Plato on Reputation

From the Crito:

Soc. Tell me, then, whether I am right in saying that some opinions, and the opinions of some men only, are to be valued, and other opinions, and the opinions of other men, are not to be valued. I ask you whether I was right in maintaining this?

Cr. Certainly.

Soc. The good are to be regarded, and not the bad?

Cr. Yes.

Soc. And the opinions of the wise are good, and the opinions of the unwise are evil?

Cr. Certainly.

Soc. And what was said about another matter? Was the disciple in gymnastics supposed to attend to the praise and blame and opinion of every man, or of one man only- his physician or trainer, whoever that was?

Cr. Of one man only.

Soc. And he ought to fear the censure and welcome the praise of that one only, and not of the many?

Cr. That is clear.

Soc. And he ought to live and train, and eat and drink in the way which seems good to his single master who has understanding, rather than according to the opinion of all other men put together?

Cr. True.

Soc. And if he disobeys and disregards the opinion and approval of the one, and regards the opinion of the many who have no understanding, will he not suffer evil?

Cr. Certainly he will.

Soc. And what will the evil be, whither tending and what affecting, in the disobedient person?

Cr. Clearly, affecting the body; that is what is destroyed by the evil.

Soc. Very good; and is not this true, Crito, of other things which we need not separately enumerate? In the matter of just and unjust, fair and foul, good and evil, which are the subjects of our present consultation, ought we to follow the opinion of the many and to fear them; or the opinion of the one man who has understanding, and whom we ought to fear and reverence more than all the rest of the world: and whom deserting we shall destroy and injure that principle in us which may be assumed to be improved by justice and deteriorated by injustice; is there not such a principle?

Cr. Certainly there is, Socrates.

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9 Comments on “Plato on Reputation”

  1. beala Says:

    Beautiful! Better than Shakespeare!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Paul, you will be dearly missed… I wish I had something more than my prayers to offer you but as I do not, I hope they’ll suffice. If you are called (and I’ve always thought you were) then he’ll find a way. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

    He comes to give life to the dead,
    He comes to redeem the fall of man;
    This child is the light of day,
    He is the very lamb Saint John prophecied.
    Riu, riu, chiu.

  3. phamilton Says:

    Anonymous, at the moment, prayers are more than sufficient. Pray for my persecutors as well. While what they did was wrong and completely irrational, I harbor no hatred towards them, and therefore my brothers shouldn’t harbor hatred towards them, either. As I have said ad nauseam this year to many people: no seminary is perfect, and therefore we have to make the best out of a non-ideal situation. Pray hard, hold yourselves and your brothers accountable for their formation, and become Godly men.

    But most of all, Anonymous, remain anonymous.

  4. phamilton Says:

    beala,

    While I cannot think of many things more beautiful than Shakespeare, the most amazing thing about Plato is that his writing is beautiful even in translation.

  5. Robert Says:

    I will pray for you too Paul.

    -Rob

  6. e. Says:

    Paul,

    Might I ask, what had happened here?

    It seems there are intimate details which are not altogether explicitly divulged but, rather, only superficially alluded to by this post on Plato.

    Would it be possible to know of the reasons?

  7. phamilton Says:

    e,

    Let me begin by thanking you for your concern. I don’t feel comfortable advertising what happened in such a way that anyone with the internet could read about it. All I will say is this: something bad happened to me, but God has brought much good out of a bad situation, as He always does. Mentally and spiritually I’ve already moved on from that awful situation, so there’s no need to worry about me.

    Nevertheless, as long as I’m in this Valley of Tears, any prayers you can give would be appreciated. 🙂

  8. phamilton Says:

    Rob, thanks for the prayers.

  9. e. Says:

    Paul,

    I will certainly pray for you.

    Although, I am quite disheartened that you seemed to have suffered something so severe.

    I agree with your latest post, though, that the story of Job can often bring such comfort in our most troubled times.

    I would recommend, most especially (that is, if you’ve not already read), the book Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation by St. Thomas More, which has often served me as a source of exemplary inspiration in such dire times:

    “For God is, and must be, your comfort, and not I. And he is a sure comforter, who (as he said unto his disciples) never leaveth his servants comfortless orphans, not even when he departed from his disciples by death. But he both sent them a comforter, as he had promised, the Holy Spirit of his Father and himself, and he also made them sure that to the world’s end he would ever dwell with them himself. And therefore, if you be part of his flock and believe his promise, how can you be comfortless in any tribulation, when Christ and his Holy Spirit, and with them their inseparable Father, if you put full trust and confidence in them, are never either one finger-breadth of space nor one minute of time from you?”


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