philosophy class: the claws come out

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Brian J. Rivera, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. So basically I'm in philosophy class and the teacher informs us about divine command theory.

    Action are good because god commands them. Senario A

    Actions are good because they are good and God presents them. Sedaris B

    If A is true than god is not moral be a us this commands are arbitrary.

    If b is true than god is not great because he is submissive to a greater law.

    I responded by saying (I'm paraphrasing to keep it short) if god is all powerful then he created the system in which morals exist. For example in mario it's not that bad to die since you have 20+ lives. The system is different and morals are different. The prof responded by saying there was still a problem about where the morals came I got confused and said idk.
  2. Arbitary doesn't imply immoral. Yahweh instigated rules for the good of man/creation and this makes Yahweh, and His rules, moral.
  3. Arbitrary implies that it is random and not based on reason.
  4. Doesn't that contradict reason scenario A ?

    "Action are good because god commands them. Senario A"

    If Yahweh commands them then they're based on His reason and aren't arbitrary. It still doesn't follow that arbitrary implies immoral.

  5. It was actually in response to you saying that arbitrary doesn't mean a moral is bad. Anyway what do you think of my scenario. Also I heard another one that stated "morals are a result of God's goodness. God is the ultimate good and morals come from his nature. God is not subservient to his nature because god is his nature
  6. That would be an assumption that God did not define good prior to the actions perceived by us as good. Even our perception is suspect at times.
  7. I think Yahweh defined what was best for His Creation because He Created it and knows. I think in your scenario the "morals" come from the creator of the game who allocated Mario the certain number of lives so it is an ok analogy with Yahweh's morals imo.

    Here's one like your's. Ford builds a car and delivers instructions on how to care for the car. Ford is the ultimate source for the care of Ford's cars .
  8. Ok a few comments on the scenarios so far. First I feel like this is a False Dichotomy and we're only given two arbitrary positions. Second we can apply this to atheists as well.(ex. Are you good because you make morals, or are the morals good because they are good) Next this is kinda stupid, what's good isn't determined by either of these. Good is determined by circumstances and interactions. Universe A people have no arms, but in universe B people have arms. The moral of not touching people with your arms does not exist in universe A. In a way it is kinda like fine tuning in which god makes a universe and works through that medium to create life. He chooses to submit to the medium. Lastly morality and good are concepts of the mind and god is all omnipresent, omnibenevolent, omnieverything. Therefore since god is that all that and a bag of chips morals are a result of his omni...ness.

    Actually I noticed another problem with a counter argument and I'd appreciate some help with it. If we say that neither scenario is true and that good is a result of god because god's nature is good. Then the atheist could simply ask what makes god's nature good? Is it good because it's god's nature or because it's nature is good. Also my video game scenario is flawed because we have to consider what is moral outside of the system.

    Now here is a counter-counter argument (please tell me how it is) the atheist asks "why is god's nature good". The answer is because it is the source of all good, matter, energy, existance....everything. If something exists it is dependent upon god, good exists so it is dependent upon god for existance. 1+1=2 in the same way we can argue that allpowerful god=morals. To quote from Kepler "Geometry is God Himself". The video game analogy works because good can be determined within a system, but what about outside the system?
  9. Forgive me for my lengthy responses
  10. I think we're talking about a closed system when we consider Yahweh's attributes and therefor the rules Yahweh makes aren't contingent on anything else. The Creator of the system is the sole decider of how the system should function. You are free to think otherwise of course.
  11. For anyone that's interested I think I figured it out.


    Philosophy is about asking questions and exploring truths. There are no definitive answers in philosophy, the euthyphro dilemma is no exception. We as humans have trouble understanding things outside our universe. This can be said for all philosophical arguments for god. Yet when there is an argument against or for god it is somehow definate. If it was definitive it would not be philosophy anymore but rather a fact. When I say good in this I’m refering to my version.


    A= Things are good because god says they are

    B= or does god say something is good because it is good in itself

    if A is true then god is not morally good because he can change morality on a whim and anything can be good.(Not morally perfect)

    if B then god is subservient to another moral code and has to obey it. (not all powerful)


    First this is a false Dichotomy

    god can say they are, they can be that way inherently, they can be both, they can be good because of the system, etc.

    Good is not defined properly in this scenario. (complex topic but I’ll keep it short) So many people have different definitions of good so the very answer to this question can be affected by that. For this response I will use my philosophical theory based on interactions and logic. Good is a human concept that is based upon interactions. Then logic is used to determine what will produce the most positive results.(ie happiness, respect, safety, security, saving lives, respecting others,making a good society) Why can’t hurting others be okay if it produces positive results for myself. If everyone is selfish than they need to rely on themselves which can be stressing, emotionally tolling, and leads to everyone having the “every man for himself philosophy”. If we all care too much for each other then we will not worry about ourselves. If we balance this out than we get both positive results from ourselves and others. Producing positive results is not selfish because it helps everyone. This helps build a friendly society, but not a gullible society.

    These positive results could be different but then the universe would have to be different. For example if we could not communicate than the good act of compliments would not exist.(this is my theory on what is good) (more on this in another article) Now imagine if communication was suddenly thought of and possible in a world without communication. Would adding communication produce more positive results? If so then it would be the good thing to do.

    If we say that Nihilism is true and morals can be whatever we want this is still not a problem. This means that god can make whatever morals he wants. Then they adjust those morals based on their experiences and what they find to be better standards. Others should strive for these higher standards based on those with more experiences, but if god exists he has the most experience and understanding. Therefore we should follow god.

    Next the results from choices A and B are not accurate

    In choice A we are hinted at the idea that God is choosing arbitrarily and not for any reason. Just commanding someone does not make an action inherently wrong or right. I can command that we all eat pizza, but this is not wrong or right. Since this god is omniscient, all knowing, all powerful, etc we have to assume that there are probably reasons for rules.

    B does not mean god is not all powerful because god can choose to behave in a certain way. He is not limited if he makes a moral code and decides to behave that way. Choosing to purposely limit yourself is not a sign of weakness. Imagine a bodybuilder that lifts less weight because he doesn’t feel like it.

    So in B god would have created the moral code and followed it which is like A and I’ve already proved A does not affect his benevolence. Using reason based off of interactions also does not mean god is submitting to a higher power since this “higher power” is coming from his mind.

    In B we see there is an appeal to something higher than god which could simply be defined as god.

    This shows a poor understanding of god. God is the highest of high there is nothing lower than him. We also see a faulty understanding of concepts. Good cannot exist without interactions and minds to determine the positive results. God is not weaker because he thinks of something and follows that ideology. We may argue that god’s teaching should be loved more, but is that really a hinder on power?

    What makes god’s character good?

    Is his character good because he is god or is his character inherently good. The question is flawed because of a misunderstanding of what is good. Good made from the mind and interactions+thinking=best possible results=good. Since god understands all interactions and can determine everything that is good he can produce the best possible results. Even though god is submitting to a moral code that does not mean he is less powerful, but rather that he created the moral code. (sorry if I repeat myself :(...alot) Asking why god is good is like asking why New York pizza is pizza. It is an inherent quality that cannot change but it does not affect how powerful that object is.(ie God is existence )

    Also consider that good may just be a characteristic that is co-eternal to god and necessary for him to be god or that the characteristic is part of god.*see quote below.

    Can god change his character?

    If not then god is not all powerful, if he can then why is his nature good. The question is flawed changing nature does not imply that he is not all powerful and/or that his morality is flawed. There are certain ways god has to be though in order to be god. For example god has to exist, be omnipotent, etc. Not having the choice to change some of these does not affect him being all powerful in fact that makes him all powerful. Even if he could change them that would not make him less powerful or make his nature good. There is a difference between being able to change and the actual act of changing. Also consider choosing never to change is that a violation of this? No especially if you're an omnipotent being.

    Relying on our intuitions

    If our intuitions are products of god then can we rely on them to determine what is good. Sometimes our morals can lead us astray and cloud the real goodness behind it. In mario dying is not that bad, but in dark souls it is the worst thing you can ever do. In a world where you cannot die, the good does not exist unless it is thought of.

    Example: god is alone but decides that it would be logical to make company for himself. He designs are world in which no one can die(except by god uncreating them), but people can be hurt only by eating grass.(IK crazy right) The circumstances dictate eating grass causes pain which is a negative result(exact opposite of a positive one) However eating everything else is seen as good. Now god made interactions in which he can produce negative results on his creation. Since god is adhering to good he chooses not to uncreate them all.

    Concluding remark

    after all of this I’m still uncertain about what good is and how god determines it. Hopefully I have shown what is wrong with these types of statements and prepared others with responses. Even if I did not do a good job we may just have to consider that this is just an unknown quality about god. Is that really bad that there is an unknown quality about god? Even with all this info I still cannot be certain since we do not know what good actually is. Anyway I will restate a few points. Good cannot exist without minds. We need interactions and logic to determine the best results. These best results are good. God made the system and determined which rules would suite the system the best way. Anyway I got a life to do.

    rebuttal to objections

    still waiting

    Quote that is kinda related.

    Geometry existed, before the creation. It is co-eternal with the mind of God. Geometry provided God with the model for the creation. Geometry is God Himself.

    Johannes Kepler
  12. Btw sorry if it is really long. I try to space out paragraphs to make it easier to read. I find that separating topics and spacing out paragraphs makes things easier to read. just my opinion though
  13. Nice synopsis !

    Have you also considered that when a person determines what is good, aside from God, that they may also include things that are not necessarily immediately good for themselves but, because they benefit others, it will be good for everyone. ie. the greater good. I think we can consider Yahweh's rules and actions to be for the greater greater good.
  15. #15 KingJ, Sep 30, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
    What is good? Good is helping a cripple over stepping on them. No God needed. Simply grey matter. Intelligence = accountability.

    Action are good because god commands them. Senario A

    No. Actions are good because your brain with IQ>10 discerns them as good.

    Think about Abraham and his child. This was a hell of a test for Abraham...because killing a child is a clear evil for even the dumbest individual / IQ <10. What we can conclude is that Abraham, trusted in God = good so much that he somehow knew / trusted / had faith in God being able to turn the sacrifice around for the good of himself and his child.

    Actions are good because they are good and God presents them. Sedaris B
    If b is true than god is not great because he is submissive to a greater law.

    Yes. Being submissive to loving us makes Him greater then great. The irony in the conclusion.

    God does make Himself subject to being good in His dealings with us. We see this conflict before the cross. Luke 22:42 = God chose to be good to us. He didn't have to. There was for a brief second or two a conflict within God. Hatred of sin / all that is evil coming upon Him VS love for us / being good. Quite a conflict! Its was not just a case of being good VS being evil for God.
  16. If A is true then God is not moral? This idea only presupposes what morality even is. If God exists, what is he? For God to exist, there would have to be a pinnacle of perfection, and that pinnacle would have to also include morality, because if God is immoral then he is imperfect, and if he is imperfect, then he's not really God, and if he's not really God then "he" isn't even real and there is no God. Therefore, God would have to be the pinnacle of morality which means he is incapable of being immoral.

    Immorality is a lack of morality -- it's not a thing. If it's not a thing, then God can't be both something and nothing at once. Either God is real and must be the ultimate substance of morality or he isn't real and there is no morality.

    What is greater law? Law of morality, physicals, etc? This also begs the question of what is God? If God is real then did the greater law create God or did God create the greater law? If the greater law created God then God isn't God, the greater law is God. And if God created the greater law then God doesn't submit to it, it submits to God. Technically we CAN call the greater law God. This is what Aristotle was proposing, though he didn't call it the greater law, he called it Logos.

    Unless I'm mistaken, this seems like another modernist professor with an agenda to discredit God.
  17. #17 Brian J. Rivera, Sep 30, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
    Exactly! The whole argument presupposes what morality is. I really like this professor but he seems to be a little hostile. I hope I'm just misunderstanding something but I won't know until two weeks. I have a theory that the teacher just reflects the opinions of the class. When the question was brought up everyone got off topic about it. They brought up stuff about "how the bible says you can judge here but not there",(False btw) homosexuality, etc.

    I want to post my revised criticism on this but the assignment seems to be more focused on supporting it. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.
  18. Watch the movie God's Not Dead, it's great. It's about a college freshman who is a Christian and has a class in philosophy.

Share This Page