Two Philosophies of Government

Imagine you’re sitting in a room with the governors of two different states.

On the left is a man who believes in the eternal life of the soul, and that his actions as a ruler in this life will determine the fate of his soul after death. If he is a just and virtuous ruler, he believes that he will be rewarded, and if he is a selfish tyrant, he will face eternal punishment. He understands that it was but an act of luck or fate that placed him in his position, which humbles him. He knows that he has a duty toward those under his rule, to see that they live in a just and virtuous society, and possibly that most or all of them will meet again in the afterlife as well.

And on the right is a man who believes in the eternal nothingness after death. He believes that, if there is a soul, it simply dies with the body, regardless of his actions in this world and how he treats the citizens of his state. Because of this, he also believes that the purpose of life is to experience as much pleasure as possible. He views his position in government as one which he earned himself, that he got where he is by working harder than anyone else in the state, which therefore makes him superior to those who don’t hold government office. He bases the value of his citizens on what they can do to benefit him, though he also believes that his citizens could be as happy as he is, if only they worked harder.

Which of these two do you think would make the better ruler?

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