Sunday, May 17, 2009

Conquering and Barbarism

For, as our Scriptures say, "the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, and blesses the covetous, whom the Lord abhors." Away, then, with these deceitful masks, these deluding whitewashes, that things may be truthfully seen and scrutinized. Let no man tell me that this and the other was a great man, because he fought and conquered so and so. Gladiators fight and conquer, and this barbarism has its meed of praise; but I think it were better to take the consequences of any sloth, than to seek the glory won by such arms.--Augustine, The City of God, Book 3, Chapter 14
Are we proud of ourselves when we dominate at the cost of others?
Are we proud of people in our history who have subdued other nations?
Do we honor virtue, even if it was a virtuous loss?
Do we consider violence more virtouous than laziness?
Is success truly success if it causes others to fail?

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