A1: “So to with Meletus. He will perhaps firstweed out those of us who blight the young shoots, as he claims, and afterwardshe will obviously look after their elders and become responsible for many greatblessings to the City, the natural result of so fine a beginning.”This is suggesting that Meletus will weed outthe young ones and then take care of the elders. He will create many blessingsfor the City, which would be observed a natural occurrence.
A2: “I would hope so, Socrates, but I fear lestthe opposite may happen. He seems to me to have started by injuring the City atits very hearth in undertaking to wrong you. But tell me, what does he say youdo to corrupt the youth? / It sounds a bit strange at first hearing, my friend.He says I am a maker of gods, and because I make new ones and do not worshipthe old ones, he indicted me on their accounts, he says.”Thecharges go hand in hand because Euthyphro stated how did Socrates corrupt theyouth, which the other charge is him not worshiping the same gods andinfluencing others to do the same.
Based upon this, the two charges againstSocrates is him corrupting the youth and not believing in the city’s gods. A3: “What about that, Euthyphro? Are you plaintiffor defendant? / Plaintiff. / Against whom? / Someone I am again thought mad toprosecute. / Really? Has he taken flight? / He is far from flying. As a matterof fact, he is well along in years.
/ Who is he? / My father. / Your father,dear friend?”Socratesis wondering why Euthyphro is in court and questions which side is he on. OnceEuthyphro states that he is the plaintiff in this situation, Socrates then askswho is the defendant. It is strange that Euthyphro would be prosecuting his ownfather because most people would be questioning as to why would he be doingthat because it is his blood and relative he is prosecuting. A4: “They little know, Socrates, how thingsstand in religious matters regarding the holy and the unholy.””Iwould not be much use, Socrates, nor would Euthyphro differ in any way from themajority of men, if I did not know all such things as this with strict accuracy.”Euthyphrostates that if he did not know what he did so well, he would not be of muchuse. He claims to be an expert in all religious matters because others know solittle about what is holy and unholy.
A5: “Well then, my gifted friend, I had bestbecome your pupil. Before the action with Meletus begins I will challenge himon these very grounds. I will say that even in former times I was muchconcerned to learn about religious matters, but that now, in view of hisclaiming that I am guilty of loose speech and innovation in these things, Ihave become your pupil.”Socratesdid not have much knowledge on religious matters, therefore he wanted to becomeEuthyphro’s pupil and wanted to gain his wisdom. He wants to gain information from someone whoknows about what they are talking about and specifically in religious matters. A6: “Then tell me, what do you say the holy is?And what is the unholy? / Well, I say that the holy is what I am doing now,prosecuting murder and temple theft and everything of the sort, whether fatheror mother or anyone else is guilty of it. And now prosecuting is unholy.
Now,Socrates, examine the proof I give you that this is a dictate of divine law.” Thisis giving an example of what is holy and what is unholy. He is saying that whatis holy is him prosecuting the murder or someone who does things related to that.He is stating that what he is doing is holy and the opposite would beconsidered unholy. This is the first definition of piety and what is impiety. A7: “I wonder if this is why I am beingprosecuted, Euthyphro, because when anyone says such things about the gods, Isomehow find is difficult to accept? Perhaps this is why people claim Itransgress. But as it is, if even you who know such things so well accept them,people like me must apparently concede.
What indeed are we to say, we whoourselves agree that we know nothing of them. But in the name of Zeus, the Godof Friendship, tell me: do you truly believe that these things happened to so?”Socratesbelieves that he is on trial because he has his own beliefs about the gods andhe did not agree with people and their ideas. A8: “Do you recallthat I did not ask you to teach me about some one or two of the many thingswhich are holy, but about that characteristic itself by which all holy thingsare holy? For you agreed, I think, that it is by one character that unholythings are unholy and holy things holy. Or do you not recall?”Socratesdid not ask for examples of being pious or impious, he asked for definitionsand for Euthyphro to teach him the definitions as a whole for the two subjects.Therefore, he did not accept the examples Euthyphro gave as definitions forwhat he asked for.
A9: “Then what is dear to the gods is holy, andwhat is not dear to them is unholy. / Excellent, Euthyphro. You have nowanswered as I asked. Whether correctly, I do not yet know – but clearly youwill now go on to teach me in addition that what you say is true. / Of course./ Come then, let us examine what it is we are saying.
The thing and the persondear to the gods is holy; the thing and the person hateful to the gods isunholy; and the holy is not the same as the unholy, but its utter opposite. Isthat what we are saying?”Euthyphrois stating that what the gods consider to be dear to them is what should beconsidered holy and what they do not like should be considered unholy. Socratesis then going back over and making his own definition in his head about what isholy, which is someone or something dear to the gods, and what is unholy, whichis what the gods are hateful towards. A10: “Then by your account, my noble friend,different gods must believe that different things are just – and beautiful andugly, good and evil.
For surely they would not quarrel unless they disagreed onthis. True? / You are right. / Now, what each of them believes to be beautifuland good and just they also love, and the opposites of those things they hate?/ Of course. / Yes, but the same things, you say, are thought by some gods tobe just and by others unjust. Those are the things concerning whichdisagreement causes them to quarrel and make war on another. True?”Socratesgoes through the dialogue by stating that different gods have to believe indifferent things and that the gods would not argue unless the disagreed onsomething. He is stating that what some of the gods love, others hate uponwhich is why disagreements happen between them. The statement is correctbecause if the gods agreed upon everything and what is unjust and just, thenthere would be no disagreements and vice versa.
Since there are disagreements,the gods could not agree upon everything. A11: “Then the same things, it seems are bothhated by the gods and loved by the gods, and would be both dear to the gods andhateful to the gods. / It seems so. / Then by this account, Euthyphro, the samethings would be both holy and unholy. / I suppose so.
/ Then you have notanswered my question, my friend. I did not ask you what sane thing happens tobe both holy and unholy; yet what is dear to the gods is hateful to the gods,it seems. And so, Euthyphro, it would not be surprising if what you are doingnow in punishing your father wee dear to Zeus, but hateful to Cronos andUranus, and loved by Hephaestus, but hateful to Hera, and if any of the othergods disagree about it, the same will be true of them too.
“Thisis saying the Euthyphro did not answer his question. He is also saying thatsince some god believe that something is pious and others believe it isimpious, then therefore it must be both. This conclusion is based from theprevious answer about the disagreements between the gods and how if they didnot believe is different things, then there would be no arguments. A12: “So they do not contend that those who dowrong should not answer for it, but rather, perhaps, about who it is that didthe wrong, and what he did, and when.
/ True. / Now is it not also the samewith the gods, if as your account has it, they quarrel about that is just andunjust, and some claim that others do wrong and some deny it? Presumably no one,god or man, would dare to claim that he who does a wrong should not answer forit.Ifthere is someone who did something wrong, they do not argue about if theyshould be penalized or not, but they argue about the person who is in the wrongand the other details that go along with it. When dealing with wrongs andpenalties, there is a belief system.
If someone did something wrong, therewould not be anyone who would stand up and say that they should not bepenalized for their wrong doings. A13:”And yet you are as much wiser than I am as you are younger. As I said, you arelazy and soft because of you wealth of wisdom. My friend, extend yourself: whatI mean is not hard to understand. I mean exactly the opposite of what the poetmeant when he said that he was ‘unwilling to insult Zeus, the Creator, who madeall things; for where there is fear there is also reverence.
‘ I disagree withhim. Shall I tell you why? / Yes, certainly. / I do not think that ‘where thereis fear there is also reverence.
‘ I think people fear disease and poverty andother such things — fear them, but have no reverence for what they fear. /Yes, certainly. / Where there is reverence, however, there is also fear. For ifanyone stands in reverence and awe of something, does he not at the same timefear and dread the imputation of wickedness? / Yes, he does. / where there is reverencethere is also fear, even though reverence is not everywhere that fear is: fearis broader that reverence. Reverence is part of fear just as odd is part ofnumber, so that it is not true that where there is number there is odd, butwhere there is odd there is number.
Surely you follow me now?”Socrates is stating that reverence is a part of fear and odd is a part ofa number, but it is not true that there is a number odd, but there is odd thereis a number. In other words, they are comparable because odd is a part of anumber and fear is a part of reverence, but it is not the same as a numberbeing a part of odd and reverence is not a part of fear. It does not work inreverse. A14: “Well, Socrates, I think that part of thejust which is pious and holy is about ministering to the gods, and theremaining part of the just is about ministering to men. / …. / Now, it not allministering meant to accomplish the same thing? I mean this: to take care of athing is to aim at some good, some benefit, for the thing cared for, as you seehorses benefited and improved when ministered to by horse-training.
Do you notagree? / ….. / I did not think you meant that, Euthyphro. Far from it. That iswhy I asked you what you meant by ministering to the gods: I did not believeyou meant such a thing as that.” “…thekind of care, Socrates, that slaves take of their masters”Socratesand Euthyphro are stating that the two kinds of care include taking care of athing is to aim at some good, some benefit, for the thing cared for. He usesthe horse example to show his point. Prior to this, they talk about ministeringto many people and in religious backgrounds, this example can be used widely toshow how religion is a type of care.
Socrates could also be saying that they donot care for the gods like raising them (the horse breeder example) whileEuthyphro believes that they care for the gods like slaves to them. A15: “But, Socrates, so you think the gods benefit from the thingsthey receive from us? / Why, Euthyphro, whatever could these gifts of ours tothe gods then be? / What do you suppose, other than praise and honor and as Ijust said, things which are acceptable. / Then the holy is what is acceptable,Euthyphro, and not what is beneficial or loved by the gods? / I certainly thinkit is loved by the gods, beyond all other things. / Then, on the contrary, theholy is what is loved by the gods. / Yes, that beyond anything. / Will itsurprise you if, in saying this, your words get up and walk? You call me aDaedalus. You say I make them walk.
But I say that you are a good deal moreskillful than Daedalus, for you make them walk in circles. Or are you not awarethat our account has gone round and come back again to the same place? Surelyyou remember in what went before that the holy appeared to us not to be thesame as what is loved by the gods: the two were different. Do you recall? /Yes, I recall. / Then do you not now realize that you are saying that what isloved by the gods is holy? But the holy in fact is something other than dear tothe gods, is it not? / Yes. / Then either we were wrong a moment ago inagreeing to that, or, if we were right in assuming it then, we are wrong inwhat we are saying now. / It seems so.
“Thisargument did come full circlebecause in the beginning Socrates was questioning Euthyphro on what is pietyand impiety, because Euthyphro claimed to know about that. Throughout, Socrateskeep questioning Euthyphro which made him realize that maybe he does not knowwhat he claims to know. Socrates questioning Euthyphro allowed him to answerhis own question. I believe that Euthyphro has learned a few things within thisdiscussion, he learned about his own ignorance on the subject, the answer toSocrates question, and about life/beliefs. Although in the end, Euthyphro seemsto just want to run off and not talk to Socrates, underneath, I still believedthat he learned something. A16: Let us begin again from the beginning, and ask what holy is, for Ishall not willingly give up until I learn.
Please do not scorn me: Bend every effort of your mind and now tell me thetruth. You know it if any man does, and, like Proteus, you must not be let gobefore you speak. For if you did not know the holy and unholy with certainty,you could not possibly undertake to prosecute your aged father for murder inbehalf of a hired man.
You would fear to risk the gods, lest your action bewrongful, and you would be ashamed before men. But as it is, I am confidentthat you think you know with certainty what is holy and what is not. So say it,friend Euthyphro.
Do not conceal what it is you believe.Ibelieve that the impression Plato wants us to get of Socrates would be that heis determined to get his answer and in life, as well as very argumentative. Hecould possibly come across as egotistical or a “know-it-all,” but that is notthe main impression. A17: Throughout this, I have learned thedifference between knowing and questioning thingsinlife.
Also, I learned that with their belief in multiple gods, comes veryhectic and more work in not being able to control your own life. Socrates wascharged with corrupting the youth and putting his own beliefs (not believing inthe other gods like other people) onto other people (questioning them). Thisputs a strain on your life if you were the one doing that, because you wouldnot be able to express yourself, which shows how much we have grown over thecourse of thousands of years. Therefore, I learned that multiple things occurin order to know something, like questioning life and questioning others.