Piety: Euthyphro Pg Essay

Submitted By tommyhenderson1996
Words: 910
Pages: 4

There is no exact definition of piety in Euthyphro. Socrates begins a conversation with Euthyphro, an “expert” in religion, in hope of seeking a definition of piety before an indictment. Euthyphro gives Socrates four definitions of piety, but none seem to satisfy Socrates, leaving the question unanswered and without a good definition.
As the dialogue begins, Euthyphro is about to prosecute his father for murdering a murderer. On the other hand Socrates is also about to be prosecuted and wants the teachings of Euthyphro's expertise to help him with his trial. This is where Euthyphro introduces Socrates to the first definition of piety; “I say that what’s pious is precisely what I am doing now..”(Euthyphro pg. 7, 5d). This is only and example of piety, which Socrates does not want, he is looking for a definition, not actions of piety. Socrates responds by saying “you did not teach me adequately when i asked you what pious was, but you told me that what you are doing is pious, prosecuting your father for murder”. Socrates wants to be taught the characteristics of piety itself, not what things or actions are pious. Socrates is not satisfied by the examples, because a definition can not be defined by actions. Which leaves the definition of piety unanswered by Euthyphro.
Then Euthyphro gives Socrates the second definition. He says that, "what's loved by the gods is pious, and what's not loved by the gods is impious (Euthyphro pg. 9, 6e). which simply implies that piety is determined by the gods. But as Socrates soon makes Euthyphro see, this can not be so. Because all gods do not see the same things to be pious. Something loved by some gods is not loved by all gods. Everything can not be pious when something is just to some gods and unjust to others. As well as something beautiful to god could be found ugly by another. This can not be because all the gods have different opinions. "And haven't we also said that the gods quarrel and differ with one another, and that there's mutual hostility among them?" (Euthyphro pg. 9, 7b). This argument backs up Socrates in showing that the gods are not on the same term and would not agree on what is pious or impious. Which now leaves Socrates without a good definition of piety, one that has validity.
Next Euthyphro proceeds with the third definition which he says, " the part of the just that's pious is the one concerned with tending to the gods, while the remaining part of the just is concerned with tending to human beings" (Euthyphro pg. 16, 12e). Socrates again is not sure by this answer, and proceeds to try to get Euthyphro to validate this. Euthyphro believes the one mus please the gods a human must learn what pleases the gods and do these actions to be pious. Giving offerings and prayers to the gods. also doing services to the gods, the same services slaves would give to their masters. As well as horse breeders taking care of his horses ans cattle raisers taking care of his cattle, these are pious actions that aim to please the gods. Euthyphro says, "if a person knows how to do and say the things that are pleasing to the gods in prayer and sacrifice" those are the ones that are pious. this seems to Socrates that sacrifice and prayer will get a person what he wants from the gods,as long the things are pious to the…