Euthyphro Dilemma: The reformulation

One thing that stretches me is the “Euthyphro dilemma”. I keep hearing this a lot from skeptics. Sometimes I wonder if it really is a good objection to placing God as the ground of morality. I certainly don’t think the traditional version of the dilemma is convincing at all because I think it has been solved. I think God is the Good and His commandments flow from His nature. Therefore, He isn’t arbitrarily commanding things or making things moral by commanding them. And also, He isn’t appealing to a moral standard outside of Himself because His nature is the standard. However, I do think reformulations of the Euthyphro dilemma is what is giving me doubts at times. I see different variations. One version is like, “Is God’s nature Good because it happens to match the property of Goodness or is His Nature Good because He commanded it to be. If it matches to the property, then Goodness is independent of God. If He commanded it then it’s arbitrary because he could have commanded otherwise like in the original formulation of the problem.”

First off, I don’t think God’s nature happens to be the way it is on accident. For example, I think God necessarily has to be necessary being by definition. And thus He cannot not exist, and He cannot pass out of existence. I think the case is similar with His Goodness. Furthermore, I don’t think “properties” are independent of God, so I think the objector is assuming that properties exist in a platonic realm independent of God. But why think that? Why not think properties exist in God? Or, why not think properties are just useful fictions that we use to describe things? So, the first horn is in serious danger of begging the question in favor of something like Platonism. The second horn doesn’t make sense either because I don’t think God commanded His nature to be Good. I think His nature has to be that way by necessity. His nature is Good but not because He commanded it; His nature is Good because it is Good, it couldn’t be otherwise.


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