Euthyphro

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  • Topic: God, Euthyphro, Plato
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  • Published : April 25, 2013
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Euthyphro
Socrates is impressed by the fact that Euthyphro is willing to perform his duty even though it means taking action against a member of his own family. Without any further discussion of the case involving Euthyphro's father, Socrates is anxious to pursue the nature of piety since this is related to the fact that Meletus has accused him of the crime of impiety. This is why he asks Euthyphro, "What is piety?" Euthyphro answers that piety is acting the way he is acting in bringing charges against one who has done wrong, even though that person happens to be his own father. Admitting that Euthyphro is right in not allowing personal relationships to stand in the way of performing his duty, Socrates is not happy with the answer that Euthyphro gave him. Euthyphro gave one example, and even though he defended his statement by mentioning that certain Greek gods have acted in a similar manner, Socrates insists that a proper definition of piety must be an example of that virtue. Socrates insists that, as Euthyphro has brought a criminal charge against his own father, he must have known the nature of impiety or he would have been unable to decide that his father was guilty of it. Once again he urges Euthyphro to tell him what piety is. If he can obtain an answer that suffices him, it will enable him to know whether the charge that Meletus is bringing against him is a good one or not. Euthyphro says, "Piety is what is dear to the gods and impiety is that which is not dear to them." It is not clear what makes anything dear to the gods, and besides, there is the question of whether that which is dear to some of the gods is dear to all of them or only to some of them. Euthyphro then insists that piety is that which is pleasing to all of the gods. He feels sure they all agree that murder is wrong. Socrates then points out that the circumstances under which killing takes place makes an important difference concerning the moral quality of the act. It is also...
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