Background[ edit ] The Euthyphro dialogue occurs near the court of the archon basileus king magistratewhere Socrates and Euthyphro encounter each other; each man is present at the court for the preliminary hearings to possible trials 2a. Euthyphro has come to present charges of murder against his own father who, after arresting one of his workers for killing a slave from the family estate on Naxos Islandtied him and threw him in a ditch where he died of exposure to the elements without proper care and attention 3e—4d while Euthyphro's father awaited to hear from the exegetes cf. Laws d about how to proceed.
Scene The Porch of the King Archon. Why have you left the Lyceum, Socrates? Surely you cannot be concerned in a suit before the King, like myself? Not in a suit, Euthyphro; impeachment is the word which the Athenians use.
I suppose that some one has been prosecuting you, for I cannot believe that you are the prosecutor of another. Then some one else has been prosecuting you?
And who is he? A young man who is little known, Euthyphro; and I hardly know him: Perhaps you may remember his appearance; he has a beak, and long straight hair, and a beard which is ill grown. No, I do not remember him, Socrates. But what is the charge which he brings against you?
What is the charge? Well, a very serious charge, which shows a good deal of character in the young Understanding the euthyphros religious beliefs, and for which he is certainly not to be despised. He says he knows how the youth are corrupted and who are their corruptors. I fancy that he must be a wise man, and seeing that I am the reverse of a wise man, he has found me out, and is going to accuse me of corrupting his young friends.
And of this our mother the state is to be the judge. Of all our political men he is the only one who seems to me to begin in the right way, with the cultivation of virtue in youth; like a good husbandman, he makes the young shoots his first care, and clears away us who are the destroyers of them.
This is only the first step; he will afterwards attend to the elder branches; and if he goes on as he has begun, he will be a very great public benefactor.
I hope that he may; but I rather fear, Socrates, that the opposite will turn out to be the truth. My opinion is that in attacking you he is simply aiming a blow at the foundation of the state.
But in what way does he say that you corrupt the young? He brings a wonderful accusation against me, which at first hearing excites surprise: I understand, Socrates; he means to attack you about the familiar sign which occasionally, as you say, comes to you.
He thinks that you are a neologian, and he is going to have you up before the court for this. He knows that such a charge is readily received by the world, as I myself know too well; for when I speak in the assembly about divine things, and foretell the future to them, they laugh at me and think me a madman.
Yet every word that I say is true.
But they are jealous of us all; and we must be brave and go at them. Their laughter, friend Euthyphro, is not a matter of much consequence. For a man may be thought wise; but the Athenians, I suspect, do not much trouble themselves about him until he begins to impart his wisdom to others, and then for some reason or other, perhaps, as you say, from jealousy, they are angry.
I am never likely to try their temper in this way. I dare say not, for you are reserved in your behaviour, and seldom impart your wisdom. But I have a benevolent habit of pouring out myself to everybody, and would even pay for a listener, and I am afraid that the Athenians may think me too talkative.
Now if, as I was saying, they would only laugh at me, as you say that they laugh at you, the time might pass gaily enough in the court; but perhaps they may be in earnest, and then what the end will be you soothsayers only can predict.
I dare say that the affair will end in nothing, Socrates, and that you will win your cause; and I think that I shall win my own. And what is your suit, Euthyphro? I am the pursuer. You will think me mad when I tell you. Why, has the fugitive wings?
Nay, he is not very volatile at his time of life. And of what is he accused? By the powers, Euthyphro!
A man must be an extraordinary man, and have made great strides in wisdom, before he could have seen his way to bring such an action. Indeed, Socrates, he must.
I suppose that the man whom your father murdered was one of your relatives-clearly he was; for if he had been a stranger you would never have thought of prosecuting him.Euthyphro by Plato, part of the Internet Classics Archive Home: Browse and Comment and say that I have always had a great interest in religious questions of your wisdom makes you lazy.
Please to exert yourself, for there is no real difficulty in understanding me. What I mean I may explain by an illustration of what I do not mean. The. (Dem. 43 §57) Euthyphro dismisses the astonishment of Socrates, which confirms his overconfidence in his own critical judgment of matters religious and ethical.
In an example of Socratic irony, Socrates says that Euthyphro obviously has a clear understanding of what is pious or holy (τὸ ὅσιον to hosion) and impious or unholy (τὸ. Sometimes Aristotle uses the phrase ‘God or understanding’ (in Greek, nous) (e.g.
the soul. Reason is not confined, in his view, to the same limits as knowledge, and we are rationally required to hold beliefs about things as they are in themselves, not merely things as they appear to us. Wainwright, W., , Religion and Morality.
And morality is a human concept that is so malleable that it changes from person to person. It can't even stay constant on a cultural level.
Let alone a religious one. In my beliefs the gods have their own moral codes that can be followed, or can not be followed, you are not commanded or threatened to act certain ways. It's choice. (Later in the dialogue Socrates appeals to the mythological picture as a premise in one of his arguments, not because he believes it however, but because Euthyphro does, and Socrates is trying to expose the inconsistencies in Euthyphro’s beliefs.).
Study Questions and Answers to Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, and Gorgias James Mensch Study Questions for Plato's Euthyphro: 1 in Plato, Five Dialogues, Indianapolis: Hacket, , pp.
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