Our Moral God

Clete

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That assumes that God has to abide by some standard outside Himself. If He defines right and wrong, then He could indeed declare devils to be saints.

Can you tell me why that isn’t possible?
No it doesn't assume any such thing. It assumes that God is rational, nothing else.

And yes, it is not possible for God to declare devils to be saints. It would be a contradiction. He could no more do that then He could declare cubes to be spheres. He could turn a cube into a sphere but that isn't the same thing and He wouldn't even be able to get that far in regards to devils and saints because the definition of those terms is moral in nature and thus one is only able to makes one's self into a devil or a saint. That is, while one may have been created holy, one only becomes a devil by choosing to rebel against that creation and the One Who did the creating. One could speculate about a hypothetical god who created devils but that again would be a different issue altogether.

The bottom line is that words mean things and contradictions cannot exist in reality. God is real and is therefore incapable of making something it's opposite because to do it would be not to do it. Those previous called devils would still hurt people and saints would still benefit others. All that would happen is that the words being used would lose their meaning. It is an openly self-contradictory absurdity.

Clete
 

Clete

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God is good and bad is bad, even if God has not said so.
I'm pretty sure you didn't understand the point of the question.

It's called Euthyphro's Dilemma. It's only been a subject of philosophical significance for a few thousands years and one that has direct bearing on whether Christianity (or any other monotheistic religion) is true or false so it's sort of a big deal.

It was originally brought up by Aristotle in the writings of Plato but there are more modern versions, probably the most important of which is the following...

"If you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, you are then in this situation: Is that difference due to God’s fiat or is it not? If it is due to God’s fiat, then for God Himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God’s fiat, because God’s fiats are good and not good independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God." - Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian

You have landed yourself squarely on the latter horn of the dilemma.

So, in the spirit of I Peter 3:15, how would you answer Plato and Russel?

Don't know? That's okay! Not everyone knows everything but we here at TOL try are best to fill such voids. There are two excellent ways to answer Euthyphro's dilemma, both of which are right here on TOL.

Our Moral God - by Clete Pfeiffer (me!)

Does God Exist? - Battle Royale VII - Bob Enyart vs. Zakath (post #39 part 4)

Clete
 
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Clete

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Silver Subscriber
@marke: Clete is right, you seem to rely on a tautology to make your point. That may not be wrong when one is considering the source of morality. But it makes one wonder if God could have chosen a different moral construct, where adultery, theft, and murder are preferred. I don’t think so, at least without endangering His creation.

Thus it appears that either God has adopted a morality that is either independent from Himself (making Him less almighty), or that the morality he has chosen is the one He knows will result in good to His creation (which is indicative of His wisdom), which also happens to reflect His own character.
I should point out, for the sake of clarity, that I was only saying that marke's form of argument was tautological and was not attempting to say that the statement "God is good" is a tautology. An attribute of a thing is not the thing itself but marke's form of argument seemed to be implying exactly that.

Clete
 

Clete

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God cannot lie because He said so. Do you think God can do wrong and call it right?
Titus 1:2
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Why won't you read the opening post?

Is it because I've asked you to?

Is it because you want to waste both your time and mine?

Read it or go away!
 

marke

Well-known member
I'm pretty sure you didn't understand the point of the question.

It's called Euthyphro's Dilemma. It's only been a subject of philosophical significance for a few thousands years and one that has direct bearing on whether Christianity (or any other monotheistic religion) is true or false so it's sort of a big deal.

It was originally brought up by Aristotle in the writings of Plato but there are more modern versions, probably the most important of which is the following...

"If you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, you are then in this situation: Is that difference due to God’s fiat or is it not? If it is due to God’s fiat, then for God Himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God’s fiat, because God’s fiats are good and not good independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God." - Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian

You have landed yourself squarely on the latter horn of the dilemma.

So, in the spirit of I Peter 3:15, how would you answer Plato and Russel?

Don't know? That's okay! Not everyone knows everything but we here at TOL try are best to fill such voids. There are two excellent ways to answer Euthyphro's dilemma, both of which are right here on TOL.

Our Moral God - by Clete Pfeiffer (me!)

Does God Exist? - Battle Royale VII - Bob Enyart vs. Zakath (post #39 part 4)

Clete
There is no dilemma to those who have been enlightened by the Lord. Let me quote you. (the issue is) "one that has direct bearing on whether Christianity ... is true or false." Bertrand Russel was a fool. He apparently never came to the knowledge of the truth in spite of all his worthless learning.

2 Timothy 3:6-8
King James Version

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
 

Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
There is no dilemma to those who have been enlightened by the Lord. Let me quote you. (the issue is) "one that has direct bearing on whether Christianity ... is true or false." Bertrand Russel was a fool. He apparently never came to the knowledge of the truth in spite of all his worthless learning.

2 Timothy 3:6-8​

King James Version​

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
Why are you even here?

Good bye.
 

Derf

Well-known member
When it comes to Christianity/theology I prefer scripture! Philosophy has a lot of hypotheticals. Not too impressed.
I wasn’t trying to impress you. Thanks anyway.

But you should be careful what you eschew. Philosophy is the love of (leading to the seeking of) wisdom. The scriptures you prefer tell us to love and seek wisdom. You can’t both “prefer” scripture and ignore its mandates.

Proverbs 4:5-7 (KJV) 5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget [it] not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
 

Bradley D

Well-known member
I was a religion/philosophy major at Spring Arbor University. I still study philosophy today. I prefer the wisdom which comes from the Bible.
 
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