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Philosophy Issues in “Euthyphro” by Plato Essay


The article “Euthyphro” presents a Socratic dialogue between Euthyphro and Socrates. The Euthyphro dilemma appears to take different forms or interpretations. The dilemma in this dialogue is “whether God says actions or things are morally acceptable because they are naturally good, or such practices become moral because God appears to declare them to be ethical” (Harris 69).

This dilemma tries to explain why things are morally acceptable because they are good. When the above happens, such acts will always be independent of God. Such actions will also be good. The next thing is for God to appeal to such things in order to find out what appears to be good or acceptable.

The other scenario is when something becomes moral because God has already commanded it to be good. This “situation means that goodness is arbitral” (Harris 57). This evidence also explains why God is the determinant.

He is the one who defines what ought to be evil or good. It becomes evident that God can permit bad actions such as murder. Such a practice is “acceptable because God believes it should be good” (Harris 68). God can also treat honesty as something bad. This description explains why many scholars and philosophers have analyzed and studied this dilemma in details.

My Response to the Euthyphro Dilemma

The dilemma presented in the dialogue is nothing but a refutable dichotomy. This dichotomy is erroneous because it does not solve itself. This ethical dilemma proposes only two options. The reader does not get his or her answer from the dilemma. The dialogue also fails to propose a better option. Every reader should analyze this dialogue from a critical perspective. The third possible option is that human beings “can treat some actions to be good based on God’s commandments” (Harris 69).

Human beings can always differentiate the bad from the good using God’s nature. This dilemma fails to present this option thus making it questionable. The scriptures and other religious traditions explain why God will always appeal to his own image and character. He shows humans what should be good. God’s nature also portrays every good practice. The Euthyphro dilemma presents a dichotomy that does not deliver any meaningful information about the definitions of evil and good.

This dialogue is challenging because it does not teach us anything new. The dichotomy does not help human beings understand the meaning of good and evil. A third option is necessary in order to define “every good action based on God’s teachings and nature” (Harris 89). God will never lie. This practice portrays God’s nature. Human beings should not lie because God cannot do so. It is agreeable that God does not have to declare the practice unacceptable or discover whether it is wrong or not.

God does not create a standard to measure what might be bad or good. He also does not declare any bad or good action (Harris 74). The best thing is for every believer to follow the biblical option because it portrays God’s image and nature. Good has always remained good naturally. He has always revealed his nature to every person.

The dilemma portrayed in this dialogue is meaningless because it does not offer any religious theology. Every person might interpret this dilemma differently. The best practice is to consider the importance of morality and ethics. This approach will help more people to do what is right and avoid evil.

Works Cited

Harris, Harriet. God, Goodness and Philosophy. New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 2). Philosophy Issues in "Euthyphro" by Plato. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issues-in-euthyphro-by-plato/

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"Philosophy Issues in "Euthyphro" by Plato." IvyPanda, 2 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issues-in-euthyphro-by-plato/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Philosophy Issues in "Euthyphro" by Plato." April 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosophy-issues-in-euthyphro-by-plato/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Philosophy Issues in "Euthyphro" by Plato'. 2 April.

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