Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Euthyphro dilemma

"Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" In other words, does righteousness exist outside of God or does God define what it is?

The Mormon answer has to be that righteousness predates God because Mormons believe that he learned to be righteous while living as a man. God became God heaven knows how long ago and continues to acquire glory and intelligence to this day.

What this means for most Christians is that Mormons are heretical impostors who obviously must deny God's eternal, unchanging status, his omnipotence (how can God be the all-powerful GOD if he is a son of yet another god, and the exact number of gods out there is completely unknown? which god is the most powerful in the end?), his omniscience (does God really know everything if he's just another little scholar in a sort of divinity school?), and his omnipresence (God has a physical body, remember?)

What this means to most Mormons is that they too will one day be gods if they "endure to the end" by continuing to keep the commandments as laid out by the general authorities.

Accepting a god who must abide certain standards of righteousness means God can be measured against those standards, all we have to do is learn them. What Mormons like to ignore is that God very often fails to live up to very basic standards of righteousness. So not only do Mormons end up worshiping a minor god (while Christians claim to worship THE God), they also find themselves with a rebellious god who loves breaking the rules.

The situation is no more tidy for Christians who maintain that God defines and emanates righteousness. The problem here is that righteousness becomes relative - relative to whatever kind of character God is. And what if he's actually evil? What evidence do we have that he's not twisted and malicious?

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