Plato’s known question regarding the nature of goodness asks whether or not a thing is good as a result of God saying it’s good, or does God say it’s good as a result of it’s good (Morality vs. God). Debate arises when the idea of God including things such as rape, and murder to be good which we know is evil of course. So this leads to some major questions being brought up. Furthermore, if God is reporting such things then he is no longer the standard of good. However, God’s nature is changeless and totally good, therefore his will isn’t impulsive, and His declarations are continuously true.

So this solves both dilemmas. It is controversial though that God would allow rape to be acceptable since it causes people harm is unacceptable in society. What would make him make it good? But what he makes is made purposefully, so anything that will stand in the way of that particular purpose is not good.Our human nature and the conditions under which we find ourselves in this world do depend upon the creative will of God; for he makes us and the world, and He could have made things differently. However, given our nature and the world, it is not an arbitrary matter what things contributed to our happiness and fulfilment. If people are treated unjustly or cruelly they will be unhappy and unfulfilled, just as a plant which is deprived of light will be stunted.

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Conversely, justice and kindness lead to human happiness and fulfilment. We don’t need any special revelation from God to tell us these things; we discover them by rational reflection on the human condition. Nevertheless, there is a sense in which these moral distinctions which reason reveals are dependant upon God’s will. The facts of human nature and the human condition determine what is right and wrong, good and evil, but these facts in turn are determined by God. Hence, the distinction between right and wrong does finally depend on the will of God. He might have made us differently, in which case different things might have been right and wrong. Consider the difference it would make to our moral attitude towards beating people up if human beings were so constituted that such treatment improved their health.

So, the theist can maintain that moral distinctions, like everything else, depend upon God’s will (and so escape the seemingly blasphemous consequence of postulating a realm of moral values existing independently of God), and that we can tell the difference between good and evil without referring to a special revelation from God (and so escape the charge that theism makes moral distinctions out to be purely arbitrary and commits the believer to a life of moral immaturity).There are two principal assumptions underlying a resolution of the Euthyphro dilemma as outlined above that morality is solely concerned with human happiness and fulfilment, and that God wills us to achieve happiness and fulfilment.It is likely that will be accepted by theists and atheists alike.

And, certainly, if morality is to have any point it is hard to see what it’s point could be other than happiness and fulfilment. It might be questioned that the second assumption can be justified purely on rational grounds apart from special revelation. A being who created us and willed that we be unhappy and frustrated would clearly not be a good and loving God. But is it part of the concept of God which we can arrive at purely by reason that he is good and loving? It might be argued that all that reason can determine about the nature of God is that He is an irresistible power to be feared above all things.

That God loves us, it might be said, is something we can know only because He has told us so. On the other hand, it would be misleading to call a being who issued bad commands `God’ without qualification.If one does accept assumption it follows that there will be no conflict between any special revelation which comes from God and God’s will as it can be discovered from rational reflection on the human condition. So, if it is true that God does will that we do those things which promote the general happiness and fulfilment of human beings, any commandments specially revealed by God, on Mount Sinai or wherever, will aim at the promotion of happiness, etc. If our reason tells us that any allegedly revealed command is contrary to happiness and fulfilment, then we have good grounds for concluding that the revelation is not really from God.The argument which I have sketched hitherto might be criticised on the grounds that it has not satisfactorily sorted out the place of special revelation in a theistic conception of morality.

Why, for instance, given that God has given men means to reason about the good, should special revelation be necessary at all? Perhaps one reason for special revelation is the theistic belief that what concerns human beings’ final happiness is to be found in life after death, and therefore moral good in all its ramifications will not be scrutable to us from reflection only on this present life.But this suggests that ultimately the theist must rely on special revelations for a knowledge of right and wrong. If this is so, the theist may still be open to the charge of moral immaturity, of blindly following what he or she takes to be the commands of God. And so, the dilemma has not been resolved completely after all.

Undoubtedly, anyone holding a religion conception of morality must notice some place for divinely unconcealed moral commands; however it should be that in so doing the theist weakens their resolution of the perplexity. On the one hand, they require to mention that the question of whether or not an alleged special revelation regarding ethical matters comes from God is to be answered within the light of our rationally established criteria of good and evil. this means that morality has no want of revelation.

On the opposite hand, they require to mention that, for the theist, final queries of good and evil can’t be answered aside from reference to special revelation. this implies that, within the end, our reason is insufficient as a supply of the information of excellent and evil. it’s hard to examine however the theist will have it both ways.


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