[BLANK_AUDIO]. So that's why Euthyphro and Socrates end up focusing on holiness so much. It's all that miasma stuff. From the last video. Realizing this may even make you more sure that what is holiness is just the wrong question somehow. If that's just a function of blood-phobia running in some kind of primitive religious overdrive, maybe what is justice or just what is legal, would of been a better question. But lets read the dialogue we've got. Euthyphro sets forth three or four or five accounts of holiness. Depending on how you count them and Socrates knocks em all flat, one after the other. Is the problem maybe not the specific choice of terms, holiness versus justice or law or whatever you pick? But the very demand for definition, because defining is so hard that we're just doomed to fail. We'll talk more about this Socratic demand for definitions when we get to Mino, next lesson. But lets just say this, for now. Socrates tells Euthyphro, he had better know what he's doing, prosecuting his own dad. He can't just fall back on social conventions or accepted norms. What he's doing is seriously unconventional. So he better have a damn good reason. Explain yourself man. Your actions are based on holiness? Account for your actions. Provide an account of holiness. He tries, he fails. Okay first, Euthyphro says, holiness is doing what he's doing and other stuff like that. Prosecuting murders, prosecuting temple robbers, stuff like that. In my book I don't even list this as a definition. It's just an example Euthyphro gives. As Socrates points out, we want something more like a rule to cover any case that might arise. We need to be able to sort the contents of the universe into two piles. Holy. Not holy. In my textbook, on page 109, I make some pretty good jokes about a Euthyphrobot, some sort of detector that lights up in the presence of anything holy. Kind of like a Star Trek tricorder I guess. Obviously an example on its own, doesn't count as a functioning scientific instrument. But Euthyphro does provide an interesting argument by analogy to support his example. He says, Zeus is the best and most just of gods. And Zeus bound and punished his own father for the crime of murder. So why shouldn't Euthyphro imitate Zeus by punishing his own dad for murder. How can imitating the best be bad. Socrates responds with some gentle skepticism about whether, all these stories about the Gods are literally true. All that crazy fighting, but he grants, for the sake argument, that Euthyphro is an expert on this stuff. So Euthyphro says. However, he wants to hear a definition, or general account, in any case. So Euthyphro tries this. Holiness is defined as; what is loved by the Gods. The trouble is, there are many Gods, and as we just admitted, they fight. There are different generations that fight. There are the Olympians versus the Titans. That's the Titanomachy, which kicks off with the episode Euthyphro mentioned. Zeus punishing his father, Kronos, for eating his own kids. Then there's a big budget sequel to the war against the titans. That first box office smash. There's the Gigantomachy. The war of the Olympians against the giants. Socrates mentions that one. During the Panathenaic festival, the biggest religious event in Athens. Images from that second war are traditionally embroidered on the goddess, Athena's robe and carried up the Panathenaic way. That's a road not 50 meters from where our heroes, Socrates and Euthyphro are now sitting. So. Groups of gods fight other groups of gods. It's circles versus circles, you might say. And when they aren't fighting other circles, the Olympians fight within their own little circle. Zeus cheats on Hera, his wife. She gets mad. Athena and Poseidon fight over who gets to be patron of Athens. Athena wins. It's obvious what the problem is here for Euthyphro. If what some God loves is holy, then a lot of stuff is going to turn out to be both holy, and unholy, because some other God hates it or is willing to fight about it. Euthyphro is trying to build one of those grids, out of a bunch of circles That would be one way to put it. How is he going to square them all? If you've never read Greek myths you can start with Wikipedia, as I said. You might consider starting with a children's book, say D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths. I read it as a child. Many of you probably did as well. It's a classic. Let's read from the opening. The Greek gods looked much like people and acted like them, too, only they were taller, handsomer and could do no wrong. I love that. They acted like people, only they could do no wrong. That's sort of like, it was shaped like a circle, only it was a square. When I pointed this line out to my daughter, after we finished the book together. She loved it. She said, did those people even read their own book? I think she might grow up to be a philosopher. Well you get the point. Maybe there's something a bit childish about Euthyphro or Greek religion? One last point, because it will allow me to point out what I've decided is a minor error in my text book. I say that the peplos, that's the robe, carried up to the goddess was the size of a sail. Because it was actually used as a sail on a ship, a trireme that was somehow, rolled along the Panathenaic way. On reflection, it was probably a pretty small ship I got a bit confused, because there are to many Athenas up there on the Acropolis. I'm only a philosopher. I confuse easy. There was a statue of Athena Polias. She's the Athena who beat Poseidon to become the goddess of the city. She's the one who got a peplos, a robe. Her statue was probably human sized or just a bit bigger, because as the authors of the children's book say; the gods are a bit taller than us. But there's also a statue of Athena Promachos. She's a very military lady, and at nine meters, her statue was no pushover. And then there's Athena Parthenos. She's a virgin. Her statue is even taller, maybe. I thought the peplos was for one of the big statues. But further reading, has suggested it was probably the small one. So my bad. But they're all the same goddess right? These three statues. They emphasize different aspects of her goddess nature. Well maybe, maybe not. Again this is religion, so location matters. There were athenian shrines outside of Athens, all over Greece. In a sense. Those other places all had their own Athenas, and their own stories about her. It's hard to know how much of this is a positive feature of Greek religion, and how much of it is just a kind of tolerance for inconsistent storytelling. The same goes for aspects of the gods' personalities. Let me risk a trivializing comparison. If I tell you I like stories about Batman, the dark knight. That epithet, the dark knight, lets you know that I am talking about a particular brooding character. But Batman in the 60s was more of a silly character. So how many Batmans are there? It's not a clear question. But people manage to go right on having Batman as their favorite character. Euthyphro wants Zeus to be his guy, his favorite character. And there is a Zeus who fits the bill, in terms of his attitudes, he's the Zeus who looks out for strangers and guests. And he's just not necessarily the only Zeus. Maybe he's a mix of two Zeuses, the lightning guy and the guest guy. Never mind. And oh, and there's also all those other gods. Lets try again. Holiness equals what is loved by all of the gods. I'll be briefer this time. The obvious problem is still, that getting the Gods to agree is like herding cats. With the first definition, the problem was that too many things turn out both holy and unholy. Now, presumably, two few things will be able to win the unanimous election that takes to the either holy or unholy Euthyphro thinks there may be a couple like murder is wrong. But Socrates points out that everyone will agree that murder is wrong, yes. They just won't agree about which cases are murder. No one goes to court and says, Your Honor I shouldn't be punished because murder is great. Everyone says, your honor murder is terrible. But I'm innocent, I didn't do a terrible thing. Sometimes they're just lying of course, but very frequently they really think that what they did was okay. For whatever complicated reason to do with the specifics of the case. Think again about how Euthyphro's dad case is really complicated. Is letting die as bad as killing? Is Dad's act excusable, if not admirable, in light of the fact that maybe he didn't have good law enforcement alternatives? I've seen critics complain about this feature of the dialogue. Why introduce such a complicated legal case and then not make these complications the focus of the dialogue? When I'm criticizing my student's papers, I often make this point. In your introduction, you bring up all these different issues and then you don't discuss them. Don't put more on your plate than you can eat. It's bad essay organization. But in a dialogue there's a real human point to introducing these complexities and just letting them sit there unresolved, undigested. It's easy to imagine a myth that reinforces the simple moral that murder is bad. Just tell any old story about an evil murderer who gets struck by lightening. It's harder to imagine telling a myth that instructs us in the appreciation of fine moral distinctions or subtle legal distinctions even. Euthyphro maybe right that his dad is in the wrong, but he's wrong to think that his dad is simply in the wrong. Euthyphro thinks it's all so plain and simple, he's so straight. If your only tool is the hammer of Thor, every problem starts to look like a nail. It's the wrong Pantheon. Norse, not Greek, I know, but you see the point. Socrates asks Euthyphro, what kinds of things people always fight about and just can't come to an agreement about? Do they, for example, fight about math? No. Euthyphro agrees with Socrates that the gods are probably pretty much like mortal folk. In terms of what it is that they tend to fight about. That's a big concession, please note, the gods are like us. But Euthyphro seems right. The Olympians and the Titans they went war. But they didn't go to war over whether 100 plus 200 equals 300. The Gods are like people. The title of the movie 300 is a little bit misleading, that way. You'd think from the title that it was going to be about something very objective and scientific. You might think, math. I love math. I'm going to love this movie I'm so sick of watching people fight. Wouldn't it be funny if it were about math? Leonidas screams at the Persians, this is mathematical data. No. If it really is just math, people don't scream about it. It just, speaks for itself, somehow. Consider, as an alternative, the myth of the Judgment of Paris. Paris, back then was not the city, but a mortal Greek who was supposed to have very fair judgment. The Goddess, Eris, the Goddess of discord, who wasn't invited to a certain dinner party because, obviously, got her revenge by means of a golden apple, inscribed for the fairest. There is nothing in this world, better for starting fights, than fairness. That's the take away lesson from this myth. Paris is forced to judge a beauty contest between Hera Zeus' wife Athena, and Aphrodite, goddess of love. It doesn't end well. It ends with the Trojan War, ten years of fighting. What caused the Trojan War? Some people will tell you that it started because Paris stole Helen. But really, it was caused by the fact that everyone, gods and mortals, wants to be fair. But no one can agree about what fair is. This is an issue that comes up again and again in Meno and Republic. For now, let's move on. As I say in the book, at this point any monotheists or atheists in the audience are likely to be patting themselves on the back, looking at Euthyphro's distress. Euthyphro's definition problem seems to be a peculiar function of his polytheism. It's belief in many gods that keeps hanging him up. But that's not really right. The next problem Euthyphro confronts is really the deep problem. It's a problem for monotheism as much as for polytheism. In fact, it might just be as much a problem for atheism. We'll get to that. At the very least, it's the most famous bit of the dialogue so it get's a name. Euthyphro's Dilemma, but it wouldn't be interesting if it were only, but it wouldn't be interesting if it were only a problem for Euthyphro's particular way of thinking, and believing. We'll start the next video With Euthyphro's dilemma. Lets end this one with a little quiz, which poses it. Is the holy, holy because the gods love it, or do the gods love it because it's holy? A. What? B. Did you accidentally type holy twice there at the beginning? C. I sort of get it. Kind of a chicken and egg thing? The correct answer is C. It's kind of a chicken and egg thing. One or the other of two things has to come first to be given priority, but neither can. So we have, a dilemma.