Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno and Phaedo

Plato: How God is Good

The central argument in Euthyphro implies that the concept of 'good' must be independent of the concept of 'God' such that "God must love that which is good because it is good." Grube argues that the implication of this is that God has no choice in the matter. To understand this conclusion, it is first necessary to evaluate how the concepts 'good' and 'God' can be independent of one another, since they seem to be synonymous in the sense that good is an integral element in the concept of God. This poses the first problem. If accepted, however, one still must confront the problematic argument that God has no choice in the matter. How could this be possible? There must be a set of rules that regulate what is good, independent of God's opinion, that he has no control over. Although this statement appears to be absurd, it is possible that God has no choice in deciding what is good, but must adhere to rules that govern that which is good.

The assumption that the concept of good is independent of the concept of God seems to be preposterous. If "God is good" is a synthetic statement, then the concept of good helps to characterize the concept of God. Good must be separate from God...

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