It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Thesis: Devout wisdom is sovereign over emotions, a reflection on 4 Maccabees 1

The intention of 4 Maccabees is to discuss whether devout wisdom is sovereign over emotions. Assumption: the highest virtue is rational judgment. Thus, if reason rules over over those emotions that hinder self-control; e.g., gluttony and lust. it can also master the emotions that hinder justice and courage; e.g., malice, anger, fear, and pain.

Definitions: Reason is the mind that with sound logic prefers the life of wisdom. Wisdom is the knowledge of divine and human matters and the causes of these. The kinds of wisdom: national judgment, justice, courage, and self-control. Rational judgment is supreme over all of these kinds of wisdom, since by means of it, reason rules over the emotions.

The two most comprehensive types of the emotions are pleasure and pain. Desire precedes pleasure and delight follows it. Fear precedes pain and sorrow comes after. Anger is an emotion that embraces both pleasure and pain.

Pleasure is complicated because in it is a malevolent tendency; e.g., in the soul: boastfulness, covetousness, thirst for honor, rivalry, and malice, and in the body, gluttony.

Reason is the guide of virtues, but over emotions, it is sovereign. Self-control is dominance over desires. 

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