Essay on The Consolation of Philosophy

1004 Words Apr 8th, 2005 5 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
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(92) Boethius claims that "happiness is the very same good which motivates all activity; so that goodness itself is set as a kind of common reward of human activity." (93) Therefore, goodness can never go without reward, it is a reward in itself and evil can never take that away.
In regard to the wicked, "just as goodness is its own reward, so the punishment of the wicked is their very wickedness." (93-94) Therefore, the bad actually never escapes punishment, the same way as the good never goes without reward. Boethius associates wicked people with animals, even though they take on a physical appearance of a human, their state of mind becomes animal-like.
Boethius claims that bad things do happen, and they happen to both good and bad people. However, in both cases they occur in order to ultimately achieve a greater good. Is it just that people that are otherwise virtuous, receive bad things? According to Boethius, the answer would be yes, it is just, because the function of bad things is to make one stronger. "What does not kill me, makes me stronger." (_______) When bad things happen to righteous people, it is to teach them, to remind them what good is (change) to make sure they remember the most important concepts in life. When bad things happen to bad people it is to punish them. God governs bad things in order to bring about good. That leads Boethius to

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