Euthyphro in 21st century
(Socrates and Euthyphro in The king’ s i.e Archon’s court)
Socrates: Hey Euthyphro, how come you are here?
Euthyphro: I am here to prosecute my father for a murder.but what are you doing here?
Socrates: I am also here in connection with a litigation in which I have to answer the charges leveled against me by Anitus and Melitus and company. They have accused me of leading the youths stray and also worshipping foreign Gods.
Euthyphro :so sad.
Socrates: But how could your father murder some one. He is such a nice man.
Euthyphro: Oh, he did not do it knowingly. But a murder is a murder. And it is in the interest of Piety or justice that he be punished.
Socrates: But, I think puniing one’s own father is not right, nor it is pious.
Euthyphro: No, I think, rules of piety and righteousness are same for one and all. So, even if a father acts in an injudicious manner, he has to be punished by a sun with the help of the court.
Socrates: But what is Piety? What is righteousness? Do you know it. Can you define it.
Euthyphro: yes I know it that which is right and pious is dear to Gods and that which is wrong and impious is abhorrent to Gods.
Socrates: that is fine. But how can you or I know what is dear to the Gods and what is abhorrent to the Gods.
Euthyphro: there are many ways.
Socrates: tell me some of them.
Euthyphro: Well, one is the traditional belief about right and wrong.
Socrates: go on.
Euthyphro: Other is the looking into holybook.
Euthyphro : the consensus of the people around.
Socrates: but all of these are very fond of giving quite contrary and conflicting opinion on almost every issue.
Euthyphro: that is right.
Socrates: then what to do? Think of some other definition for piety and righteousness.
Euthyphro: I cannot think of anything more. You think and tell.
Socrates: What can I do. All the world knows that I know nothing. The thinking and answering has to be done by you. Just put a little stress on your head and you will certainly come out with some better definition of piety.
Euthyphro: yes, I got it. Just as you mentioned ‘head’ I suddenly recollected that whenever I thought of doing something wrong, some part of my head though feebly tried to desist me from that.
Socrates: Right. Go ahead.
Euthyphro: When ever I heeded that feeble voice from a part of my head, I came out of that issue as a happier man. But whenever, I did not heed that; I ended up as a sad person and cut a sorry figure.
Socrates: So, to decide whether some thing is right or wrong in the eyes of God, we should look within.
Euthyphro: But the problem is that dissenting voice in the head is very feeble, and I often do not feel like heeding this.
Socrates: Is that the case now?
Euthyphro: No, this time the voice was quite strong which said that I must prosecute my father.
Socrates: I see. Is that voice negative as well as positive as the case and issue may demand.
Socrates: But in my case case, it is only negative. It only says me ‘what not to do’ it never says me ‘ what to do.
Euthyphro: It means that the Gods within you are not strong enough.
Socrates: Yes. It may be the case. After all. I have grown old. Now, it is time for me to go to the court. But, I would like to caution you that you should not tell any one that you look for Gods’ within.
Euthyphro: but why?
Socrates: fool, they will try also for the same thing as they are doing in my case.
Euthyphro: Well, I will heed your outside advice also.
Socrates: yes, you should. I do not wish that youths should also meet the fate of a old person like me.
Euthyphro: thatnks, Socrates. I must say that you may not know your self anything. But you certainly help others in knowing all kind of things. Before talking to you I did not have such a clear Idea of Sacred and profane or right or wrong.
Socrates: yes, but do you think that believing in Gods outside is of no avail and use less?
Euthyphro: No, believing in Gods outside is also Good. They punish the wrong doing in the same life.
Socrates: It means if you donot heed the Gods within, Gods without will punish you.
Euthyphro: Well said. Moreover, the fear of punishment by Gods outside, makes the feeble voices of the Gods within stronger. I have to this realization after talking to you.
Socrates: But now I have developed some doubts about this realization. Do you think that Gods within will always guide you correctly.
Euthyphro: why not?
Socrates: but what if your mind is inebriated or intoxicated?
Euthyphro: O! I could not think what to do in this case as in such a situation the Gods within may very well fail?
Socrates: So, in the end we are no wiser! We could not arrive at a definition of pious or righteousness.
Euthyphro: This is not my fault. You always do this to all Athenian. You are just keen on wasting the time of others in the name of dialectics and discussion.
Socrates: But what can even I do? If I do not voice my doubts people will carry on with wring belief.