Euthyphro And Meno: The Universal Definition Of Piety

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Socrates was searching for a way to prove that relativist way of thinking was false. Relativists believe that truths were relative to culture and morality. If Socrates could undo the work of the sophists, he could prove the existence of objective facts with universal definitions. Socrates was motivated to prove them wrong because he disagreed of the pre-Socratics and wanted to undo the sophists rhetoric of training people how to win arguments with manipulation, instead of truth. In Meno, we find that Socrates was charged with impiety and on his way to the courthouse, he finds Euthyphro. Euthyphro is charging his own father with Impiety, which is odd, because people don’t normally make charges against their own family over small issues; It violates social norms. To Socrates, this must mean that Euthyphro must have a definitive understanding of what Impiety means, if he’s bringing a charge against his own father. Which leads to the beginning of Socrates search for the universal definition of Piety, to help drop the charges that are being held against him. If he can find the universal definition of piety, he would be able to defend himself in on trial. Socrates then tries to learn the essence of piety from Euthyphro by questioning him over several definitions of what it may by using the process of elimination. Euthyphro’s first definition of piety was prosecuting the wrong. However, Socrates points out that examples of pity are not definitions can cannot define piety itself.
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