I have never taken a philosophy course or even asked a philosophy question in my life, although I do have some experience with mathematics and some logic. So, permit me to ask a question that is not likely well thought out or even relevant to anything:
I was doing some leisurely reading on “The Euthyphro Dilemma”, where Socrates (or somebody?) says something like:
“Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?”
Now, either way is supposedly a bad option for anybody who believes in an all-knowing, moral God. On one hand, if God wills acts that are morally good because they’re good, then God is not as omnipotent as he/she may seem: There is indeed a third party above God that determines what is moral or not.
However, the other option does not, to me, seem so damning as it first seems. That is, it seems that God “has an out” here. Suppose it is the case that things are morally good simply because they are willed by God. It is at this point where somebody may say, well, then morals are simply arbitrary and made up.
But what if God responds to this accusation by saying, “I decided that X was moral because of Y. And I decided that Y was moral because of Y+1. And Y+1 is moral because of Y+2, etc.”, ad infinitum. In essence, you can never claim that God has made a truly arbitrary choice, as God can point to an endless chain of reasoning. And choosing this endless chain of reasoning could also be justified by an endless chain of reasoning.
The only way I see that this can be resolved is if for some reason there is some chain of reasoning which itself cannot be further justified by any other chain of reasoning, in which case we can finally pin down God and call his choice of X being moral as arbitrary.
Does anybody have any ideas on this?
Thank you for your time, and once again I apologize for what is likely a not very well-informed question. I don’t even know which tags to apply to this thing…