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While waiting to be prosecuted Socrates meet Euthyphro, who also happened to waiting

outside the court of King Archon to prosecute his father. This is the setting for the discussion of
holiness. Socrates flatters Euthyphro and suggests that Euthyphro must understand the definition
of such a word if he is to charge his own father of murder. Euthyphro confirms his
overconfidence in his judgment of religious and ethical matters. The first definition of holiness
that Euthyphro tell Socrates is: “Well, I say that holiness is what I am doing now, prosecuting a
criminal” (5e, pg. 14). Euthyphro then give an example of Zeus, who is god among gods, also
put his father to prison for “unjustly swallowed his sons” (6a, pg. 14). Therefore, Euthyphro say
that what he about to do is holiness, because Zeus does the same thing. However, Socrates
rejects this claim because this definition is lacking in clarity as Euthyphro just gives an example
and doesn’t define holiness. Euthyphro then give Socrates the second definition: “What is
agreeable to the gods is holy, and what is not agreeable is unholy” (7a, pg.16). This definition is
based on the idea that the gods agree on what is holy and unholy. Socrates points out the problem
with this definition which is gods also have a fight and disagreement among themselves.
Socrates takes an example say that Zeus’s decision to punish his father can be offensive to
Kronos and Uranus, but it could be agreeable to Hephaestus and disagreeable to Hera. So there
can’t be an absolute agreement on one thing, which is conflict with Euthyphro’s second
definition. In the third attempt, Euthyphro comes back at Socrates saying: “What’s holy is
whatever all the gods approve of, and that it’s opposite, what all the gods disapprove of, is
unholy” (9e, pg.20). Socrates then raises a question to clarify this definition by asking: “Is the
holy approved by the gods because it’s holy, or is it holy because it’s approved” (10a, pg. 20).
Socrates explains his point by using an example of “being approved” and “getting approved”.
“Being approved” means when an object is being approved. “Getting approved” is a state when a
subject put an action on an object. Socrates argues that a thing that being approved is because it
getting approved first, not the other way around. Thus, the flaw in Euthyphro’s third definition is
something is holy does not mean that it is approved by the gods. Euthyphro then agrees with
Socrates that something holy because it is holy itself not because it is approved. They move onto
an agreement that holiness seems to be a part of justice. But Socrates further question Euthyphro
that which part of the justice that the holiness is in.The fourth definition that Euthyphro give
Socrates is: “the part of the just which is pious and holy, the one concerned with looking after the
gods, whereas that concerned with looking after men is the remaining part of just” (12e – 13a,
pg.25).Socrates quite satisfies with this definition. However, he still concern with the term
“looking after”. Because looking after something means to help that something to become better.
In this case, Euthyphro doesn’t mean to help the god to become better by doing something that is
holy. And that is the problem with Euthyphro’s fourth definition. In his final attempt to define
holiness, Euthyphro says: “If one knows how to say and do things gratifying to the gods in
prayer and in sacrifice, this is what’s holy” (14b, pg. 27). Socrates suggests this definition mean
holiness is somewhat “a kind of skill in trading between gods and men”, which means we’re
getting benefit from gods and vice versa (14e, pg. 28). However, Euthyphro admits that gods
don’t receive benefit from human; they only receive the gratification, which means they only
take what are approved by them. And this leads back to the third definition that what is holy is
and what is approved by the gods.
Meletus is the only one that speaks at the trial of Socrates. Socrates breaks down the
arguments that Metelus has brought forward through a series of self-defenses. Meletus first
accusation of Socrates reads “Socrates is committing an injustice, in that he inquiries into things
below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches
others to follow his example,” (18b, pg.40). Meletus’ argument according to Socrates’ critique is
only reliant on what the jurors have heard already and that there will a biased towards him
already. He says the jurors already have heard about this from Aristophanes in his play “The
Clouds” (pg 42). So Meletus is here trying to slander Socrates character. Socrates then addresses
Meletus’s second charge of corruption of the youth. Meletus argue begins to break down as
Socrates cross examines him. Socrates draws attention to the fact that Meletus isn’t well versed
in his knowledge of the youth of Athenians. Socrates says “Meletus, you’ve given ample proof
that you have never bothered your head about the young; and you make it perfectly clear that you
have never paid the slightest attention to the matters over which you are now indicting me,” (pg.
50). The argument itself is inconsistent in the statement that only Socrates is the only one
corrupting Athens. Meletus other charge of Socrates being an atheist is quickly pointed out by
Socrates to be a logical contradiction and jokes with the jury that Meletus was testing him.
Socrates asserts that Meletus himself says that he try to teaches the supernatural to others.
Socrates jokes that how can he believe in supernatural beings but not in the gods when one is
derived from the other (27d-e, pg 57).
In the “Apology” begin to see just how Socrates felt about his life, and the way he lived
it. Socrates thinks there are two kind of wisdom: godly wisdom and human wisdom. Godly
wisdom is a kind of higher knowledge that is unlimited. Human wisdom is a kind of knowledge
that you are imperfect and willing to learn. For Socrates, he doesn’t think himself as “wiser than
my neighbor in any respect” nor does he have all the knowledge in Hades, which means he
admits that he only posses a human wisdom (29b, pg. 57). And death is something that he
doesn’t know of: “Fear of suffering this penalty proposed by Meletus, when, as I said, I do not
know whether it is a good thing of a bad,” (pg. 65). So for Socrates to fear the death is deceiving
him by arrogance, fail wisdom. To punctuate his belief that he is fearless he says to the jurors
that he will not stop asking and talking, that it is his duty to god. The final soliloquy for Socrates
in “The Apology” provides us with a real insight into the fear and death relationship. Here
Socrates statement “that the difficulty is not so much to escape death; the real difficulty is to
escape from wickedness,” (pg.67) shows his belief believes that living a life of virtue is more
important than the fear of death. For Socrates “Death is one of two things. Either it is
annihilation …or it is really a change; a migration of the soul from this place to another.” (pg.
69). Socrates jokes about the annihilation idea saying it would be like a really good sleep. He
says that if it is really what they are told it is, then what could be better than what he is about to
receive. Socrates understanding of death and how he held no fear is best summarized in the last
line of “The Apology” “Well, now it is time to be off, I to die and you to live; but which of us
the happier prospect is unknown to anyone but God,”.