Click Here to go Back to the Table of Contents


Philosophical questions are, by their nature, difficult to answer. This question is more difficult because it is flawed. Socrates’ thinking is rooted in a polytheistic society. Western civilization has evolved from its ancient mythology into monotheism. The question assumes a belief in multiple gods and goddesses who have many ‘human’ flaws.

It is also assumed that gods can be bribed by behaviors, then reward the pious. I have no concrete experience as proof that gods distribute favors to their believers. From the perspective of someone who has grown up in a monotheistic culture and who doubts the manifestation of God or gods on Earth, the issue is both conceptually different and irrelevant to my world view.

This is not an attack upon Socrates. Philosophy evolves with society. For his time, and culture, the question forces an evaluation of morality. If the gods are as flawed and biased like mortals, why should we value their opinions over those of any individual man?

A very similar question has been applied to the God of the Bible/Koran. The distinctive difference is the issue of divine definition. While the Greek viewpoint saw a society of gods much like their own, modern doctrine envisions a perfect, omnipotent God. The question is made irrelevant because of the fundamental change in what the ‘higher power’ is believed to be.

The paradigm has shifted. The God of today is very difficult to compare to the ancient Greek gods. Just as the theory that everything is water was replaced, theory on the origins of morality has been revised over time.

Click Here to go Back to the Table of Contents