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1 It is charcteristic of Plato to distinguish the fact and the desirability of proclaiming it. The argument proceeds by the minute links which tempt to parody. Below τὸ ἀγαθόν, followed by οὐδ᾽ ἄρα . . . ὁ θεός, is in itself a refutation of the ontological identification in Plato of God and the Idea of Good. But the essential goodness of God is a commonplace of liberal and philosophical theology, from the Stoics to Whittier's hymn, “The Eternal Goodness.”
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