Euthyphro-Plato: What is Holiness? Essay

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Euthyphro – Plato Holiness is a central theme in the Socratic dialogue with Euthyphro. Socrates has taken up the ironic role of a student in the narrative as he attempts to gain knowledge of what holiness entails, from Euthyphro. Socrates meets with Euthyphro as they meet at a court in Athens. He seeks to gain knowledge on holiness, such that, he can use the insights in his trial against Meletus. Earlier, Meletus had charged him for impiety in a court. This justifies the importance that has been placed on the idea. In the ensuing dialogue, Euthyphro serves different definitions of holiness to Socrates. However, each of these is questioned, casting ambiguity over his supposed knowledge. In his first attempt, Euthyphro defines holiness as …show more content…

& Jowett, 2013). Socrates refutes this definition since he views that the gods do not need to be assisted by mortals. In his final attempt, Euthyphro defines holiness as an exchange between the gods and human beings. The gods receive sacrifices from us, while we they grant our prayers in exchange. In response, Socrates posits that this perspective implies correlates to the prior argument on the gods’ approval. He states that if holiness is gratifying to the gods, it is ambiguous as seen in the argument concerning what the gods approve, and the influences behind them (Plato. & Gallop, 1997). From the dialogue, it is my understanding that Socrates posits that there is no universal understanding of holiness. In that respect, holiness may be understood once our elaborate and true beliefs or arguments have been defined and proven through logic. This is seen from the inconclusiveness that characterises the end of the dialogue. This instance implies that the dialogue has failed at defining holiness. The irony in Socrates arguments’ highlights that; ideas have to be proven before acceptance. This holds irrespective of who posits them. In my view, holiness refers to the state of being good to all. It involves practicing the universal ideas of good, such as, kindness and respect. Socrates would respond by questioning what the universal ideas of good are. In that respect, he would probably argue that different societies have different perceptions of good. For example,

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