Analysis Of Plato's 'Euthyphro'

1111 Words5 Pages
Kimberly Cronin
30 September 2015
Professor Frazer-Simser
Short Essay

Plato’s “Euthyphro”

The Homeric Gods are worshipped by the Greeks as being all good. Likewise, God, a single entity, is also seen as all good. The difference between these two is that whereas the Homeric gods have human emotions and desires that affect their decisions, God is all good and does not hold biases towards anyone or anything. In Plato’s book, Five Dialogues the first chapter, “Euthyphro” consists of Socrates, a philosopher, who desires to hear Euthyphro, a priest who believes to be an expert in the Gods, admit that while the Homeric gods are worshipped they are also faulty due to their personal values and ideals; and that there is an entity, a God, who is
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Socrates, whose life consists of asking thought provoking questions, asks Euthyphro to simply describe, in his own personal opinion, what piety is. Euthyphro responses multiple times with albeit different responses, each one still relates to the Homeric gods and their humane desires and needs. One of Euthyphro’s many responses that showcases his personal idea of piety and its relationship to the gods of which had also greatly troubled…show more content…
If a god has the ability to eat lamb whenever he or she wants to, then why would they need a lamb to be sacrificed to them? Why should a person of lower status have to serve such deities when what they are giving the gods respect and tangible objects, when idealistically, the gods should already have it? In this dialogue, another one of Euthyphro’s explanations that has come up in hopes to enlighten Socrates is when he mentions, “If a man knows how to say and do what is pleasing to the gods at prayer and sacrifice, those are pious actions,” (p. 17). In my own personal opinion, I have translated this phrase to mean that pious actions are when a man knows how to be in good graces with the gods through prayer, sacrifices and gifts. And yet again, Socrates is able to react to this quote by causing Euthyphro to question his statement by replying, “And to give correctly is to give them what they need from [e] us, for it would not be skillful to bring gifts to anyone that are in no way needed.” (p.19). Through this reiteration of Euthyphro’s statement regarding gifting the gods, Socrates is able subtly hinting that a true, “good” entity should not require to be gifted from a being of a lower status and instead should help others as it is in their “good” nature. For God wants to help humans for the sake of working

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