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Euthyphro Case

Essay by   •  December 24, 2013  •  Essay  •  726 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,299 Views

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In this dialogue, holiness and piousness became the center of Euthyphro and Socrates' conversation when they met and just began talking. The conversation emerged when Euthyphro set out to prosecute his own father. Initially, his father wasn't up for this his untimely death when he sent his son off to Athens to find out what he should do with the man who killed his own slave. The only reason Euthyphro is set to be killed was because "technically" he killed the man under his watch from hunger and exposure. Socrates comes to learn more about Euthyphro's religion beliefs after inquiring how he could prosecute his own father. This is what made Socrates want Euthyphro to teach him all about holiness. When Euthyphro brought up the charges against his father, he backed himself up by stating, "That piety is doing as I do, prosecuting your father (if he is guilty) on a charge of murder; doing as the gods do - as Zeus did to Cronos, and Cronos to Uranus."

Socrates was pretty surprised that Euthyphro was prosecuting his own father. That the only reason that he would do so was if he killed a family member, and not a stranger. Euthyphro then questioned what the difference between the murderer and his father was. That he's not superior at all, if his take in the man's death was proven to be valid then it's only right that he's prosecuted for his part. Although this is father that's going through this, his own blood, Euthyphro stands strong by his beliefs. "Now the man who is dead was a poor dependent of mine who worked for us as a field labourer on our farm in Naxos, and one day in a fit of drunken passion he got into a quarrel with one of our domestic servants and slew him. My father bound him hand and foot and threw him into a ditch, and then sent to Athens to ask of a diviner what he should do with him. Meanwhile, he never attended to him and took no care about him, for he regarded him as a murderer; and thought that no great harm would be done even if he did die."

While explaining his beliefs of holiness to Socrates, he makes some points as to why he believe what he's doing with his family is correct. In his first definition, he states that what he was doing was religious but that wasn't a good enough explanation for Socrates. "The pious is what I am presently doing - prosecuting a wrongdoer regardless of my relation to him." Socrates challenged him when he mentioned that the Gods aren't always on the same page and sometimes argue. That explanation was easily refuted by Socrates and asked for a better definition. He stated that he was getting more of an example than a definition.

The second definition, "Piety, then, is that which is dear to the gods, and impiety is that which is not dear to them," is one that he cancelled out on his own when he acknowledged that the Gods sometimes do disagree

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