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Socrates, the First Monotheist

Essay Socrates was an early Greek philosopher who had many pupils, but even more enemies. In 399 B.C., he was charged with denying the existence of the gods of the state and in turn creating new divinities. By teaching, he was corrupting the youth of Athens. He pleaded his case in Plato's Apology, but he was eventually convicted and executed. In this essay, I intend to prove that Socrates did not deny the existing Greek gods, but only believed in one god and was in fact one of the first monotheists in history. In Plato's Euthyphro, Socrates and Euthyphro have a friendly conversation in which Socrates asks Euthyphro to define the word piety. Euthyphro points to his own actions-prosecuting his father for murdering a servant in anger-as a proper definition for piety. He then cites examples from the actions of Zeus and Cronos who both turned against their fathers for their wrongdoings. Socrates apparently doesn't believe in the Greek gods as he replies, "May not this be the reason...why I am charged with piety-that I cannot away with these stories of the gods?" (Euthyphro, p.5) Socrates asks Euthyphro if he actually believes whether or not tehse storis of the gods are true and Euthyphro immediately replies that they are indeed and offers to tell Socrates more about the gods. Once again, he seems uninterested and kindly tells Euthyphro to recount the tales another time when Socrates has leisure, which we can clearly see is sarcastic. Socrates doesn't deny the existence of the Greek gods, but he doesn't seem to believe in them. In Plato's Apology, Socrates repeatedly refers to a single God, the God of Delphi, who is most likely Apollo. But Socrates never directly calls his God Apollo. Socrates had explained that God had told him that there was no other man wiser than him. Socrates, being his inquisitive self, investigated whether or not this be true. He defended this investigation by stating, "...

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Socrates, the First Monotheist . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:59, July 01, 2015, from