[lit-ideas] Re: Inner Moral :Law

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 15:11:44 -0400

John: St. Augustine, a respected figure in both Catholic and Protestant circles, claimed that all humans could know what was moral without any religious faith at all. He thought that one could not DO what was right without such faith, though.

Eric: Another way to frame the Euthyphro argument:

Is murder wrong because God condemns it? Or does God condemn murder because murder is wrong?

If murder is wrong because God condemns it, then you have a moral relativism. God could condemn kite-flying or laughter as the Taleban asserted. Or God could condemn love as evil if He chose.

On the other hand, if murder is wrong just because it is murder, then it is wrong whether or not God condemns it, and wrong whether or not God exists.

Since part of doing what is right and good involves avoiding that which is wrong, how can Augustine claim that only the faithful can DO good acts?

Unless you accede to the moral relativism of "Divine Command Theory," your access to morality is equal to the faithful's.

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