1. Morality and Authority

The Socratic Method of Philosophical Inquiry

1.  Read Plato’s dialogue “Euthyphro” at http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/euthyfro.html.

2.  Define the term “morality” by answering Euthyphro’s dilemma.

If you were Euthyphro, how would you have responded when Socrates inquired:

“Is an action morally good because God commands it,
or does God command it because it is morally good?”

3. Read Euthyphro’s Dilemma at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_Dilemma

4. Read Divine Command Theory at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_command_theory.


by Plato

Written 380 B.C.E

Translated by Benjamin Jowett

Persons of the Dialogue

The Porch of the King Archon.

Euthyphro. Why have you left the Lyceum, Socrates? and what are you doing in the Porch of the King Archon? Surely you cannot be concerned in a suit before the King, like myself?

Socrates. Not in a suit, Euthyphro; impeachment is the word which the Athenians use.

Euth. What! I suppose that some one has been prosecuting you, for I cannot believe that you are the prosecutor of another.

Soc. Certainly not.

Euth. Then some one else has been prosecuting you?

Soc. Yes.

Euth. And who is he?

Soc. A young man who is little known, Euthyphro; and I hardly know him: his name is Meletus, and he is of the deme of Pitthis. Perhaps you may remember his appearance; he has a beak, and long straight hair, and a beard which is ill grown.

Euth. No, I do not remember him, Socrates. But what is the charge which he brings against you?

Soc. What is the charge? Well, a very serious charge, which shows a good deal of character in the young man, and for which he is certainly not to be despised. He says he knows how the youth are corrupted and who are their corruptors. I fancy that he must be a wise man, and seeing that I am the reverse of a wise man, he has found me out, and is going to accuse me of corrupting his young friends. And of this our mother the state is to be the judge. Of all our political men he is the only one who seems to me to begin in the right way, with the cultivation of virtue in youth; like a good husbandman, he makes the young shoots his first care, and clears away us who are the destroyers of them. This is only the first step; he will afterwards attend to the elder branches; and if he goes on as he has begun, he will be a very great public benefactor.

Euth. I hope that he may; but I rather fear, Socrates, that the opposite will turn out to be the truth. My opinion is that in attacking you he is simply aiming a blow at the foundation of the state. But in what way does he say that you corrupt the young?

Soc. He brings a wonderful accusation against me, which at first hearing excites surprise: he says that I am a poet or maker of gods, and that I invent new gods and deny the existence of old ones; this is the ground of his indictment.

Euth. I understand, Socrates; he means to attack you about the familiar sign which occasionally, as you say, comes to you. He thinks that you are a neologian, and he is going to have you up before the court for this. He knows that such a charge is readily received by the world, as I myself know too well; for when I speak in the assembly about divine things, and foretell the future to them, they laugh at me and think me a madman. Yet every word that I say is true. But they are jealous of us all; and we must be brave and go at them.

Soc. Their laughter, friend Euthyphro, is not a matter of much consequence. For a man may be thought wise; but the Athenians, I suspect, do not much trouble themselves about him until he begins to impart his wisdom to others, and then for some reason or other, perhaps, as you say, from jealousy, they are angry.

Euth. I am never likely to try their temper in this way.

Soc. I dare say not, for you are reserved in your behaviour, and seldom impart your wisdom. But I have a benevolent habit of pouring out myself to everybody, and would even pay for a listener, and I am afraid that the Athenians may think me too talkative. Now if, as I was saying, they would only laugh at me, as you say that they laugh at you, the time might pass gaily enough in the court; but perhaps they may be in earnest, and then what the end will be you soothsayers only can predict.

Euth. I dare say that the affair will end in nothing, Socrates, and that you will win your cause; and I think that I shall win my own.

Soc. And what is your suit, Euthyphro? are you the pursuer or the defendant?

Euth. I am the pursuer.

Soc. Of whom?

Euth. You will think me mad when I tell you.

Soc. Why, has the fugitive wings?

Euth. Nay, he is not very volatile at his time of life.

Soc. Who is he?

Euth. My father.

Soc. Your father! my good man?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. And of what is he accused?

Euth. Of murder, Socrates.

Soc. By the powers, Euthyphro! how little does the common herd know of the nature of right and truth. A man must be an extraordinary man, and have made great strides in wisdom, before he could have seen his way to bring such an action.

Euth. Indeed, Socrates, he must.

Soc. I suppose that the man whom your father murdered was one of your relatives-clearly he was; for if he had been a stranger you would never have thought of prosecuting him.

Euth. I am amused, Socrates, at your making a distinction between one who is a relation and one who is not a relation; for surely the pollution is the same in either case, if you knowingly associate with the murderer when you ought to clear yourself and him by proceeding against him. The real question is whether the murdered man has been justly slain. If justly, then your duty is to let the matter alone; but if unjustly, then even if the murderer lives under the same roof with you and eats at the same table, proceed against him. Now the man who is dead was a poor dependent of mine who worked for us as a field labourer on our farm in Naxos, and one day in a fit of drunken passion he got into a quarrel with one of our domestic servants and slew him. My father bound him hand and foot and threw him into a ditch, and then sent to Athens to ask of a diviner what he should do with him. Meanwhile he never attended to him and took no care about him, for he regarded him as a murderer; and thought that no great harm would be done even if he did die. Now this was just what happened. For such was the effect of cold and hunger and chains upon him, that before the messenger returned from the diviner, he was dead. And my father and family are angry with me for taking the part of the murderer and prosecuting my father. They say that he did not kill him, and that if he did, dead man was but a murderer, and I ought not to take any notice, for that a son is impious who prosecutes a father. Which shows, Socrates, how little they know what the gods think about piety and impiety.

Soc. Good heavens, Euthyphro! and is your knowledge of religion and of things pious and impious so very exact, that, supposing the circumstances to be as you state them, you are not afraid lest you too may be doing an impious thing in bringing an action against your father?

Euth. The best of Euthyphro, and that which distinguishes him, Socrates, from other men, is his exact knowledge of all such matters. What should I be good for without it?

Soc. Rare friend! I think that I cannot do better than be your disciple. Then before the trial with Meletus comes on I shall challenge him, and say that I have always had a great interest in religious questions, and now, as he charges me with rash imaginations and innovations in religion, I have become your disciple. You, Meletus, as I shall say to him, acknowledge Euthyphro to be a great theologian, and sound in his opinions; and if you approve of him you ought to approve of me, and not have me into court; but if you disapprove, you should begin by indicting him who is my teacher, and who will be the ruin, not of the young, but of the old; that is to say, of myself whom he instructs, and of his old father whom he admonishes and chastises. And if Meletus refuses to listen to me, but will go on, and will not shift the indictment from me to you, I cannot do better than repeat this challenge in the court.

Euth. Yes, indeed, Socrates; and if he attempts to indict me I am mistaken if I do not find a flaw in him; the court shall have a great deal more to say to him than to me.

Soc. And I, my dear friend, knowing this, am desirous of becoming your disciple. For I observe that no one appears to notice you- not even this Meletus; but his sharp eyes have found me out at once, and he has indicted me for impiety. And therefore, I adjure you to tell me the nature of piety and impiety, which you said that you knew so well, and of murder, and of other offences against the gods. What are they? Is not piety in every action always the same? and impiety, again- is it not always the opposite of piety, and also the same with itself, having, as impiety, one notion which includes whatever is impious?

Euth. To be sure, Socrates.

Soc. And what is piety, and what is impiety?

Euth. Piety is doing as I am doing; that is to say, prosecuting any one who is guilty of murder, sacrilege, or of any similar crime-whether he be your father or mother, or whoever he may be-that makes no difference; and not to prosecute them is impiety. And please to consider, Socrates, what a notable proof I will give you of the truth of my words, a proof which I have already given to others:-of the principle, I mean, that the impious, whoever he may be, ought not to go unpunished. For do not men regard Zeus as the best and most righteous of the gods?-and yet they admit that he bound his father (Cronos) because he wickedly devoured his sons, and that he too had punished his own father (Uranus) for a similar reason, in a nameless manner. And yet when I proceed against my father, they are angry with me. So inconsistent are they in their way of talking when the gods are concerned, and when I am concerned.

Soc. May not this be the reason, Euthyphro, why I am charged with impiety-that I cannot away with these stories about the gods? and therefore I suppose that people think me wrong. But, as you who are well informed about them approve of them, I cannot do better than assent to your superior wisdom. What else can I say, confessing as I do, that I know nothing about them? Tell me, for the love of Zeus, whether you really believe that they are true.

Euth. Yes, Socrates; and things more wonderful still, of which the world is in ignorance.

Soc. And do you really believe that the gods, fought with one another, and had dire quarrels, battles, and the like, as the poets say, and as you may see represented in the works of great artists? The temples are full of them; and notably the robe of Athene, which is carried up to the Acropolis at the great Panathenaea, is embroidered with them. Are all these tales of the gods true, Euthyphro?

Euth. Yes, Socrates; and, as I was saying, I can tell you, if you would like to hear them, many other things about the gods which would quite amaze you.

Soc. I dare say; and you shall tell me them at some other time when I have leisure. But just at present I would rather hear from you a more precise answer, which you have not as yet given, my friend, to the question, What is “piety”? When asked, you only replied, Doing as you do, charging your father with murder.

Euth. And what I said was true, Socrates.

Soc. No doubt, Euthyphro; but you would admit that there are many other pious acts?

Euth. There are.

Soc. Remember that I did not ask you to give me two or three examples of piety, but to explain the general idea which makes all pious things to be pious. Do you not recollect that there was one idea which made the impious impious, and the pious pious?

Euth. I remember.

Soc. Tell me what is the nature of this idea, and then I shall have a standard to which I may look, and by which I may measure actions, whether yours or those of any one else, and then I shall be able to say that such and such an action is pious, such another impious.

Euth. I will tell you, if you like.

Soc. I should very much like.

Euth. Piety, then, is that which is dear to the gods, and impiety is that which is not dear to them.

Soc. Very good, Euthyphro; you have now given me the sort of answer which I wanted. But whether what you say is true or not I cannot as yet tell, although I make no doubt that you will prove the truth of your words.

Euth. Of course.

Soc. Come, then, and let us examine what we are saying. That thing or person which is dear to the gods is pious, and that thing or person which is hateful to the gods is impious, these two being the extreme opposites of one another. Was not that said?

Euth. It was.

Soc. And well said?

Euth. Yes, Socrates, I thought so; it was certainly said.

Soc. And further, Euthyphro, the gods were admitted to have enmities and hatreds and differences?

Euth. Yes, that was also said.

Soc. And what sort of difference creates enmity and anger? Suppose for example that you and I, my good friend, differ about a number; do differences of this sort make us enemies and set us at variance with one another? Do we not go at once to arithmetic, and put an end to them by a sum?

Euth. True.

Soc. Or suppose that we differ about magnitudes, do we not quickly end the differences by measuring?

Euth. Very true.

Soc. And we end a controversy about heavy and light by resorting to a weighing machine?

Euth. To be sure.

Soc. But what differences are there which cannot be thus decided, and which therefore make us angry and set us at enmity with one another? I dare say the answer does not occur to you at the moment, and therefore I will suggest that these enmities arise when the matters of difference are the just and unjust, good and evil, honourable and dishonourable. Are not these the points about which men differ, and about which when we are unable satisfactorily to decide our differences, you and I and all of us quarrel, when we do quarrel?

Euth. Yes, Socrates, the nature of the differences about which we quarrel is such as you describe.

Soc. And the quarrels of the gods, noble Euthyphro, when they occur, are of a like nature?

Euth. Certainly they are.

Soc. They have differences of opinion, as you say, about good and evil, just and unjust, honourable and dishonourable: there would have been no quarrels among them, if there had been no such differences-would there now?

Euth. You are quite right.

Soc. Does not every man love that which he deems noble and just and good, and hate the opposite of them?

Euth. Very true.

Soc. But, as you say, people regard the same things, some as just and others as unjust,-about these they dispute; and so there arise wars and fightings among them.

Euth. Very true.

Soc. Then the same things are hated by the gods and loved by the gods, and are both hateful and dear to them?

Euth. True.

Soc. And upon this view the same things, Euthyphro, will be pious and also impious?

Euth. So I should suppose.

Soc. Then, my friend, I remark with surprise that you have not answered the question which I asked. For I certainly did not ask you to tell me what action is both pious and impious: but now it would seem that what is loved by the gods is also hated by them. And therefore, Euthyphro, in thus chastising your father you may very likely be doing what is agreeable to Zeus but disagreeable to Cronos or Uranus, and what is acceptable to Hephaestus but unacceptable to Here, and there may be other gods who have similar differences of opinion.

Euth. But I believe, Socrates, that all the gods would be agreed as to the propriety of punishing a murderer: there would be no difference of opinion about that.

Soc. Well, but speaking of men, Euthyphro, did you ever hear any one arguing that a murderer or any sort of evil-doer ought to be let off?

Euth. I should rather say that these are the questions which they are always arguing, especially in courts of law: they commit all sorts of crimes, and there is nothing which they will not do or say in their own defence.

Soc. But do they admit their guilt, Euthyphro, and yet say that they ought not to be punished?

Euth. No; they do not.

Soc. Then there are some things which they do not venture to say and do: for they do not venture to argue that the guilty are to be unpunished, but they deny their guilt, do they not?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. Then they do not argue that the evil-doer should not be punished, but they argue about the fact of who the evil-doer is, and what he did and when?

Euth. True.

Soc. And the gods are in the same case, if as you assert they quarrel about just and unjust, and some of them say while others deny that injustice is done among them. For surely neither God nor man will ever venture to say that the doer of injustice is not to be punished?

Euth. That is true, Socrates, in the main.

Soc. But they join issue about the particulars-gods and men alike; and, if they dispute at all, they dispute about some act which is called in question, and which by some is affirmed to be just, by others to be unjust. Is not that true?

Euth. Quite true.

Soc. Well then, my dear friend Euthyphro, do tell me, for my better instruction and information, what proof have you that in the opinion of all the gods a servant who is guilty of murder, and is put in chains by the master of the dead man, and dies because he is put in chains before he who bound him can learn from the interpreters of the gods what he ought to do with him, dies unjustly; and that on behalf of such an one a son ought to proceed against his father and accuse him of murder. How would you show that all the gods absolutely agree in approving of his act? Prove to me that they do, and I will applaud your wisdom as long as I live.

Euth. It will be a difficult task; but I could make the matter very dear indeed to you.

Soc. I understand; you mean to say that I am not so quick of apprehension as the judges: for to them you will be sure to prove that the act is unjust, and hateful to the gods.

Euth. Yes indeed, Socrates; at least if they will listen to me.

Soc. But they will be sure to listen if they find that you are a good speaker. There was a notion that came into my mind while you were speaking; I said to myself: “Well, and what if Euthyphro does prove to me that all the gods regarded the death of the serf as unjust, how do I know anything more of the nature of piety and impiety? for granting that this action may be hateful to the gods, still piety and impiety are not adequately defined by these distinctions, for that which is hateful to the gods has been shown to be also pleasing and dear to them.” And therefore, Euthyphro, I do not ask you to prove this; I will suppose, if you like, that all the gods condemn and abominate such an action. But I will amend the definition so far as to say that what all the gods hate is impious, and what they love pious or holy; and what some of them love and others hate is both or neither. Shall this be our definition of piety and impiety?

Euth. Why not, Socrates?

Soc. Why not! certainly, as far as I am concerned, Euthyphro, there is no reason why not. But whether this admission will greatly assist you in the task of instructing me as you promised, is a matter for you to consider.

Euth. Yes, I should say that what all the gods love is pious and holy, and the opposite which they all hate, impious.

Soc. Ought we to enquire into the truth of this, Euthyphro, or simply to accept the mere statement on our own authority and that of others? What do you say?

Euth. We should enquire; and I believe that the statement will stand the test of enquiry.

Soc. We shall know better, my good friend, in a little while. The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.

Euth. I do not understand your meaning, Socrates.

Soc. I will endeavour to explain: we, speak of carrying and we speak of being carried, of leading and being led, seeing and being seen. You know that in all such cases there is a difference, and you know also in what the difference lies?

Euth. I think that I understand.

Soc. And is not that which is beloved distinct from that which loves?

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. Well; and now tell me, is that which is carried in this state of carrying because it is carried, or for some other reason?

Euth. No; that is the reason.

Soc. And the same is true of what is led and of what is seen?

Euth. True.

Soc. And a thing is not seen because it is visible, but conversely, visible because it is seen; nor is a thing led because it is in the state of being led, or carried because it is in the state of being carried, but the converse of this. And now I think, Euthyphro, that my meaning will be intelligible; and my meaning is, that any state of action or passion implies previous action or passion. It does not become because it is becoming, but it is in a state of becoming because it becomes; neither does it suffer because it is in a state of suffering, but it is in a state of suffering because it suffers. Do you not agree?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. Is not that which is loved in some state either of becoming or suffering?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. And the same holds as in the previous instances; the state of being loved follows the act of being loved, and not the act the state.

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. And what do you say of piety, Euthyphro: is not piety, according to your definition, loved by all the gods?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. Because it is pious or holy, or for some other reason?

Euth. No, that is the reason.

Soc. It is loved because it is holy, not holy because it is loved?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. And that which is dear to the gods is loved by them, and is in a state to be loved of them because it is loved of them?

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. Then that which is dear to the gods, Euthyphro, is not holy, nor is that which is holy loved of God, as you affirm; but they are two different things.

Euth. How do you mean, Socrates?

Soc. I mean to say that the holy has been acknowledge by us to be loved of God because it is holy, not to be holy because it is loved.

Euth. Yes.

Soc. But that which is dear to the gods is dear to them because it is loved by them, not loved by them because it is dear to them.

Euth. True.

Soc. But, friend Euthyphro, if that which is holy is the same with that which is dear to God, and is loved because it is holy, then that which is dear to God would have been loved as being dear to God; but if that which dear to God is dear to him because loved by him, then that which is holy would have been holy because loved by him. But now you see that the reverse is the case, and that they are quite different from one another. For one (theophiles) is of a kind to be loved cause it is loved, and the other (osion) is loved because it is of a kind to be loved. Thus you appear to me, Euthyphro, when I ask you what is the essence of holiness, to offer an attribute only, and not the essence-the attribute of being loved by all the gods. But you still refuse to explain to me the nature of holiness. And therefore, if you please, I will ask you not to hide your treasure, but to tell me once more what holiness or piety really is, whether dear to the gods or not (for that is a matter about which we will not quarrel) and what is impiety?

Euth. I really do not know, Socrates, how to express what I mean. For somehow or other our arguments, on whatever ground we rest them, seem to turn round and walk away from us.

Soc. Your words, Euthyphro, are like the handiwork of my ancestor Daedalus; and if I were the sayer or propounder of them, you might say that my arguments walk away and will not remain fixed where they are placed because I am a descendant of his. But now, since these notions are your own, you must find some other gibe, for they certainly, as you yourself allow, show an inclination to be on the move.

Euth. Nay, Socrates, I shall still say that you are the Daedalus who sets arguments in motion; not I, certainly, but you make them move or go round, for they would never have stirred, as far as I am concerned.

Soc. Then I must be a greater than Daedalus: for whereas he only made his own inventions to move, I move those of other people as well. And the beauty of it is, that I would rather not. For I would give the wisdom of Daedalus, and the wealth of Tantalus, to be able to detain them and keep them fixed. But enough of this. As I perceive that you are lazy, I will myself endeavor to show you how you might instruct me in the nature of piety; and I hope that you will not grudge your labour. Tell me, then-Is not that which is pious necessarily just?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. And is, then, all which is just pious? or, is that which is pious all just, but that which is just, only in part and not all, pious?

Euth. I do not understand you, Socrates.

Soc. And yet I know that you are as much wiser than I am, as you are younger. But, as I was saying, revered friend, the abundance of your wisdom makes you lazy. Please to exert yourself, for there is no real difficulty in understanding me. What I mean I may explain by an illustration of what I do not mean. The poet (Stasinus) sings-

Of Zeus, the author and creator of all these things,
You will not tell: for where there is fear there is also
reverence. Now I disagree with this poet. Shall I tell you in what respect?

Euth. By all means.

Soc. I should not say that where there is fear there is also reverence; for I am sure that many persons fear poverty and disease, and the like evils, but I do not perceive that they reverence the objects of their fear.

Euth. Very true.

Soc. But where reverence is, there is fear; for he who has a feeling of reverence and shame about the commission of any action, fears and is afraid of an ill reputation.

Euth. No doubt.

Soc. Then we are wrong in saying that where there is fear there is also reverence; and we should say, where there is reverence there is also fear. But there is not always reverence where there is fear; for fear is a more extended notion, and reverence is a part of fear, just as the odd is a part of number, and number is a more extended notion than the odd. I suppose that you follow me now?

Euth. Quite well.

Soc. That was the sort of question which I meant to raise when I asked whether the just is always the pious, or the pious always the just; and whether there may not be justice where there is not piety; for justice is the more extended notion of which piety is only a part. Do you dissent?

Euth. No, I think that you are quite right.

Soc. Then, if piety is a part of justice, I suppose that we should enquire what part? If you had pursued the enquiry in the previous cases; for instance, if you had asked me what is an even number, and what part of number the even is, I should have had no difficulty in replying, a number which represents a figure having two equal sides. Do you not agree?

Euth. Yes, I quite agree.

Soc. In like manner, I want you to tell me what part of justice is piety or holiness, that I may be able to tell Meletus not to do me injustice, or indict me for impiety, as I am now adequately instructed by you in the nature of piety or holiness, and their opposites.

Euth. Piety or holiness, Socrates, appears to me to be that part of justice which attends to the gods, as there is the other part of justice which attends to men.

Soc. That is good, Euthyphro; yet still there is a little point about which I should like to have further information, What is the meaning of “attention”? For attention can hardly be used in the same sense when applied to the gods as when applied to other things. For instance, horses are said to require attention, and not every person is able to attend to them, but only a person skilled in horsemanship. Is it not so?

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. I should suppose that the art of horsemanship is the art of attending to horses?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. Nor is every one qualified to attend to dogs, but only the huntsman?

Euth. True.

Soc. And I should also conceive that the art of the huntsman is the art of attending to dogs?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. As the art of the ox herd is the art of attending to oxen?

Euth. Very true.

Soc. In like manner holiness or piety is the art of attending to the gods?-that would be your meaning, Euthyphro?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. And is not attention always designed for the good or benefit of that to which the attention is given? As in the case of horses, you may observe that when attended to by the horseman’s art they are benefited and improved, are they not?

Euth. True.

Soc. As the dogs are benefited by the huntsman’s art, and the oxen by the art of the ox herd, and all other things are tended or attended for their good and not for their hurt?

Euth. Certainly, not for their hurt.

Soc. But for their good?

Euth. Of course.

Soc. And does piety or holiness, which has been defined to be the art of attending to the gods, benefit or improve them? Would you say that when you do a holy act you make any of the gods better?

Euth. No, no; that was certainly not what I meant.

Soc. And I, Euthyphro, never supposed that you did. I asked you the question about the nature of the attention, because I thought that you did not.

Euth. You do me justice, Socrates; that is not the sort of attention which I mean.

Soc. Good: but I must still ask what is this attention to the gods which is called piety?

Euth. It is such, Socrates, as servants show to their masters.

Soc. I understand-a sort of ministration to the gods.

Euth. Exactly.

Soc. Medicine is also a sort of ministration or service, having in view the attainment of some object-would you not say of health?

Euth. I should.

Soc. Again, there is an art which ministers to the ship-builder with a view to the attainment of some result?

Euth. Yes, Socrates, with a view to the building of a ship.

Soc. As there is an art which ministers to the housebuilder with a view to the building of a house?

Euth. Yes.

Soc. And now tell me, my good friend, about the art which ministers to the gods: what work does that help to accomplish? For you must surely know if, as you say, you are of all men living the one who is best instructed in religion.

Euth. And I speak the truth, Socrates.

Soc. Tell me then, oh tell me-what is that fair work which the gods do by the help of our ministrations?

Euth. Many and fair, Socrates, are the works which they do. Soc. Why, my friend, and so are those of a general. But the chief of them is easily told. Would you not say that victory in war is the chief of them?

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. Many and fair, too, are the works of the husbandman, if I am not mistaken; but his chief work is the production of food from the earth?

Euth. Exactly.

Soc. And of the many and fair things done by the gods, which is the chief or principal one?

Euth. I have told you already, Socrates, that to learn all these things accurately will be very tiresome. Let me simply say that piety or holiness is learning, how to please the gods in word and deed, by prayers and sacrifices. Such piety, is the salvation of families and states, just as the impious, which is unpleasing to the gods, is their ruin and destruction.

Soc. I think that you could have answered in much fewer words the chief question which I asked, Euthyphro, if you had chosen. But I see plainly that you are not disposed to instruct me-dearly not: else why, when we reached the point, did you turn, aside? Had you only answered me I should have truly learned of you by this time the-nature of piety. Now, as the asker of a question is necessarily dependent on the answerer, whither he leads-I must follow; and can only ask again, what is the pious, and what is piety? Do you mean that they are a, sort of science of praying and sacrificing?

Euth. Yes, I do.

Soc. And sacrificing is giving to the gods, and prayer is asking of the gods?

Euth. Yes, Socrates.

Soc. Upon this view, then piety is a science of asking and giving?

Euth. You understand me capitally, Socrates.

Soc. Yes, my friend; the. reason is that I am a votary of your science, and give my mind to it, and therefore nothing which you say will be thrown away upon me. Please then to tell me, what is the nature of this service to the gods? Do you mean that we prefer requests and give gifts to them?

Euth. Yes, I do.

Soc. Is not the right way of asking to ask of them what we want?

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. And the right way of giving is to give to them in return what they want of us. There would be no, in an art which gives to any one that which he does not want.

Euth. Very true, Socrates.

Soc. Then piety, Euthyphro, is an art which gods and men have of doing business with one another?

Euth. That is an expression which you may use, if you like.

Soc. But I have no particular liking for anything but the truth. I wish, however, that you would tell me what benefit accrues to the gods from our gifts. There is no doubt about what they give to us; for there is no good thing which they do not give; but how we can give any good thing to them in return is far from being equally clear. If they give everything and we give nothing, that must be an affair of business in which we have very greatly the advantage of them.

Euth. And do you imagine, Socrates, that any benefit accrues to the gods from our gifts?

Soc. But if not, Euthyphro, what is the meaning of gifts which are conferred by us upon the gods?

Euth. What else, but tributes of honour; and, as I was just now saying, what pleases them?

Soc. Piety, then, is pleasing to the gods, but not beneficial or dear to them?

Euth. I should say that nothing could be dearer.

Soc. Then once more the assertion is repeated that piety is dear to the gods?

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. And when you say this, can you wonder at your words not standing firm, but walking away? Will you accuse me of being the Daedalus who makes them walk away, not perceiving that there is another and far greater artist than Daedalus who makes them go round in a circle, and he is yourself; for the argument, as you will perceive, comes round to the same point. Were we not saying that the holy or pious was not the same with that which is loved of the gods? Have you forgotten?

Euth. I quite remember.

Soc. And are you not saying that what is loved of the gods is holy; and is not this the same as what is dear to them-do you see?

Euth. True.

Soc. Then either we were wrong in former assertion; or, if we were right then, we are wrong now.

Euth. One of the two must be true.

Soc. Then we must begin again and ask, What is piety? That is an enquiry which I shall never be weary of pursuing as far as in me lies; and I entreat you not to scorn me, but to apply your mind to the utmost, and tell me the truth. For, if any man knows, you are he; and therefore I must detain you, like Proteus, until you tell. If you had not certainly known the nature of piety and impiety, I am confident that you would never, on behalf of a serf, have charged your aged father with murder. You would not have run such a risk of doing wrong in the sight of the gods, and you would have had too much respect for the opinions of men. I am sure, therefore, that you know the nature of piety and impiety. Speak out then, my dear Euthyphro, and do not hide your knowledge.

Euth. Another time, Socrates; for I am in a hurry, and must go now.

Soc. Alas! my companion, and will you leave me in despair? I was hoping that you would instruct me in the nature of piety and impiety; and then I might have cleared myself of Meletus and his indictment. I would have told him that I had been enlightened by Euthyphro, and had given up rash innovations and speculations, in which I indulged only through ignorance, and that now I am about to lead a better life.


46 Responses

  1. For me God command it because it is morally good.

    The term the God here mean the authority. the term good here is something that is not evil.

    It is because the people know that it is good and they know if they will do that thing. And they know it because God taught it to the people.

    But on the other side, what if the Gods taught things that is bad but they told the people that it is good? And what if the people do it even if it is wrong and they know that it is good

  2. Socrates was a wise man and when I would give a chance to answer euthyphro’s dilemma maybe I would say that God command it because it is morally good.

    In Euthyphro’s side he said that what god loved is pious. But in my side I can’t accept that what god loved is pious because I believe pious exist even when there is no god beside different people are situated in the world differently that is why different people have different concept of the word pious or moral.

    In addition, Morality is independent to authority that is why whatever happens moral is moral, even gods can’t change what they wanted to be moral.

  3. My answer is that God commands an action because it is morally good.

    First of all, morality is defined as the code of conduct that enables us,human beings to decide whether an action is right or wrong. Guilt and conscience are the factors that helps us to choose the right thing to do.

    I chose the second one because I know in myself that God is like us. Having guilt and conscience like us, He will not command anything that will harm anyone of His created beings which means that even us will do the same for we are created in His own image and all of us possesses the factors to determine right from wrong.

    On the other hand, if i were to chose the first one, I would have a reason that God, acknowledged to be the Supreme Being, knows what’s the best for all us so He will command things to us whether it is moral or immoral.

    -John Michael Vincent T. Hipolito (1CS- 3)-

  4. God is not needed for objective morality. But rather,He is the one who guides and invokes us to live by it.

    Basically, we set “goodness” as the standards of determining what is moral. But when is something good? Is something good when it is right? Or can something still be good despite the fact it is wrong?

    Euthanasia is good because it lessens the burden of those who suffer. But it is not right because you neglect it of its rights to struggle for life. Considering every creature deserves to live at his own consent,in euthanasia, the person becomes violated. Without anybody telling us, we find ourselves realizing it is immoral.

    If otherwise, God is the basis of morality, then there is no morality without God, whatever God tells us, we’ll follow. And if so, the righteous becomes self-reliant and goodness becomes undefined.

  5. My answer to the question is “God command it because it is morally good”

    Morality itself is a philosophy.Morality speaks of a system of behavior in regards to standards of right or wrong behavior.

    God commands it beacause it is morally good,
    He does not want to mandate things that will maltreat others.All his teachings is for the good of mankind and for all of His other creations as well.

    Raymund Miguel F. Alvarez [1IT-3]

  6. For me, god commanded it because it is morally good.

    The term God signifies those with the authority in which the people idolizes because of what he did. The term good is something advantageous for the people.

    If the people knows that the God/authority wouldn’t do a thing that will make them suffer, then it is the God that commanded it for the benefit of the people.

    On the other hand, if the God uses our ignorance to make the bad things look good to us, then something is morally good even without the Gods.

  7. I think that God commands it because we have to live and die with what is morally good.

    God here is the one who has the power over us and “morality” is not violating a man’s right to live.

    Everyone must respect each other in order for us to do what is morally good. Forcing the issue is against morality so i think that everyone must know their limitations because if they do, goodness will surely follow and that is what God commands us to do.

    But on the other side, God is still in charge of everything because I think that we are worthless without Him.

  8. Morality refers to the distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, and of good and right. It focuses more on the quality of an action which renders it right than good.

    Man is rational, free and has the ability to reason. Meaning, he has the ability to set his own end and can distinguish what is right from wrong and what is moral from immoral without anyone telling them.

    Therefore, God commands a certain action because it is moral. Not because the action favors Him, glorifies Him, pleases Him or is dear to Him, but because the action itself is moral to begin with.

    However, an action is also moral because God commands it. The reason is, God only commands what is moral and not something that will put us or the people around us in harm.

  9. God commands an action because it is morally good.

    Morality is defined as the teaching of the rules of right behavior and the quality of human acts by which we call them good or evil. God here is the one who has the authority.

    Everyone has the natural tendency to do what they recognize as good and avoid what they recognize as evil. That’s why people will do something which is morally good even if there’s no authority to command them. Besides, God wouldn’t command something that is evil for it would go against his teachings.

    On the other hand, there can’t be morality without God for the society wouldn’t be prosperous and ordered unless there’s someone with authority to command what is good from evil.

  10. In my judgment, I feel that morality is a separate and independent entity from authority and thus, the morality of an action, is therefore not reliant on God.

    By definition, morality is the set of rules and standards; more specifically, it is a system of ideas of right and wrong conduct.

    It is a given that every person, sentient and rational as he is, has his own intrinsic value and can judge and decide for himself. If an authority is using or in this case, God, implements a morality ideal for himself, then that is just simply using another person for his own end which in a sense, can be good for him (and a bit too subjective), but not really right because of the violation of that person’s capability to set his own end.

    On the other hand, since God created everything, he must’ve also set this morality which we know of. Without him, there wouldn’t be any meaning for all of this. In addition, since God is omniscient and all-good, he wouldn’t really command something which virtually wrong in our morality today.

  11. God love something because it is moral, not that God loves it that’s why it is moral.

    Authority has nothing to do with it. God loves it and commands it because He saw that that deed is right thing to do and consider it as moral.
    Morality is the right manner and conduct that is accepted by the human nature and the society.
    God determined that something is moral by knowing and looking to the deed’s nature, if it is morally good then He will teach it to us, humans and as humans who are under God because God created all that is existing in our world, including values and conduct, we accepted what is taught by God. As God, He will not teach us something that will harm us or others. God also gave something for us, human to distinguish what is moral, he gave us our intellect. So, God taught it to us, so it is up to us if we follow it as God commands it or not. God created morality for us to live our lives peacefully and for our safety.

  12. I believe that the Gods command it because something is moral.

    I believe that each and everyone of us is moral in a way. Morality for me is doing the right thing and not just simply doing a good thing.

    Lets take for example in a quiz. A student (an intelligent student) is thinking if he should let his friend copy his answers because letting his friend copy his answers is “good”, because his friend will surely pass. But on the other hand it is “wrong” because as we know cheating is something that is wrong. So if the student won’t let his friend copy his answers it would be bad but at the same time it is moral. Bad in a sense that you let your friend down, and moral in a way that you did the right thing.

    On the other hand, an action is moral because the Gods command it. As we know we follow rules that God has created, we also know that God is the one who created us, therefore God is the one who is in authority, and therefore we should follow Him. Just like in school we follow the rules and the ones in authority.

  13. For me, something is considered to be moral not because the authority love it; hence, the authority love it because it is moral.
    Being moral as to be defined, is relating to principles of right or wrong. It is stated that morality is conforming to a standard of right behavior.
    In support to my stand, i believe that morality is not dependent to any authority or any superior matter. It is moral if you think that it’s the right thing to do regardless of its ends.
    As a contrary, some may say that morality is based to the standards that the authority made. They believe that something is moral because the authority said so. As long as the authority said so, it is moral.

  14. For me, The Gods commands it is because morally good.

    I define God as a person that is good, has justice and knows what is right and wrong and it can be an authority. Morality is an action or doing that is right.

    Even if we have no God, we can still know what is right or wrong, I believe that people has their own mind to know if what they do is right or wrong. They naturally know all the things that can be moral or not

    But, on the other hand, an action is morally good because the Gods commands it, God is the one who taught us all. He knows what is wrong and right for us.

  15. For me, The Gods command it because it is morally good.

    I define God as a person that is good, has justice and knows what is right and wrong and it can be an authority. Morality is an action or doing that is right.

    Even if we have no God, we can still know what is right or wrong, I believe that people has their own mind to know if what they do is right or wrong. They naturally know all the things that can be moral or not

    But, on the other hand, an action is morally good because the Gods command it, God is the one who taught us all. He knows what is wrong and right for us.

  16. Based on my point of view, I believe that the Gods command it beacause it is morally good.

    God is the total authority in this world, he is not fair but he is just. He knows everything from right to wrong. Morality is doing the right thing or action rather than the good because the good can be wrong but right can never be wrong.

    I believe that morality exists even if the Gods doesnt command it because every man has their own mind to differentiate morality from immorality. Since we are situated in this world, not all the things that are morality for a man is morality for all because we have different point of views.

    On the contrary, an action is morally good because the Gods command it. I believe that our God is a just God, he will never command such immorality becuase he is God. But if God commanded an immoral action, he is not God at all.

  17. The philosophical statement “the gods command it because it is morally good mainly signifies that the gods are pleased to see any act or deed that is very good and worthy of reverence. Gods in the statement may refer to a supreme Being like Jesus Christ, God the father to Christianity or Buddha to Buddhism. When we say “god”, we always attribute the word moral to it. Likewise, being moral means there is a sense of belonging to god. We always knew that the God we learned to worship is holy. We are seen as holy not because we are holy, but because God is holy. God knows us perfectly, well and there is nothing about us that escapes his knowledge

  18. the authority says its moral because its moral thats what i think because we have a different meaning for morality. for me the authority is the one who really understand moral. those moral things are moral from the start so the authority don’t make things moral they only says that that is moral because they know.

  19. An action is morally good because God commands it.
    Morality is the standard of right action, character, intention and behavior. Good is the best action to make but sometimes it can be wrong. God is the superior being of having powers which humans doesn’t have and also He is the creator of the whole universe. The morally good is independent from the God. It does show that God is not the ruler of making morally good or bad. But morally good existed because of the nature of humans and God is letting us follow all the morally good things.
    God commands it because it is morally good.
    Think of the situation were God wanted to do bad things, does it follow that god commands it because it is morally good. It cannot be in this situation because you will do bad things because you think of it as good because the God commands it.

  20. God commanded it because it is morally good.

    Morality, in my understanding, is the patterns of conduct generally accepted by a certain society. In our society’s belief, for example, it is immoral for a person to have sex with multiple partners. However, this does not apply to others as this is generally accepted in places like Amsterdam.

    In relating God to moral values, it will differ from person to person. God, I believe, is a concept. We may all pray to God, but in our minds, do we have the same God? Do we all have the same picture of our God? Most Christians follow the Church’s teachings to better affirm their belief of morality, but without the Church would our concept of morality be the same?

    But I believe that we would all agree when I say that God is moral, for He would not be deemed our God if He was not. Being moral is followed by doing moral actions, so why would our God command something that is immoral to us? If such a god commands something immoral, you can very well say that he is not a god and you should not be obliged to follow, even for a good cause. To put it simply, your end does not justify your means. That is why I believe that God only commands something because it’s moral.

  21. From my point of view, it is morally good for the gods commands it.

    For me, the meaning of morality is something that what the person have done right and good. and God is the authority.

    Every person have different perspective in seeing the situation. Still, every person can differentiate the good from evil in their action. But not all good is right, sometimes doing good can be wrong. So a person has their own way in seeing if it is moral or not moral

    On the contrary, God is the one who teach us on knowing what is moral or not for he knows if what we done is something good or not. He won’t let us do the wrong one even if it is good. I believe God is just leading us to the right way but its in our own decision if we take it or not still he is always their to lead us back to right path if ever we are lost.

  22. God is not the basis for morality. Morality itself is independent. Thus, God command it is morally good.
    Morality refers to the perception of right and wrong or good and evil. It is the Beliefs and practices related to the notion of right conduct or good character. Nowadays, morality is distinct with the idea of a certain religious or government point of view. However, it is not the case by the definition.
    God is not the basis for morality rather it is the culture. Actions are judged to be moral or immoral as a result of personal and cultural conditioning. Meaning, you don’t need certain authority for an action to know it’s moral.
    Consequently, how can we really determine morality if it is known to be established by some authority such as a government, society, tribe, or the Church? We can’t distinguish if an action is morally good or not if there’s no authority to set or establish moral code.


  23. God is not the basis for morality. Morality itself is independent. Thus, God command it is morally good.

    Morality refers to the perception of right and wrong or good and evil. It is the Beliefs and practices related to the notion of right conduct or good character. Nowadays, morality is distinct with the idea of a certain religious or government point of view. However, it is not the case by the definition.

    God is not the basis for morality rather it is the culture. Actions are judged to be moral or immoral as a result of personal and cultural conditioning. Meaning, you don’t need certain authority for an action to know it’s moral.

    Consequently, how can we really determine morality if it is known to be established by some authority such as a government, society, tribe, or the Church? We can’t distinguish if an action is morally good or not if there’s no authority to set or establish moral code.


  24. as my topic i chose “the gods command it because it is morally good”

    All i can say is that my way of understanding it is that the Gods will not command something that will not benefit man’s belief. so it is moral cause the gods are the ones making it happen. as a matter of fact there are times that they command it in ways unimaginable. there can be quite a few moment thats hard to decide upon like with what God told abraham to do. some may think its in humane but its just part of how the Gods test the faith of the people

  25. as my topic i chose “the gods command it because it is morally good”

    All i can say is that my way of understanding it is that the Gods will not command something that will not benefit man’s belief. so it is moral cause the gods are the ones making it happen. as a matter of fact there are times that they command it in ways unimaginable. there can be quite a few moment thats hard to decide upon like with what God told abraham to do. some may think its in humane but its just part of how the Gods test the faith of the people.

  26. I believe that God command it because it is morally good.

    Morality, in term of the books mean the rightness or wrongness of something. But in my perception, morality means the intention is pure and would not lead to chaos or evil.

    Man is given the will to do good or evil, God did not tell Cain to kill his brother Abel or Joseph’s brothers to sell Joseph into slavery, man was given the will to do this acts freely. If God told these people to do evil then, we would then ask ourselves, is he really the God of all man, the loving father, the forgiving God, isn’t he the one who told man, through Moses, to do good and reject satan and all his wrong doings. we must examine if this God who is here is truely the almighty God.

    But we must also examine ourselves, do we dare to disobey someone who created man from the earth, the one who created the great flood in the time of Noah, how can we fight some one who can destroy man with just one word. We’re mortals who will vanish from the earth when the time comes, but god is immortal he will be alway there, looking at us from above.

  27. A moral thing needs not to be commanded. It is the people who needs to think if they will do it. Therefore, the gods accepts thing because it is moral.

    For me, morality means not offending someone. It is done and is accepted by people.

    God does not affect the morality or the immorality of an action. God is not the basis of your actions. It’s your conscience who is affected by your actions.

    However, sometimes things are moral because the gods accepts it. For some people, morality is based on the gods.

  28. God commanded or endorsed something because it is morally good and not just because God wants something himself so he consider it as morally good.

    God is the creator of the universe. He is the one who knows everything especially the right and wrong and the good and evil. Morality is the ability to distinguish good and evil or right and wrong, right or good conduct.

    Something is morally good not just because God want it. It was morally good so God endorsed it to us or he command it because he knows that is good. Therefore the morality of a thing or work is not based with God, it’s based on how you will apply such things to people in a rightful way that will benefit for the good of all.

    On the other hand how we can classify something that is morally good or not if there is no one who can judge us. Whom we should go to let us know if it is for the benefit of all or for yourself only.

    So i can conclude that having equality between what we should based our work. We should look for both the authority and morality.


    does it follows?

  29. In my opinion the gods commands it because it is morally good.

    The term moral is defined as expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior and the gods thought Moral values to his greatest creation, Human Beings. We are the only Beings on earth who were thought morality and we have the ability of comprehension of gained knowledge because of our complex brain. Our brain starts to get more complex and we get curious and we start to wonder. If the Gods does something immoral, a chosen few starts to wonder whether the gods action becomes inhumane and unnatural, for a god is suppose to be Just.

    In definition being Just is acting or being in accordance with what is morally upright or good. Human Justice is not always considered right, most of what they considered the Innocent Guilty and the Guilty, Innocent. they turn to the gods for prayer and they pray for equal judgment. if that doesn’t work, the people believe that after death they will be judged accordingly for they believe that the god knows everything and if they did something that will lead to their untimely demise, they will be punished with eternal suffering.

    The gods should command an action for it is moral for a god is suppose to be Just and should act according to the morals they thought upon the people for they created the Moral values. They should be careful of what actions they do for the human race can turn itself around.

  30. God is not the basis for morality. There is Morality independent itself. Thus, God command it because it is morally good.

    Morality refers to the perception of right and wrong or good and evil. It is the Beliefs and practices related to the notion of right conduct or good character. Nowadays, morality is distinct with the idea of a certain religious or government point of view. However, it is not the case by the definition.

    God is not the basis for morality rather it is the culture. Actions are judged to be moral or immoral as a result of personal and cultural conditioning. Meaning, you don’t need certain authority for an action to know it’s moral.

    Consequently, how can we really determine morality if it is known to be established by some authority such as a government, society, tribe, or the Church? We can’t distinguish if an action is morally good or not if there’s no authority to set or establish moral code.


    P.S. yan n po ung final. pasensya po.

  31. I believe that god commands an action because it is moral
    in itself.

    I would define the term “god”, as a religeous figure erected by humanity, a figure believed to hold the highest authority among all ceatures and a ruler with an abolute sense of justice. I would define moral as society’s basis on how they view right from wrong, from good and evil. In my definition of morality, I would define right as an action that does not violate anyone’s freedom while wrong is the complete opposite of right, it is an action that violates a person’s freedom. In the same term, I also used the term good and evil which are defined accordingly, good is an action with pleasurable results while evil are actions with unpleasurable results.

    Moving on to my premises, I firmly believe that morality doesn’t need a god to exist. It exists because of man’s nature, we are free, we can choose for ourselves, and bacause of our freedom, morality exists. Therefore, morality is independt, and it doesn’t need god, therefore god only endorses it because god knows its moral.

    Then again, if something is moral because god says so, then I guess that it means that humans are mainly dependant on the existence of this so called “god”. It means that they trust the jurisdiction of this god and believe that the god’s word is absolute.In ther words, whatever the almighty god says is right because the god knows more than us.

  32. I believe that God favors something because it is moral.

    Morality is independent from the authority of God. Morality is the distinction of what is right and wrong, in which no human is violated by another. On the other hand, God, is an almighty symbol of authority which is believed by us Catholics.

    When Abraham was commanded by God to kill his son, Abraham agreed to do so, but if I were him, I would not do it. It basically violates my sense of righteousness, I am free to choose what is right. Our God alone is not the basis of morality, man had been existent to be conscious about the moral and immoral.

    On the contrary, we can say that we have our sense of righteousness because we believe in God, which means our morality was oriented by our belief of the authority. An example is the Ten Commandments, and without it we do not know what is right and wrong. He being omniscient is a strong proof that He is to be believed.

  33. God’s word is the absolute basis of morality, but He invokes us to independently create our own criteria of morality for the simple reason of Him loving us.
    Morality is basically the basis for every individual in terms of determining which is right and which is wrong, dependent either upon our personal morality or religious morality, thus applying it to an everyday means of acting and decision-making. But when will our actions and decisions be morally good and why is the love of God expressed in a manner of allowing us to independently have our own criteria of morality?
    Our actions and decisions are morally good as long as we do not violate the rights of others nor we violate our own rights as well, such as in a situation of learning to respect one’s self first in order for one to learn how to respect others. On the other hand, the love of God is expressed in a manner of independence of our personal morals for He knows that good will be violated with his/her rights by the bad elements. Now, allowing the good to do what is right even if it’s at the expense of violating the rights of those who violates, such as killing a person who violates your right to live.
    On the contrary, an action and a decision can be morally good because it is what God sees as the absolute good, independent of one’s personal morals, that one should follow, such as the idea of a family is a family regardless of their mistakes, thus accepting them into your life. But this is another situation where one should not take as an absolute. And that’s where one’s personal morals come in. If not, then God’s word and supremeness is in question.

  34. I agree to the fact that there can be morality without God.

    I define morality as “the good for the many.” Morality for me is the same as the right thing to do at the moment. Good on the other hand,refers to the things you do thinking of the results of what you have done. Therefore, there can be morality without God because even God can’t change things which are bad to be good.

    An example of which is stealing. If you’re god told you to steal, it doesn’t mean stealing is already good just because your god said so. It may be what he/she please but it is still bad.

    On the other hand, i disagree that there can be morality without God. There cannot be morality without God because it is Him who told us the 10 commandments which determines the moral from the immoral.

  35. God’s commands can be moraly good for us or God’s commands can be morally good for the church or Him.

    Morality means the decision that we make in our everyday life. Morality also means that we can determing from good to bad and from right to wrong.

    God commands it because it is morally good but we can choose if we want to follow God’s order or not. If the command of God is from Him
    , he Himself then maybe the command is morally good for mankind. God’s command can be leading us to our destiny that God set for us.

    It is morally good because God’s commands it or the church is telling us that these are the words of God, and we know that God’s word is for the best. God’s command is morally good because it protect us from committing sins or it can be to protect the hidden truths about the church.

  36. For me God command it because it is morally good.

    Morality is the doctrine of morals. Morals are principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct. Gods are the persons which are the powerful rulers of a certain area.

    Gods could command us everything even though the fact that it is not morally good in itself. Morality of a certain thing comes before the command of any god. Even though they command us something they can’t change the fact that it is moral. Even they command us something it does not make it holy. Morality is what god’s approve of.

    It is possible that gods commands us something because it is morally good but it seem to be impossible that only when the gods commands something it is already considered as morally good. And it could also have morality without any presence of any gods.Morality is independent.

    If the God talks about Our Creator, I would also say that He commands us something because it is morally good like the Ten Commandments. Because I think that He would not tell us to do something that is wrong or that could hurt other people because He told us to love one another or to be morally good. He also sent Jesus to teach us morality and to bring us to salvation.

    As counter argument, it can also happen that some immoral things could be morally good because in some places gods dictates or decides on everything. And even God tested Abraham to kill his first son even though it opposes what is written on the Ten Commandments.

  37. An action is morally good because God commands it.

    Morality pertains to or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct. It is also the distinction between right and wrong. On the other hand,good means something that is morally excellent and virtuous. God,as we all know,is our Sovereign Creator.

    Since God is our creator He knows what is good for us,thus what He commands is always good and will be for our own good. He won’t command anything that is bad for us. In addition,God won’t do something immoral because He alone is the perfect example of morality given that He does not commit any mistake nor He sinned.

    On the contrary,it is also possible that God commands it because it is morally good. If He knows that an action is good,He will certainly command His creations to do it because He wants His creation to be like Him,forever good and always on the side of morality.

  38. I think it is more appropriate to say that God commands only what He perceives are morally good.

    The God in the statement is referring to authority. Encyclopedia Britannica defines morality as “the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong, or good and bad”. Good and bad pertains to the result of a certain action while right and wrong pertains to the action itself. So for me, something is morally good when it produces a good end from a right action. Right actions are those actions that do not violate any person.

    I think that every human being was born with a natural sense of judgment and goodness. He knows and he is capable to differentiate what is right from wrong and what is good from bad. God’s commandments and even the so-called ‘natural laws’ merely act as our guides into making the right decision that would produce the good results. It doesn’t necessarily mean that when God orders you to kill someone (although to Catholics, that is almost impossible because he was the one who gave the commandment not to kill in the first place) you are obliged to follow when you know for yourself that it is wrong to take a life. Human beings may have their own gods but their gods gave them free will, the freedom to choose. It is up to them to decide given their knowledge of what is right and wrong to do what they think is more morally proper.

    However, one can point out, “What about euthanasia?” Well, what about it? Some theologians argue that it was God who gave life and He is the only one who has the right to take it away. They point out that it is morally improper simply because it defies the sanctity of life. I think it depends on the situation. Euthanasia “refers to the practice of ending a life in a painless manner” and is classified into three: Euthanasia by consent, Euthanasia by means, and Euthanasia by other means (usually animal mercy killings). I think if the person involved wholeheartedly agreed, is willing to die, or wants to die then I don’t see why it is not morally good. In that situation, no one is violating the person, so killing him is a right action and has a good effect which is considered to be morally good.

    I think what makes people’s minds closed to the truth that morality is independent with god is their strong faith in him. It is usually said that God, regardless if it were Christianity, Islam or any other religion there is, knows and sees everything. This leaves an impression to people or believers that he knows what is best for his people and is not capable of making mistakes. This makes them believe that he will not command anything that is not morally good. This makes them not to think about if his commands are good and at the same time right. They do not want to believe that God commands something because it is morally good. But i’m not saying that God gives bad commands, what i’m saying that their is a possibility.

    And one thing more, i’m a true believer of god and these are only my opinions.

    Niko (^_^)

  39. I believe that an action is commanded by God because it is morally good.

    Morality as I define it is our capability to know what is right from what is wrong, and what is good from what is bad. I believe that morality is somehow related to our conscience. Conscience is innate within a person. Man is given the freedom to do whatever he pleases, but because man is a rational being, the things we do are carefully thought of and are not made without reason. This is where our conscience comes in. God, as I believe in, is a supreme benevolent being whom we cannot comprehend.

    Morality is an independent factor which does not actually rely on God but it will not exist without God. I believe that the basis of morality is our conscience. God commands an action because it is morally good and it does not disobey any will of God.

    However, things can also turn out the other way around. If an action is morally good because God commands it, it suggests that God overall is the basis of morality.

  40. I believe that there is morality even without the authority.

    Morality are the things that are generally accepted as right or proper. The authority cannot say that it is something moral. For we are rational thinkers that we know what to do and to reason it out.

    All men should aspire to and strive for perfection that enables everyone to begin and continue to develop life for good deeds. We fulfill the laws of the authority as long as we know what is right. So we must do things that are pleasant to the authority.

    We can say that the authority is the basis of determining of what is moral. I realize that all humans are seeking – seeking happiness. We always follow the authority(God) for we know that He or the authority itself shows of what is the right thing to do. It is the love of God that makes the people to make things impossible possible. We are created to set our own ends.

  41. God may have commanded it because it is morally good.In my opinion, the meaning of “God” in this statement is ruler/authority.

    Although each one of us may have different opinions about morality, God knows that we can decide for ourselves which path to follow:

    The path that will lead us to what we think is “good”? Or the path that is considered to be the “right” thing to do?

    Morality, in my opinion, is the ability to define which act is right or wrong. It does not rely on other factors, but it may vary depending on the person’s opinion or basis of morality.

    On the other hand, it is also possible that God commanded it because it is morally good. In my opinion, God himself is the basis of morality.

  42. Morality is independent from Authority and so I believe that the God commands it because something is morally good in itself.

    Morality as defined by the dictionary is the degree of conformity to moral principles. For me, morality is concerned with goodness or badness of character in knowing what is right and what is wrong. God refers to authority in the statement or someone who has the power or right arising from influence or position.

    I believe that the God commands it because it is morally good because doing what is good does not necessarily mean that it is the right thing to do. Something may be morally good in the eyes of the authority but it does not necessarily indicate that it is the right thing to do. Good and Right are two different terms and that not all that is good is always right. What matters is that what we do is the right thing and that we do not treat other people as things or as our means to an end. Freedom is something that separates us humans from things and that we have the capacity to set our own ends unlike things which are only means to an end. Something is morally good as long as it is the right thing to do and that we do not violate the freedom of other people and we treat them as persons not as things and so I believe that authority is not the basis of morality because morality is independent in itself.

    On the other hand, I also believe that some things can also be morally good because the God commands it because I believe that God commands us to do such things because He knows that is the right thing for us. God’s laws may serve as our guide for us to know what is right and wrong but something that is morally good in the eyes of God does not necessarily mean that it is the right thing to do because it may sometimes violate the freedom of a person.

  43. Morality, in its sense, is an act of doing good as accepted by the norms dictated by someone authoritatively responsible for such. Based from these statement, I would then suppose that God is the one who commanded these for the good of His creation. As we approach the denotative context of the first two chapters of the bible, it would succinctly express two main ideas which could then be related to the foundation of morality. These are the creation and the constitution of the ten commandments. In the story of the creation, it would exemplify the supreme nature of God over man. Moreover, the reason why God created man in order for Him to be recognized as great. Therefore, no other being in the world would claim that he/she is great except for God alone. In the story of constitution of the ten commandments, Moses, being the mediator of God to man, was given a task to exclaim to the people the laws that God had constituted which was placed in a stone tablet. Aggregating these two ideas would support the claim that “an action is morally good because God commands it.”

  44. I believe that morality is not dependent to God.
    There can always be morality even if without Him. Morality is independent itself.

    Morality is our capacity to judge what is right and wrong. It is often incorporated with our conscience, which is like the inner voice that tells us to do what is right. It does not depend on the authority or the one commands it. It depends on us. On how we look at it as moral or not.

    For some, it is morally good because God commands it. On the case of Abraham, he did what he thinks is right because God commanded it. But, do we really think it is moral to kill one’s son? I don’t think so. If we do such because God commanded it, we are violating one’s right to live. It is not moral then.

    Morality depends on us.

  45. I believe that morality is without doubt not purely dependent upon the liking of God or authority.

    Morality connotes just, and moral actions, perceived as non-insulting, never offensive or brutal, denotes loving others, giving respect, knowing the differences of right and wrong, murder is not a moral action. God, connotes a supreme being, ruler and dictator over what ought to be and not ought to be, it denotes authority.

    Though by defining the terms, one can simply induce that since God is the dictator of things, I still believe that morality is not always as God-dependent. I’m not justifying that God has nothing to do with morality, but I know that people have different views of life because we are situated in a world of reality, which therefore if one persons perspective of “Authority/God” is different from another persons point of view if how God defines morality. Then morality would lose its’ purpose, and definition. For example, God in a X’tians point of view, morality would seem as its definition, loving others as you would love yourself and that is the best way to love God, and that is moral indeed, but from a person of very different culture and way of life, morality might mean something else, something close to killing. Because their God dictates it. Authority is not universal, it is usually classified by culture or by heritage or by way of life, Morality is universal however, as long as people understands what morality is, they can easily tell beget what authority tells them.

    But there also remains the fact that morality was based upon the existence of the transcendent love of God. We, creations of God must uphold his teaching of morality as he had for our sake and not misunderstand by a simple word or “thought”.

  46. In my opinion, something is morally good mainly because God commands it.
    Morality is defined as the quality of being in accord with the standards of good and right conduct.Thus, Right and wrong doings are the primary factors in determining morality.Without God, people will be confused on what is moral because they don’t have a clear guide which differentiate the good from bad things.
    I came to this conclusion because on the first place, God is good.He shouldn’t be called as God if he will command such thing as wrong doings.So everything that God commands is morally good,because at the first place, God wants to spread morality among his people.
    But on the other hand, people by nature know what is good from what is not.Maybe, God only set standards of morality that the people should follow.

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