Consolation of Philosophy (Part 4)

Continuing from my last post, Philosophy states in the third section of the book: 1) we all seek happiness, 2) honor, wealth, prestige, belongingness, and pleasure are necessary for happiness but not sufficient, and 3) additional factor are needed to deliver happiness.

Book 4

Philosophy continues by stating that that the good are rewarded and the wicked are punished.  While it looks like evil prevails in the world, in fact, according to Philosophy, it does not.  “They [the wicked] try to attain the good by unnatural and ineffectual means because they are blinded by ignorance and weakened by intemperance. … The punishment of the wicked is their wickedness, that loss of goodness which is the loss of human nature.”

Philosophy goes on the say that good people seek happiness by means of the virtues.  “… evil men, however, try to achieve the same goal by a variety of concupiscences, and that is surely an unnatural way of seeking the good. … just a virtue is the reward of virtuous men, so wickedness itself is the punishment of the wicked.”

These same conclusions are reached in my book – the virtues are necessary to move from the “good life” to a state of happiness.  It is the “involvement” and “exposure” activities discussed in my book that give rise to the virtues.  It is the Adventure that tests those virtues to ensure that the adventurer really is qualified to reach happiness.  Philosophy mentions similar trials, “… others she tests with hardships in order to strengthen their virtues by the exercise of patience.  Some people fear to undertake burdens they could easily bear, while others treat too lightly those they are unable to handle; both of those are led on by Providence to find themselves by trials.”

More to come in my next post.

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