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Earned Bachelor Degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (Class of 2013) Major: Political Science Minor: Sociology ------------------- I am your typical nerd/geek/otaku. I like to ride my bike, read, write, and surf the internet. Otaku(noun)(おたく/オタク)- is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and/or video games.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The City of God by Saint Augustine -- Foundations of Political Thought -- Blog Post #6

Textbook: The City of God by Saint Augustine (Translated by Marcus Dods, D.D.)
Blog Started 9:43 a.m on Sunday April 22, 2012
Required Reading: Book XVIII (18): pages 1-2; Book XIX: pages 4-13
What I'm covering: Page 5
[] = Student's note

In this passage by Saint Augustine, the complexities of human friendship are elaborated upon. He states that we cannot truly rely on friendship as an element of the City of God as "...secret treachery has often broken it up, and produced enmity [or hostility] as bitter as the amity [peaceful harmony] was sweet, or seemed sweet by the most perfect dissimulation [deceptions]?" (Book XIX: 5). Saint Augustine mentions that friends can be more dangerous than one's enemies (and at one point, quotes Cicero on this matter) as it is a person that feigns close friendship that is worse than someone that is a distant enemy.

I agree with this sentiment because a person's best friend is their confidant and knows all of their secrets whether they be of noble deeds or unjust ones. Thus, they are the most dangerous people to betray you as they know of your weaknesses and faults. So perhaps one must keep a constant and vigilant effort to surround oneself with good virtuous people in order to emphasize and create good habits and be weary of getting too close. In a sense, by knowing one's foes, one can focus upon human grievances and then shift those perceptions to their friends in the effort to hold them to a higher standard and (in some cases) a higher regard. I suppose the point that Saint Augustine is trying to emphasize is the well known saying "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

1 comment:

  1. David,

    Excellent job. Very perceptive; some of what you say echoes Aristotle on friendship.

    4

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