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Euthyphro (Platos Early Dialogues) - Essay Example

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Euthyphro (Platos Early Dialogues)

Does God call something right or moral because it is right or moral or does is something right or moral because God calls it moral? Therefore, if God calls an act moral because it is moral, then morality or goodness will be seen as priori to Gods Command and thus, it is independent of God. On the other hand, if an act is moral because God says it is moral or right, then it implies that whatever God says it is right (Hamilton and Cairns 37). In addition, this also implies that Gods command of what is moral is arbitrary since the same God could have willed contrary commands. The dialogue presents the challenge that was intended to make us think about the nature of morality. Therefore, when Socrates asks Euthyphro about his definition of the word piety, Euthyphro was required to identify the nature of virtue or morality by establishing on what ground does morality or virtue stand on. It is difficult for an atheist to discover the ground on which morality stands on because they claim that they can have ethics or morals without God. Certainly, an atheist can behave in a way that people perceive moral or good but it is really hard to define what the term ultimately means (Plato 10a). It may imply complying with objective standard of morality or good, a policy or law given by legitimate authority without involving a transcendent law maker-the gods. This means that there can be no transcendent law maker and no corresponding duty to be good. Most Christians oppose the argument that there is an arbitrary role of God’s power and rejects the idea that there is no law or policy over God. Then, where does morality stands? Morality can be said to be grounded in the divine and immutable character of God who is perfectly good in that his commands are not whims but planted in his holiness. Christians argue that any bad things that happen are not commanded by God because his character is that he is holy and merciful. For Christians, morality is rooted in God’s character which expresses itself in the commands of God and it is not above him. In sum, whatever is good is always commanded by God not that it is good so that God commands it to be good (Cooper 41). Christians argue that God ultimately determines the pious or morality and that the commands of God are expression of his desires and will for what human beings ought to do. This is because such argument presents a metaphysical foundation of piety or morality. Human beings need to be committed to the existence of moral truths in order for them to live in accordance with the will of God. This means the existence of moral truths for people since they have moral obligation to obey what God commands. This is so because Christians believe that their moral obligation comes from God in form of commands. Thus, people ought to be moral because they are morally accountable to God in that those people who do not obey him will be punished and good people will receive rewards (Plato 10b). Plato’s dialogue regarding the nature of morality or goodness is still being raised even today as a challenge to Christianity in that many Christians ask themselves is an action or act good or right because God says it is right or does god say it is good or right because the act is right. The Euthyphro dilemma is traced in ...Show more


Instructor Date Euthyphro Dilemma In Plato’s dialogue, the Euthyphro, Socrates presents an argument against a common moral perception that morality or piety is a matter of what the gods’ commands. This makes Socrates to pose the following questions, is the right or pious being loved by the gods because it is pious or it is right or pious because it is being loved by the gods?…
Author : treerdman
Euthyphro (Platos Early Dialogues) essay example
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