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Crito

Euthyphro identifies with Socrates because people laugh at him when he predicts the future. On the other hand, Euthyphro is accusing his father of murder. His father, by neglect, had let a servant who had killed another servant die in a ditch while awaiting instruction on what to do with him. Socrates taunts Euthyphro if he has such a precise knowledge of right and wrong and if so, whether what he is doing is not a wrong. The debate shifts to the discussion about what is holly and what is unholy, Socrates wants to learn from Euthyphro. Euthyphro argues that not prosecuting offenders because they are your relatives is unholy. He proves this by reminding Socrates of the god Zeus who is said to be the most just. Zeus, he says, bound his father Cronos because he had devoured his own sons. Socrates is indeed doubtful about the tales about the gods. Socrates asks Euthyphro to provide him with a standard by which to measure things as holy or unholy. Euthyphro says that holy things are dear to gods, and unholy things are not dear to the gods. Socrates remarks that gods also argue until they fight. He also points out that such arguments can only be about right or wrong. Socrates then brings out the flaw in such a definition by leading Euthyphro to admit that something considered dear to the gods is also, on the other hand, not dear to the gods; otherwise, they would not argue and fight. They both proceed to come up with another definition of purity. That what all the gods hate is impure and what they all love is pure, but what some gods love and others hate is both pure and impure. Unexpectedly, Socrates also punches holes in this definition. He asks whether the holy become holy because the gods love them or the gods adore them due to their holiness. They then agree that which is precious to the gods is also precious to them because they love it and not the other way round. This, Socrates points out is a contradiction and continues to demand another distinction between holy and unholy. Euthyphros, at this point gives up, but Socrates continues trying to come up with a distinction. He later proves that fear does not always result to reverence but reverence results to fear, which goes against the words of a poem on Zeus. On that, Socrates proves that piety is only a part of the bigger concept of justice. Euthyphros then asserts that piety is a part of justice, which concerns the gods. The word he uses ‘attention’ leads Socrates to enquire whether it is the attention that improves something. Euthyphro then gives another definition. That piety is sacrificing and praying to the gods. He expresses the idea of doing business with the gods. Socrates also wants Euthyphro to state to what benefit the gifts to the gods are. Instead, he says they are a show of honor and esteem. Thereby he admits that piety depends on what the gods like, which they had assumed not to be the case. The discussion becomes circular, and Euthyphros abandons the dialogue. According to J. Adam, Euthyphro represents Plato’s perception on the Athenian orthodoxy that was common. Euthyphro represents the mindset that led to the murder of Socrates (Berversluis 161). Euthyphro is an example of a- know- it- all, ignorant of his ignorance. He flaunts his knowledge in matters of religion and even adopts a fatherly tone towards Socrates. He is overconfident and uncritical to the extent that he does not realize that Socrates is not taking him ...Show more

Summary

Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Euthyphro; Plato’s Dialogue The setting of the dialogue is in the porch of Achorn where Socrates meets Euthyphro. Socrates is awaiting preliminary hearings on his suit. Meletus, a young man, accuse Socrates of corrupting the youth…
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