Refuting the Definition of Piety and Impiety

12 December 2017

Socratic Response: Refuting the Definition of Piety and Impiety PHI 208 – Ethics and Moral Reasoning Elisabeth Nicholls April 14, 2014 Not long after the execution of Socrates for what were his crimes of impiety, Plato wrote the Typhoon, a dialogue between Typhoon and Socrates on the subject of piety/holiness.This paper will focus on that dialogue between Socrates and Typhoon, and will explain the emergence of holiness In their conversation, the definitions of piety and Impiety as proposed by Typhoon; as well as the refutations presented by Socrates In response to those definitions, and the Socratic response to his authors own definition of holiness.

Emergence of holiness In the dialogue of Typhoon The concept of holiness/piety begins to in the dialogue of Typhoon when Socrates begins to explain to Typhoon how Mullets has brought charges against him for corrupting the youth, and for being a analogies.More specifically however, the word piety or holiness emerges during Socrates inquiry of why Typhoon has brought charges against his father.

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When explaining his situation, Typhoon tells Socrates that his father is being charged for the murder of a serf who has slain another. Explaining that his family is angry that he has brought charges against his father Typhoon states, “They say that he did not hill him, and that if he did, the dead (unholy) who prosecutes a father. Which shows, Socrates how little they know what the gods think about piety and impiety’ (Plato, 2008, pig 3. It is at this very point, that the emergence of piety (holiness) becomes the focal point of the conversation as Socrates begins to question Typhoon on his expertise on the subject. Socrates is on trial for being impious and begins an inquiry into the definition of piety vs.

. Impiety as a prelude to presenting his case before the court. Three definitions, three refutations Asking Typhoon to indulge him on his inquiry, Socrates poses the question “What is piety and what is impiety? ” (Plato, 2008, pig. 8).Typhoon indulges Socrates and poses three definitions for piety: 1) Piety or being holy is prosecuting a criminal for their crimes, regardless of who they are even if that criminal happens to be your mother or father; to not do so is impiety. 2) Piety is that which is dear to the gods, impiety is anything not dear to them. Finally, 3) Piety is a part of Justice, the part that tends to the Gods.

Prosecuting the criminal Hearing each of these definitions given by Typhoon on the subject of piety, Socrates proceeds to refute each of them forcing Typhoon each time to expand on his definition.Taking on the first definition, Socrates counters with the argument that Typhus’s definition is imprecise; that trying to draw a correlation between the myths of the Gods own prosecution of their fathers for crimes committed and his case to define piety or impiety, does not answer the question he was asked (Plato, 2008). That which is dear to the Gods is holy Socrates also refutes Typhus’s second definition of piety and impiety. Socrates breaks down his argument into two simple questions: Is something holy because it is dear to or loved by the gods, or is it dear to (loved by) the gods because it is holy?By posing these questions, Socrates unveils the holes in Typhus’s definition. Socrates explains, “one is of a kind to be loved, and the other is loved because it is of a kind to be loved” (Plato, 2008, pig. 13). In other words, the fact that something is dear to the gods does not in and of itself make it holy.

On the contrary, both men agreed that, hat which is holy is actually dear to the gods. Piety is the part of Justice that attends to the gods Socrates presents a third and final refutation of Typhus’s definition of piety to argue against the case, that piety is that part of Justice that attends to the gods.Socrates refutation centers on the word “attention. ” He is adamant that “attention” cannot be applied to the gods in the same manner for which it is applied to all other things. For example he asks, “Is not attention always designed for the good or benefit of that to which attention is given? ” (Plato, 2008, pig 15). Socrates point is that there s nothing we humans can give the gods that will better them, and so attention to the gods is not holiness. Socrates goal Socrates goal in his dialogue with Typhoon was to garner a clear-cut definition of piety vs.

. Impiety.Socrates was on trial for impiety and corruption of the youth. It is possible his conversation with Typhoon could serve the purpose of refuting the charges against him, as Typhoon was an expert in theology (self-proclaimed) and to play Typhoon as if he were open to learning from him all the knowledge he had on the subject, while actually teaching him that he knows nothing about it. Piety/ Holiness defined Holiness could be defined as being pure of heart; living a life of moral and ethical character in which integrity, and honor are the essential elements.

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