Two attractive women approach you. Introducing themselves, one tells you that she is the personification of Duty, and invites you to follow her down the road of virtue, piety, sacrifice and hard slog. The second beauty represents Pleasure: she wants to guide you down a path of indolence, vice and hedonism. Which do you choose?
This was the famous ‘choice of Hercules’, put to him while he was a farm labourer in exile: appropriated by various religions and mythologies, it can be argued that millions of people who have never read the classics still think of life in these terms of virtue versus pleasure: the good life versus the Good Life. A C Grayling’s achievement is to expose this dichotomy … Read the rest