Piety and Impiety

I’ve seen a lot of people on Twitter use “impious” as an insult, accusing certain behaviors or people of being impious. I don’t feel like it’s really a smart way to have any conversation (attaching an insult to someone doesn’t mean they’re wrong or have no good points to make). Aside from that though, there’s a more troubling undertone to this.

Imipous assumes that the people (let’s say PP for shortness’ sake) know what piety was in Ancient Greece (or Germany, or whatever), and that said piety was uniform throughout the land. My main area of knowledge is pre-Hellenistic Greece so I won’t try to pretend like I know anything about other ancient European societies, but I know that for Greece, there was a gap between what say, Plato believed, and what laypeople may have believed (Did the Greeks Believe in their Myths? Paul Veyne).

Basically, it’s an infantile no-true-Scotsman fallacy combined with a serious lack of historicity.

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