By Thomas C. Brickhouse
This guidebook introduces and examines Plato's 3 dialogues that care for the dying of Socrates: Euthphryo, Apology and Crito. those dialogues are greatly considered as the nearest exposition of Socrates' rules.
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Extra resources for Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates
Socrates, however, demurs. Instead, he wants Euthyphro to return to the original question: what is piety? Euthyphro, Socrates contends, has not adequately answered this question yet. For now, try to say more clearly what I asked you just now. For in the first thing you said, you didn’t instruct me well enough when I asked what piety is, but you were telling me that piety happens to be what you’re doing now – prosecuting your father for murder. (6c9–d4) Socrates then gets Euthyphro to admit that there are many other examples of piety, in addition to this (very controversial) one, and insists that a proper answer to the question must explain what it is about all such examples that makes them examples of piety.
The ancient Greeks were, of course, polytheistic, and many of their myths did portray the gods in squabbles and wars against one another. 23 But this problem for polytheisms is removed – and the difference between polytheism and monotheism significantly diminished – if we imagine that all of the gods, in a polytheistic religion, agree about moral issues. In Judaism and Christianity, for example, the Ten Commandments play a major role in the formation of religious morality. The faithful are supposed to follow these Commandments as having been given to us directly from Jehovah/God.
He dimly perceives only that he cannot define piety as what pleases the gods as long as different things will please different gods, and the same things can be both pleasing to some gods and displeasing to others. But rather than abandoning his view that the gods do fight and go to war with one another, Euthyphro claims only that “about this matter none of the gods differ with each other, namely, that the one who has killed someone unjustly needn’t pay the penalty for it” (8b7–9). This “clarification” of Euthyphro’s position entirely fails to sidestep the mess the idea of warring gods puts him in.
Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates by Thomas C. Brickhouse