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How might some Christian philosophers of religion overcome the Euthyphro Dilemma?

The Euthyphro Dilemma, which asks whether what God commands is good because God commands it or because the things God wills are necessarily good and God is adhering to this standard, might raise some issues for a Christian philosopher of religion. It seems to suggest that morality is either arbitrary to God, and he can will things on a whim, or superior to God. Although some scholars have adopted one half of the dilemma or the other by modifying or clarifying their position, it is often agreed that the dilemma is a false dilemma and that both 'solutions' offered are flawed. Instead of believing God invents or is compliant to a moral standard, the classical tradition holds that his nature is the standard for moral judgement. Of course this raises certain questions - for example, what does it actually mean to say God's nature is good? Perhaps we must conclude that 'good' is a human concept, and that we are inadequately describing a part of God. Thomas Aquinas' doctrine of Divine Simplicity - that God is not made up of lots of parts and attributes but is instead just 'God' (which includes goodness, power etc.) - might be helpful here.

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Degree: Theology and Religion (Bachelors) - Oxford, Worcester College University

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