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Relationship between religion and morality in Plato’s Euthyphro
In this paper, I will argue about the relationship between religion and morality that was expressed and portrayed in Euthyphro. Plato’s dialogue, also called Euthyphro deciphers an encounter between Euthyphro and Socrates. Euthyphro was a self-declared expert who believed himself to be well versed in terms of all religious topics, while Socrates was a great Athenian philosopher. In this dialogue, Euthyphro defines piety by different attempts where each of the attempts seems fallacious and doubtful. Taking into account the argument that was proposed in the form of a question by Socrates, it is asked, "is something right just because it is commanded by God or the other way, God has commanded about something so it must be right”. The underlying essence of the argument questions two different domains, that are both connected as well as apart from each other. Sometimes, ethics is defined by connecting it with religion and on the same board, religion is defined to be very moral because, in the end, humans are the topic of discussion under the umbrella of religion. However, an honest ethical implication of this argument highlights that the relationship that exists between religion and morality is not as clear as it is depicted or it is presented. The point of conflict is the dimensions that are proposed and then logically enforced to some conclusions.
If the idea, that something is right because God has commanded it, is considered, then man is asked to honor his parents and do good which seems righteous. It justifies that God is good and He asserts only those propositions that are good for mankind. However, the very notion of doing good conflicts with the action of Euthyphro who was prosecuting his father because his father committed the murder of a servant. In this case, the underlying notion of the divine theory is challenged with a supporting argument of humanity where human rights come first. The defenders of the Divine Theory will find this argument under which only one side will be valid. “An action is morally good because God has commanded it". However, the implication of the response is that, it is morally right to respect parents whether they have committed something that a moral human being should not commit? After an analysis of this argument, I think, morality is relative to the authority of practice. If the idea of respecting parents is considered, no doubt it is obligatory but prosecuting the same individual who is taught to be respected is invalid because children are no one to judge the reality of the actions. The philosophy of Euthyphro is also flawed because of the interference of “practicing excessive power’, that is not allowed. To judge morality is the right of the state holder and those who are given the right to do justice and the murder of servant by his father is also a question that should be dealt by justice stakeholders. Moreover, the commands by Lord are also to be practiced because of the underlying goodness which directs to adhere to the code of conduct as well. The other side of the argument is, God commands something because it is right then it is obvious that God can never command something that is wrong and that is harmful in the long run. The same ideology can then ultimately be connected to the conclusion of the first argument because Divine theory cannot knock an individual out of the universal boundaries under the title of morality and immorality. Another school of thought that appears in the theory of commands by God highlights the issue of logic and integrity. This type of integrity refers to the adequacy of the judgment and the underlying honesty of the propositions that are supposed to be directed by God. It asserts, how to believe that something is directed or commanded by God. Here, it is proposed that one should believe only those facts that are apparently right and seem to be true. But again, the question arises, which is the right one? It can be judged by analyzing that in Christianity, different parts of the Bible are considered while others are excluded because they are not assumed to be correct. In the same way, the Baptist bible is different from the Christian Bible. It is also arguable that the teaching of some particular texts and different parts of the holy text vary from nation to nation and the type of beliefs that a nation holds. So, where does the war of right and wrong end?
Under the impact of all these suggested ideologies and the comparison of religion with ethnicity, it can be said that the Divine Command Theory is not the sole source of information. Although this theory is a code of conduct that directs actions and lets people to have a look at their action by keeping them in moral boundaries. Still, this theory is not universally accepted, the theory is not as robust as meant for the people that might believe about it. There are several justifications under this assumption, that are ultimately driven by Plato’s’ Euthyphro. It is asserted that the world should be taken as a staircase in which each stair reflects a different level or school of thought. In this staircase, religion is placed in the beginning and above the moral stair because moral is something that is driven from religion. As many religious scholars think that the dialogues between Socrates and Euthyphro are a deeper invitation to topics such as morality and how religion shapes morality. I think moral arguments and religious segments are two different schools of thought and both of them should not be counted under a single domain. Religion is a domain that directs belief under which one of the beliefs is the notion that humans should be served best because it will keep this world peaceful. This idea of peace is a derivation of moral because morality is an essence that can play a key role in defining the peace paradigms of this world. However, the scale of judgment should be different, all moral conduct should not be quoted as religious sayings and all religious sayings should not be considered as a moral approach to life. Religion is to obey parents and morality is to obey everyone who is similar to parents. Religion is to analyses the code of conduct but morality is to judge it as a part of societal affairs. The idea to respect parents and then persecute parents under the impact that God said to respect parents and prosecute the murder against a parent because God said to do justice is more like an amalgamation of two different fields which will ultimately result in a conflicting view about both religion and morality.
It would not be wrong to say that the underlying problem is the lack of synergy between morality and religion where religion is mixed with morality. The idea to consider is, religion deals with divine belief such as, the existence of God, underlying teachings of God and the propositions that are, made to justify the existence of God. On the other hand, morality is termed as a domain that addresses corruption, armed robbery, thefts, murders, and other crimes that are nowhere directly connected with religion. If all moral issues will be associated with religion then all the rights will appear righter and wrongs will appear right because someone is stealing something to fulfill the needs of family and religions asserts caring for others. In the same way, the suggestions and arguments that are made for religion and then morality needs to be departed from each other because it will bring a conflict in society that will tarnish the framework of religion. As long as there is a lack of synergy between morality and religion, there would be a mess in which, religion will fail to raise the morality of individuals but efforts would be made to preach the breakthrough where ends will justify the means accompanied by promotion multiplicity of religious denominations that would be both inconsequential and peaceful. Under all these situations, the egalitarian society would be positioned to a mirage without any realistic and sound basis, rushing after illusions of righteousness.
In conclusion, it is asserted that the assumptions that are made about the religion by keeping morality as a driving source is something that sways in moral theology and it is something that is no longer tenable. The underlying theme is, morality has nothing to do with religion but morality does not depend on religion. Religion is something divine, magical and superficial while morality is one of the features. One of the most adequate and subjective answers to the question raised by Socrates can be, morality is loved by God because it is good and it is a positive note for the creation of God. Morality is not an ideology to define the features of God and question the authenticity of the sayings of God. Morality is a spirit of religion to promote goodness that can keep pace in society.
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