Joel Pinheiro

Posts Tagged ‘God and morality’

Eutyphro Dismantled

In Essay, Morality, Religion in general on July 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

It is clear to all who read this site (i.e. me) that it is just a venue for arbitrary, intermittent thoughts on religion. Still, whenever free time and a good idea combine, an update may come up; and who knows, it might be good.

Eutyphro dilemma: is God bound by morality? Or is He above it and capable of changing it at will? Is the good loved by God because it is good, or is it good because it is loved by God?

Anyone of these possibilities seems unsatisfactory. Either God is limited, and there is something superior to Him, or morality is just a question of divine whim. God could declare that, starting tomorrow, drinking water is a sin and rape is praiseworthy, and it would effectively be so. Whoever accepts this admits that his commitment to morality (to real-world morality of the sane “thou shalt not kill” variety) is – how shall we put it ? – slight. Fortunately, there is a way out. We can preserve both God’s supreme standing and moral common sense. And it relies on an old concept in the history of philosophy: natural law. Read the rest of this entry »