• Walter Pound
    199
    Some theists argue that the Euthyphro dilemma is a false dilemma because God is identical to goodness itself. Since God is identical to goodness, then neither of the horns of the dilemma are true so the dilemma is a false dilemma.
    Does this reply succeed in demonstrating that the dilemma is false?

    For a quick summary of the Euthyphro dilemma and how theists argue against it see this following clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPl8jBhxCeM

    Maybe this video illustrates Craig's view better:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKYeOUKwnxc
    look @ 2:17
  • tim wood
    2.2k
    Remind us of the Euthyphro dilemma.
  • tim wood
    2.2k
    The dilemma is brought forward in the division of scholastic realism and nominalism, which in essence is the problem of the choice of God's being perfect or God's being omnipotent.

    Does the video resolve it, in supposing God just is the good? It seems to me that's just God as perfect, and sweeps the idea of an omnipotent God under rug so you and I are not troubled by the thought of it.

    But as anyone who has rugs knows, what is under them does not go away. Another criticism is that the supposition, by some alchemy, is transmuted into fact. But that's just a fraud on the fond.

    So which is it? Answer: it's not called a dilemma for nothing.
  • Walter Pound
    199
    It seems to me that's just God as perfect, and sweeps the idea of an omnipotent God under rug so you and I are not troubled by the thought of it.tim wood

    Don't theists argue that God is both perfect and omnipotent? Are those two things incompatible?
  • tim wood
    2.2k
    Don't theists argue that God is both perfect and omnipotent? Are thought two things incompatible?Walter Pound

    Certainly partly incompatible. I should think a perfect God would be omnipotent with respect to his perfection, but that's exactly not being entirely omnipotent. The problem, if dated from Euthyphro, is about 2,350 years young and counting. I suspect it's older. We don't worry about it too much in our churches because of a general stupidification of most of us.
  • Walter Pound
    199
    I should think a perfect God would be omnipotent with respect to his perfection, but that's exactly not being entirely omnipotent.tim wood

    I don't understand what you mean here. What do you mean when you say "God would be omnipotent with respect to his perfection, but that's exactly not being entirely omnipotent?"
  • Banno
    5.1k
    Does this reply succeed in demonstrating that the dilemma is false?Walter Pound

    No; the dilemma wins. There is no god.
  • Walter Pound
    199
    Can you explain what the theist does wrong then?
  • jorndoe
    658
    Here's one rendition of the Euthyphro, where G is whatever deity of relevance (like Aditi, Yama, Yahweh, Varuna, Allah, etc):

    • G acts according to morality (independent morals) or
    • morality is acting according to G (dependent morals)

    is a partial definition of G (not morality)
    is a definition of morality

    They say theological moral voluntarism is a response. That would be . Doesn't seem reasonable to me, also dehumanizing us some. So, there'd exist no morals outside those defined by whatever deity of choice, there can't be anything else to know/do in this respect, by definition. Unless whatever deity shows up and informs us we have nothing, except we do. Incidentally, I think it may run into the Torquemada problem.

    Yahweh joins you for supper and commands you to kill your child. Some options:

    • hold on a minute here (because that’s what any decent human being would do)
    • kill your child

    Would "do your own dirty work" be an appropriate response?

    The court heard Carly Ann Harris believed with "absolute conviction" she was doing the right thing when she killed Amelia — https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-46592959

    Another rendition:

    I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, you are then in this situation: is that difference due to God’s fiat or is it not? If it is due to God’s fiat, then for God Himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God’s fiat, because God’s fiats are good and not bad independently of the mere fact that He made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God. — Russell (1927)

    "Goodness" is a characteristic (or predicate) of some actions (or intentions), a bit on the abstract side, not a person.
    The term "God" carries way too much baggage; Yahweh/Jesus, Vishnu, "greatest", infinite, simplest/atomic, triune, ...
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    God is defined as a being, somewhat like us with a mind.

    Goodness is a quality of a being.

    How can a being = quality as is implied by saying God is goodness?

    God is reduced to a quality and even if this is to perfection (all goodness) the point is God is no longer a being. Try doing it with omnipotence and omniscience and we go back to Socrates' original query ''what is goodness?''
  • Walter Pound
    199


    Maybe this video illustrates Craig's view better:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKYeOUKwnxc

    @2:17

    Craig says, "God wills something because he is good. That is to say what Plato called 'The Good' just is the moral nature of God himself. God is, by nature, loving, kind, impartial, fair, just and so on. He is the paradigm of goodness and, therefore, 'the good' is not independent of God."

    It seems to me like he thinks that God is goodness itself- that they are identical.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k
    I don't see what the problem is, if "Good" means "Favorable to living-things from their points-of-view".

    The notion of "Omnipotence" is problematic, bringing paradox.

    Would it be possible to make there be a logical proposition that's true-and-false?

    Would it be possible to make there be two mutually-contradictory facts?

    6 Su (South-Solstice WeekDate Calendar)

    ...Sunday of the 6th week of the calendar year that started with the Monday that started nearest to the South-solstice.

    Michael Ossipoff
  • Walter Pound
    199
    That identification would not tell us a single thing about what the good is. It would just identify the good with a thing/being.Πετροκότσυφας

    I have heard Craig respond to this that this objection confuses moral epistemology with moral ontology.
    He says he is trying to give an account of why goodness exists and not what how we know what is good or bad.

    How would you respond?
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    "God wills something because he is good. That is to say what Plato called 'The Good' just is the moral nature of God himself. God is, by nature, loving, kind, impartial, fair, just and so on.Walter Pound
    This replaces one word, whose meaning we are wondering about, by a list of words: kind, loving, impartial, fair, just.

    All this seems to me to do is to split the Euthyphro into even more horns. For each item X on the list, we can ask:

    'is X defined as what God would do in any situation, or is it defined independently of God, and you are asserting that the nature of God is to be X?'

    Socrates asked in the Republic what 'justice' was. Many answers were offered, but I don't recall any of them being 'whatever God would do in this situation'.

    Splitting Good into a list of subsidiary qualities just makes things worse, like the buckets and mops in the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
  • Walter Pound
    199


    I see.

    Craig wants to say that God is Plato's Good and that God's nature is X,Y,Z.

    However, you say that
    This replaces one word, whose meaning we are wondering about, by a list of words

    Would you agree that simply stating that God = Goodness is a tautology and not an answer to the Euthyphro dilemma? Saying, "god = goodness" is really just saying god is god or X is X?
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    Would you agree that simply stating that God = Goodness is a tautology and not an answer to the Euthyphro dilemma?Walter Pound
    I see it as getting stuck on the first horn - that goodness is whatever God does or wants done, so if that is killing all the first-borns then that is 'good'.

    I also don't think it makes sense to say God = Goodness because the things people typically believe about God, like that She created the universe or that She is very powerful and omniscient, are not entailed in the concept of Goodness. One might say that Goodness is essential to God, but if one said that was all there is to God it would fall a long way short of what is generally meant by God.
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    If one says God is Goodness i.e. God = Goodness, we still don't know what is Goodness which is the original question asked by Socrates.
  • Walter Pound
    199
    I thought these videos were interesting so I linking them:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VptVYd7zENs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu2XbLPl_SY

    They are relevant to the question of how God is related to Goodness and both are critical to there being a connection.
  • Fooloso4
    400
    The first thing that should be pointed out is that in the dialogue Euthyphro the question is what is piety (τὸ ὅσιον). The second is that the question is posed with regard to the gods, not a single God. The problem is not only that the gods do not agree but that the often act very badly. Zeus, after all, becomes king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus, who had overthrown his father Uranus. In Homer the gods take sides in the human battles.

    The move from the gods to a single God eliminates this conflict but does not address the underlying problem, and here it is highly ironic that Craig is the representative who alleges to resolve the Euthyphro dilemma, given how much he is like Euthyphro - a self-professed expert who under critical examination is revealed to know nothing of piety let alone the gods or God. And like Euthyphro he has made a name and money for himself as an expert on such matters.

    What has come to be called the Euthyphro dilemma is not same as the problem posed in the dialogue. What I want to draw attention to is the problematic assumption behind the solution to the dilemma that points back to Socrates’ criticism of Euthyphro and all self-professed experts on matters of piety. Socrates’ question is not an abstract theological one, and is not one that can be solved by claiming that God is good. Ultimately, as the setting of the dialogue highlights - Socrates is about to go on trial for impiety - the question is about human conduct.

    And here, religious conflict and holy wars mirror the conflict between the gods. It is not sufficient to claim that God wills what is good because God is good for the simple reason that we cannot agree on what it is that God wills. The claim that it is God’s will does not resolve the problem it exacerbates it by imbuing whatever it is that one thinks he is justified in doing with absolute, unquestionable, divine authority.

    Socrates eventually shifts the argument from the question of the gods to the question of justice. In one sense this is itself an impious move - from the authority of the gods and with that the authority of those who claim to speak and act with divine authority, to philosophical deliberation. This is exactly what plays out in the Republic with the philosopher-kings and the banishment of the poets (those who provided the myths of the gods). Here there is no talk of God or gods but of the Good. The desire to know and do the Good is, in this sense, a higher form of piety, one that does not rely on what someone claims God or the gods want of us.

    But the philosopher-king, one who has knowledge of Good and of the whole, is also a myth, one told by the paradigmatic philosopher Socrates, whose wisdom is knowing that he does not know. Plato replaces one form of poetry with another. His philosophical poesis is grounded in reason and its limits, guided by deliberation about what is best in full awareness of the knowledge that we do not know what is best.
  • Walter Pound
    199
    "Philosophy’s second line of argument is based on a simple view of the highest good. She begins to put
    it forward in III.10, a turning-point in the discussion, which is preceded by the most solemn poem of
    the whole work (III m. 9), an invocation to God in terms borrowed from Plato’s Timaeus. Through a
    number of arguments which draw out the consequences of the Neoplatonic assumptions which
    Boethius accepts, Philosophy shows that the perfect good and perfect happiness are not merely in
    God: they are God."
    Source: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/boethius/#DiviPresContEter
    Well, maybe Craig's answer reflects neo-Platonism?

    It is hard to see how Plato's form of the Good could also be a personal being with libertarian free will. Why not say that Plato's form of the Good is not a personal being at all and dismiss theism?
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