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  1. Book (Volume) I of Seneca's "De Ira" in Latin is here: https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/sen/sen.ira1.shtml Book II in Latin is here: https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/sen/sen.ira2.shtml Book III in Latin is here: https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/sen/sen.ira3.shtml (Question 1) Do you agree or disagree with Plato's maxim below? In Book I, Section XIX, Seneca describes "he who while free from anger assigns to each man the penalty which he deserves". Seneca comments: Certainly there is a pragmatic aspect to Plato's idea. That is, Plato bases his maxim on the only practical use for punishment being to stop further crime. On the other hand, doesn't such reasoning contradict the theory behind the divine Last Judgment? During the Last Judgment, God would reward or punish everyone according to their deeds, beliefs, and personal worth, even though there is no practical use in stopping the culprits' future misconduct because they are already dead. On the other hand, it could be argued that the hopes and fears of future reward and punishment, such as in the Afterlife, have practical value in influencing altruism and crime.(Question 2) How does Seneca's theory that the gods neither wish harm nor are capable of harm compare with Calvin's and Augustine's ideas of destiny, predestination and fate? Does Seneca consider the gods responsible for the natural order and uncaring about going out of their way to harm people, whereas Calvin and Augustine see God as particularly attentive to humans' fates? In Book II, Seneca appears to not consider the gods responsible for people's destiny I read that John Calvin took his fatalism and his idea of predestination in part from the Stoics. Here, Seneca does not seem to portray the gods as particularly responsible for people's fates. In contrast, I think that Calvin believed that due to His omniscience and omnipotence, God was truly and fully responsible for peoples' fates, and that therefore people did not really have free will. (Question 3) Can you explain Seneca's idea, underlined below? In Book II, Chapter 30, Seneca writes: "Is it a good man who has wronged you? do not believe it: is it a bad one? do not be surprised at this; he will pay to someone else the penalty which he owes to you—indeed, by his sin he has already punished himself." (Question 4) Let me ask about Seneca's instructions for situations where assailants are stronger than their victims. If someone severely hurt someone else, like inflicting rape or another injury, shouldn't the victim choose to press charges, effectively using the courts and state for revenge? If a stronger person keeps bullying or hurting you, what about the effectiveness of fighting back in order to get the bullying to stop, even though your opponent is stronger? I like a lot of what Seneca says on this topic in Book III, but I am uncertain about the last scenario he refers to, where the assailant is stronger: (Question 5) What do you think about Seneca's recommendation against great undertakings or those which will not give us success, when the challenges are great, daunting moral ones like the abolition of slavery or Apartheid? Living in the early 19th or mid 20th c., respectively, success in abolishing them was not attained, and was also stressful, yet was it also not a worthy task nonetheless? In Book III, Seneca recommends against great undertakings or those which will not give us success: On the other hand, perhaps Seneca's comments about such real life situations hold major truths. I have experienced instances where I wanted or tried something great and it was beyond my grasp, depending on how one looks at it. (Question 6) Do you agree with Seneca's claim, underlined below? In Book III, Section XXVI, Seneca recommends bearing one's injuries, and compares this endurance to bearing mistreatment from a sick or insane person. He then asserts that the evil-doers will still undergo punishment:
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