And, indeed, if I may venture to say so, it is not a bad description of knowledge that you have given, but one which Protagoras also used to give. Only, he has said the same thing in a different way. For he says somewhere that man is “the measure of all things, of the existence of the things that are and the non-existence of the things that are not.” You have read that, I suppose?
Then it will be a fair answer if we say to your master that he is obliged to agree that one man is wiser than another, and that such a wise man is a measure, but that I, who am without knowledge, am not in the least obliged to become a measure, as the argument in his behalf just now tried to oblige me to be, whether I would or no.
...Looking at these things, thus ordained, what ought the prudent man to do, or to devise, or to refrain from doing?”
The answer is plain: Every man ought so to devise as to be of the number of those who follow in the steps of the God.
What conduct, then, is dear to God and in his steps? One kind of conduct, expressed in one ancient phrase, 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.