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The Euthyphro Dilemma

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 823 times Debate No: 33748
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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The Euthyphro dilemma asks:

Is the good good because God approves it, or does God approve it because it"s good?

Answer me this and I'll become a Christian!


I believe the typical theist would respond that God's nature is good, and so therefore the dilemma becomes a false one. That was easy! Welcome to Christianity! lol :-)
Debate Round No. 1


Ah well then in that case:

Is God"s nature good because of the way God happens to be, or is it good because it matches up to some external standard of goodness? I'll form the argument a different way:

1) God is, by definition, a maximally great being.

2) This entails His being metaphysically necessary and morally perfect.

3) Therefore, by (2), God exists in all possible worlds.

4) But, if moral values are objective, moral perfection represents (or
at least tends towards) a unique, maximal set of moral values.

5) So, by (1), (3) & (4), it follows that God has the same moral
character in every possible world.

6) Therefore God"s nature is good neither because of the way He
happens to be nor because of His fitness with reference to an external
standard of goodness.

Still happily NOT a theist my boy..


Oh well I guess I would reject 4. But this argument is the same as the second horn in the original dilemma, namely, that God approves something because it"s good, and I"ve already rejected that.

But now does God 'happen to be' morally perfect? That doesn't seem so, there's a difference between God's having his attributes accidentally and his having them by necessity, and I think God is necessarily good. If he's not, then well we're talking about satan then, or some other god I guess.
Debate Round No. 2


I don't see how that answers my argument, It would still be the case that God's nature just happens to be the way it is, couldn't it have been another way? Say if humans never evolved, would Christ still die on the cross? Obviously not, therefore, God's nature is "accidental."


God can do things that aren't by necessity, otherwise he's not free, everything he does is imutable! There's nothing that says God can't choose to move a stone one day and the next not do so, none of this would be by necessity, my arument stands.
Debate Round No. 3


That brings me to this debate:

And so if you win that one, I would become a Christian, since we're at a stalemate here it seems.


I accept, but I still think I had the better argument. You claiming stalemate sould count as dropping your burden of proof.

But I like you're avatar! We're both actors ;))
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by gordonjames 5 years ago
Great question -
My take on it is this.

God is first
In the beginning He created . . . .

In defining moral good you have at least two choices:
1. Moral good is defined as pleasing God -
With this world view I trust God to define good and evil.
An action or attitude is defined as good because it pleases God.
God alone defines good and evil.
We can not see the unanticipated results of our actions through history so we trust God, who can.
God is good by definition.
His actions and His will are perfectly good by definition.

2. Moral good is defined in some (any) other way.
We try to judge all actions and attitudes by some other standard.
Any time God (in actions or attitudes) deviates from this arbitrary standard, He is not good.

This is at the core of the first temptation in the Garden of Eden.
We had access and permission to eat from the tree of life which would keep our mortal bodies alive.
We also had access to the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and were forbidden to eat it.

Choosing some other standard for moral good than God's will is the choice we all must make now.
Is it Good because I like it (or any other standard)
It is good because it pleases God. (the standard I hope I can live up to)

Great question
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