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Plato's Main Ideas on Religion

            Religion is the practice of belief, in most cases identifying to the existence of a divine, transcendent being or beings. The proposals of Plato selected to be discussed will adhere to a general definition that religion is "a strong belief in a supernatural power that control human destiny".1 This will enable an appropriate scope into the discussion, and allow us to explore ideas beyond defining religion as simply codified practises of prayer, ritual and religious law, as these were not substantial within Plato's work. Plato's ideas that were contained within a religious context may be discussed to have impacted an anthology of diverse doctrine through the influence, ingenuity and articulation within his dialogues conveying theories. Some accredit Plato with the invention of philosophy, while A. N. Whitehead concluded, 'The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.'2 Here arises the discussion into how extensive this influence has been on religious philosophy.
             During the time of Plato in Ancient Greece, religion was irrationally theorised to account for acts of nature that were unexplained. The myth of Zeus's lightening bolts and the necessity to appease the gods with offerings, along with other beliefs, may be said to relate to our human nature. It is our human nature to question; Plato considered the bringing of our existence, the nature of reality, and the notion of the soul. As humans we also seek answers; however the common principle underpinning all religion is the human instinctive intension to seek and possess the ability to influence our fortune on this world and the next. It is notably the reason the Ancient Greeks built temples and made offerings to their gods, and the reason Christians today pray and attempt to contact God. Human nature causes us to look to something greater, to question our spiritual placement and seek purpose.

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