Socrates, the First Monotheist

Length: 3 Pages 855 Words

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 repl Continue...


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. While defending the charge of denying the existence of gods, he interrogated Meletus who was the man bringing the charges against him. Socrates never even mentioned any other gods. This idea is a staple in most monotheistic religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Socrates was a monotheist because the Greek gods couldn't satisfy him. He said that suicide was something that was not right and therefore would probably lead to an unhappy afterlife. The evidence brought forth should be more than enough to prove my argument. Meletus went as far to say that Socrates was an atheist. Socrates preached a few teachings that are almost comparable to those of Jesus. I believe that to this day no greater good has ever happened in the state than my service to God" (Apology, p. He defended this investigation by stating, "For this is the command to God. Now, Socrates has admitted that he believes in divine beings, and there is only one which he mentions, only as God.