THE LDEAL LOGOS.
The ideal of ethics was met and vigorously
opposed by the Grecian sophists on the
ground that they were mere conventions.
To the gods, as the embodiment of these
ideals, the religionist would point, and predi¬
cate as a reason for loyalty to the same, that
"the gods made these distinctions." It was
not left for the true light from heaven to
show the fallacy of these ethical claims, but
the answer is forthcoming and silencing from
two young disciples of Socrates: "Granting
that the gods are disposed to enforce some
moral law, still, does that fact give any time
distinction between good and evil as such ?
For whoever urges us to do right merely to
get the favor of the gods, urges us in reality
merely to do what is prudent." Such doc¬
trines make justice not desirable in itself, but
desirable for what it brings in its train.
Thus there would be no difference between
good and evil as such: only between what
brings reward and what brings punishment.
They finally appeal to Socrates for the best