Despite the power and influence of the Euthyphro dilemma, many apologists maintain that theism alone has the resources to account for objective moral properties. These authors dispute the commonly held view that the argument of the Euthyphro demonstrates that morality must be independent of God (especially as this argument is applied to theories that ground morality in the character of God as opposed to His commands). They argue in addition that regardless of the outcome of that debate, a nontheistic worldview is not compatible with belief in objective morality. In this paper I demonstrate that the argument that there is no viable atheistic account of the ground of morality depends upon the mistaken assumption that theism itself has the kind of moral theory that atheism allegedly lacks.
Published on the Secular Web
The problem of evil can be used in two different ways. It can be used offensively; that is, in an attempt to criticize and undermine theistic belief, to show that theism is false and that belief in God is unfounded--a very difficult task. But the problem of evil can also be used defensively, i.e., to show that atheism is epistemically warranted, justified, or reasonable. Such efforts can succeed even when the proffered arguments fail to convince theists that God does not exist.
Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this nearly one hour interview with Jason Thibodeau, a philosophy professor at Cypress College who's on the board of directors of Internet Infidels, about Plato's famous Euthyphro dilemma to the classic divine command theory of ethics, in which morally right actions are identified with those actions that are commanded (or otherwise approved) by God. After briefly stating a simple version of the Euthyphro dilemma and explaining its history, Thibodeau discusses the difference between (deontic) moral rightness and (axiological) moral goodness, how Robert M. Adams defended a deontic, but not axiological, kind of divine command theory, how the arbitrariness objection to divine command theory arises, and the sophisticated (but unsuccessful) attempts by Edward Wierenga and William Lane Craig to forge a middle way between the two mutually exclusive options of the traditional Euthyphro dilemma (which boil down to whether or not God has reasons for his commands). The discussion then turns to the implausibility of libertarian free will, whether a person who has no knowledge of good and evil can, in that state of ignorance, commit sin, whether a being that is admittedly causally responsible for giving human beings an inclination to sin is in any way morally responsible for their sinful behavior, and whether a being (any being) simply telling someone not to do something can ever really make a forbidden action morally wrong. Check out this wide-ranging yet deep interview!
William Lane Craig has frequently claimed that the Euthyphro dilemma is a false dilemma because there is a third option. In this video, I explain why Craig is wrong about this. I explain the dilemma, explain why it is a dilemma, and show that Craig's alleged third option is not an option at all.
In this video, Jason Thibodeau presents a prima facie case that the Euthyphro problem grounds serious objections to the divine command theory.
The Euthyphro dilemma says that either God has reasons for his commands, or He doesn’t. Take the second option. God has no reasons for His commands. Well, then God’s commands are arbitrary; but morality can’t be arbitrary. Now take the first option. God has reasons for His commands. Well, then these reasons themselves are sufficient to give us moral obligations. No need for God. The Euthyphro dilemma is meant to show that grounding morality in God is misguided. Jason Thibodeau argues that the Euthyphro dilemma is sound, whereas Matt Flannagan argues that it is not.
In this episode of Real Atheology, hosts Ben Watkins & John Lopilato interview Jason Thibodeau, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Cypress College, about the famous Euthyphro dilemma to classic divine command theory and how to respond to apologists who try to split the dilemma.
In this presentation from the 2017 Cypress College World Philosophy Day event, Jason Thibodeau discusses four common myths about morality: that (1) morality depends on God; (2) morality is subjective; (3) morality is relative; and (4) morality does not fit into a material world.