Similarities Between Plato And Euthyphro

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Is God Necessary for Morality? The Euthyphro dialogue opens with Socrates meeting Euthyphro outside the courts in Athens. Socrates has been called there to defend himself against charges of corrupting the youth of Athens. Euthyphro has come to prosecute his father for killing a servant who, in a drunken rage, murdered a slave. Socrates suggests Euthyphro must be an expert in religious matters to be willing to prosecute his own father, and Euthyphro agrees: "I should be of no use, Socrates, and Euthyphro would not be superior to the majority of men, if I did not have an accurate knowledge of all such things." (Plato, Euthyphro, Moral Philosophy: Selected Readings) Socrates firmly believes that knowledge only comes when we are able to justify and account for our beliefs so…show more content…
Socrates uses a rather elaborate argument to show this definition is also insufficient. If the gods approve of something because it is holy, their approval cannot be what makes it holy, he says. If an act is holy because the gods approve of it, we still do not know what makes it holy or why the gods approve. It seems that any attempt to define holiness by the will or approval of the gods is bound to fail. Even in contemporary society, we tend to associate morality with some kind of divine will, but through the Euthyphro, Socrates seems to suggesting we think along another line altogether. Is something moral because God commands it? Does morality depend on religious belief? A common view among religious, and even some secular, philosophers is that just as conventional laws require lawmakers, morals also require some ultimate source. The Divine Command Theory is the view that moral actions are those that conform to God's will. Charity, for example, is morally proper because God endorses it, and murder is wrong because God condemns it. But, where does God get these moral values? If they come from a still-higher power, he
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