Democritus on Evilness and Corruption

In this post we present and analyze three excerpts from Democritus.


1. Ancient Greek: “Φαύλων ομιλίη συνεχής έξιν κακίης συναύξει”

English: “Continuous contact with corrupt people increases the habit of evilness”

2. Ancient Greek: “Φαύλων έργων και τους λόγους παραιτητέον”

English: “We must avoid even the words of people whose deeds are corrupt”

3. Ancient Greek: “Ενός φιλίη ξυνετού κρέσσων αξυνέτων πάντων”

English: “Friendship of a prudent man is better than the friendship of all the imprudent together”

Analysis: The Philosopher refers here to the rule which says that whoever associates with corrupt people will cause an increase of evilness, and its habit, to himself. Even if he is not already corrupt, or he is just a little, things will go worse! He adds that not only the deeds of the corrupt must be avoided, but their words, too. Unfortunately, Man in every era had a tendency to do evil much easier than he would do good. Our epoch does not differ in this. It differs though in something else.

Hopefully it is apparent to all of us, that we should nowadays count as ‘association’ and part of the ‘educational’ procedure our exposure to the Mass Media and the models/patterns which are promoted through them. Especially Television and the Internet, the radio, and then any printed kind of material. If we think a little deeper, it seems obvious that all of us are ‘associating’ with corrupt people. And an adult may be  satisfactorily able to filter the various negative messages and resist, but a child or an adolescent are not. When one habitually associates with evilness and corruption since childhood, then both the single person and the whole of Society will find their evilness and corruption increased in the course of time. Children fully exposed to the above, as  adults will know nothing else; only the habit of evilness and corruption will be recognised and only with that they will be willing to identify themselves, because habit becomes ‘second nature’. The more evilness increases, the faster the decadence of the Polity. And this leads to its self-destruction. The responsibilites of every organised State and, mainly, the parents‘ are huge. If we wish for a better and more humane future, we must take our responsibilities and work hard on this, by excluding the corrupt and evil, their words and works, as far away and inaccessible we can from the forefront of our societies.

The path of Virtue and Goodness has never been an easy one in the History of Man. The majority always walked on the opposite path, because it is far easier to ‘fall’ than to ‘fly’. But as long as we are Humans, we will keep on remembering and praising with gratitude all those outstanding figures, from each continent and nation, that stood, even alone and isolated at their time, against evilness and corruption; all those who taught us that in Virtue and Goodness only can Man be fulfilled as a being. If we want to change our Families, our Polities, our  World for the better, before anything else we should train our own selves to become more virtuous and good. The only certain thing is that too much talking/teaching hardly ever helped anyone become better; a living example of Virtue and Goodness works much more efficiently.

Research-Analysis for NovoScriptorium: Isidoros Aggelos


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