What Is Piety? Essay

951 words - 4 pages

What is PietyDuring the Periclean age (around 400 B.C.) in Athens Greece there was a man named Socrates. He was considered a very wise man by the Athenians. However there were men in power who did not care for him or his teachings; Claiming that he corrupted the Athenian youth and did not believe in the Greek gods, Socrates was put on trail. On his way to his trial Socrates met a man named Euthyphro, a professional priest who is respected by the 'authorities' (those who want get rid of Socrates). Euthyphro is at the court house to prosecute his father for murder. Socrates finds this to be interesting. If Euthyphro can properly explain why he is prosecuting his father for murder Socrates might have an understanding of piety. This would help Socrates to defend himself, for the prosecutors know and think highly of Euthyphro. Socrates could then draw parallels between himself and Euthyphro, who the citizens' highly respect, thus bringing him respect, and freedom. This is where Socrates begins his dialogue with Euthyphro seeking the definition of piety. Socrates wants Euthyphro to teach him the meaning of piety since Euthyphro considers himself an authority on the subject. In this dialogue Euthyphro gives Socrates four different definitions of what he believes piety is, none of which prove satisfactory to Socrates, leaving the question unanswered in the end.The first definition that Euthyphro provides to Socrates is that 'the pious is to do what I am doing now to prosecute the wrong doer' (Plato, Euthyphro, Grube trans., p. 9). This is merely an example of piety, and Socrates is seeking a definition, not one or two pious actions. Socrates says 'you did not teach me adequately when I asked you what the pious was, but you told me that what you are doing now, prosecuting your father for murder is pious (Loc. cit., 6d, p. 10) Socrates wants to know what piety is 'through one form' (Loc. cit., 6e, p.10). He does not want to know which things or actions are pious, but rather what piety itself is. One cannot simply define something by giving examples so this definition does not satisfy Socrates.Euthyphro gives Socrates the second definition. He argues 'what is dear to the gods is pious, what is not is impious (Loc. cit., 7a, p. 11). Therefore piety is determined by the gods. According to this argument this cannot be true because, how can all the gods find everything to be pious when what is just to some gods is unjust to others, and what one god finds beautiful another would not. They have differences in opinions. 'The gods are in a state of discord, that they are...

Find Another Essay On What is piety?

Comparing Piety in The Wakefield Mystery Plays, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Le Morte D'Arthur

1244 words - 5 pages Comparing Notions of Piety in The Wakefield Mystery Plays, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Le Morte D'Arthur The monastic lifestyle that Launcelot and his knights adopt after their conversion is one that Margery Kempe might approve of -- doing penance, singing mass, fasting, and remaining abstinent. (MdA, 525) But Launcelot's change of heart is not motivated by the emotions that move Kempe, nor is his attitude towards God the same as can be

The Piety of Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid

1214 words - 5 pages is Aeneas' piety that is highlighted as his defining feature. It is crucial to note that, in ancient times, the Latin word pietas referred to not only religious devotion, but also devotion to one's family and country. Therefore, Aeneas possesses the values that were seen as most important in Virgil's era, and he serves as a vehicle by which Virgil both glorifies Rome and its founding and instructs the Roman people as to how they should carry out

How filial piety work in ancient Chinese society

1030 words - 4 pages understand the deeper meaning of Qianlong's extreme behavior, one needs to acknowledge that loyalty is another essential virtue besides filial piety. The two superiors that existed above the emperor are his ancestors and the sovereignty of the empire. Accordingly, the emperor was supposed to be loyal to his empire above all else. In Qing China, centralization of the monarchy was considered the most legitimate power to stabilize the country. From

Of Power and Piety: An Inquisition into The Roman Catholic Church

2321 words - 9 pages Religion is thought to provide comfort to the innermost part of a human: the soul. However, what happens when religion seeks to overstep its rightful boundaries and attempts to control humans from the outside, rather than uplift them from within. Such is the fault of the largest religious organization on Earth: The Roman Catholic Church. Throughout history, the Catholic Church has been among the most infamous of faith-groups due to its apparent

Confucianism and Taoism

1181 words - 5 pages obey and respect them under all circumstances. However, in the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu wrote: “When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins” (no. 18). What does he mean by that? One possible, or probably the most obvious, interpretation of this statement is that filial piety cannot exist without conflicts in the family. Such interpretation would indeed be in complete opposition to Confucius’ view on the matter. However, since conflict

The Impious Socrates

1482 words - 6 pages children; yes, and that that father (Cronos) had in turn castrated his father (Uranus) for similar reasons" (5e-6a). Euthyphro said this example made his action pious because: "...what is dear to the gods is holy, and what is not dear to them is unholy" (6e-7a). Socrates immediately saw the flaw in Euthyphro's description of piety, but also saw the assertion as a good starting point for his investigation. Socrates' style of investigation

Pius Cruelty

1536 words - 6 pages the the surface holiness of pious people which hides ugly innards within. However, an equally strong metaphor for the inherent contradictory nature of piety is the e particularly meaningful tale of what happened when one empathetic preacher attempts to establish a school for slaves. “A white young man, a Mr. Wilson...proposed to keep a Sabbath school for...slaves as might be disposed to learn to read the New Testament. We met but three times

Different Definitions of the Word "Pious" Depicted in Plato's Socratic Dialog Euthyphro

1307 words - 5 pages considers himself an expert on piety, what is pious. Socrates claims that if he can convince the court that he has learned the meaning of piety from Euthyphro, they might dismiss the charges against him. It is clear from the start that a lexical definition of piety is not what Socrates is interested in. Rather, he is looking for a practical definition of the pious. A definition of Socrates approval would allow him to look at any action and determine as

The Trial and Death of Socrates

1017 words - 4 pages that killed another fellow slave. Being charged with impiety, and having a priest with him that claims to know what piety is, Socrates takes the opportunity to learn from Euthyphro what piety is really about. The first definition of piety that Euthyphro answers was what he is doing now, which is prosecuting his father and seeing that justice is done and what he’s doing to his father is pious. Socrates does not take it as a definition rather than

Passages from The Analects of Confucius

1608 words - 6 pages for. Obviously, Confucius rested great importance upon being humble, particularly in the case of what he said. In thinking of this passage, I very much share the same attitude as Confucius. I feel that actions speak louder than words, because it takes the same amount of energy to utter highly self-flattering statements as it does to speak precisely of your actual abilities. The end result is self-defeat if someone is in the habit of exaggerating

China

782 words - 4 pages Piety, a term many Americans may not be familiar with, however the Asian culture is not only aware of, but filial piety is ingrained into Chinese culture. Filial Piety is considered to be the virtue of all virtues. This virtue is the endearing way to respect, remain loyal, care for and treat your parents. With one third of the Chinese culture being elderly, this value, filial piety, has an impact on their culture, especially as these elders near

Similar Essays

Piety, Philosophical Problems Essay

556 words - 2 pages "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?"(Euthyphro, 10a) Socrates asks Euthyphro this question trying to find out whether or not Euthyphro possesses the meaning of piety. Through the Socratic method, Socrates attempts to show the difference between divine command theory and independent morals.The first part of Socrates question to Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it

Confucianism Filial Piety In Chinese Religion

870 words - 3 pages filial children. The term filial piety refers to the extreme respect that Chinese children are supposed to show their parents. It involves many different things including taking care of the parents, burying them properly after death, bringing honor to the family, and having a male heir to carry on the family name (Brians 1). Practicing these ideals is a very important part of Chinese culture. Therefore, one would expect that filial piety would

A Piety Above The Common Standard: Review

953 words - 4 pages A Piety Above the Common Standard: ReviewI have read about 85% of this book and I would definitely say that A Piety Above the Common Standard is, aside from a few minor issues, a very well written and informative book (e-kudos to you). And while I can't say that it's ever been very high on my interest list concerning books, it wasn't a bore either (much appreciated).The book starts out going into the history of what exactly the key elements were

Beautiful Piety Essay

1980 words - 8 pages . Nature's landscapes are placed in fields "and all trades, their gear and tackle and trim" (Hopkins 6). In Hopkins's outlooks on life, "the landscape is plotted and pieced-what is fallow one year is `plough' or `fold' the next; and each trade, with its special gear and tackle and trim, is an activity of making and changing the world" (Hartman 100). The relationship with the breaking of land and breaking of appearances implies the strangeness that exists