Doctrine 35

35. It is not possible for men who secretly violate a mutual covenant not to harm one another to believe that they will always escape detection. Even if they have escaped it ten thousand times already, so long as they live they cannot be certain that they will not be detected.

Alternate Translations: Bailey: It is not possible for one who acts in secret contravention of the terms of the compact not to harm or be harmed to be confident that he will escape detection, even if at present he escapes a thousand times. For up to the time of death it cannot be certain that he will indeed escape.

Lucretius De Rerum Natura Book II: In addition, Cerberus and the Furies are idle tales, and Tartarus as well, belching forth hideous fires from his throat. Such things have never existed anywhere, and in truth can never exist. But there is in life a dread of punishment for evil deeds: the prison, the frightful hurling down from the rock, the scourgings, the executioners, the dungeon of the doomed, and the torches. And even when these do not come, yet the conscience-stricken mind torments itself with fear of the fire and the lash, and sees no end to such punishment fearing that those very evils will be enhanced after death.

Vatican Saying 70: 1. Let nothing be done in your life which will cause you fear if it becomes known to your neighbor.

NewEpicurean Commentary: One who acts unjustly is not isolated from the punishment of mental turmoil by the thought that he has acted secretly and will not get caught, even if he has gotten away with the unjust act a thousand times before, because up until the moment of death there is no certainty that he will escape detection.

  • texts/principaldoctrines/pd_35.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/07/05 09:15
  • by cassiusamicus