Euthyphro and Socrates are having a conversation about morality. Socrates is known to test people’s knowledge about theories and push them to reveal answers as to why they believe in what they do, or the reasoning behind why something is true. During this conversation Euthryphro explains the definition of holy, the view that gods love something because it is holy, and states a general rule about activities being a condition for their counterpart properties. Socrates explains to Euthyphro that he is wrong because all of these statements can’t be true. Euthyphro is forced to forego one of his previous statements, so he decides to abandon his definition of holy. Now there is a dilemma, either you believe God commands X because it is right; or X is right because God commands it. This is the dilemma Euthypro faces which is presented by Socrates.
The first approach, God commands X because it is right. This means there is a standard of rightness that is independent of God. If you believe this approach then you are saying someone or something, other than God, determines if X is right and therefore God is commanding it because it is right. For the individual who would like to base what is holy on what all of the god’s love, then this approach would have some incentives. The idea would then be, all of the gods love X because it is right. However, this means the gods aren’t commanding anything, they just simply agree on X because it is already considered to be right.
The second approach, X is right because God commands it. This means rightness is purely arbitrary as God could command anything. If you believe this approach then you are saying whatever is considered right is right because God said so. For the individual who would base what is right on what all of the god’s love, this approach would also make sense. The idea would then be, the gods would obviously all love what is right because they commanded it. However,...