Does punishment also bring wisdom?
I parallel the conflicts in our modern world to the 441 BC Greek Sophocles Play, Antigone. In a fellow blogger’s brief excellent summary of the play, this final paragraph was written.
“Alone, in despair, Creon accepts responsibility for all the tragedy and prays for a quick death. The Chorus closes the play with an attempt at consolation, by saying that although the gods punish the proud, punishment also brings wisdom.”
500 years prior to this play, King Solomon wrote a prophetic statement, and two proverbs in context to the parallel.
Nothing is new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) For what will the man do who is to come after the King? What men have already done. (Ecclesiastes 2:12)
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD– how much more do human hearts! (Proverb 15:11)
The parallel begs these questions.
- In regards to the prophetic statement. why do we need to keep repeating similar ‘soap operas’ in every new generation? To first enact folly and afterward try to console our folly with the same consolation statement that ‘gods punish the proud, punishment also brings wisdom.
- In regards to the proverbs. why not just learn the wisdom of the past and apply in our modern world? Why is punishment and/or a bad experience have to be consoled as a means to bring wisdom?
Two Examples of Parallel Killing
- In the Mid-East we have terrorists killing innocents and as well as suicide bombers, killing themselves.
- All over the world we have mothers aborting innocent babies.
Pride and Punishment
As for the statement, ‘the gods punish the proud,’ I believe even the most ardent atheists would have to concede that if humankind just followed the Ten Commandments, especially the sixth commandment, “Do not murder,” the world would be a better place. In other words, we are punishing ourselves, not the gods, with our repeated follies.
As for abortion, I wrote a previous post referenced below of why Germany, because or abortion, welcomes new immigrant refugees of the Mid-East while other countries do not want the refugees. (Another parallel to the root cause of Brexit, in my opinion,)
As for proud leaders, we seem to have an abundance of them in our modern world in my opinion, same as in ancient history. Will a god punish them in time? Faith believer believe so. However, No one knows for certain God’s judgement and punishment according to this proverb.
The balance and true scales are Yahweh’s concern; all the weights in the bag are his affair. (Proverb 16:11)
As for punishment brings wisdom, I wrote a previous post referenced below why experience is not the best teacher for wisdom.
As for Antigone and Creon in the Greek Play, if after you read the summary, you decide if their story is a parallel soap opera to our modern times.
Regards and goodwill blogging.
Antigone Summary HERE
Abortion Factor HERE
King Solomon, Ten Commandments HERE
King Solomon, Bad Experience HERE