[BLANK_AUDIO] Let's go back to Euthyphro, the man, and the archon basileus, the guy who is going to have to hear the case when and if Euthyphro actually brings it. Euthyphro is sometimes described as a priest. In our book we use that word. But it has wrong connotations institutionally. He doesn't have a church or a flock of parishioners, nothing like that. He might be a preacher, that term connotes characteristic features of maybe modern Protestantism. Which is extremely unlike ancient Greek religion. But I think it wouldn't be crazy to say that Euthyphro is about as Protestant as you can get and still be a polytheist pagan who believes in Zeus and all the other Olympian gods. Plus all the stories about the Titans and Kronos. If you don't know Greek mythology it's fascinating stuff. I'm sure Wikipedia will get you started. Let me tell you just a little bit. Ancient Greek religion is not doctrinal. It's not a matter of having the right beliefs although of course, you've got to believe in the gods. Preaching suggests a guy standing up and denouncing everyone as a bunch of sinners. Greek holiness is more about ritual and appropriateness and purity. Preaching the word of Zeus sounds very un-Greek. Although fair enough, a lot of the things that pollute that bother Zeus are immoral. So it's not like there's no ethical aspect to Greek holiness. We're going to get to that. But the relation is unclear, unresolved. Last but not least, Greek religion is not universal. It's local or civic. I could write a book about it all. Only lots of other people have written better ones than I would. Besides I don't have the time. What Euthyphro really is, is a mantis. No, not a bug. But there is a connection. The bug, mantis religiosa, praying mantis, is named after guys like Euthyphro. I'm sorry I didn't think about this when I was doing my crude cartoons of Euthyphro as a wild-eyed skinny guy. I should have drawn him as a mantis. I should have done more of this. In Greek, a mantis is a seer, or soothsayer. One who divines the will of the Gods. And this is what we hear from Euthyphro in the dialogue. Whenever I speak up concerning divine matters in the assembly, and foretell the future, they laugh me down as if I were crazy Yet I have never made a prediction that didn't come true. End of quote. Note the pun on divine. Divine means good. Divine also means figure out what's going to happen. Euthyphro definitely tries to do the latter, but he feels that he is also therefore an expert on the former. Knowing what will be means knowing what should be. Mantis is related to all our words ending in mancy, magic, necromancy. The necromancer is some guy leading an orc army while firing purple death lightning, right? But etymologically, he just talks to the dead. I know what you're thinking, World of Warcraft lied to me. Get used to it, kid. The Greeks were big into divining the future in the flights of birds, and in their entrails, cut them up and read them. The Chinese, by contrast, would crack a convenient tortoise shell. Euthyphro's personal bag of divination tricks seems to have had something to do with language somehow or stories, maybe he's a logomancer I guess you could call it. But he also has at least a few notions about holy and unholy that are perfectly orthodox for any ancient Athenian. Murder produces bloody hands. This brings us back to the archon basileus. I said murder is religious crime. Maybe you think that makes perfect sense, because thou shalt not kill. Sounds like a pretty likely commandment from a god. That's not wrong, but the basileus is more like a divine sanitation engineer for the whole city. Certainly not anything like a preacher threatening sinners with damnation. What's he cleaning up if not sin? Miasma is the Greek, pollution is a good translation. Let me back up. Greek religion doesn't center on beliefs or even words, forms of words. Euthyphro's a bit of a weirdo in this respect as I said. The thing you really can't do without is an altar, it's a sacrificial religion. I don't mean it's a religion about ender, endlessly giving stuff to the gods, killing things for the gods. Although yeah, it is. You're also supposed to get stuff in return. Think about the etymology though. Sacrifice, sacrification, it's about things being sacred or made sacred by some process. It's all about the circle. Inside the circle, holy. Outside, not. That's just what holy means actually. Our word, holy, comes from old German, not ancient Greek. But those old Germans agreed, holiness is all about something being marked off in a circle as inviolable, as pure, as untransgressible, thus the objection to murder. Not that it's wrong. Well, yeah, there's that. It makes a damned mess. That's what it does. Zeus doesn't like mess. Let me paraphrase the great Greek orator Antiphon from a speech he gave at a homicide trial. You can find the actual quote in our book, on page 121. Men who are mortally polluted, murderers are the worst, can kill innocent people by traveling on a ship that the gods then sink in disgust. And this happens in cities too. Ordinary people may be making sacrifice and the sacrifices won't work because an unclean person is present where they're not supposed to be. This is Euthyphro's expressed worry. I quote from the dialogue, you are just as polluted if you intentionally remain under the same roof with a person, like dad, instead of purifying both yourself and him by bringing charges. End of quote. Getting back to the archon basileus. The gods hate pollution. This is why murder is a religious crime. Pollution can spread like dirt or disease. This is why religious crime is a public safety issue. The city is like one of those ships Antiphon is talking about. You can't have murderers running around because the gods might inflict collateral damage. Punishing everyone, or at least they might withhold favors from their innocent neighbors, the murderous innocent neighbors. Euthyphro has to live under the same roof with dad, so that's a real worry for him. But the whole city could be under threat, potentially. This is all very interesting you say. Funny ideas those old Greeks had. You say. But what's the timeless philosophical significance. Beyond the timeless truth that people sure have their weird little ways. Especially long ago when they where ancient and primitive. Think about it this way. I mentioned that people who like Euthyphro, like the bit where he says you shouldn't care whether the person was family, or a stranger. Justice is impartial. That sounds enlightened, cosmopolitan and downright modern. Go Euthyphro, dragging these primitive Greeks out of their crummy little tribal cave. But then the bid I just quoted about how the real worry is pollution, comes only a sentence later. Euthyphro is this funny mix. One minute he sounds like he's ready to sign the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The next he sounds like some weird superstitious hemophobic primitive hemophobe. That's fear of blood. He's afraid of blood. This is why I like Plato. He's full of these crazy contradictions, opposites all crammed in together. Only a person could be that crazy. That's why you need to write dialogues. This video is almost over. Let me ask a question. We are going to want answers before we're done with this lesson and let me just ask you a question. Ancient Greek notions about pollution were tangled up with what we would call properly moral attitudes. But without lining up, pollution isn't about being a bad person, even though murderers are bad people. Every ancient Greek would agree. Attending a funeral makes you polluted in ancient Greek eyes. A woman menstruating is polluted. The Greeks didn't think it was wrong to attend funerals or to menstruate if you're a woman, quite the contrary, that's all healthy and natural. Yet it's polluting. I want to untangle that a bit more before we're done, but first a question. Are the ancient Greeks different from us with all this miasma stuff? Is it just kooky to have a public official who is a moral sanitation engineer? Kind of? Suppose Colonel Mustard was killed with the knife in your kitchen. Would you keep the knife? It's probably a pretty good knife, if it could kill the colonel. When the police are done with it, when it's no longer evidence at trial, just kind of put it back with the other knives. Probably you say, get rid of the knife. Would you keep your kitchen? Would you keep your house? While I was writing this lesson. Great coincidence. An article came out in the LA Times. Nothing ancient about it. It's the October 8th 2013 edition, if you want to go look it up. The headline, Does Satan Worship Lower A Los Angeles Mansion's Value? Well this isn't philosophy, so I can just tell you. The answer is definitely yes. The article is about a real estate appraiser whose specialty is pricing miasma and figuring out how to clean it up. Murder, makes property worth less. Also Satanism. In some cases, murder makes property almost worthless. A lot of murderers is worse than one murderer. Interestingly, celebrity murders aren't worse than regular folk murders though you might have thought otherwise. And knocking down the house and building a new one on the same lot doesn't help. Miasma seeps into the soil or it's a function of GPS or something. It doesn't pass to particular architectural structures. How does this real estate guy know this stuff? Does he talk to Zeus? Does he read it in the patterns of birds or their entrails? What? Well obviously, he's just generalizing from past cases he's studied. To advise his paying clients. So here's your quiz question. Your brother is murdered in your house. But it's a really nice house and near your work, and the schools are good. What do you do? A, stay in it, it's a really nice house. B, sell it if you can buy a house that is otherwise equally good for about the same money. C, sell it no matter what. Even if you can't get a good price, because of that murder. It's polluted. D. Hm, wait for 10 years. After which point, the market for your house will have bounced back as much as it is likely to. And then you can sell it for a pretty good price. I don't know what the right answer is. So I guess I have to accept them all. Anyway, the point is this, the modern housing market, and ancient Greek notions of holiness have this in common. It's all about three things, location, location, location. And you know who else has to worry about moral pollution besides the real estate appraisers? What's that? No, not moral ethical. Not modern ethical philosophers. They worry about whether it's okay to switch the trolley onto the other track. Saving the one guy and killing five. I was going to say agony aunts. I said in the first video, that you should go study agony aunts. I said in the last video, that 90% of agony aunt questions have to do with the whole circle grid business. My friend did something bad, but he's my friend, what should I do? The last 10%, in my experience, are just straight up, purity questions. People feel that something is disgusting. They don't want to touch it with a ten foot pole, or even a 20 foot pole, or even a 30 foot pole. They want a second opinion about whether their assessment of the miasma situation is accurate. And they're kind of hoping there's some way to clean up their environment to make it more livable. But, really this is just more circle thinking. So we can fold it all in that circle set. I leave it to you if you want to investigate this matter. Go ahead.