Philosophy A Concise Introduction – PHI 208
If everyone took the time to discuss holiness / piety (reverence for God), there would always be many different interpretations or perceptions on what it really is and just how to determine that it is being done. The best philosophers in the world have engaged in many conversations about this subject for decades. Socrates has been one of many that discussed this subject. Socrates was a man that was accused of impiety and corrupting the youth. He wanted the best representation he could find to help him plead his case against the state. When he begin to speak with Euthyphro about his own accusations against his father, Euthyphro was bringing accusations of murder against his father. He felt that he was justified because the God Zeus did the same to his father. Euthyphro felt that this was an act of piety since he was doing the same as the Gods.
However, the circumstances of his father’s actions were brought into question by Socrates and was Euthyphro sure that it should be considered murder? Euthyphro did not seem to take into consideration that his father sought the advice he needed, forgot about the man and subsequently did not attend to the man, which caused his death. This is what prompted Socrates to ask Euthyphro what was piety? Euthyphro lets it be known that piety is what is dear to the Gods. Socrates then states that pious is holy because it is loved by the Gods, because it is dear to them. But Euthyphro then states that piety is that part of justice which attends to the Gods and a part that attends to men. So is Euthyphro accusing his father based on the act or based on mimicking what the Gods did and thinking it is what they want. I ask, if man’s service to the Gods is done in word and deed, prayers and sacrifice why then does Socrates say that piety is a science of asking and giving, and the Gods are the givers of all good and all we give them is honor and that is...
References: Plato, & Jowett, B. (n.d.). Euthyphro. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1642
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