18 May 2012

So Great Are the Defects

From the second book of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, translated by H. A. J. Munro (Cambridge: Deighton Bell & Co., 1864), p. 59:
For when they suppose that the gods designed all things for the sake of men, they seem to me in all respects to have strayed most widely from true reason. For even if I did not know what first-beginnings are, yet this, judging by the very arrangements of heaven, I would venture to affirm, and led by many other circumstances to maintain, that the nature of the world has by no means been made for us by divine power: so great are the defects by which it stands encumbered. 
                              quorum omnia causa
constituisse deos cum fingunt, omnibus rebus         175
magno opere a vera lapsi ratione videntur.
nam quamvis rerum ignorem primordia quae sint,
hoc tamen ex ipsis caeli rationibus ausim
confirmare aliisque ex rebus reddere multis,
nequaquam nobis divinitus esse creatam
naturam mundi: tanta stat praedita culpa.                180