Piety &Holiness

Topics: God, Euthyphro, Piety Pages: 4 (1409 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Socrates and Euthyphro present a dialog about the definition of piety or holiness and impiety. This is a long and drawn out conversation built on what Euthyphro assumes the definition of piety or impiety and Socrates challenging every definition with logic. During his conversation he is quick to point out the inconsistencies in the definition to the point where I believe that Euthyphro was out of answers and tired of trying to make a point or define piety and impiety when it was pretty apparent that he couldn’t explain what is was but I believe that he knew in his heart what it is. The concept of holiness or piety emerges in the dialog when Euthyphro is explaining why he is charging his father with murder. He states that he is being pious because that is what the gods think is piety and impiety. Clearly at this time, what the gods want is more important than how your father or family feels about it. He believes that what he is doing will please the gods. Socrates believes that he is indicted by Meletus because he believes Socrates to be impiety. Socrates then goes on to find out if he can find the definition of piety or holiness and impiety so that he may present an argument that will allow him to live. The first definition that Euthyphro presents for piety is “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.” He also goes on to cite Zeus, who bound his father (Cronos) because he wickedly devoured his sons, and that he too had punished his own father for the same reason, in a nameless manner. Socrates seemed a little confused by this and thought that maybe he wasn’t being charged with impiety. He did not know the gods so surely he could not know what the gods liked or loved and looked again to Euthyphro who had at that time, only given a couple of examples of...
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