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Evil Can Never Overcome Goodness- Illustrated in Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy

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In the Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius confronts his unjust imprisonment with reason to illustrate how virtue always overcomes evil and how God as the supreme good can neither cause nor condone wickedness.
Boethius places an increased emphasis on God’s eternal goodness to prove He can neither causes nor condone wickedness, intending to provide comfort for the virtuous affected by injustice. Boethius’s belief concerning the interaction of evil and justice in the Consolation of Philosophy intends to comfort the virtuous from the seemingly wicked world. Lady Philosophy, representing reason, soothes Boethius’s initial concerns by explaining how evil, the absence of good, can never defeat justice, and that the wicked will receive their punishment when Providence sees fit. Boethius also places an increased emphasis on God’s eternal goodness to clarify the role of Providence in the natural plan of the world. Boethius advises the reader that true happiness can only be found in the stability of the self and a virtuous lifestyle.
Dismayed by his poor fortune, Boethius’s question regarding how a just God could allow evil into His world generates the idea of a simultaneous yet omnipresent God. Boethius relates his experience with injustice with the actions of God saying, “It is nothing short of monstrous that god should look on while every criminal is allowed to achieve his purpose against the innocent. If this is so, it was hardly without reason that one of your household asked where evil comes from if there is a god, and where good comes from if there isn’t.”(Book 1, Prose 4)
Despite Boethius’s initial resistance, Lady Philosophy shows that because Boethius did not own his wealth or position, he was subject to Fortune’s transitory...


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...rance of success in the wicked, though it quickly proves that temporary pleasure will never compare to the eternal happiness only God can provide. The loss of his position and fame has left Boethius depressed, but the Lady reminds him of his successes and his ultimate reward. Boethius's idea of a simultaneous God that could remain omnipresent without propagating or condoning evil became a cornerstone in Christian theology during the medieval ages. The Consolation soothes the reader not because it provides a theological proof, but because it reveals that injustice will never be rewarded by the truly virtuous God. In the Consolation of Philosophy, reason represented by Lady Philosophy comforts the imprisoned Boethius that in a world created by an eternal, emanating God, bad can never overcome virtue and goodness.



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Boethius. Consolation of Philosophy.


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