Holiness and Piety Samantha Robbins PHI 208 Instructor Allen April 1, 2013

people do not always agree as to propriety of action to be holy or pious. godly. Socrates asks if being pious is the same as having piety or being holy the same as having holiness. Behavior was either seen holy (acceptable to the Gods or unholy. 2008) written by Plato. Socrates asks questions of Euthyphro regarding piety and holiness. The question of defining holiness allows for the questions of other behaviors to be introduced and therefore questioned as to their appropriateness according to what God deems acceptable. Piety is the act of having respect or reverence for an object or person. unacceptable). the act of being holy and acceptable in appropriateness or the appropriateness and acceptability therefore making it holy? The holy concept is very important within this writing as it is the starting point of the conversation between Socrates and Euthyphro. Which came first. In the writing “Euthyphro” (Plato & Jowett. If he can gain more information regarding these he can possibly be able to contest his charges of being impious. and holy or having sanctity. Socrates is questioning Euthyphro about what he believes to be piety and piousness. the concepts are said to be some that not everyone possess or can possess. Socrates is also trying to gain a basis . Unfortunately. This concept is reminiscent of the chicken and the egg.HOLINESS 2 Holiness and piety are two words that are very closely associated with Godliness and good works. Because religion and God are concepts or beliefs that everyone has their own thoughts on. Socrates asks the question as well if the behavior of Euthyphro is considered to be holy as it is what is stated in the laws at the time. while holiness is the act of being devout. Behavior that was seen as holy is considered to be just in whatever occurs because it is therefore considered to be acceptable to the Gods.

and we must have proof not just the belief that something is so for it to be so. then. The first is when he states that it is doing what he is doing now.HOLINESS 3 definition of what piety is so that all charges and questions can be based upon one definition alone. Is it loved because it is piteous or is it piteous because it is loved? Is it holy and acceptable because it is piteous or piteous and therefore made to be holy and acceptable? Socrates offers the definition of piety as being good actions where Euthyphro states that we can have good actions like bravery and goodness. that an action is not a definition. The example is of him charging his father with manslaughter due to the death of another by accident. 2008). Socrates at this time goes very deep into questioning and asked the basis question of which came first. Euthyphro’s second definition is as follows. Euthyphro then states for his third definition that which is hated by all the Gods is impious and that which is not hated but loved is piteous. Euthyphro gives several definitions as to what piety is. and impiety is that which is not dear to them” (Plato & Jowett. “Piety. Euthyphro then mentions service to the Gods as piety . When Socrates questions his regarding this definition he points out that piety and impiety are not equal definitions between the Gods as they each have their own ideas and quarrel amongst themselves as to appropriateness. If even the Gods do not agree how this can be a valid definition as they are basing behavior off what the Gods deem appropriate. He states that no matter whom you are if you are acting impious that you should be punished. is that which is dear to the gods. Socrates tells him that this is an example of being piteous not of piety. When Zeus and Cronos behaved impious they were punished. Just as the Gods behaved so he is as well.

Socrates then states that piety is the end product of goodness and not the act. Socrates may at this time say that just because they go through it and no one is harmed does not make it acceptable. But he is aware also by his own words that as a learner of Euthyphro who is older and wiser and Socrates as a “student” that if they are in agreement then it must be so. 2008). Socrates is clearly trying to make it sound as he is not responsible if his belief and definition is not the acceptable one. by Socrates because of his exact words that he is the one doing it. if not then why are they not punishing Euthyphro who is the “teacher” instead. As each goes through life they learn from experiences how to behave. A personal definition of holiness and piety is that what is acceptable within our own relative and subjective worlds is what is good and right as long as it does not harm or take from another.HOLINESS 4 because what is loved by the Gods is goodness and pious. esteem and favor. If no one has the complete and direct answer how can they in essence say that he is wrong in his behavior or that he is not correct in his actions? His goal is shown in his knowledge that he is being tried for being impetuous and therefore being ungodly like. It appears that by asking the questions Socrates is looking for a more concrete definition to continue to use within his defense at trial. The situations may not have presented themselves with an accurate portrayal of what is . Lastly. The crime is brought forth of the father. they may have just been fortunate so as not to endure extreme hardship or damage to another. (Plato & Jowett. Socrates points out that they type of exchange and what is given to the Gods is not the same but should be honor. Euthyphro states that the art of sacrifice and prayer are piety and piteous and that there is an equal exchange of knowledge. it is more a state than of acting. Socrates by asking these questions makes the conversation come full circle and no complete definition is given that will be of any assistance other than to continue to question the definition.

The discussion of piety and holiness is one that will continue to go on daily and it appears never to end. . In rebuttal. To question those ideas and beliefs saying that they are wrong simply because they are not agreed with is to devalue goodness and rightness when it happens.HOLINESS 5 needed to decide. it may be pointed out that not every situation is going to offer up the possibility that it will involve others and so how can we immediately dismiss something as not being good because it does not affect someone who may not be present but simply ourselves. Each person has their own idea as to appropriateness and propriety.

B.gutenberg. Retrieved from http://www. Euthyphro.HOLINESS 6 References Plato & . 2008. Project Gutenberg.

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