In my last post i wrote about the Euthyphro dilemma.Read about it here.
An objection of the Divine command theory(That which is moral is moral because it is commanded by God), is that moral truthts become arbitray.
An objection to this claim is that God is necessarily good, and that the source and standard of the Good is God’s very nature.This avoids the assertion that morality is arbtriray since morality can now be shown that its grounded in an objective moral standard which is God's very nature of goodness.
But an opponent of the Divine Command theory can ask."If God’s nature rejects the raping of little children, but it is not an arbitrary rejection (rejected for no reasons), then would this not mean that God’s nature is good in accordance with good reasons?"
Then can we not say that God's nature is neccesarily opposed to such acts as rape and murder because there are good reasons not to rape and murder?
So God's nature to call an act wrong or good,must be grounded in "good reasons".This implies that in a world where rape does not cause any suffering or injustice to the victim,then God would have no reason to call rape wrong.But someone wopul say,that,there is no possible world where rape does not cause suffering or injustice.Then wouldn't this still mean that God's nature of goodness is grounded in reasons.Making God's nature of goodness a slave to "reasons" for being good.
It seems clear that for God to escape the charge that morality is arbitrary i.e something IS just good,or something IS just bad,then it must be grounded in reasons.
The question becomes,would this reasons exists if God did not exist?Would we see reasons not to rape,if God did not exist?If the answer is yes,then it means that "reasons' not to rape and by extension,.morality exists outside of God.
What are the problems raised with this type of objection?from Christian Philoaspher's site,William Lane Craig, reasonable faithe he says.;
"The position is that God’s moral nature is the paradigm of goodness; what is good or bad is determined by conformity or lack thereof to His nature.First, we can give good reasons for why God commands what He does,eg rape ir wrong because it is injurious and unjust.But that doesn’t imply that there should be good reasons why love, kindness, and patience are virtues, and why greed, cruelty, and hate are vices apart from the nature of God.
Second, I think we should not confuse being ultimate with being arbitrary. If something serves as one’s explanatory ultimate, there can be no further explanation why that thing is as it is. But that doesn’t imply that it is arbitrary in the sense that it could have been otherwise and so just happens accidentally to be the way it is. God’s nature, like Plato’s Good, is ultimate, it is not arbitrary. Nor is taking God’s nature as paradigmatic of the Good arbitrary, for He is the greatest conceivable being and it is greater to be the paradigm of goodness than merely to exemplify it."
Craig sums it up nicely for this dilemma that has troubled philosphers for ages.
Reasonable Faith - www.reasonablefaith.org - William Lane Craig.
Philosophical Logic - Sybil Wolfram
Euthyphro dilemma - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma