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Euthyphro Dilemma Easily Solved

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by Tree of Life, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

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    Not a problem at all. I judge by my standards and make no appeal to an "ultimate".

    If someone disagrees with me, we can discuss it until we come to an agreement whether it is on the topic or to go our separate ways.
     
  2. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    I don't know that I could give an exhaustive list, but it would include the beauty and order of the world, the various entities within the world-their complexity and diversity, relationships, work, leisure activities, meaning, purpose, art, food and drink, good conversation, life in general, and so on.
     
  3. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    That's not, in fact, a problem for me. I'll explain why in a moment. First, I'd like to examine your answer. Then I'll answer your question.
    I accept that, under the system of morality that you propose, you reach a point where you cannot go any further. The problem is, just because you can't answer a question, that doesn't mean you are excused from the consequences of not being able to. You don't get to say, "How can you expect me to answer that question? It's unanswerable. Therefore, its unfair to say that I lose." This, I'm afraid, is your problem rather than mine. You cannot prove that God is the foundation of goodness; you have admitted it yourself. Therefore, you are forced to accept that He might not be.

    Now, back to your perfectly worthwhile question. How can I say what good is? Well, if we are going to try to construct a system of morality, we need some constants of human nature to base them on. Are there any such? I think we could all agree that all humans wish to increase their happiness and decrease their suffering. Happiness is good because it makes us feel good; suffering is bad because it makes us feel bad.
    Would you agree that all humans wish to increase their own happiness and decrease their own suffering? I imagine you would. Therefore, upon these basic building blocks, a system of morality can be established based largely on empathy. Treat others well, because it increases the likelihood that they will treat you well.
    True, what causes us happiness and suffering varies widely from person to person, but that doesn't necessarily matter, because all we have do is make other people happy in the ways that they like, just as we would wish them to make.is happier in the ways that we like.

    While there are certainly complexities to be worked out - nobody said morality was easy - at its root, it's quite a simple concept.
     
  4. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    But isn't this a different meaning of the word good? It sounds more like pleasure than morality. They're both valid meanings, but I thought we were discussing the latter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Functionally you have an ultimate standard although you might not claim it is absolute for everyone. At some point you personally arrive at a standard that you do not judge by any other standard.
     
  6. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    You have left Euthyphro’s Dilemma in the rear view. ED has nothing to do with proving that God exists or that he is the foundation of goodness. ED assumes God’s existence. And for a Christian theist, this assumption is the God of the Bible who is the foundation of goodness. No dilemma for us.
     
  7. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Good question. I would say the two uses of good are intimately related. Morality is good (as a means) in that it contributes to flourishing life, which is good (as an end). That which is evil works against life, that which is good works in favor of life. To not steal is good because it does not take what others have to secure flourishing life. To not murder is good because it does not take away life, which is good in itself. So, we can speak of those things that are good in that they contribute to the persistance of things that are good in themselves.

    We don't seek to merely exist, but to live full, meaningful lives. When I refer to the good I experience, I mean the things that make life worth living. The moral life contributes to that, but it is not an end in itself. I don't live to not steal and not murder, but to participate in a rich and meaningful life, which as I understand it is what God created human life to do...live.
     
  8. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

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    Yeah. And it is my standard. Not a god's; not necessarily my neighbor's.
     
  9. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Triangulating THE WAY out of the void! Supporter

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    Eight Foot Manchild, in response to your previous rebuttal, and in following up from what I only briefly said in post #56 above, here are a few additional thoughts on this matter. These are by no means my only or my final thoughts, but nevertheless here we go ...

    And for those who haven't seen the video being referred to by Eight Foot Manchild earlier, here it is again for reference:



    In the video, SR [or Sisyphus Redeemed] says we can't avoid what is typically passed off today as “the Euthyphro Dilemma.” That could be, but whether it can be avoided or not, I'd first aver, as I've done elsewhere, that we need to stop referring to the dilemma as the Euthyphro Dilemma and instead tack it with a better, more appropriate label. I say because the actual conceptual excision which Plato's Socrates makes in the Euthyphro is of a different nature and born from the realization that multiple gods are morally at odds with each other, implying the existence of a Moral Source outside of themselves.

    However, when we meet the Monotheistic collection of divine attributes in the Hebrew Scriptures, we're not afforded the same points of conceptual excision through any reasoning and we instead arrive with a problem born of a different conceptual nature. And we need to fully realize this without blithely ignoring it and bull-dozing our way on to apply what we think is the same dilemma of 'old.' To do so would be to lean toward a Nietzschean act of Will and resentment toward biblical type beliefs rather than one which attempts to, perhaps, analyze the concepts of the biblical God that we think we have (such as has been seen among Logical Positivists like Bertrand Russell or A.J. Ayer who instead just see religious knowledge and religious language as mumbo jumbo rather than 'slave language' and 'slave sentiments').

    So, with that, I'm going to instead refer to what I see as a misapplication of the Socratic Dilemma as the “Modern Moral Divinity Problem” [or MMDP, or whatever anyone else wants to call it, just as long as we don't call it by the misnomer, the Euthyphro Dilemma].

    Going on. SR then says, in contention with the argument of another interlocutor in his video, that we can not avoid the MMDP by splitting horns and asserting a trilemma through which we “simply” appeal to God's Nature as the 'Ground of an the Moral Good.' In his view, the trilemma not only falls by the wayside, but this recognition of his can be taken one step further by stating that any attempt to split the horns will simply collapse back into the same dilemma, compelling us to recognize and ask:

    1. Does God have control over his nature? (If so, do we have to think God is Morally Capricious?)

    2. Or Does God not have control over his nature? (If so, do we have to ask if God is still Omnipotent? Or do we also need to ask, isn't something 'other' than God actually dictating what God's nature actually is? Would this 'external force' be the true ground of morality?
    SR then says we could always ask “why” at this point, but he thinks this is an attempt of futility because the dilemma then breaks down to an infinite regress. On that level, he may be correct, or at least, I think, partially correct.

    SR concludes by insisting that the MMDP—again what he still calls the Euthyphro Dilemma--- “is more than a riddle or test of one's faith,” [4:32] “It's an intractable and insoluble problem that completely vitiates the central doctrine of nearly every monotheistc religion on the planet. No one has ever given a satisfactory response to it in over 2,300 years of desperate attempts to do so. Divine Command Theory was dead long before Christian apologists ever tried giving birth to it... “ Then he essentially says that Divine Command Theory should be buried, say a brief eulogy, “and if we must, mourn the passage of yet another simplistic solution to a major existential problem.”

    And if that's not enough, he wants to make sure we understand that
    ... even if the apologists insist on continuing to parade this necrotic argument around like the world's longest running snuff film in the hopes that someday it might be brought back to life like their misbegotten savior, they at least have to realize that it shan't be resurrected by appealing to something as tawdry as the charge of a false dilemma. Frankly, you have much better luck clapping your hands saying, “I do believe in Jesus, I do, I do!!!”

    Well, with those encouraging words **cough, cough !!**, SR seems satisfied with having shot down what he sees as a vain attempt by Jewish and/or Christian apologists to salvage their favored notion of God. I will say that I do agree with him that this can be seen as a “major existential problem,” but in my estimation it need not be on the whole.

    In fact, we could look down at our feet and turn his argument around upon itself by taking our shoes off and transposing them between feet, feeling the cognitive discomfort in thinking that all things are equal [when they're not] and that one foot is the same as any other foot simply because we feel we have the freedom to be cavalier in our denotations of 'things' in our world, calling a shoe a shoe or a foot a foot, even though no shoe is ever just a shoe and no foot is exactly just a foot. And where SR sees an infinite regression, we might instead see a mystery we can't tap into, one that deserves perhaps a different kind of human complaint, being that in the final analysis it would still be Existential and Subjective in nature, either way, whether we end up valuing the Moral qualities of the biblical God or we detest them and Him.

    **********************************************************

    So in sum---here's my gripe about SR's overall contention. His claim that his modern [and now days cliché] attempt to cajole and excise out what he thinks (and only thinks) are contending active qualities regarding the concept of “control” within the biblical God's nature is, in my reasoning, a gross form of question begging.

    SR hasn't fully explained 'why' he thinks there is a collapse back into a dilemma from a proposed 'third alternative X.” No, all that has happened in this video of nearly 6 inadequate minutes is that he simply complains about the simplicity of a 'third alernative X' and bulldozes his way ahead by all too briefly referring to the possible presence of an infinite regress and states that … he thinks the collapse is inevitable.

    Simply saying that a collapse into a dilemma is inevitable isn't the same as discerning an actual collapse. On the other hand, I do empathize with the idea that if there is no collapse, then we could become conceptually 'stuck' in a sense. But if so, so be it. Besides, didn't Jesus and His Apostles say things to the effect that God would have to 'do something' to help any one of us to believe, taking us individually beyond the existential limits of our applied reason ... ? If so, then our understanding of God's Good and His Moral Plan and Standard for humanity will be somewhat Subjective and dependent upon His further agency in our individual lives.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  10. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    I declare I am the standard of good in the universe by my nature. Why is God the standard and not me?
     
  11. Pommer

    Pommer Autodidact polymath

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    Why create beings with “free will” if that is the exact thing that causes all of this “corruption”?
     
  12. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    God’s nature is the standard because he created everything else.
     
  13. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    You have your asserted position here.... God IS... If you please, would you now kindly address post #14 of The Euthyphro Has Finally Been Destroyed. Now What?
     
  14. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    How does it make him good just because he created everything?
     
  15. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Because there is nothing higher than God or more fundamental than God, God himself is the absolute standard of judgment. There’s nothing superior to him in any way that could serve as a standard of judgment whereby God is judged.
     
  16. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Hence, the specific regulatory set provisions, as laid forth for slavery, women's rights, homosexuality, infanticide, genocide, and others, are indeed absolute; as they are laid forth in Scripture.
     
  17. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

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    Seconds response, as I feel it is warranted. I'm trying my darndest to offer you a clean victory here. But it seems like it's becoming extremely difficult to continue doing so... Your argument is essentially...

    The buck has to stop somewhere. And in this case, the buck starts and ends with God. Okay, assuming we are to grant you this conclusion, that infinite regress does not exist, and God is the true alpha. "His Character is what defines good." "And anyone that disagrees with God's character is wrong."

    But again, your given answer does not destroy the Euthyphro, but instead just shines a larger spotlight upon the Euthyphro.

    Essentially, what you are saying, is that God's will is what is considered "good". And the reason we know this is because the buck stops with God. God appeals to no higher standard, because there exists no higher standard. God appeals to no higher standard because He is the true alpha in everything.

    But now we are right back to "might makes right." :(
     
  18. Clizby WampusCat

    Clizby WampusCat Well-Known Member

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    I agree. What makes him good? God does not have to be good to have the properties you describe. What makes him good?
     
  19. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    If we are speaking in meta-ethical terms and not colloquially, then it makes no sense to ask what makes God good. He is the standard by which everything else is judged. He cannot be judged at all.
     
  20. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    We can understand this by way of analogy. Everyone has in mind an absolute standard when making moral judgments. It’s necessary in order to make moral judgments. An absolute standard is one that cannot be evaluated at a higher level. For some, the absolute standard is something like “human well being.” If this is the standard, then a question like: “how do we know that human well being is good?” doesn’t make any sense to ask. “Human well being” is the standard by which we measure everything else. It cannot itself be judged. So it is with my view on God’s nature.
     
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