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What conduct, then, is dear to God and in his steps? One kind of conduct, expressed in one ancient phrase,1 namely, that “like is dear to like” when it is moderate, whereas immoderate things are dear neither to one another nor to things moderate. In our eyes God will be “the measure of all things” in the highest degree—a degree much higher than is any “man” they talk of.2 He, then, that is to become dear to such an one must needs become, so far as he possibly can, of a like character; and, according to the present argument, he amongst us that is temperate is dear to God,
1 Cp. Hom. Od. 17.218:ὡς αἰεὶ τὸν ὁμοῖον ἄγει θεὸς ὡς τὸν ὁμοῖον. The expression “like to like” became proverbial, like our “Birds of a feather,” etc. Usually it was applied more to the bad than to the good (or “moderate”) to which Plato here restricts it.
2 An allusion to the dictum of the sophist Protagoras—“Man is the measure of all things,” cp.Cratylus386 A ff.;Theaetetus152 A.
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