Deity In Philo's Argument

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Philo’s argument starts off with two premises: A “Deity” has unlimited power and knowledge, and anything that he wills, he will receive. Cleanthes and Demea both accept the premises to be true. Philo carries on by stating that since a “Deity” always receives what he wants, then he must not want neither man or animal to achieve happiness. Philo concludes his argument by stating that a “Deity” cannot be humane or compassionate because a man understands these phrases to show sympathy and concern for others. (p.63). Demea presents a counter argument that mentions Philo’s “Deity” simply cannot wield unlimited power, simply based on our tiny perspective. Demea continues by saying that simply because we are not knowledgeable to the overall scheme …show more content…

Philo makes a point that you simply cannot measure the amount of happiness or pain man has to go through. Thus, you cannot conclude which they have more of, which Cleanthes mentioned in his argument. Thus, Philo says that since Cleanthes’ argument is based on improbable facts; Cleanthes is left to admit his argument on the compassion of a “Deity” is just as deprived as Demea’s. (p. 65). Following, Philo states that he will approve of all the arguments Cleanthes has presented thus far, because at the end of it all, Cleanthes cannot compile a working argument. This is simply, because Philo claims that if a “Deity” has unlimited power, as has been approved, then the “Deity” will not accept any malevolent acts in the world. Thus, having malevolent acts in the world, means that the “Deity can be kind and ultimately powerful, for these inconsistencies are the way man thinks. Philo identifies these key points which is part of his initial point that was made, what was rejected by Cleanthes, however Cleanthes is now forced to accept this, if he wants to maintain the argument that a “Deity” is endless.

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