Christian theology treated Platonism (as opposed to Epicureanism, Stoicism, and even Aristotelianism) as the most friendly philosophical theory in the ancient world. Christian theology tended to absorb the Form of the Good into their conception of God, which might permit those philosophical concepts to get around the Euthyphro dilemma.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
What does the Euthyphro really show?
It seems to me that the dilemma, as it is it typically used, is an argument in favor of the claim that moral values are metaphysically neutral. So, for example, it is used to show that Christian theism adds nothing to morality that would not be available to a metaphysical materialist. Yet. it comes in Plato's philosophy. Plato has a very strong metaphysics of morals, involving the Form of the Good. I think his actual argument is that a deity (and in this case a Greek deity such as Apollo) represents not too strong of a metaphysical foundation for morality, but too weak of one. Of course, Plato appealed to divine commands as the basis of his entire enterprise as a philosophical questioner (see the Apology). I think Plato would have agreed with religious believers today who think modern metaphysical materialism undermines morality. His morals are centered around the Theory of Forms, which are, if nothing else, nonmaterial entities.