[BLANK_AUDIO] Turapy is the holy holy because the Gods love it, or do the gods love it because it's holy? There's a long and quite confusing passage, starting at 10a. In which Socrates attempts to clarify this question for Euthyphro, who is just as confused as many of you are. I think Socrates's clarifications make things worse. Let me leave the text behind then and just give you the general idea. Then I recommend that you read the text again and recognize what I'm about to say in it. Euthyphro has this circles versus grid type problem as I explained a few videos ago. Should he prosecute dad or not? Loyalty to family says no. Justice says yes. Which value is the real value? Which value trumps which? Euthyphro has a decision procedure for getting an answer. WWZD. What would Zeus do? What we've been seeing so far are relatively incidental products with this procedure. There are other Gods, maybe it's not clear what Zeus thinks. You might solve those problems. Or at least think you have solved them. But that only leaves a deeper, more essential problem. Euthyphro wants to be like Zeus. So he asks, WWZD, what would Zeus do? But ironically, that makes him unlike Zeus. Because obviously, Zeus doesn't ask WWZD, he is Zeus. So at best, there's a kind of regress. What is it about the way that Zeus thinks that makes it right for Euthyphro to think that he wants to think what Zeus thinks? Okay, I'm obviously not even trying to help you am I. Let's back up, I'll talk slower. Let's ask, why does Zeus hate murder? Let's assume he does. I gave an answer, moral pollution. That is, he hates mess. But that's surely wrong. Think of it this way. The world is full of products marketed to people who like something, but don't want to hassle with the mess. I went to Amazon and searched no mess. And I got results. No mess bird feeders, no mess kitty litter boxes, no mess paint kits for kids, no mess honey dispensers. No mess micro s'mores. These are s'mores you can make without all the fire, and the burning, and the marshmallow dripping everywhere. Suppose, I know this is crazy but bear with me, suppose someone marketed a no mess micro-smurder. It's murder, but it comes factory sealed. Somehow, isn't technology a wonderful thing, you pop it in the microwave and it's all over in 30 seconds. No muss, no fuss, nothing to clean up afterwards. Would Zeus be happy now? I hope not. The problem with murder is that it's wrong. It's the wrongness of murder that makes the messiness of murder horrible. Not the messiness of murder that makes it wrong. I mentioned that murder is bad for property values. No one wants a house someone has been murdered in. But that would be a crazy reason to outlaw murder, namely to prop up the housing market. Put it another way. Suppose Zeus gets up on the wrong side of bed tomorrow, and decides murder is right. Would that make it right? Because Zeus is the best and most just of gods? No. Presumably that would be a story about the day Zeus turned into a super fella. Euthyphro thinks so too. At any rate, his first impulse is to answer Socrates' question by saying basically, that right and wrong isn't caused by Zeus saying do it, or don't do it. Rather, Zeus, in his wisdom, can tell right from wrong and he directs us mortals accordingly. The problem with that is it threatens to put Euthyphro out of a job. And not just Euthyphro, religion generally. In so far as religion sets itself up as a privileged source of moral guidance. Suppose you have some math homework to do, a real tough problem set. 1 plus 2. What is it? What is it, 1 plus 2? Oh I don't know. Math is hard. What mortal mind can fathom its great depths? Great Zeus, help me in my time of mathematical need. So you pray to Zeus and make a sacrifice. You burn something, smoke wafts up to Olympus and best case scenario, we get something back. Zeus, being a wise and best and wisest of Gods, presumably grasps the additive function. After all, Zeus leans over out of Olympus, 1 plus 2 is 3. It's win-win. Everyone's happy. You get an A, Zeus gets to breathe some smoke. Religion is great. But you could of saved your sacrifice and just studied instead. In principle you can do your own math homework. What about your own ethics homework? Either ethics makes sense or it doesn't. If it makes sense, then it's like math. You can figure it out. It makes sense that murder is wrong. It's harmful as well as messy. No good comes of it. Wrong is wrong, that's basic moral math. But if that's right, you don't need Zeus to tell you. If you can figure out right and wrong just by reasoning about it, then religion is no more the foundation of ethics than it is of your math class. Sure, some people pray before math tests, but it isn't regarded as methodically essential. So let's restate Euthyphro's Dilemma. Here's another fresh philosophy term. Divine Command Theory. Divine Command Theory is short, for the thing, I heard in past a minute ago on the grounds it sounded wrong. If Zeus tells you to kill innocent people, you should kill them. That is What you should do just is a function of whatever God says. There is no other source of authority ultimately. The usual way of putting fort this idea is, God works in mysterious ways. He's ways are not ours. And yet, we are bound by his ways, he's God, we don't have to understand the plan. That doesn't sound as repulsive as God might tell you to murder if he does, you should, because we don't understand the plan goes with the idea that ultimately, the plan is good, it's got to be. But if you add that last bit, you are actually tacitly letting go of Divine Command theory. If the reason, why you should do what God says, is because it is good, not because God says it, then that is a different kind of moral logic. An example to fix ideas. Those of you, who are familiar with the story of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac to switch to a different religious tradition, might consider how it should be interpreted. One philosopher, 19th century dame named Soren Kierkegaard, argues that Abraham is the father of faith. Not because he's willing to give up everything. There's nothing morally wrong with being willing to do that, but that he is willing to murder his own son, which is morally the worst thing you could do. Faith isn't rational, it doesn't make sense but that means it could be morally absurd either you accept that or you don't. That's what Kierkegaard says. I recently stumbled across an odd case of someone reasoning this way. I was reading debates about slavery. Debates between pro slavery writers, and abolitionist writers, in the runup to the American civil war. I found the following rather odd. Pro slavery argument. Premise one, the bible says slavery is permissible even in the most revolting form. It's a bit unclear whether this writer means morally revolting or just not the sort of thing you'd like to witness. Lots of people debate how to interpret what the bible says about slavery. Slavery was cannon in ancient times. A lot of passages in the Bible treated as part of the normal moral background of society, but just as the details of Greek mythology don't matter for purposes of bringing out the problems with Euthyphro's philosophy, so the details of what the Bible says about slavery don't matter for purposes of seeing why the argument I'm about to give, is structurally odd. Suppose, just suppose, the Bible says what we would call morally revolting forms of slavery are permissible. And your religion tells you that the Bible is morally authoritative. Now what do you think about slavery? What this particular pro slavery writer said was quite remarkable. He writes that the fact that God, God tells us to tolerate something morally bad, namely slavery, makes abolitionism even worst. Why? Because in effect, abolitionists are holding themselves to a standard of morality that is one, correct, two, higher than Gods' standard. Therefore, if abolitionism comes to be accepted, it will erode the authority of religion. I suggest that you think about what a weird argument that is. But I won't say more. This isn't a class about antebellum debates over slavery. Although, I will mention slavery next time. Ancient Athens was one of the world's great slaves societies, if great is the word we want there, and we meet a slave in Minot. The guy who died in the ditch, kill this slave that belong to Euthyphro's family. How we think about slavery might affect how we think about Plato's dialogs. So, we'll come back to it. The present point is this, Divine Command theory, whatever Zeus says goes, is a potentially very morally disturbing view. Because Zeus might ask you to do something wrong or at least tell you that something wrong is okay. Something you think is wrong. At best, this view looks arbitrary. Anything at all, can turn out to be right or wrong. At worst, it looks immoral. God could will something immoral. But the alternative to Divine Command theory is unattractive. If you want to make religion a necessary foundation for morality, as most religious people do. If ethics makes sense, why do you need religion for purposes of ethical guidance? In a sense, the dilemma is all right there in the first page of that kid's book of Greek myths I quoted. Let me quote it again. The Greek gods looked much like people and acted like them, too, only they were taller, handsomer and could do no wrong. If the Greek gods are really like people, then they can do wrong, because that's people all over. If the Greek gods can do no wrong, then they really aren't people at all. The only thing that really can't be wrong is the very concept of right. This is ultimately where Plato is going, I think, with this line of critique of Euthyphro. But we won't get there this lesson. I'll say a bit more at the start of next lesson by way of introducing Minot. The issue will really be with us for the rest of the course. Because the issue is, reason and persuasion. Not quite seeing it? Alright, here it goes. It's the question of whether ethics is the matter of reasoning out what to do, or just somehow being told what to do and being, thereby persuaded but not rationally. One final note, then one final video, and we're done for the lesson. The note is this. I said that Euthyphro's Dilemma is a problem not just for polytheists but for monotheists. I hope that's now clear. I said it's also a problem for atheists. How so? If you don't believe in God, you don't believe in Divine Command, so you can't get confused about how to understand them. To see the problem, let's get even more abstract. The problem with Zeus, or God, is really just an example of a more general problem. How to derive an ought, from an is. If you are a pious ancient Greek, you think there is a large, bearded man on top of Mount Olympus, prepared to throw lightening bolts at you, if you displease him. That's a fact. Let's suppose it really is, you believe it is. So far as I can tell, it's a non-moral fact. There's no clear way to turn this is, of Zeus' existence, into an ought, that is to turn it into a truth about the way you should live your life. Not unless you add a separate ought to the mix. Obviously if there are things you value like not getting struck by lightning, you should try not to displease this guy, Zeus. But that's a truth on the same order of, don't walk around holding a long, metal rod in a thunderstorm. At most, there are considerations of prudence here. If you separately think, I ought to do what Zeus says, then you've got an ought. But it doesn't seem to follow just from the concept large bearded man on top of Olympus, etc, etc. Religious believers have a long tradition of maintaining that atheists couldn't possibly believe in ethics without believing in God to back it up. Atheists like to point out that there seem to plenty of atheists around, and they don't commit murder any more than anyone else. This seems true. Let's give the atheists this point. But, why is it true? Suppose you believe the universe is just physical, physics stuff. Physics, chemistry, biology, we're all just biological creatures. Hey, maybe that explains why we don't murder. We're social animals. We're great apes, as I have mentioned. And if the theory is correct, we evolve to live in adaptive, social units. We don't kill each other as a rule. Well, except when we do. It's more of a guideline, really. Well, never mind about that, the deeper point is this. It's hard to see why the fact that evolution has given us certain traits, if it has, is an explanation of why something is good, rather than an explanation of why we think it's good, because we've evolved to think that way, for whatever reason. You can't derive an ought from physics or biology, they don't say how the universe should be, just how it is. That isn't a reason to think atheists are dangerous if they all officially only believe in what science teaches. Their behavior proves they aren't more dangerous than other people, they don't murder at higher rates. But it is a reason to think that like Euthyphro, like religious folks generally, atheists aren't operating with a rationally, coherent ethical foundation. Evolution is kind of far a field from Euthyphro, let's pull back. The simpler way to put the point way is this, Euthyphro has something arbitrary looking in his ethical framework. His belief about Zeus. But that's everyone. We all have something arbitrary planted deep in our minds that figures into our ethical thinking. We're loyal to dad, for example. Why be loyal to dad? Because he's dad. But that's just a fact. Dad is, dad is, dad is, dad. Do you seriously believe your dad is the world's greatest dad? If so, then everyone should be giving your dad that cup for his birthday. Which would be crazy. If you don't believe that, then why are you giving your dad that cup for his birthday? Are you crazy? One final section and we're done, for the lesson.