Socrates says in Euthyphro that the holy or pious is holy or pious because it is loved by the gods.a. What do you understand by this statement of Socrates?b. Do you agree with his argument? Why?
Published: September 21, 2017
In Euthyphro, the statement that the holy or pious is holy or pious because it is loved by the gods means that what is viewed as morally good is morally good because it is commanded by all the gods. Hence, if people view an action as morally good, then it is so because it is gods’ command. Another view would involve that fact that something is considered to be morally good by the gods because it is actually morally good. So, there is a theory or principle that is independent from the gods and that also the gods follow.
I don’t fully agree to this argument. If something is considered good just because God says it is good then there is the problem, as morality can’t be based on the arbitrary declarations of God. However, if God is simply reporting a thing’s goodness, then God seems to be dependent on some outside standard, then there is the problem again as the god should not be dependent on outside standards.
However, the dilemma seems to be a false dichotomy as it considers only two options when even another is possible. The option is that good is based on God’s nature. For the standard of good, the God appeals to his own character. Therefore it means God does not declare something as good if it is a standard outside his nature. In other words, he is good by nature and he reveals his nature to us, so God is the standard of what is good.
Therefore a thing is good to the extent it fulfils its purposes. Since God is the creator of all things, as per his own good nature, he is the standard and as well as the declarer of goodness.
Model Questions Category: 099 - Contribution of Moral Thinkers