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Persons of the Dialogue: Socrates and Euthyphro Scene: The Porch of the King Archon As the dialogue begins, Socrates is on his way to court to face the Euthyphro is on his way to the court to prosecute

his father for murder. Socrates is very surprised at Euthyphro’s charge

against his father and asks him if he is sure that what he is doing is pious

or holy. He asks Euthyphro to tell him about the nature of piety and

impiety. Euthyphro will not define piety or impiety, but instead says

“Piety is doing as I am doing," and compares it with the actions of the god

Zeus when he punished his own father. Socrates asks for a definition and

not an example, to which Euthyphro offers that “Piety is that which is dear

to the gods." Socrates accepts this definition, but forces Euthyphro to

admit that the gods differ, just like human beings, about what they love

and hate. By this definition, the same act may be called both pious and

impious, therefore this definition leads to contradiction. Euthyphro offers

a third definition and claims: “What all the gods love is pious." Socrates

then asks whether an act is loved by the gods because it is pious, or and

act is pious because it is loved by the gods. Euthyphro responds that the

gods love an act because it is pious. By this, Socrates concludes that

Euthyphro’s definition is only a characteristic of piety, not its definition.

At this point, Euthyphro says that he does not know how to express what

he means and accuses Socrates of setting arguments in motion. Socrates

is not satisfied and accuses Euthyphro of being lazy, and forces the

argument further by asking whether piety is a part of justice, or justice a

part of piety. Here, Euthyphro offers yet another definition: “ that

part of justice which attends to the gods." Now Socrates wants an

explanation of “attention," a...

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