more from Critias

Single Idea 542

[catalogued under 28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 5. Atheism]

Full Idea

When the laws forbade men to commit open crimes of violence, and they began to do them in secret, a wise and clever man invented fear of the gods for mortals, to frighten the wicked, even if they sin in secret.

Gist of Idea

Fear of the gods was invented to discourage secret sin


Critias (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE], B25), quoted by Sextus Empiricus - Against the Professors (six books) 9.54

Book Reference

'Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers', ed/tr. Freeman,Kathleen [Harvard 1957], p.157