SOCRATES: Well, and do those who, as you say, desire evils, and think that evils are hurtful to the possessor of them, know that they will be hurt by them?
SOCRATES: Then are there some who desire the evil and others who desire the good?
SOCRATES: But if there is no one who desires to be miserable, there is no one, Meno, who desires evil; for what is misery but the desire and possession of evil?
MENO: That appears to be the truth, Socrates, and I admit that nobody desires evil.
Yes, but do not persons often err about good and evil: many who are not good seem to be so, and conversely?
Then to them the good will be enemies and the evil will be their friends?
And in that case they will be right in doing good to the evil and evil to the good?
And instead of saying simply as we did at first, that it is just to do good to our friends and harm to our enemies, we should further say: It is just to do good to our friends when they are good and harm to our enemies when they are evil?
He wishes them to know that the divine sign never interrupted him in the course of his defence; the reason of which, as he conjectures, is that the death to which he is going is a good and not an evil. For either death is a long sleep, the best of sleeps, or a journey to another world in which the souls of the dead are gathered together, and in which there may be a hope of seeing the heroes of old--in which, too, there are just judges; and as all are immortal, there can be no fear of any one suffering death for his opinions.
Nothing evil can happen to the good man either in life or death, and his own death has been permitted by the gods, because it was better for him to depart; and therefore he forgives his judges because they have done him no harm, although they never meant to do him any good.
Yet the defence, when taken out of this ironical form, is doubtless sound: that his teaching had nothing to do with their evil lives.
He has acquired merit, though the healed employed his strength for evil. Just is the Wheel!
Not till I came to Shamlegh could I meditate upon the Cause of Things, or trace the running grass-roots of Evil. I strove all the long night.'
'But', Holy One, thou art innocent of all evil. May I be thy sacrifice!'
Although he speaks bitter words against the evil
deeds of priest and monk, he does not attack the Church.