As an introduction to aporia or "difficulty": the question posed is not expressly answered, though we are moved to think in certain new ways.
As a discussion of Greek religion: If god was the dog that did not bark in Pericles’ Funeral Oration, what is left of Greek polytheism by the end of this dialogue?
5d8-6e9 First Definition of holiness: ‘what I am doing now’: prosecuting religious offenders.
6e10-11b5 Euthyphro’s Second Definition: Holiness is that which is dear to the gods
Second definition revised (8b-9e): Holiness is that which all the gods love (9e)11e-14a Third definition: ‘The godly and holy is that part of the just that is concerned with care of the gods.’ (12e)
Clarification of second definition:
a. ‘Is the holy loved by the gods because it is holy,
b. is it holy because it is loved by the gods?
Eythyprho: "It is loved then because it is holy, but it is not holy because it is loved.’
What possibilities are open to Euthyphro at 10a?
He could choose the second answer, ‘the holy is holy because the gods love it.’
For many religious thinkers, this would be enough.
But he decides to say: ‘the holy is loved by the gods because it is holy’ (10a)
Which requires us on the other hand to consider what holiness is
And to ask, why do the gods love it?
"… [Y]ou did not wish to make its nature clear to me, but you told me an affect or quality [pathos] of it, that the holy has the quality of being loved by all the gods (9e) but you have not yet told me what the holy is [its ousia, i.e. 'essence'or 'being']"the first occurrence of this distinction in western literature.
What do we learn: the desirability of an external and unchanging standard of reference, the difference between essence and accident.
Socrates: what does ‘attend’ (or ‘serve’ or ‘tend’) mean? We could ask,: what do gods do? Or even, ‘What is god?’
Another question is, can they be improved? How can they be "served"?
14B-16e Fourth definition. ‘…how to say and do what is pleasing to the gods at prayer and sacrifice.’
If this is so, either the gods or the men get some benefit from it. So holiness is what is agreeable to the godssomething we dismissed above in the second argument, 6e10
Polytheism takes some real body blows here; monotheism is not
much better off.