FACTOID # 25: If you're tired of sitting in traffic on your way to work, move to North Dakota.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Euthyphro dilemma
Part of a series on
God

General approaches
Agnosticism · Atheism
Deism · Dystheism
Henotheism · Monism
Monotheism · Natural theology
Nontheism · Pandeism
Panendeism · Panentheism
Pantheism · Polytheism
Theism · Theology
Transtheism
This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and Gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) means unknowable, and is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding metaphysics, afterlife or the existence of God, god(s), or deities—is unknown or (possibly) inherently unknowable. ... The 18th-century French author Baron dHolbach was one of the first self-described atheists. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial deism. ... Dystheism is the belief that there is a God that does exist and is not wholly good, or might even be evil. The opposite concept is eutheism, the belief that God exists and is good. ... Henotheism (Greek heis theos one god) is a term coined by Max Müller, to mean devotion to a single God while accepting the existence of other gods. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... In theology, monotheism (Greek μόνος(monos) = single and θεός(theos) = God) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or in the oneness of God. ... Natural theology is the knowledge of God accessible to all rational human beings without recourse to any special or supposedly supernatural revelation. ... Nontheism (or non-theism), broadly conceived, according to Caporale & Grumelli (1971) , is the absence of belief in both the existence and non-existence of a deity (or deities, or other numinous phenomena). ... Pandeism (from Greek πάν ( pan ), meaning all, and Latin deus meaning God) is a term that has been used at various times to describe religious beliefs. ... Panendeism is simply Deism together with the belief that the universe is a part of God, but not all of God. ... Panentheism (from Greek: πάν (‘pan’ ) = all, en = in, and theos = God; all-in-God) is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it. ... Pantheism (Greek: pan = all and Theos = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more gods or deities. ... Theology (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογια, logia, words, sayings, or discourse) is reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Transtheism is the belief in one or more deities. ...

Various issues
Chaos · Cosmos
Cosmic egg · Existence
God and gender · God complex
God the Sustainer · Spiritual evolution
Problem of evil · Euthyphro dilemma
Theodicy · Transcendence
To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The Ancient and Medieval cosmos as depicted in Peter Apians Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539). ... Mythology A world egg or cosmic egg is a mythological motif used in the creation myths of many cultures and civilizations. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This entry discusses how the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam deal with God and gender. ... A god complex is a colloquial term used to portray a perceived character flaw as if it were a psychological complex. The person who is said to have a god complex does not believe he is God, but is said to act so arrogantly that he might as well believe... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In religion, transcendence is a condition or state of being that surpasses, and is independent of, physical existence. ...

Specific conceptions
Alaha · Allah
Baal · Bhagavan
Demiurge . Deus
Deva (Buddhism) · Deva (Hinduism)
God in Buddhism · God in Sikhism
Great Architect of the Universe · Holy Spirit
Holy Trinity · Jesus, the Christ
Krishna · Monad
Nüwa 女媧 · Oneness (concept)
Pangu 盤古 · Shang Ti
SUMMUM · Supreme Being
Tetragrammaton · The Absolute
The All · Alpha and Omega
The Lord · The Creator
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Ilah. ... Allah is the Arabic language word for God. ... For other uses, see Baal (disambiguation). ... Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan (भगवान् in devanagari script, Bhagavān in IAST) is a Sanskrit word originating from the term Bhagavat (भगवत् in Devanagari script, pronounced as bhəgəvət), and its nominative singular form under nominal declination is Bhagavān. ... The Demiurge, The Craftsman or Creator, in some belief systems, is the deity responsible for the creation of the physical universe. ... dEUS is an indie rock band based in Antwerp, Belgium, currently consisting of Tom Barman (vocals and guitar), Klaas Janzoons (keyboards and violin), Stéphane Misseghers (drums), Alan Gevaert (bass) and Mauro Pawlowski (guitar and vocals). ... This article is about Buddhist deities. ... It has been suggested that Deva (tribe) be merged into this article or section. ... Buddhism is generally viewed as a religion without a Supreme Being or Creator God. ... The fundamental belief of Sikhism is that God exists, not merely as an idea or concept, but as a Real Entity, indescribable yet knowable and perceivable to anyone who is prepare to dedicate the time and energy to become perceptive to His persona. ... Great Architect of the Universe (GAOTU) is a term used within Freemasonry to denominate the Supreme Being which each member individually holds an adherence to. ... In various religions, most notably Trinitarian Christianity, the Holy Spirit (in Hebrew רוח הקודש Ruah haqodesh; also called the Holy Ghost) is the third consubstantial Person of the Holy Trinity. ... This article concerns the holy Trinity of Christianity. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Christ is the English translation of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... Krishna with Radharani, 18th C Rajasthani painting Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, in IAST ) is a deity famously worshipped throughout the traditions of Hinduism. ... Look up Monad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Nyuu Wa iconograph in Shan Hai Jing In Chinese mythology, Nüwa (Traditional Chinese: 女媧 Simplified Chinese: 女娲 Pinyin: nǚwā) is mythological character best known for reproducing people after a great calamity. ... In Chinese mythology, Nüwa (Traditional Chinese: 女媧 Simplified Chinese: 女娲 Pinyin: nǚwā) is mythological character best known for reproducing people after a great calamity. ... Oneness is a spiritual term referring to the experience of the absence of egoic identity boundaries, and, according to some traditions, the realization of the awareness of the absolute interconnectedness of all matter and thought in space-time, or ones ultimate identity with God (see Tat Tvam Asi). ... In later Chinese mythology, Pangu (盤古; pinyin: pan2 gu3; also PanGu, PanKu, Pan Guo) was the first living being and the creator of all. ... Pangu (Traditional: 盤古; Simplified: 盘古; pinyin: Pángǔ) was the first living being and the creator of all in Chinese mythology. ... Shang Di or Shang Ti (Wade-Giles) (上帝, pinyin Shàngdì), literally translated, Lord Above, Sovereign Above, or Lord On High, in Chinese culture, is the name used both in traditional Chinese religion as well as Chinese Christianity for the Supreme Deity. ... Summum is a religion begun in 1975. ... Candidates for regular freemasonry are required to declare a belief in a Supreme Being; a generic description allowing the candidate to adhere to whichever deity or concept he holds to be appropriate. ... It has been suggested that Yahweh be merged into this article or section. ... The Absolute is the totality of things, all that is, whether it has been discovered or not. ... The All is the Hermetic version of God, to some and not to others. ... Alpha and Omega is an appellation of Jesus in the book of Revelation (22:13) where he is also called the first and the last, the beginning and the end. ... The Tetragrammaton in Phoenician (1100 BC to 300 CE), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts. ... The Creator God is the divine being that created the omniverse, according to various traditions and faiths. ...

General practices
Animism · Esotericism
Gnosis · Hermeticism
Metaphysics · Mysticism
New Age · Philosophy
Religion
Animism is a belief system that does not accept the separation of body and soul, of spirit from matter. ... The term Esotericism refers to the doctrines or practices of esoteric knowledge, or otherwise the quality or state of being described as esoteric, or obscure. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Hermeticism should not be confused with the concept of a hermit. ... Plato and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome). ... Mysticism from the Greek μυστικός (mystikos) an initiate (of the Eleusinian Mysteries, μυστήρια (mysteria) meaning initiation[1]) is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight; and the belief that such experience is an... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... This article is 58 kilobytes or more in size. ...

This box: view  talk  edit

The Euthyphro dilemma is found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro: "Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" (10a) For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... Euthyphro is one of Platos known early dialogues. ... Socrates (Greek: , invariably anglicized as , SÇ’cratÄ“s; circa 470–399 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher who is widely credited for laying the foundation for Western philosophy. ... Pietas, as virtue of the Roman Emperor Herennius Etruscus, celebrated with the instruments of cult, such as patera and lituus. ... Stephanus pagination is the system of reference and organisation used in the works of Plato. ...


In monotheistic terms, this is usually transformed into: "Is what is moral commanded by God because it is moral, or is it moral because it is commanded by God?" The dilemma has continued to present a problem for theists since Plato presented it, and is still the object of theological and philosophical debate. In theology, monotheism (Greek μόνος(monos) = single and θεός(theos) = God) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or in the oneness of God. ... Bouguereaus LInnocence (Innocence). Both the child and the lamb represent fragility and peacefulness, as seen in religious art. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...

Contents

The dilemma in Plato

In Euthyphro, Socrates and Euthyphro are discussing the nature of the pious. Euthyphro proposes (6e) that the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) is the same thing as what is loved by the gods (τὸ θεοφιλές), but Socrates finds a problem with this proposal, since the gods may disagree among themselves (7e). Euthyphro then restricts his definition to include only as pious what is loved by all gods unanimously (9e).


But we cannot likewise say that the reason why the pious is pious is that the gods love it. For, as Socrates presumes and Euthyphro agrees, the gods love the pious because it is pious (both parties agree on this, the first horn of the dilemma). And we cannot say that the gods love the pious because it is pious, and then add that the pious is pious because the gods love it, for this would be viciously circular. Vicious Circle is an album released in 1995 by L.A. Guns. ...


So, since what makes the god-loved god-loved is not what makes the pious pious, it follows that the god-loved and the pious are not the same thing — they do not have the same nature (10e). Piety belongs to those actions we call "just" (τὸ δίκαιον "observant of custom or social rule, lawful, just, right"), but the pious is not identical with the just, since an action may be just without necessarily being pious (12d). The problem is thus reduced to pinpointing the quality of piety between the god-loved and the just, and Euthypro suggests that it is as it were conjunction of the two, the part of the just which does service (θεραπεία) to the gods (12e), in the sense of commerce or barter with the gods, benefitting them by giving them honour (τιμή), esteem (γέρας) and gratification (χάρις) (15a), and, Euthyphro has to agree, what is gratifying to the gods is necessarily also what they love. The two philosophers recognize that this is in contradiction to what they had agreed upon before, but they break off the argument because Euthyphro is in a hurry.


To understand the difficulties the philosophers experience to come to terms with the adjective "ὅσιος", it is important to note that it carries a double meaning of "hallowed" and "profane": "hallowed" in the sense that what is "ὅσιος" is dependent on the divine, as opposed to "δίκαιος", which is justice as promulgated by human lawmakers, and "profane" in the sense that what is "ὅσιος" are actions which take place in the sphere of human relations, as opposed to "ἱερός", which refers anything religiously dedicated to the gods. Thus, the very term "ὅσιος" embodies the crux of the dilemma, viz., the attempt to separate "piety" from the divine sphere as something that can stand on its own in the human sphere.


In monotheism

The monotheistic version of the dilemma, replacing τὸ ὅσιον with "moral" or "good", and οἵ θεοί with "God" is still the object of theological and philosophical debate. In theology, monotheism (Greek μόνος(monos) = single and θεός(theos) = God) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or in the oneness of God. ... Bouguereaus LInnocence (Innocence). Both the child and the lamb represent fragility and peacefulness, as seen in religious art. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


Explanation of the dilemma

The first horn of the dilemma implies that morality is independent of God and, indeed, that God is bound by morality just as his creatures are. God then becomes little more than a passer-on of moral knowledge.


The second horn of the dilemma (known as divine command theory) runs into three main problems. First, it implies that what is good is arbitrary, based merely upon God's whim; if God had created the world to include the values that rape, murder, and torture were virtues, while mercy and charity were vices, then they would have been. Secondly, it implies that calling God good makes no sense (or, at best, that one is simply saying that God is consistent). Thirdly, it commits the naturalistic fallacy; to explain the evaluative claim that murder is wrong (or the prescription that one should not commit murder) in terms of what God has or hasn't said is to argue from a putative fact about the world to a value (to argue to an "ought" from an "is"; see is-ought problem). The divine command theory is the metaethical theory that morality (e. ... Torture is defined by the United Nations Convention Against Torture as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he... Pierre Montallier: The Works of Mercy, c. ... In modern usage, the practice of charity means the giving of help to those in need. ... George Edward Moore The naturalistic fallacy is an alleged logical fallacy, delineated by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his seminal Principia Ethica (1903). ... In meta-ethics, the is-ought problem was raised by David Hume (Scottish philosopher and historian, 1711-1776), who noted that many writers make claims about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is. ...


Attempts to resolve the dilemma

The Euthyphro dilemma has troubled philosophers and theologians ever since Plato first propounded it. While both horns have had their adherents, the Natural Law Theory probably being the more popular, some philosophers have tried to find a middle ground. Natural law or the law of nature (Latin lex naturalis) is a law whose content is set by nature, and that therefore has validity everywhere. ...


False-dilemma response

Christian philosophers, starting with Thomas Aquinas have often answered that the dilemma is false: yes, God commands something because it is good, but the reason it is good is that "good is an essential part of God's nature". So goodness is grounded in God's character and merely expressed in moral commands. Therefore whatever a good God commands will always be good. Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... Saint Thomas Aquinas [Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino] (c. ...


This approach is considered by its opponents to be a rejection of the Divine Command Theory in favour of the other horn, depending on how the other horn is construed; in particular, it depends upon the notion that goodness is a property of God, and thus not under God's control. If the first horn is seen as bad because it takes God to be bound by morality, and thus in some sense irrelevant to the existence or discovery of it, then this response does not help. But if the other horn is seen as bad only because it requires an external limitation on God, then this response solves the problem and is not equivalent to the first horn.


Some followers of this approach, following Aquinas and earlier readers of Plato such as Plotinus, say that "God" is in whole or part the definition of goodness itself. John Frame and others say this avoids the naturalistic fallacy because the source of God's whims or commands is in some way the definition of good for everybody. This view led Anselm of Canterbury to say that God exists outside of all motion or change and does not really feel passions such as love. It only seems that way to our finite minds. Aristotle had proposed in his Metaphysics a similar view of Gods who feel no emotion towards the world or their worshipers, but inspire imitation. Plotinus Plotinus (Greek: ) (ca. ... John Frame Dr. John M. Frame (born 1939) is an American philosopher and a Calvinist theologian especially noted for his work in epistemology and presuppositional apologetics, systematic theology, and ethics. ... George Edward Moore The naturalistic fallacy is an alleged logical fallacy, delineated by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his seminal Principia Ethica (1903). ... Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033 or 1034 – April 21, 1109) was an Italian medieval philosopher and theologian, who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. ... Aristotle (Greek: Aristotélēs) (384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ...


Gnosticism and other dualistic schools similarly postulate that God is identical with goodness, which turns the dilemma into a tautology. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... It has been suggested that Combative dualism be merged into this article or section. ... Summum bonum (greatest or supreme good) was first introduced to humanity as Ahura-Mazda, `The Ultimate Good` who is God, by the Persian prophet Zoroaster, whose ideas would later heavily influence Judeo-Christian beliefs. ...


Necessary and contingent moral values?

Some modern philosophers have also attempted to find a compromise. For example, Richard Swinburne has argued that moral values fall into two categories: the necessary and the contingent. God can decide to create the world in many different ways, each of which grounds a particular set of contingent values; with regard to these, then, the divine command theory is the correct explanation. Certain values, however, such as the immorality of rape, murder, and torture, hold in all possible worlds, so it makes no sense to say that God could have created them differently; with regard to these values, the first horn of the dilemma is the best explanation. Richard G. Swinburne (born December 26, 1934) is an eminent British professor and philosopher primarily interested in the philosophy of religion. ...


Swinburne's account depends upon a clear distinction between necessary and contingent moral values — however, it's not clear that such a distinction can be maintained.


Different meanings of "moral"

In developing what he calls a "modified divine-command theory", R.M. Adams distinguishes between two meanings of ethical terms like "right" and "wrong": Robert Merrihew Adams Robert Merrihew Adams (Bob Adams; born 1937) is an American philosopher of metaphysics, religion and morality. ...

  1. the meaning that atheists can grasp (which in fact Adams explains in roughly emotivist terms)
  2. the meaning that has its place in religious discourse (that is, commanded or forbidden by God).

Because God is benevolent, the two meanings coincide; God is, however, free to command other than he has done, and if he had chosen to command, for example, that murder was morally right, then the two meanings would break apart, effectively choosing the second horn of the dilemma: God just happens to command what would be good in any case ("eutheism"), but allowing for a hypothetical scenario where God decides to become malevolent ("dystheism"). Non-cognitivism is the meta-ethical view that ethical statements (such as Killing is wrong) do not assert propositions; that is to say, they do not express factual claims or beliefs and therefore are neither true nor false (they are not truth-apt). ... ... Dystheism is the belief that there is a God that does exist and is not wholly good, or might even be evil. The opposite concept is eutheism, the belief that God exists and is good. ...


Sources and references

  • Robert Merrihew Adams Finite and Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics (2002: New York, Oxford University Press) ISBN 0-19-515371-5
  • Jan Aertsen Medieval philosophy and the transcendentals: the case of Thomas Aquinas (2004: New York, Brill) ISBN 90-04-10585-9
  • John M. Frame Euthyphro, Hume, and the Biblical God retrieved Feb 13, 2007 from http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/1993Euthyphro.htm
  • Plato Euthyphro (any edition; the Penguin version can be found in The Last Days of Socrates ISBN 0-14-044037-2)
  • Paul Helm [ed.] Divine Commands and Morality (1981: Oxford, Oxford University Press) ISBN 0-19-875049-8
  • Peter J. King, Morality & religion I (PDF file)
  • Greg Koukl, Euthyphro's Dilemma, Stand to Reason commentary, 2002.
  • Norman Kretzmann “Abraham, Isaac, and Euthyphro: God and the basis of morality” (in Eleonore Stump & Michael J. Murray [edd] Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions (1999: Oxford: Blackwell) ISBN 0-631-20604-3
  • Steve Lovell, C.S. Lewis and the Euthyphro Dilemma, 2002.
  • God and Morality - An analysis of the Euthyphro dilemma.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Euthyphro Dilemma (241 words)
The Euthyphro Dilemma is based upon the part of Plato's Euthyphro dialogue, in which Socrates asks "Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?
It is employed in the philosophy of religion to refute the notion of divine command theory, which hold that God is the foundation of ethics and morality.
Agreement with the second part of the dilemma gives rise to the "emptiness problem", the tautology that things are good merely because God has decided they are good; and God, being omnipotent, could as easily will what we would otherwise suppose were immoral things - abhorrent commands, should he or she choose.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m