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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - The Euthyphro Dilemma

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 Post subject: The Euthyphro Dilemma
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 2:26 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
"Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?"

This is known as the Euthyphro dilemma. Inspired by the Euthyphro dialogue by Plato (but not actually taken from it), it is an argument against divine command theory -- the notion that morality is determined by the command of God (or gods), that God is the ultimate origin and standard of morality.

The first half is "Are good acts willed by God because they are morally good?" If this is the case, it would mean that the act is good even without God's command. This implies that morality exists independent of God, that actions can be judged moral without God. God would have some external criteria by which to judge acts, and so those wanting to be moral could just cut out the middleman and follow those criteria. Acts would then be able to be moral independent of God's command; thus, divine command theorists would have to reject this notion.

The second half is "Are morally good acts morally good because they are willed by God?" If this is the case, then morality is meaningless, because God could will any act he wanted and it would be good. Morality would be arbitrary. If you were to reply to this by saying "God would never command evil acts", then you are faced with another dilemma. If the determination of evil acts is based on certain criteria, then that would imply that there is a morality independent of God, and the divine command theorist has already denied that. If this is not the case, then "God would never command evil acts" is a useless tautology, since anything God willed would be good by definition.

Thus, according to the Euthyphro argument, divine command theory is false: God is not the foundation of ethics and morality: either morals are independent of God or they are arbitrary and meaningless.

Discuss.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 3:43 pm 
An interesting argument indeed, and I'm going to put my own twist on things by implementing evolutionary theory too.

So, let's have four tribes of early man, each with its own set of rules.

1) has no rules, with murder, rape and so on rife becuase its "God" says that's good. (I'm taking God as a fictional being at this point, but I'm not claiming his non-existance.)

2) Another has the rules of Judaism around the time of Moses, with the Ten Commandments at the heart.

3) Another is similar to 2) only without the idolatry law.

4) is also similar to 2), but doesn't have the Honor thy Parents

Which one will survive?

The one with no morals will eventually kill itself off, and logically this should happen with any religion that enacts rules thar are not beneficial to the majority of its believers - for example the people being murdered, raped etc.

The second one should do well, as its morals benefit the people, as well as the God, so the believers won't lose faith and they'll live long enough to breed the next generation if they follow the rules. We all know how successful that is, but that's another debate.

The third, dismayed by their lack of control, will turn to idolatry, which doesn't benefit God. This leaves them open to an impressive priesthood, which might result in 1) or 2)

The fourth will survive to breed, but with no proper respect the tribe will crumble as the children will only stay if their is benefit for them, not becuase God says so. So, the children will either end up in 1) or 2).

So, if the morals of a religion are good, then that Tribe will survive. So, logically, if a God wants believers to follow Him, he will make rules that benefit both Him and His followers spiritually, not just physically like in 1). So the rules will be good becuase God chose them only if God chose them becuase they are good. A circular answer, really.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 4:05 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
Don't take this the wrong way, but I have no idea at all what you're getting at. :/

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:19 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 2:39 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 4:03 pm 
She means you base your morality on long term survival of a gene pool.

I must disagree with your predictions, by the way. Anarchy will result in some mob boss emerging and starting rules, not total obliteration.

I don't see what's wrong with idolatry. Various idols have been worshipped for centuries. What of it? For that matter, I don't know if you've noticed, but an "impressive priesthood" can emerge from judeo christian religion too. And how the heck is it supposed to result into anarchy?

As for your fourth... Just too weird. no idea what you're talking about.

On that subject: obviously old ethics are ethics that promote society surviving for a long time. But it could mean a lot of things, including human sacrifice, cannibalism, pedophilia... What we have now, and that we like to call judeo christian, (as opposed to the judeo christian moral of burning people at the stake) is good enough, I suppose, but there's no call to be that impressed with it.

As for the topic itself: not a clue. (Now that was constructive, wasn't it?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:03 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:07 pm 
It looks to me like Mcfarlane Salsa is saying that if people don't have a code of behavior spelled out for them, in detail, they behave 'badly'.

Sorry, Jerm, I have no interest or ability to participate in your discussion, as it is. I don't care how many angels can dance on a pin.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:24 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:43 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:09 pm 
Show your work, both of you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 2:26 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 3:24 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 4:47 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 5:30 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:14 am 
How many angels can dance on a pin?

As many as care to.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 12:50 pm 
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Janitor
Janitor
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:15 pm
Posts: 2388
Location: In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere.


Last edited by Ishidan on Sat Dec 25, 2004 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 1:58 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:47 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:08 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
*Mortal Kombat voice*

JEREMIAH... WINS!

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:15 am 
/me crowns Jerm "King of the Forum Debate".

Can you imagine a world where Pronto is allowed to arbitrate anything?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:07 am 


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