Sunday, January 13, 2013

John Dillon on "Becoming like God"

The later Platonist ethical ideal of 'becoming like to God' has
generally been accepted without much demur as a reasonable ambition
for mortals, but it is in truth a rather problematic one. In what
respect are we to liken ourselves to God? In respect of immortality?
Or of omnipotence? Or of omniscience? Or, if none of the above, then
what? And yet Plotinus, in Enn. I 2,7, says that our aim is not to be
good men, but to be gods. I suggest, taking my cue from this tractate
of his, that the points of likeness with the gods towards which we are
being exhorted are rationality and impassivity, and that these are
quite reasonable aims -- which, if achieved,will lead, no doubt, in an
afterlife, to immortality, omnipotence and omniscience (though only in
union with the rest of the intellectual realm).

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