Euthyphro
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(7) Piety and Justice

12a-12e

Socrates. Tell me, then -- Is not that which is pious
necessarily just?

Euthyphro. Yes.


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Soc. And is, then, all which is just pious? or, is that which is All which is pious is just:-is therefore all which is just pious?
12a pious all just, but that which is just, only in part and not all,
pious?

Euth. I do not understand you, Socrates.

Soc. And yet I know that you are as much wiser than I am, as
you are younger. But, as I was saying, revered friend, the
abundance of your wisdom makes you lazy. Please do exert
yourself, for there is no real difficulty in understanding me.
What I mean I may explain by an illustration of what I do not
mean. The poet (Stasinus) sings --

Of Zeus, the author and creator
of all these things,
You will not tell:
12b for where there is fear there is also reverence.

Now I disagree with this poet. Shall I tell you in what respect?

Euth. By all means.

Soc. I should not say that where there is fear there is also We may say, e.  g.,  that wherever there is reverence there will be fear, but not that wherever there is fear there will be reverence.
reverence; for I am sure that many persons fear poverty and
12c disease, and the like evils, but I do not perceive that they
reverence the objects of their fear.

Euth. Very true.

Soc. But where reverence is, there is fear; for he who has a
feeling of reverence and shame about the commission of any
action, fears and is afraid of an ill reputation.

Euth. No doubt.

Soc. Then we are wrong in saying that where there is fear
there is also reverence; and we should say, where there is
12d reverence there is also fear. But there is not always reverence
where there is fear; for fear is a more extended notion, and
reverence is a part of fear, just as the odd is a part of number,
and number is a more extended notion than the odd. I suppose
that you follow me now?

Euth. Quite well.

Soc. That was the sort of question which I meant to raise when
I asked whether the just is always the pious, or the pious
always the just; and whether there may not be justice where
there is not piety; for justice is the more extended notion of
which piety is only a part. Do you dissent?

Euth. No, I think that you are quite right.

Soc. Then, if piety is a part of justice, I suppose that we should
enquire what part? If you had pursued the enquiry in the
previous cases; for instance, if you had asked me what is an
even number, and what part of number the even is, I should
have had no difficulty in replying, a number which represents a
figure having two equal sides. Do you not agree?

Euth. Yes, I quite agree.

12e Soc. In like manner, I want you to tell me what part of justice Piety or holiness is that part of justice which attends upon the gods.
is piety or holiness, that I may be able to tell Meletus not to do
me injustice, or indict me for impiety, as I am now adequately
instructed by you in the nature of piety or holiness, and their
opposites.