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Socrates, the First Monotheist

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             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
             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 defend...

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