Piety And Impiety In Euthyphro

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The text of Euthyphro is a dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro centered around a discussion of what is pious and what is impious. Both Euthyphro and Socrates are on their ways to appear in court, Socrates for corrupting the youth and not believing in the gods of the city, and Euthyphro to prosecute his father for murder. Euthyphro was a religious prophet who claimed to possess great knowledge on what is holy. Contrastingly, Socrates was concerned with philosophy yielding practical results outside of the influence of theological doctrine and in the realm of human reason. He did not claim to possess excessive knowledge in a subject and rather believed that the more a person knows the greater their ability to reason and make choices. Thus, …show more content…
In my discussion of the Euthyphro I will be focused on a particular passage spoken by Socrates which was his main argument against one of Euthyphro’s proposed definitions of impiety. In doing this, I will briefly explain the various definitions of piety and impiety that Euthyphro suggests and Socrates subsequent arguments against each in order to accurately discuss and assess the implications of Socrates argument in passage 10e-11a. The first explanation of piety which Euthyphro posits is that what he is doing now (prosecuting his father) is what is pious and not prosecuting someone for an injustice they have committed is impious (5d). However, Socrates simply points out that this is not a definition of piety, rather it is a possible instance of piety. There after Euthyphro shifts to more refined, god-centred definitions of piety. His second offering is that what is dear to the gods is what is pious. Despite the improvement in the explanatory power of this definition from the first, Socrates still points out that this one fails a test of consistency. Euthyphro says that what is dear to the gods is what they find good and just. Naturally, the gods vary in their opinions in what they believe is good and just or bad. Therefore, this results in the same things being both pious and …show more content…
Put into other words, it seems Socrates is edging upon a cause and effect principle. Affectively he is saying that a thing’s being acted on in a certain way explains why it has an altered condition, where as a thing’s being in an altered condition does not explain why it underwent the process which resulted in that alteration. However, things being carried are altered by being carried, a necessary condition for it to be considered a carried thing, while a thing that is loved does not need to be altered by it’s being loved in order for it to be considered as being loved. Therefore, Socrates intentions are unclear. The leap Socrates makes from carried/carrying and led/leading to loved/loving seems presumptuous insofar as the first two are related to one another, where as love is not, so how may he extend the same properties onto the

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