Slides in this set

Slide 1

Preview of page 1

The Euthyphro
Dilemma…read more

Slide 2

Preview of page 2

The Euthyphro Dilemma
The Euthyphro dilemma is a criticism of the relationship
between religion and morality.
It is found in Plato's Euthyphro dialogue, in which Socrates
asks the question...
"Is the pious loved by the gods because it is
pious, or is it pious because it is loved by
the gods?"
Plato argued that both answers seem
unsatisfactory, creating a dilemma.…read more

Slide 3

Preview of page 3

"Is the pious loved by the gods because it is
pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the
In other words... `Is an action good because god loves it, or
does god love it because it is good
For example murder. Is murder bad because god hates it, or
does god hate it because it is bad?…read more

Slide 4

Preview of page 4

Socrates presents two possible visions of the universe in this
Vision 1 Vision 2
In this universe there is
In this universe there is
- A god
- A human race
- A set of immutable moral laws
- A God
- A human race
In this universe there are no
In this universe god commands
immutable moral laws. Morality
humans to follow a set of rules
comes from god commanding
that are intrinsically right/wrong, certain things, and they are
separate from God himself. good/ bad because god says so
Vision 2 is known as the Devine command
theory.…read more

Slide 5

Preview of page 5

The divine command theory
This is The view that an action is permissible simply because god commands it ... this is
concisely put by Emil brunner " the good concists in doing what god wills at any
particular moment."
however it has certain faults and criticisms.
- Firstly it states if an action hasn't been specifically demanded or forbidden by
god then it is neither right nor wrong... for example some modern ideas
wouldn't have been referenced in religious texts or are clearly outdated, so
how do we know if these things are ok or not?
- Secondly, god could have very easily said differently to what is currently
considered good, for example if god had said murder is good, then that would
be considered a moral action. This seems a little arbitrary (random) and
objective. Surely murder is wrong because its wrong, and not just because god
commands it.…read more

Slide 6

Preview of page 6

Philosophers who criticise the divine command
For some philosophers morality cant depend upon an authority (god) alone
" no morality can be founded on authority, even
if the authority were divine."
Furthermore, Leibniz raises the question; if god chose these commands on
a whim should we worship him?
"In saying that things are not good by virtue of any rule of goodness
but by the whim of god, you destroy god's love and glory. For why
praise him for what he has done if he would be equally praiseworthy
for doing exactly the contrary."…read more

Slide 7

Preview of page 7
Preview of page 7


Pete Langley - Get Revising founder


Great resource - thanks!

Similar Ethics resources:

See all Ethics resources »