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Theistic Ethics and the Euthyphro Dilemma

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Abstract:

It is widely believed that the Divine Command Theory is untenable due to the Euthyphro Dilemma. This article first examines the Platonic dialogue of that name, and shows that Socrates’s reasoning is faulty. Second, the dilemma in the form in which many contemporary philosophers accept it is examined in detail, and this reasoning is also shown to be deficient. This is not to say, however, that the Divine Command Theory is true—merely that one popular argument for rejecting it is unsound. Finally some brief thoughts are presented concerning where the real problems lie for the theory.

Keywords: Divine Command Theory; Euthyphro Dilemma; theistic ethics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9795.00098

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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