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On the Euthyphro Dilemma

tejretics
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3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Mhykiel
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3/8/2016 2:30:21 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.

I think it number 2.

And I agree I don't think it leads to arbitrary or unjustified. If God is benevolent then the moral codified attempts to be healthier and better for People. If people base their moral actions on avoiding pain then following God's moral code is the best justified option.

Thats just ine example I can think of. Not that I adhere to it.

Ofcoarse if there isno God then every moral code is unjustified.

Most things are called objective when there is non emotional consensus. I wonder if that is possible talking about morals. But even if'morals are subjective, of an emotional source it doesn't make it automatically unjustified.

Patterns and consensus can still be discerned. Take for instance murder is 'universally' dispised. It's also universal that people in power can make subordinates wait. Even though punctuality is seen as a favorable characteristic.

Or the recurring and predictable 'ethical' decisions made according to 'kin selection'
So even without God we can say morals are guidelines for evolutionary success. In that regard we still don't see an 'anything' goes morality. But justified actions both social and genetic justifications.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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3/8/2016 4:06:48 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The answer is that no meaningful distinction can be made between "objectively morality" and "God's morality" to begin with. God is defined as omnipresent with respect to the universe, which makes him perfectly synonymous with the universe given that nothing can exist outside the universe by definition. Since "objective" means "in accordance with the real universe," this brings the two into perfect coincidence. In order for God's moral standard to have any relevance to the universe, it must be self-justifying; if you don't even believe that your own moral standard is justified, then what it has to say is of no significance to you, in which case you do not truly believe its moral conclusions to be moral at all - they would be moral only within its own narrow context. In order words, "morality" defined by an immoral or morally neutral (arbitrary) system would not, in fact, have anything to say about "morality" in the objective sense. This makes God's moral system, whatever it may be, responsible for justifying itself, and thus not "arbitrary".
dylancatlow
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3/8/2016 4:12:00 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
In other words, in order for God to truly believe something to be moral, he must base his choice of morality on what he considers to be legitimate moral grounds. If he didn't, why would he consider X to be actually moral in the first place? Clearly, he wouldn't.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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3/9/2016 3:01:39 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology.

Please provide a coherent explanation for how this is so.
tejretics
Posts: 6,080
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3/9/2016 3:05:44 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/9/2016 3:01:39 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology.

Please provide a coherent explanation for how this is so.

I am assuming scenario #2. I obviously don't believe it, else I would not have listed "atheist" on my profile. Under a theological worldview, God created the universe, therefore grounds all knowledge gained from it.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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3/10/2016 2:10:12 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/9/2016 3:05:44 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 3/9/2016 3:01:39 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology.

Please provide a coherent explanation for how this is so.

I am assuming scenario #2. I obviously don't believe it, else I would not have listed "atheist" on my profile. Under a theological worldview, God created the universe, therefore grounds all knowledge gained from it.

You stated that you "don't buy" the Euthyphro Dilemma and provided the above as your reason why. If you don't believe that this makes any sense then why do you not accept the dilemma as valid, and why did you start this thread in the first place?
tejretics
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3/10/2016 5:18:38 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/10/2016 2:10:12 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/9/2016 3:05:44 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 3/9/2016 3:01:39 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology.

Please provide a coherent explanation for how this is so.

I am assuming scenario #2. I obviously don't believe it, else I would not have listed "atheist" on my profile. Under a theological worldview, God created the universe, therefore grounds all knowledge gained from it.

You stated that you "don't buy" the Euthyphro Dilemma and provided the above as your reason why. If you don't believe that this makes any sense then why do you not accept the dilemma as valid, and why did you start this thread in the first place?

The dilemma posits that *if* scenario #2 is true, then God is not the root of morality. I hold that *if* scenario #2 is true, God could still be the root of morality, and to that extent the dilemma doesn't refute the moral argument.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
n7
Posts: 1,355
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3/10/2016 7:33:50 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.

I think the problem is that it would seem subjective to us, making theistic morality no better off than atheistic morality. If God says killing babies is morally correct, then it is objective that such a thing is correct. It would be justified, but this still doesn't sit well with us.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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3/11/2016 2:00:54 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/10/2016 5:18:38 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 3/10/2016 2:10:12 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/9/2016 3:05:44 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 3/9/2016 3:01:39 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology.

Please provide a coherent explanation for how this is so.

I am assuming scenario #2. I obviously don't believe it, else I would not have listed "atheist" on my profile. Under a theological worldview, God created the universe, therefore grounds all knowledge gained from it.

You stated that you "don't buy" the Euthyphro Dilemma and provided the above as your reason why. If you don't believe that this makes any sense then why do you not accept the dilemma as valid, and why did you start this thread in the first place?

The dilemma posits that *if* scenario #2 is true, then God is not the root of morality. I hold that *if* scenario #2 is true, God could still be the root of morality, and to that extent the dilemma doesn't refute the moral argument.

Now you're really loosing me.

To be clear, scenario #2 is choice (b) or the latter of the two options in the dilemma, correct?

If so, in your words, "(b) [actions] become moral because God says so... if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification"

The dilemma does not state that if this is true then God is not the root of morality. It states the opposite - that in this option God is the root of morality, and that's the point... to show what that actually looks like.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/11/2016 4:30:52 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.

I like Leibniz's take on the second horn:

"In saying, therefore, that things are not good according to any standard of goodness, but simply by the will of God, it seems to me that one destroys, without realizing it, all the love of God and all his glory; for why praise him for what he has done, if he would be equally praiseworthy in doing the contrary? Where will be his justice and his wisdom if he has only a certain despotic power, if arbitrary will takes the place of reasonableness, and if in accord with the definition of tyrants, justice consists in that which is pleasing to the most powerful? Besides it seems that every act of willing supposes some reason for the willing and this reason, of course, must precede the act. This is why, accordingly, I find so strange those expressions of certain philosophers who say that the eternal truths of metaphysics and Geometry, and consequently the principles of goodness, of justice, and of perfection, are effects only of the will of God. To me it seems that all these follow from his understanding, which does not depend upon his will any more than does his essence."
- Discourses on Metaphysics -
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,861
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3/16/2016 11:11:30 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.
The philosophers fail to address the possibility that morality is solely based on a particular or current level of wisdom for the "agents" that are framing or attempting to frame that which is moral. Since God relates to us with an absolute understanding of reality, spiritual and physical, God could merely be handing down morality to people based on their current level of wisdom because God is aware that the moral framework will not be fully understood until we are spiritual beings. If while in our physical existence we are hindered and cannot fully grasp "God morality" then understanding it while in the physical isn't Gods purpose. We can assume that what God is demonstrating or saying to us is moral can be divided into differing levels of interpretations based on current limitations of our wisdom.
My point being a seed is being planted that will only be realized when the ultimate plan has been fulfilled. Until then "God morality" is merely a discussion that must continuously take place but never be reconciled or universally agreed upon, acted out, or followed with any sense of "perfection".
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,861
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3/16/2016 12:19:24 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.
I forgot to give an example of how one can come to a logically sound deduction of something God supposedly means in regards to a moral lesson......
Thou shalt not kill for instance.
It is not logically sound to conclude that God thinks humans killing humans, or anyone for that matter God included, is evil or immoral. I will however concede that it is 99.99% reasonable to conclude that could be what is meant, it just isn't a logically sound and bullet proof deduction. However. It is a logically sound and bullet proof deduction to conclude the commandment thou shalt not kill means God knows people are going to kill people. Simple argument. If no one was ever going to kill another there wouldn't be a need for the commandment. It wouldn't be stated. You cannot conclude God thinks killing each other is ultimately immoral. That's why humans themselves do not universally think it is immoral even if you include legally applied ideas of certain types of killing like outright murder. People don't agree, that should be a clue. Now it is also an argument for "God morality" being nothing more than "people morality" that was never God oriented. I disagree with that position.
ViceRegent
Posts: 604
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3/16/2016 2:10:37 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.

There is a third possibility: God's morality comes from His being. Dilemma solved.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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3/18/2016 3:35:11 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.

The main point of the Euthyphro dilemma is to refute a normative statement under the divine command theory of morality: we ought to be moral because God commands it. If God says something and it isn't grounded in anything, why should we follow Him? He could be a tyrant for all we know. If we assume God's commands are correct because God is benevolent, then we're assuming a concept of benevolence that it independent of God, and that would bring is to a) instead of b).
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

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DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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3/22/2016 4:52:20 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/7/2016 12:01:08 PM, tejretics wrote:
The 'Euthyphro dilemma' is a dilemma found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" The dilemma has been better framed by philosophers later, and goes like this:

If God provides a sound framework for objective morality and God says certain things are moral, then either (a) God says those actions are moral because they are intrinsically moral, or (b) they become moral because God says so. If (a) then God isn't the framework for their morality; if (b), nothing is 'objectively' moral, rather they are subjectively and arbitrarily moral without justification.

I don't buy this dilemma. I agree that scenario #1 leads to contradiction, but scenario #2 doesn't create an 'arbitrary' moral worldview. For that, we need to define 'arbitrary' or 'subjective'. The scenario #2 seems to implicitly define arbitrary as whatever is without epistemic justification, but justification is incoherent without God under a theological worldview. God is the sole ground for reason and epistemology. 'Objectivity' is incoherent without God. As such, if God says something, it is by definition objective. God grounds objective reality - thus subjectivity is whatever is not grounded by God. The very justification for a certain action 'x' is "God said so" - while it seems an appeal to authority, such a fallacy does not apply to God because God is why 'reason' is even coherent under a theistic worldview.

Your first problem is, God (in the case of the Lord God of Israel) doesn"t provide an objective morality. God makes an agreement with whom He chooses to, and therein is the morals if any, which are relative to God and who He is in agreement with. No one else. This standard with the Lord God and the men He has chosen goes all the way back to Adam. Which teaches men the better part of being, which is to come into agreement and keep it.
albertack
Posts: 4
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3/26/2016 1:50:07 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Tejretics, why is it that you believe that (a) is a contradiction? In other words, why can't law supersede God?