PHI 1104 – Study Questions
1. Why is Socrates shocked by Euthyphro’s action and how does Euthyphro defend
a. Euthyphro is prosecuting his own father. Socrates is shocked by this because
most men would not feel right doing such a thing.
b. Euthyphro defends his action by saying that it is the pious thing to do and to not
prosecute would be impious. He uses the actions of Zeus as evidence: people
believe Zeus to be the best and most just of the gods. However, he bound and
castrated his father because he unjustly swallowed his sons.
2. How many definitions of piety are offered and what is wrong with them?
a. (1) Euthyphro gave examples about is pious.
i. “What I’m doing now is pious…”
ii. Problem: This is not a definition, but rather an example of piety.
1. It’s not a form/model that can be used to assess whether or not
something constitutes as pious
b. (2) Piety is what is dear to the gods
i. The same things considered pious by some gods are considered impious
by other gods. By Euthyphro’s definition, can be both pious and impious
at the same time.
ii. Problem: How do we know what is dear to the gods? The gods cannot
agree upon what is dear to them
1. So, something can be both pious and impious at the same time
c. (3) What is pious is what is dear to all the gods
i. An action is only pious when all the gods agree; all others are ignored
ii. Famous Question: “Is it pious because it is loved by the gods, or is it
loved by the gods because it is pious?