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Protagoras

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  • -490Born
  • -420Died
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"Man is the measure of all things."
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"Let us hold our discussion together in our own persons, making trial of the truth and of ourselves. "
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"No intelligent man believes that anybody ever willingly errs or willingly does base and evil deeds; they are well aware that all who do base and evil things to them unwillingly. "
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ROGER
on 04 Jul 2011

His proposition here is untenable, or our whole code of criminal responsibility, and punishment of the wrongdoer, is indefensible. This must be the ultimate plea of a defense counsel, surely. “You Honour, my Client carried out this act unwillingly. He was forced into it!”
Protagoras also said that it was impossible to prove whether or not the Gods exist, which goes against teachings of faith, in any religion. He was tried for impiety in Athens. I suppose HE knew what he was trying to say, but it seems to have lost something in the translation.

The thought of
ROGER
on 03 Jan 2012

I have looked up the origin of this quote. It comes from Plato’s “Dialogues” and reports on a debate which took place between philosophers at the house of Callias. It was Socrates, commenting on a speech made by Simonides, who made the remark that even a good man may carry out an unlawful act unwillingly. He also mentions that a good man may carry out an unlawful act for short term advantage without considering any long term loss which might result. Nowhere does the quote appear verbatim that “no one EVER willingly does base or evil deeds, and all who do them do so unwillingly”.

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"There are two sides to every question. "
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"The Athenians are right to accept advice from anyone, since it is incumbent on everyone to share in that sort of excellence, or else there can be no city at all. "
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