Email this sample to a friend

So Socrates has found in nature his future philosopher-king, since characteristics in dogs must surely exist in humans. This is part of his Natural Law formula. He clearly he means to begin at the beginning, since he mentions rearing and education.

Lycurgus also wanted to condition the people from birth forward to be perfect citizens. Both Socrates and Lycurgus placed strong emphasis on education as the foundation for creating their states. Plutarch credits Lycurgus with desiring, “the good education of their youth (which,...he thought the most important and noblest work of a lawgiver), he went so far back as to take into consideration their very conception… and birth, by regulating their marriages.” Plato agrees wholeheartedly that conditioning must begin even before birth, echoing Lycurgus’s belief that “children were not so much the property of their parents as of the whole commonwealth, … [Lycurgus] … would… have his citizens begot by the…best men that could be found…” choosing mating couples like breeders of prize dogs or horses. This applied to women as well, and both Plato and Lycurgus thought monogamy to be detrimental to their goals.

Socrates: And this lawful use of them [powers of the philosopher-kings] seems likely to be often needed in the regulations of marriages and births.
Glaucon: How so?
Socrates: Why, I said, the principle has been already laid down that the best of either sex should be united with the best as often, and the inferior with the inferior, as seldom as possible; and that they should rear the offspring of the one sort of union, but not of the other, if the flock is to be maintained in first-rate condition.

What Is Secular Humanism? (Serial Antidisestablishmentarianism Part Two)


Previous Page Next Page Page 1 of 315