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The Life Of Reason Essay

676 words - 3 pages

Throughout Plato's "Euthyphro" and his "Apology," the young Graecian examines the words and testimony of Socrates. From the ancient philosopher's debate with Euthyphro over the persecution of his father, to his trial in Athens, the readers learn much in the views and reasoning of Socates within the two short stories. Moreover, Socrates discusses many subjects, including piety, knowledge and the value of living a closely examined life. Much of what the wise Athenian says in regard to these subjects is an attempt to show the superiority of leading a life of reason. As Socrates puts it, the "unexamined life is not worth living for a human being." Yet, there is much controversy over the beliefs of Socrates. Many people are in disagreement with his conflicting philosophic nature of life. A good example of how Socrates brings about conflict of ...view middle of the document...

Euthyphro makes an allusion to the manner in which Zeus prosecuted his father, Kronos. Later, Euthyphro amends his definition of piety to mean that which all gods love. However, Socrates quickly refutes this definition by explaining that a thing that "is loved..is something loved (Introduction pp.13)." In other words, because the gods love something does not define the thing as pious, but rather as a thing loved.In any case, what Socrates tries to do within his dialogue with Euthyphro, is convince Euthyphro that because he does not understand what it means to be pious, he should not convict his own father of murder in the name of civic piety. He may however, agree in some form with Euthyphro's intentions; that is, his belief that one must stay loyal to his city and do what is best for it even if it means having deference to one's own father. Yet for the most part, Socrates is out to prove that Euthyphro should re-examine his idea of piety before arriving at a solution to his father's case.Thus, the dialogue between these two men serves as a prime example of Socrates' insistence that people should examine the things they live by closely. Many scholars believe that this theory of his is wrong and that living a good, wholesome life is more important. However, Socrates argues that to live a complete life, is to have complete knowledge of what one becomes involved in. In other words, he questions the tendency of humans to view something as containing only one meaning, thereby disabling themselves to understanding its full purpose. He reasons that occasionally, one must question the common laws or ideas placed before him. An example of such reasoning, as is documented by Plato, serves as a main reason Socrates finds himself on trial for his life in Athens.Within Athens, the laws of the gods govern the way in which citizens are expected to life their lives. However, Socrates cannot accept this, not because of lack of faith in divine beings, but because he feels that the gods prevent him from obtaining the highest knowledge of things.

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