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What Is A God According To Plato?

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Chapter Summary

The main feature that characterizes traditional Greek religion before Plato is the distinction between gods and human beings, or immortals and mortals. They are classified as a function of the elements (beginning with the air, since fire is reserved for the gods), in a vertical order. For Plato, a god is a living being endowed with a body, which is indestructible, not in itself but through the will of the demiurge, and with a soul that possesses a perfect intellect. In summary, although he takes up many ideas concerning the gods in Ancient Greece, Plato appears as a revolutionary when he assigns to human beings the goal of assimilating themselves to god, seeks to submit the myths that narrate the deeds and exploits of the gods to the control of the philosopher, and attributes to cultic acts and ceremonies the original finality of the mere glorification of the gods.

Keywords: God; Greek religion; Plato



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