Plato wrote of a conversation between Socrates and a man named Euthyphro in which this question was raised: Does God command us to do things because they are good or are they good because God commands them? Many people feel that either answer creates a problem. If God commands us to do things because they are good that implies that there is a standard of goodness independent of God to which he must conform. If the things God commands are good because he commands them then good and evil exist only because of God’s arbitrary decision to call certain thing good and others evil. This problem is known as the Euthyphro dilemma.
When Christians discuss the Bible we are often accused of choosing Bible verses that support our position and ignoring those that oppose it. Usually this takes the form of quoting some law found in the Old Testament and asking why we don’t practice it. Since we consider all of the Bible, including the Old Testament, to be the Word of God this is a reasonable objection that should be answered. Read the rest of this entry