. Nothing more superior can even be conceived of. Through the concept of unity, through which things basically become good, Boethius shows that God and happiness are one, the divine goodness. He concludes, "God is the essence of happiness." (70) Book IV is the turning point in the theodicy, in the first chapter Boethius is truly puzzled by the presence of evil in the world. "But the greatest cause of my sadness is really this - the fact that in spite of a good helmsman to guide the world, evil can still exist and…show more content…
To further explain the idea that vice is often rewarded is only an appearance, Philosophy begins discussing punishment. She states that when criminals get punished, they receive something good. Punishment is rehabilitation, it turns someone bad to see the light of goodness, because punishment in itself is justice. It is when the perpetrators are not caught and brought to justice they endure the biggest punishment of all. Wickedness, is punishment for evil, therefore it is everlasting. "So the wicked are much more unhappy when they are unjustly allowed to go scot free, than when a just punishment is imposed on them." (98) She even goes a bit further, as to say that kindness and sympathy is usually placed with the victim, where as it should be placed with the guilty. (100) Boethius views wickedness as sickness, "…like sick men being brought to the doctor, so that their guilt could be cut back by punishment like a malignant growth." (100) In another instance Boethius writes, "…evil is not so much an infliction as a deep set infection." (94) (may be cut one quote out?) As Boethius continues to deliberate upon the problem of good and evil, they come to the discussion of Providence and Fate. Philosophy begins by defining both and underlining the difference between them. She defines Providence as God's ultimate, unchanging plan, which is divine and eternal. Where as, Fate is the way things play out. Unlike Providence, Fate is subject to change and effected by fortune.
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