The concept of holiness emerges in the dialogue and why it takes a prominent position in the
conversation between Socrates and Euthyphro is essentially, the question at hand is whether something
is considered holy because it is loved by the gods or if that which spoken of is loved by the gods because
it in itself is holy. The initial problem created is what is to be identified as holy. The gods willing
something as holy would provide certain implications of what is expected of those who choose to
worship. In other words, regardless of what a certain belief might entail, the people must follow it
anyway simply because the gods will so. However, if the other end of the spectrum were to be analyzed,
than that would mean that there is more to be considered in the matter of what is holy or not. In this
case, the gods must have created their own supported system of classification and morals to adopt
something as holy for it may have been holy anyway. The conclusion that is drawn initializes a different
perception due to the idea that there may be something held in higher regard than the opinions of the
The Euthyphro raises an interesting question from these two points. In the case of Catholicism,
there are many sacred texts that lay out questions of morality in full detail to prevent dilemmas from
occurring within one's soul. However, suppose the Ten Commandments were re-written as to say, "
Thou shall kill". Obviously, taking the life of another is considered immoral in every sense, but if it were
written in the scriptures then that would imply that God supports such behavior. Translate this idea to
that which is raised in the Euthyphro and it is relatively simple to decipher what is really meant by the
gods. The gods could essentially will anything as holy but that does not necessarily mean that it right.
Based on this idea, the theory that the gods support a belief because it is truly holy is the more feasible
of the two schools of thought.
Also in this dilemma explored in Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro. Are pious things pious because the
God’s love them, or do the gods love them because they are pious? The dilemma poses the question of
Whether value can be conceived as the upshot of the choice of any mind, even a divine one. On the first
option the choice of the gods creates goodness and value. Even if this is intelligible it seems to make it
impossible to praise the gods, for it is then vacuously true that they choose the good. On the second
option we have to understand a source of value lying behind or beyond the will even of the gods, and by
which they can be evaluated. The elegant solution of Aquinasis that the standard is formed by God's
nature, and is therefore distinct from his will, but not distinct from him.
The dilemma arises whatever the source of authority is supposed to be. Do we care about the
good because it is good, or do we just call good those things that we care about? It also generalizes to
affect our understanding of the authority of other things: mathematics, or necessary, for example. Are
truths necessary because we deem them to be so, or do we deem them to be so because they are