Euthyphro Essay

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Plato’s Euthyphro takes place in the Hall of the King which is the office for crimes against religion. Socrates is being prosecuted for corrupting youth (an impious act). Euthyphro has come to prosecute his own father for murdering a murderer. His father tied up the murderer in a well and forgot about him. The murderer died.(2a-4e) Euthyphro is a soothsayer which is a person who claims to have a supernatural knowledge of the gods. Socrates begins to flatter Euthyphro by telling him he must be an expert on the gods and piety. Euthyphro states that he indeed does know all there is to know about religion. Socrates then asks Euthyphro to teach him on what piety is. Euthyphro first response is simply “doing what I am doing now”. Prosecuting religious offenders is piety. Socrates is not happy with his response. He says that there are many other actions that are holy. How can only persecuting religious offenders be pious?(4e-6e) Euthyphro instead attempts to give Socrates a more general definition. He says that what is pleasing to the gods is pious, and what is not pleasing to the gods is impious. Socrates is again unsatisfied with this definition because the gods are always feuding with one another. What is pious to one may not be pious to another. Euthyphro then says that all gods approve of pious actions.(7a-9e) Socrates asks, “Do the gods love piety because it is pious or is it pious because they love it?”. Euthyphro replies that they love it because it is pious. Socrates disagrees by saying that if piety is what all the gods love and being loved by the gods is an effect of being pious. Then Euthyphro’s definition states the effect. Socrates final question asks “What part of justice is piety?”. Euthyphro makes several attempts but none are satisfactory to Socrates. From this the argument turns to justice and piety. Piety is only a part of justice, but not all just
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