The Euthyphro dilemma is a serious problem for theists

Author: Analgesic.Spectre ,

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  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    Found in Plato's dialogue, the modified version is this: Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?

    (1) If divine command theory is true then either (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, or (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God
    (2) If (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, then they are morally good independent of God's will
    (3) It is not the case that morally good acts are morally good independent of God's will

    Therefore:

    (4) It is not the case that (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good
    (5) If (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God, then there is no reason either to care about God's moral goodness or to worship him
    (6) There are reasons both to care about God's moral goodness and to worship him

    Therefore:

    (7) It is not the case that (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God

    Therefore:

    (8) Divine command theory is false
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    The common objection is that it's a false dilemma.

    If God is essentially good, then good is neither apart from God nor is it arbitrary as the dilemma implies.
  • Mopac
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    If (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God, then there is no reason either to care about God's moral goodness or to worship him

    That doesn't make any sense to me.


  • keithprosser
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?
    In the case of condemning murder it's the former; in the case of condemning eating shellfish it's the latter!

  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @Fallaneze
    If God is essentially good, then good is neither apart from God
    If God is essentially good, then is good God?

    If I say something nice to someone who is feeling down, is that good action literally God?

    How literal are you being with "God is essentially good?"

    nor is it arbitrary as the dilemma implies.
    How would you prove that "God being essentially good" is meaningful?


  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @Mopac
    That doesn't make any sense to me.
    And nobody is surprised.
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @keithprosser
    In the case of condemning murder it's the former; in the case of condemning eating shellfish it's the latter!
    I don't know you personally well enough to know if you're being intentionally ironic (if you were, then your comment was slightly amusing), but the dilemma destroys both of these cases.

  • Polytheist-Witch
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    Plato was a polytheist or atheist. He never discussed a God. 
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    "Morally good" refers to the disposition or will of the mind. Being compassionate, humble, courageous, etc. are dispositions. Statements of how one ought to act refers to the will. If God is essentially good, God's disposition and will are good in the same sense that water is wet.

  • Mopac
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    Let me rephrase.

    It doesn't make sense because it is wrong, and shows a misunderstanding of who God is.


    Analgesic spectre, like so many hypocrits who block me, feels no problem unblocking me to say things to me before blocking me again.

    May it reflect badly on her until she repents, for this is a reflection of the murder in her heart.



    God is The Truth, and The Truth is good.


    Morality for the Orthodox is based entirely on God, there is no morality without God. What is moral for us is to cleanse our hearts and abandon idolatry.

    Why is say, sexual immorality bad? Because lust is a defilement of the heart, which becomes an idol or god in place of God. This idol motivates us to do things that are destructive. And you can even see the fruits of sexual immorality, which are disease, the multiplication of orphans, the reducing of people to objects of gratification, and ultimately a society unable to sustain itself in a healthy manner 




  • keithprosser
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    Is something morally good because humans judge it to be good or because it is what God wants to be done?

    Most of the time what we judge to be good is the same as what god wants, so we humans mistakenly equate something being morally good with our judgement that it is good.  But if/when we judge something that god commands as 'not morally good' it is due to our fallible judgement.

    It may not be immediately apparent why God wants us to avoid eat shellfish, but we aren't omniscient gods.   if we were omniscient we wouldn't need a bible to tell us such things.
     

  • Fallaneze
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    --> @Analgesic.Spectre
    In short, when someone is "morally good" we're referring to their disposition or will. "Moral goodness" cannot exist apart from the mind, period, since both are only attributes of the mind. So one half of the dilemma fails.

    The other half, determining whether God's goodness is arbitrary or not, depends on whether God's nature is essential or inessential. If God's nature is essential, goodness is not arbitrary. In light of this, the dilemma fails.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Fallaneze
    In short, when someone is "morally good" we're referring to their disposition or will. "Moral goodness" cannot exist apart from the mind, period, since both are only attributes of the mind. So one half of the dilemma fails. 

    The other half, determining whether God's goodness is arbitrary or not, depends on whether God's nature is essential or inessential. If God's nature is essential, goodness is not arbitrary. In light of this, the dilemma fails.
    27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died.

    It would seem that the "YHWH" ARBITRARILY executed 3000 Israelites RIGHT after issuing the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" commandment.

    The problem isn't so much "if gods actions are good or not" but rather, "are gods actions and commandments logically coherent".
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @3RU7AL
    We're not discussing christian doctrine.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Fallaneze
    We're not discussing christian doctrine.
    Wait, so you're a Deist now?

    The problem isn't so much "if gods actions are good or not" but rather, "are gods actions and commandments logically coherent".

    Making god = good is a simple ontological choice that anyone can easily make, like, "water = wet".

    However, that doesn't really fix anything.

    Good itself must be logically coherent.

    Otherwise it is incoherent.
  • Fallaneze
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I've never affiliated myself with any religion or doctrine. I'm not a deist either. 

    I don't know why "good" would be logically incoherent.

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Fallaneze
    I don't know why "good" would be logically incoherent.
    (IFF) good = god (AND) if the laws and teachings and actions of a good god are incoherent (THEN) good is incoherent.
  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @Fallaneze
    In short, when someone is "morally good" we're referring to their disposition or will. "Moral goodness" cannot exist apart from the mind, period, since both are only attributes of the mind. So one half of the dilemma fails. 
    I honestly can't think of a worthwhile counter-argument to this -- you've convinced me.

    The other half, determining whether God's goodness is arbitrary or not, depends on whether God's nature is essential or inessential. If God's nature is essential, goodness is not arbitrary. In light of this, the dilemma fails.
    Even if God must have moral goodness as a property (essential), why is it not arbitrary? Why does it matter that what he does is morally good? If I do something that is morally wrong, what does that matter? Unless you want to argue that his moral goodness is in accordance with a promise of Heaven or whatever (which I don't think you do, given that you don't appear Christian/Muslim etc.), why should it matter what he deems morally good?


  • Analgesic.Spectre
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    --> @keithprosser
    You continue to construct your argument whilst not addressing the dilemma, and thus you still (accidentally) have the issues raised in the dilemma. Fallaneze is doing a much better job at addressing the dilemma. I suggest you look at how he deconstructs the dilemma.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Fallaneze
    "Moral goodness" cannot exist apart from the mind, period, since both are only attributes of the mind.
    both of what?
  • Stronn
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    --> @Fallaneze
    In short, when someone is "morally good" we're referring to their disposition or will. "Moral goodness" cannot exist apart from the mind, period, since both are only attributes of the mind. So one half of the dilemma fails. 
    The fact that "morally good" refers to someone's disposition or will is irrelevant to the dilemma. We can agree that moral goodness refers to someone's will, yet that goodness is measured against some standard. The question is whether that standard is determined by God or whether it is independent of God. The dilemma is that, if the standard is determined by God, then the only reason something is "good" is because God says it is, which makes morality seem rather whimsical and arbitrary. For the only reason murder and torture are wrong is because God says they are. If God suddenly decided they were good, then murder and torture would be good. 

    The other half, determining whether God's goodness is arbitrary or not, depends on whether God's nature is essential or inessential. If God's nature is essential, goodness is not arbitrary. In light of this, the dilemma fails.
    Saying that God's nature is essentially good implies either that there is some standard by which God's goodness is measured or that goodness is defined by God's nature. In either case, all you are doing is restating the dilemma.
  • Mopac
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    --> @Stronn
    God's word is The Truth.

    It only seems whimsical and arbitrary if you have in your mind a god that isn't real.




  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stronn
    Consider god 'A' that allows eating cows but not pigs and god 'B' that allows eating pigs but not cows.

    There are - allegedy- such gods so it does appear that the gods decide what is moral and what is not. 

    But gods are nothing special in that - we all find some things moral and other things immoral, whether it is eating meat, the death penalty or abortion on demand.  It's generally not hard for someone to 'prove' the gods agree with their moral choices.





  • Stronn
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    --> @Mopac
    Your definitions are becoming even more incoherent.

    Previously you said that God is The Truth. Now you are saying God's word is The Truth.

    Obviously a being's word is not the same thing as the being itself. Otherwise "word" would be empty of additional meaning, and unnecessary. Yet you say both that God is The Truth and God's word is The Truth. Both definitions being simultaneously correct is incoherent.
  • Stronn
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    --> @keithprosser
    Sure, it does not appear that divine command theory is correct. That is the point of the Euthyphro Dilemma, to show that the divine command theory leads to illogical consequences.