Euthyphro’s Dilemma & Defining Faith-Based Morality

But my warning still stands that you navigate your way through these narratives based on what you bring to them and not as you imply from what you take away.” (tildeb)

I think it’s give and take personally, as with anything we intake (ie: viewing and reading). I always admit I am part of the process in what I bring to the table and how I look at the pieces written. Warning was heeded since I picked up the scriptures to be perfectly honest. However, I also admit it’s give and take…not as one-sided as you would have some people think.

This raises the question of Euthyphro dilemma: “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?” (tildeb)

Good question, does it matter? If it matters so much, why?

I obey my elders and parents because I was told by them to do so at a young age. Did I do this because it was morally good or because it was commanded as good? I see the philosophical debate and the reason for it, but sometimes there need not be a definite answer for us to ‘do something’.

As for the question, each moral is on debate as to what is even the morality within it. The levels of rules people has changes as well, for some there are these strict standards and for others less. What is moral? Which is right? Are these questions God lets us answer? I think of a parent when I review this concerning the right to determine one’s own path in life, at some point parents are ruled out of our equations (ie: decisions). However, not altogether, we still have their best interests in mind as well, and faith in God functions like that for me (ie: thankfulness).

If you’re going to believe in god then you have to figure out this dilemma and good luck to you” (tildeb)

As for how I actually approach this in reality – try, test, and review. God commands a lot of things – like ‘love my enemies’. I strive to find the intent of such an idea – and it leads to quite a few morals I have developed over my years in this faith. Non-violence as a stance. Enemies are only enemies if this is what we choose to make them (ie: treatment in kind or treatment in a new way – perspective is everything). Is anybody really to be labelled as an enemy? Etc.

In the end, I think the morally good that comes from my interaction with the scriptures is through the filter of my mind, emotions, physical experience, and spiritual experience…in essence the morality derived is part and parcel God and part and parcel me. The morally good is defined via test and observation from scenario to scenario. Something may be the best moral standard and still not work in every scenario. It is quite complex, and like Euthyphro I am sure I will arrive at more questions than answers, such is life.

**Comment aired on Carly Jo’s blog ‘Faith Hope and Love – Supernaturalism & My Reason’

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6 thoughts on “Euthyphro’s Dilemma & Defining Faith-Based Morality

  1. Good question, does it matter? If it matters so much, why?

    Yes, it matters a very great deal if we attempt to use our moral sense as evidence for god.

  2. “Yes, it matters a very great deal if we attempt to use our moral sense as evidence for god” (tildeb)

    But it’s basically a philosophical question with no real answer – and I think that is actually the point. The question is open-ended to keep one’s balance on the issue – to keep one continually thinking about our end results and basics of our moral understandings. The ‘why’ question of our morality.

    That all being said, atheists have to wrestle with morals as well and their meaning in time and space. The same dilemma could occur for them without a god per se.

  3. Atheists often quote the Euthypro forgetting the conclusion that Plato comes to – that all the subordinate ‘goods’ are good because they approximate, reflect, or participate in a single transcendent and ultimate reality, the apprehension of which is the goal all philosophy is merely a preparation for – the ‘Form of the Good.’

    Christians can easily appropriate Plato (many Christians did, in fact, appropriate Plato) simply by identifying the Father with the Form of the Good.

  4. Hey! I was thinking… From the way Euthyphro’s Dilemma is phrased it almost makes the things God commanded not good because he commanded them as good. It’s funny how that dilemma almost eliminates a unit of measuring morality and basing it solely on God’s command, instead of him commanding what’s good, and it being good for that reason, but instead that it is bad simply because God commanded it, as good. Of course Ben puts it back in context for us, which happens to be exactly necessary. Does that make any sense?
    You wrote before about how we come to morality, and I believe the conclusion was something like, inherent sense of morality, reflected off of modern culture, sifted through biblical teachings (mostly NT, but also OT), and then adapted to fit the context of the situation. I think, when this process is done honestly, and naturally, as if it were not a process at all, then good morality will ensue, and the heart of God’s commands will be found, and fulfilled. I struggle here.

  5. “I think, when this process is done honestly, and naturally, as if it were not a process at all, then good morality will ensue, and the heart of God’s commands will be found, and fulfilled. I struggle here.” (Carly)

    I agree, if it is done with honesty, reflection, and a sense of accountability about one’s actions (so change can ensue). You struggle here, that is good, because if your not struggling then your probably not trying.

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