Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quote of the Day: Marcus Aurelius tells us how to live with(out) gods

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Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius in ‘Gladiator’ [2000]
Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris, Gladiator [2000])

Ed Brayton just posted this over at his blog, and I thought it was definitely worth sharing … even if it is just about 2,000 years old:

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

Marcus Aurelius

Thus capturing the essence of secular morality: Be good for goodness’s sake. And if any god(s) out there are unjust, then it matters not how devout you are; cruel deities aren’t known for according many graces to us puny little mortals, no matter how much divine ass we may kiss.

Added to Memorable Quotes, as per usual.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)