Nicole's Philosophy Blog

September 8, 2009

Question #1: “Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nicole G. @ 1:58 pm

From the very beginning of the Euthyphro, it is clear that Socrates has one goal in mind: to question those around him and provoke them to question aspects of their own lives. The question he poses to Euthyphro, “Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods?” (pg. 12) is a question which at first glance seems confusing and roundabout. Questions such as this one are the basis of what philosophy is really about. There is no clear answer to this question, but it does raise more questions as to what is considered holy and why. 

This argument states that the idea of morality is determined solely by the Gods or some kind of divine authority. Is something “good” because the Gods think it is good, or do the Gods approve of something only because it is “good”? These are almost like contradicting statements and there is really no way to find out which is true or if the two are even equivalent. They are two different trains of thought. One the one hand, we can accept that something is holy simply because it is approved, or we can believe that something is approved because it is holy.

I believe that Socrates was instilling a greater sense of awareness of morality and piety amongst people by asking these kinds of questions. He encouraged people to become inquisitive and take a deeper look into their own lives. Personally, if I had to answer the question Socrates posed, I would say that  pious is being loved by the Gods because it is pious. The Gods cannot create piety but instead just embrace it and consider that which is pious to be important to them. Arguments such as this one, which involves divine authority, have encouraged modern-day ethical theories to be based on our own autonomy rather than in God, because through the latter no resolution can be produced. No matter which way you think about it, piety is just something that exists, be it through God’s doing or not.



  1. You believe that the pious is being loved by the gods because it is pious. In this case, how would you define piety? If the gods don’t define piety, who does? Socrates also makes the point that what is good and important to one god is not necessarily approved by another god. If that is so, then piety cannot be viewed the same in all the god’s eyes and therefore cannot have one concrete definition to be embraced by the gods.

    Comment by Britt F. — September 8, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

  2. I agree, that the Gods cannot create piety. It’s more of the followers that create in their heads what they think is good for the gods. That people today base their lives in what they think is good for themselevs, but not necessarily what’s important to yourslef is important to another person. As for the Gods they are always fighting; they cannot agree on what is pious, because they also have their own views.

    Comment by katielarks — September 9, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

  3. I thought it was really neat how you brought in the aspect of divine and how authority makes a difference when looking at or answering Socrates question. We both agreed that there was two ways of looking/answering the question and neither one was not necessarily true or equivalent to one another. I thought your last two sentences were very thoughtful in how you stated that piety will exist whether one is religious or not, and whether God is truly there or not. I think ending with this sentence may make some people understand the question more because they may see it as not such a religious question and may be able to grasp it better.

    Comment by Lights K. — September 10, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

  4. I liked the first paragraph a lot. Philosophy is just such a hard science to study. How can you believe in something if there are no written facts? In my opinion, you just have to embrace the thoughts and go into it with an open mind. I, as well, like your last sentence. I like how you made it clear how piety will exist no matter what.

    Comment by Orefice M — September 13, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

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