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Euthyphro : Plato - Essay Example

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Euthyphro : Plato

Socrates is the accused in his case. A young man accuses him of corrupting his fellow youth. He alleges that Socrates creates new gods who he uses to replace the old ones through his writing. According to the youth, Socrates is one of the poets who falsify religious information. The two engage in friendly courtesies and small talks that reveal the purpose of each other’s visit (Jowett, 1994). Coincidentally, both cases lean heavily on religion. Both characters want to employ the interpretation of religious law when arguing out a case. They begin discussing various elements of the religion and soon engage in intense argument to establish the meaning of piety. Euthyphro’s definition of piety As the two friends argue, Socrates asks Euthyphro to define piety because he was following up a case against his father. In his first definition, Euthyphro explains that his action present the meaning of holiness. He says that his father committed manslaughter. Despite the fact he is his son, he feels obliged to report him to the authority. Euthyphro’s view is that most people would not take such a holy stand of reporting their father. Socrates refutes this definition. He claims that Euthyphro’s explanation does not qualify as a definition but as an example of a pious act. It lacks fundamental properties that explain piety. Euthyphro offers a second definition in which he claims that pious things are those that please the gods. According to Socrates, the argument is partially acceptable. He explains that

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gods have disputes among themselves. One god may hold certain actions acceptable while another despises the same. Consequently, the alleged pious actions become both impious and pious. Euthyphro uses the example of unjustified murder to counter Socrates argument. Any god would be mad at the murderer who commits the crime without justification. Socrates counters him again saying that the god’s opinions would vary on the grounds of defining justification (Jowett, 1994). In his third attempt, Euthyphro argues that things loved by all gods are pious and things hated by all gods are impious.. However, this too does not convince Socrates who asks, “Is the pious loved by gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by god?” (Jowett, 1994). After a detailed explanation, he states that the gods love things because they are pious and not the other way round. Socrates goal in the dialect Socrates argument in the dialect seeks to establish that there are no pious and impious things. Pious is just a term used to describe believes of a specified group of people or gods. According to his comments on the third definition of piety, Socrates argues that piety exists beyond the gods. Consequently, one understands that piety should be an absolute thing. However, he does not commit himself to the stand but merely uses the stand to dispute Euthyphro’s definition. As Socrates counters the second definition of piety, he does not dispute the role of gods. He only states that gods have disagreements between themselves as well. Consequently, it is highly likely that an individual will label something as pious depending on his view. This is compounded by the fact that he does not seem to take a stand to criticize the young man. He perceives the youth as an important future leader who would bring changes to the community. Though he does not state such a fact, he implies that the

Summary

Piety: Euthyphro vs. Socrates Name Institution Piety: Euthyphro vs. Socrates Euthyphro is on his way to the King Archon’s court to attend a preliminary hearing when he meets Socrates outside the court. The hearing is about a case he reported regarding actions of his father that led to death of one of the workers at the family’s property…
Author : earl73
Euthyphro : Plato essay example
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