A Pagan’s Proposal
Moral Education for a Decadent Society
by Jeffry Davis
Back in the fifth century B.C., in the Sicilian town of Syracuse, a longtime despot by the name of Thrasybulus fell from power. With his ousting, a democratic form of government emerged that gave newly enfranchised citizens the opportunity to recover lands which had been confiscated during the tyrant’s reign. One of the citizens, Corax, developed a systematic approach to help victims plead their cases in court. In essence, Corax told the people, “Follow my advice: You’ll get your land!” His formula—employing inferential reasoning with arguments of probability—worked. Justice triumphed through the careful use of words. Many citizens who trusted Corax were indemnified by rhetoric.
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