On Euthyphro

It’s a baseless assertion to point out that being conditional on a particular nature doesn’t imply contingency or subjectivity of a statement!? Do you disagree that statements of the form:

If A, then B

Can be objectively and/or necessarily true? (In this case, A = a being has a certain nature, and B = a certain act is right/wrong for that being.)

And I don’t care to reproduce the reasoning I’ve already laid out there, here. (It would be rather long for a forum post, for one thing.) My intention was never to try to defend my reasoning in full in this thread. (It was, I suppose, to push back on Harshman’s simplistic dismissal of the solution to the Euthyphro dilemma, and since he’s dropped out and we’ve been spinning wheels for a couple of posts, maybe we should wrap this up.)

If you don’t want to read further, fine. Yeah, “I have a blog” isn’t an argument. But it is a statement that I have an argument, just one that’s over there instead of here.

I don’t, for the reasons you have been talking about. The holes in @structureoftruth’s argument are too big, and he seems unaware that they exist, or at least that they’re holes. The assumptions that there must be an ultimate, objective standard of morality, that there is a necessary being, that the necessary being must be perfectly good, that he is the being he calls God, that just saying God is the standard bypasses the Euthyphro dilemma, and that our moral intuitions demonstrate that God is perfectly good even though he doesn’t fit our moral intuitions very well, are all unwarranted and undefended. I see no way forward.

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Perhaps, instead of regarding them as “holes in the argument”, what we’re seeing is how you and @structureoftruth have very different philosophical commitments. And the difference is too vast to be bridged by a single thread. Furthermore, Matt claims that each of his commitments are supported by other arguments that he has developed elsewhere, which are out of the scope of this conversation. In other words, it would simply take a lot of time for everyone to “sort everything out” from the ground up, because the starting paradigms are so different. (It is in fact amazing to me that despite these differences in philosophically paradigms you and Matt can presumably still agree on various scientific matters.)

But it is good, I think, that we have had this thread to explore where the points of disagreement are. Many conversations develop into acrimony quickly because there are hidden assumptions that one participant thinks is obviously right while the other thinks is questionable. Hopefully this thread will be a good reference to see where each side is coming from in these discussions about God and morality.

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No. This is the baseless assertion: “the rightness or wrongness of said act for creatures of that nature is still an objective (not constituted by merely subjective features) necessary (could not have been otherwise) moral fact.”

That help?

No, that is not a valid interpretation. We all seem to have the standards of logic here. @structureoftruth’s arguments fail on those grounds.

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But he isn’t making his assumptions for the sake of argument. He’s insisting that they’re true. We may actually be agreed that if all his assumptions are true, his argument escapes from the Euthyphro dilemma. I’m not sure of that, but it’s moot if his assumptions are all false, as it appears to me.


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