Analysis of "Euthyphro"

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Analysis of Plato’s “Euthyphro” PHI 201 Ethics and Moral Reasoning Analysis of Plato’s “Euthyphro” Socrates encounters Euthyphro outside the court of Athens. Euthyphro is surprised to see Socrates and asks why he is there. Socrates explains that he is has been called to court on charges of impiety by Meletus. Euthyphro explains that he has come to prosecute his own father for the murder of a servant and he himself is being accused of acting “impiously”. Socrates applauds Euthyphro, insinuating that he must be a great philosopher in religious matters if he is willing to prosecute his own father. Euthyphro concurs that he does indeed know all there is to know about what is holy. Upon hearing this Socrates immediately assumes that Euthyphro has knowledge of piety and impiety. He believes if Euthyphro can teach him the meaning of piety and impiety this would enable him to better argue his trial against Meletus. So, Socrates assumes the role of student instead of teacher. First, Euthyphro suggests that “Piety is doing as I am doing; that is to say, prosecuting anyone who is guilty of murder, sacrilege, or of any 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, 2008). So, in layman’s terms holiness is persecuting religious offenders, just as he is doing in the case with his father. Socrates indicates that Euthyphro only gave him an example instead of a meaning and asks him to clarify his answer in the form of a specific meaning. Secondly, Euthyphro suggests that “piety is what is dear to the gods, and impiety is that which is not dear to them” (Plato, 2008). Socrates feels this answer is closer to his expectation of what piety is. However, he points out that the gods often quarrel, so what is agreeable to one might not be agreeable to all. Euthpyro

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