Throughout the dialogue between Euthyphro and Socrates, they both try to come up with an understanding of the relationship between piety and justice. Within the discussion, Socrates questions Euthyphro to see if he can define the difference and similarities between justice and piety, and if they interact with each other. Eventually, Euthyphro and Socrates came up with the conclusion that justice is a part of piety. This is the relationship that I agree most with because in my own opinion, I believe that all of the gods and people agree that human beings who commit unjust actions need to be punished for their actions.
At the core of Socrates’ argument is the need to break down the definition of holiness into smaller coherent characteristics. Socrates uses a series of question that are consistent with Euthyphro’s argument to ensure that he [Euthyphro] offers a consistent flow of definitions of the word holy.
If it were the exact definition, only Euthyphro would be pious. He said that Euthyphro did not understand the difference between a definition and an example. Next, Euthyphro says that piety is found in things that are dear to the gods (7a). Socrates again rejected Euthyphro’s definition of piety. The Greek gods were anthropomorphic; therefore, another may despise what would be dear to one god. This definition offered was not distinct. Finally, Euthyphro said that what is pious is what loved by the gods (9e). However, Euthyphro can’t answer whether something is pious because it is loved or it is loved because it is pious. He can’t conceive the difference between cause and effect. It is in the Euthyphro that Socrates begins his defense of his actions and principles to the reader. A priest can’t give him a concise answer as to what is religious; therefore, how can anyone else, especially one less religiously guided than a priest, accuse him of blasphemous actions?
In this interaction, Socrates considers Euthyphro to help in explaining all there is to be known about piety and the related impiety. Euthyphro confirms that he is indeed an expert in the matter relating to religious issues and can thus assist Socrates in the charges that face him. In their argument in the efforts to define the true meaning of piety, Socrates and Euthyphro engage in the analysis of issues that threaten to confuse human understanding about the whole issue of holiness and impiety in the society, (Plato & Gallop, 2008). To understand the true meaning of piety, it is of great importance to take a holistic analysis of the beliefs of the people about
However in Plato’s Euthyphro, it can be argued that Socrates plays a similar role. In the Euthyphro, Socrates discusses piety in general and what makes things and people pious. Socrates claims he wants to learn more on the subject so that he may better defend himself against the treasonous charges against him. In a way, Euthyphro represents the traditional Athenian way of thinking. He believes in and supports all of the gods and does not submit to Socrates’ prodding of the subject, although he does walk away from him in frustration at the end of the dialogue. However it can safely be said that most Athenians would agree with Euthyphro’s opinion of the gods and to disagree could most certainly be punishable by law, as Socrates was. Socrates’ search for the definition of piety is a difficult one that tests Euthyphro’s patience and ultimately leaves the characters and the reader without an answer. Every time Euthyphro proposes an answer, Socrates is quick to counter it with some thought. Interpreting Socrates’ tone and meaning here is important. Some may see Socrates to be quite demeaning in these instances, almost teasing Euthyphro because he claims to be so pious yet he cannot even define the word. In this way, similar to Aristophanes’ Clouds, Socrates plays a subversive role in the Euthyphro.
Q9. What is Socrates’ objection to the first definition of piety that Euthyphro has proposed?
Euthyphro responds by asserting that piety is that which is approved [loved] or sanctioned by the gods; whence impiety is whatever is disapproved of by the gods. However, as Socrates points out, the question poses a dilemma for those who believe as Euthyphro does that Truth is revealed by divine authority alone.
Socrates and Euthyphro cross paths one day at the courts of Athens. At the time, Euthyphro was there to prosecute his father for murder. Socrates takes the opportunity to ask Euthyphro what the meaning of piety is. In this paper, I exam the issue at hand, how Socrates uses his question to doubt Euthyphro’s thesis, and give an explanation as to what this question means for someone who maintains that God is the origin or foundation of morality.
Therefore, appealing to action does not clarify what constitutes piety. Moreover one god may perceive Euthyphro’s action as just, while another deplores is as unjust. Another proposition is that piety is what is universally loved by the gods, and impiety is what is universally hated by the gods. However, is the particular action pious because it is loved by the gods or loved by the gods because it is pious? Is piety intrinsically virtuous or virtuous because external praise by the gods? Socrates poses a remarkably timeless question. For example, is it unjust to kill Syrians because human life has intrinsic value, or is it unjust to kill by consensus? Is there an objective moral duty to preserve human life, or is the value of life merely dependent on social
Socrates was a moral philosopher who was accused of impiety and was about to be tried for a crime, the nature of which no one seemed to understand. The trial and death of Socrates has four dialogs known as the Euthyphro, the Apology, the Crito, and the Phaedo which describes the process of Socrates’ controversial and insightful trial that raises the questions about human morality. Within the story we learned that the relationship between morality and religion might not be as clear-cut as some might think, Socrates forces the witnesses of his trial as well as ourselves to come to conclusions which result in a paradox that conflicts with the individual beliefs of his audience. In the event in which, Socrates poses a question to himself and Euthyphro, an attempt to answer the question "What is piety?" It has a specific tie to the events in “The Trial and Death of Socrates”, for Socrates had been accused of impiety and was about to be tried for the crime of heresy. The Euthyphro dialogue was written twenty-four centuries ago, and its conclusion is devastating for the whole idea that holiness and morality are very well connected. The idea that, “if God does not make something good by commanding it, but rather instead identifies that which is good, what measurement of morality does he use to make this judgment?” If something is right because god commands it, then it follows that something would be just as right if God instructed differently. If god declares that it is right to
As Euthyphro is essentially a self-righteous man, he asserts that piety is to do as he is doing, "that is to say, prosecuting any one who is guilty of murder, sacrilege, or of similar crime whether he be your father or mother, or whoever he may be that makes no difference; and not to prosecute them is impiety" (Plato, 5e). Euthyphro's definition of piety contains many implications, the biggest of which is that Euthyphro considers himself to be a good example of piety in action.
Socrates says "you did not teach me adequately when I asked you what the pious was, but you told me that what you are doing now, prosecuting your father for murder is pious (Plato, 10) Socrates wants to know what piety is "through one form" (Plato, 10). He does not want to know which things or actions are pious, but rather what piety itself is. One cannot simply define something by giving examples so this definition does not satisfy Socrates.
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 Plato’s Euthyphro, Socrates and Euthyphro had a conversation about piety. During the conversation, Socrates raised a question which was a challenge to the Euthyphro’s definition of piety. Also, this question is a challenge to the theists’ view of divine command theory. I agree with the arbitrariness objection which succeeds giving a good reason to theists to reject the divine command theory. This objection indicates that the arbitrariness of God’s commands contradicts to the fundamental attribute of God, and God’s commands are unable to make an act morally good or bad.