I want you to consider the problem of foundations in moral theory. What is the basis for our moral claims?
When a person says, “murder is wrong” or “it’s not permissible to steal” what is the basis for saying this? Is it just a matter of personal preference? Is it based on cultural norms? Are there cross-cultural, human standards of right and wrong that transcend time and location? Are there genuinely objective facts in morality? What are they based on?
Consider the consequences of your answers to these questions.
If you believe that personal preference is the basis of morality, then each person could have “their own” morality. Is that what you think? If you believe that morality is based in cultural norms, then you can’t criticize the practices of another culture or another time based on their ethical failings. For instance, standard views of race and gender have held that women and non-white races are morally inferior. Is that true for that period in time or is it morally wrong no matter the time and place? If you believe morality has a more objective foundation, what is it? Can you ground ethics in something like God or nature or humanity in a way that avoids the Euthyphro Dilemma?
Complete the reading of Plato’s Euthyphro before beginning the assignment below.
This assignment contains two components. You must complete both components to receive full credit.
Paraphrase and explain the Divine Command Theory (as it is expressed in Plato’s Euthyphro or in a more general form). What is the dilemma Socrates poses to Euthyphro about his third definition of piety (also known as the Euthyphro Dilemma)? And how does this dilemma undercut Divine Command Theory?
Discuss how the Divine Command Theory arises in the Euthyphro dialogue and how it presents a problem for the religious foundations of morality.
Analyze and critique the Euthyphro dilemma or Divine Command Theory. What are the shortcomings of the Euthyphro Dilemma is a response to Divine Command Theory? What is the fundamental weakness in Divine Command Theory that is revealed by the Euthyphro Dilemma?
The entire assignment should be no longer than 400 words. Please write in paragraph form. Provide very short introductory and concluding remarks.
Use basic philosophical vocabulary, major arguments, and ethical positions accurately.
Paraphrase, explain, and discuss Divine Command Theory and the Euthyphro Dilemma in a way that demonstrates an understanding of each.
Analyze and critique the position of Divine Command Theory and the Euthyphro Dilemma argument.
The paper should demonstrate thoughtful, critical reflection on these ethical positions.
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