The Importance Of Piety In Plato's Euthyphro

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“It is not living that matters, but living rightly” - Socrates. In Plato’s Euthyphro, Socrates asks Euthyphro what the definition of piety and impiety are, so that he may survive the indictment set upon him by Meletus. Throughout their dialogue Euthyphro concludes that what is pious is what all the gods love and what is impious is what all gods hate, and in response Socrates challenges his claim by asking, “is the [pious] approved by the gods because it’s [pious], or is it [pious] because it’s approved?” Socrates’ question is important because it helps uncover the absurdity in Euthyphro’s logic, the question leads to personal knowledge of our motives, it also leads to richer philosophical inquiry, and it teaches others how to properly agree in a dialogue. In its rigor, the question attempts to figure out what the essence of piety is instead of conforming to the popular belief that the gods decide what is good. Throughout the Euthyphro the titled character can only find a few definitions of what piety is, and…show more content…
The dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro ends inconclusively purposely done so by Plato so that the reader himself may question what the essence of piety is. Socrates asks “How can we know the soul? Not necessarily through introspection but by understanding its function.” (Phaedo, in Pojman 52) Socrates introduces in Euthyphro the relentless, and at times irritating, questioning that philosophy is known for today. For instance, just when Euthyphro thinks he has come up with a definite definition, Socrates asks if “we [are] to examine this too, in its turn to see if it’s well said or are we to let it stand?” (Euthyphro 17, 9e). Confident in his answer, Euthyphro agrees to test his new definition which ends up frustrating him and ultimately leaving. But we as the reader are left with the question in our head which leads us to further philosophical

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