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Extra resources for Phaedo (Clarendon Plato Series)
In that case it might be said that one had become sentimental. H o w does this differ from the response of the G o o d S a m a r i t an who stops to b i n d the wounds of the m a n fallen a m o n g thieves? S o m e might say t h a t t h e love he shows, and t h e sacrifice he makes, are excessive, b u t we should hardly say they were sentimental. Nevertheless, there are ways in which following t h e example of the G o o d Samaritan is incompatible with what is usually regarded as a respectable lifestyle in terms of worldly success.
T h i s feature is far from u n i m p o r t a n t. If we forget the role of C u p i d and his darts we are likely to suppose that the classical model of eros presumes that there is beauty in the beloved and that the lover's regard for the beloved is a simple desire to possess that beauty (or whatever other favours might be envisaged). T a k i n g Cupid's arrows as a fundamental feature of the model, we transform that desire into a willingness to see beauty in the most unlikely candidate, a wishful thinking that hopes to find loveliness where there is no real prospect of doing so, and a yearning to see that any capacity that the beloved might have for becoming beautiful is realized to the full.
First, it is not clear that we should be content to classify all G o d ' s love as humiliating. We might wish to distinguish between the love manifested in the I n c a r n a t i on (which does involve powerlessness) and the love manifested in creation which appears to be characterized by power rather t h a n weakness. S h o r t of suggesting that creation limits G o d ' s independenc e or implies a lack of self�sufficiency on his part, we should probably wish to preserve a distinction between creation, on t h e one h a n d, as ultimately respectable and a p r o p e r activity for the G o d who has everything and m o r e besides, and on the other h a n d Incarnation, which is a surprising or shocking act for such a G o d .
Phaedo (Clarendon Plato Series) by Plato