A Solution to the So-Called Euthyphro Dilemma
by John Shaheen—
*John wrote this as a pre-med senior at UM-Dearborn (Biology) who graduates this weekend. He has also been the student president of Ratio Christi all four years, as well as a co-founder and Vice President of Faith & Reason in his final year.
Despite having been written over two millennia ago, the Euthyphro Dilemma remains one of the most famous and persistent problems in philosophy of religion. It is still being discussed in published literature today and taught in nearly every intro philosophy course. In its original form, Plato writes of a dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro (Plato et al., 2017). Socrates asks Euthyphro whether moral goodness (piety) was defined by the gods choosing it, or were the gods just cognizant of a standard that existed outside themselves? This question has been reposed over the centuries to apply to a more orthodox, monotheistic conception of God. While many thinkers have merely accepted and defended one of the horns of the dilemma, others have contested that it is a false dilemma and proposed other options. William Alston, Paul Copan, and William Lane Craig are a few names that have defended the coherence of a third option (Alston, 2001, Copan & Meister 2008, Craig & Moreland, 2012.) Furthermore, they defend that an argument for God’s existence can be crafted from the existence of objective moral values and duties. This argument require that their theistic explanation is the best account of morality that is currently available. The Euthyphro Dilemma, if successful, undermines this project. Here I will argue that the Euthyphro dilemma is unsuccessful in this regard, hence the moral argument cannot be criticized from this direction.
Why Darwinism Does Not Compromise Swinburne's Design Argument
*John is a pre-med senior at UM-Dearborn (Biology). He has also been the student President of Ratio Christi all four years, as well as a co-founder and Vice President of Faith & Reason in his final year.
In discussing design arguments, Richard Swinburne differentiates between two different variants in this family of arguments. The first variant he describes as arguments from spatial copresence (Swinburne, 1968). These arguments intend to infer the existence of a deity from some observed physical arrangement in the world (that can be recognized at one moment in time) that would be improbable to have occurred naturally. Darwinian evolution has become a formidable barrier to this form of argumentation, so Swinburne presents an alternate form that avoids this objection altogether. I will argue that his route of argumentation is the best way to avoid the implications of Darwinian evolution.
Why Personalism is a Better View for God than Classical Theism
*John is a pre-med senior at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He has been the student President of Ratio Christi all four years, as well as a co-founder and Vice President of Faith & Reason in his final year.
The discussion of God’s personhood is layered with philosophical, historical, theological, and personal aspects. The philosophical plausibility of this concept will be defended here, first against objections, followed by a discussion of alternatives. A brief examination of the prevailing views of the theistic God (at the most basic level) lead to classical theism and theistic personalism. The former is a view developed and perpetuated by medieval philosophers and purports that God is simple, changeless, timeless, and essentially indescribable by human thought. The latter is a more modern development that embodies the idea that God is more knowable and understandable than classical theists say, and may even change. Essentially, he is a person. Within each of these schools of thought, there are likely subsects of philosophers that adhere to weaker and stronger tenets of the ideologies, but generally, the above beliefs are held in common.
How Jesus was so attractive to children
Based on the gospels and epistles, Jesus and his Apostles usually engaged with adults and families, not children only. He didn’t seem to call children to him specifically, but rather their parents and their whole families. But he certainly attracted and welcomed the children! And no doubt among the throngs of sick that came to him, many parents brought their children to him for healing. When I read the gospel narratives such as the examples below, in some situations I get the impression that it was the children he had in his sights the most, just by being in public places where they could see him and dare come to him. Anyone can understand why a figure like Jesus was very attractive to children. 1) He performed miracles at-will, hundreds daily. There were days when everyone who needed healing went away healed. Who could not be attracted and amazed? 2) Jesus was ‘magnetically’ approachable to everyone except the Pharisees and scribes who were self-righteous hypocrites. This included rich and poor, men and women, the well and the sick—even those with leprosy who were utterly untouchable and forced out of community. Also included were ethnic minorities such as the ruling Romans and the despised Samaritans, adults of all ages, and children. This degree of approachability was unheard of in Jewish society, especially for a religious teacher considered by thousands as a rabbi, a prophet, and even as the Messiah. At that time and for centuries later in the Middle East, for a figure with this kind of profile it was unthinkable to allow the marginalized to approach him, especially lepers, women, and children.