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syed1
02-05-2012, 07:08 PM
Anyone familiar with the dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro?

Well here is a quick summary:

Euthyphro is punishing his father for murdering someone because he believes it is pious.
Socrates is about to be accused of something and go on trial so he asks Euthyphro to tell him what is the definition of pious and impiety so that he can have a standard to refer to in his trial..

Euthyphro first says, Piety is what I am doing right now, (punishing his father for murder, hence being just)

Socrates says that no, that is only an instance of piety, I want a definition that encompasses every thing ie. a general definition of piety.
Euthyphro then says that what ever is appealing to the Gods is pious, but socrates quickly argues that the Gods sometimes to have arguments about what is right and wrong so that would make this definition of piety contradictory as something could be pious and impious at the same time.

So euthyphro then says "What ALL the Gods love is pious and what ALL the Gods hate is Impious".
So here is where Socrates really stumps poor old euthyphro. he says:

"Is pious loved by the Gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by the Gods?" In other words "Is conduct right because God commands it or does God command it because it is right?"

What is your view on this, from an Islamic perspective? If we say that conduct is right because God has commanded it, for example, that we should not Lie, then that is to say that if there was no God then lieing would be neither good or bad... What if God has said "we must yell at our mother" and since he commanded that then we would have to do it because it is right. Something to think about...

What if we say that no, "God commands it because it is right" then we are essentially saying that the things which are right and wrong are Independent of God ...hmmm any one? any thoughts?


Just another idea to chew over: Can morality exist without God?

For example, Dostovesky said that: "if God is dead, everything is permitted" ie. if there is NO God then you can do what ever you like... Do you agree? Is God necessary for morality?

Lets assume there are 2 possible worlds. One with a God and one without a god..

I ask you a few questions: is it right to kill a child? is it okay to lie? is it right to obey your parents?

Would your answer to these questions change if we lived in a world without a God? hmmm?


Look forward to some thoughts Inshallah!
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CosmicPathos
02-05-2012, 07:58 PM
aaah. Before I answer, you tell me, why is there so much diversity among humans?

Why do all of us each have a slightly different perception of world? did you know that none of us have similar sort of hearing power, some people hear a bit loud, some a bit low, some a bit dull, some a bit sharp, some from a distance etc

did you know that each and everyone of us has a different experience of vision? What you see as dark bright red might not be as bright red to someone with SLIGHT color blindness. Or what you see as a bit too sharp indigo color might be a but too dull for someone else with perfectly fine eyes?

If our 5 most important senses are so varied, diverse, why do you think should our thinking be the same? Why do you think our ideas of references be the same? Why do you think we all will come to same conclusions from arguments? Why do you think we all will have same assumptions for arguments?

What is right? I do not know what is right. But I do know for sure that whever you think is right, I might agree with 90% of it. Or even less. And same with you. It might be right for you to move out of your parents when you turn 18, but it might not be right for me. etc.

There is no right deed nor a wrong deed in this evolutionary world. Right and wrong are perceptions that we humans have ascribed to deeds. To be honest, there is nothing right or wrong with murder, incest, rape etc. Because these all things are prevalent in animal world, its only some of us humans who feel strong emotions when we see rape or see murder. But it does not mean we can claim that it is wrong, we have no yard stick to compare it to.

If God had said that rape is right, then rape would have been right. The fact is that He did not.
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Galaxy
02-05-2012, 08:17 PM
Allah is All-Knowing and knows what's best for us. Someone may think this is right and wrong but Allah knows what's truly evil for us.
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syed1
02-05-2012, 08:49 PM
seems like you didn't understand the claim correctly..

let me put it this way..

Does Allah know what is best for us because he has made that thing better for us ....or is it because that this is better for us already and God is simply telling us that it is better from his ultimate wisdom and knowledge?
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CosmicPathos
02-05-2012, 08:52 PM
I thought you were asking "are things right or wrong just because Allah said so or are things right and wrong just because they are right and wrong, regardless of what Allah told us?" Was not that your question?
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syed1
02-05-2012, 09:05 PM
Originally Posted by CosmicPathos
What is right? I do not know what is right. But I do know for sure that whever you think is right, I might agree with 90% of it. Or even less. And same with you. It might be right for you to move out of your parents when you turn 18, but it might not be right for me. etc.
Yes your right that something good for you may not be good me etc. But the point of contention is with God's laws/commands. The idea is that is God arbitrarily imposing a law upon us, for example, not to kill an innocent human being. Is that law independent of God and God is simply relaying this information to us because he is all knowing, all knowledgeable ? or is he creating that law and then Making it a good thing to not do? ie. to not kill innocent people..

Originally Posted by CosmicPathos
If God had said that rape is right, then rape would have been right. The fact is that He did not.
yes, he didn't. But he simply could of said rape is right, and hence, it would be. right?


Originally Posted by CosmicPathos
I thought you were asking "are things right or wrong just because Allah said so or are things right and wrong just because they are right and wrong, regardless of what Allah told us?" Was not that your question?
yes it is, why the confusion? think of it this way.

If god had not told us that not to lie, then lieing would neither be good nor bad. But because he has told us not to lie then it is good not to lie. It's as if he is waving a wand and saying "poof" and now lieing has become bad and by that same token he could say poof, and abusing little girls could become the right thing to do..
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Dagless
02-05-2012, 09:20 PM
Originally Posted by syed1
seems like you didn't understand the claim correctly..

let me put it this way..

Does Allah know what is best for us because he has made that thing better for us ....or is it because that this is better for us already and God is simply telling us that it is better from his ultimate wisdom and knowledge?
Both those are technically the same thing since God is also the one who created us.

Originally Posted by syed1
Yes your right that something good for you may not be good me etc. But the point of contention is with God's laws/commands. The idea is that is God arbitrarily imposing a law upon us, for example, not to kill an innocent human being. Is that law independent of God and God is simply relaying this information to us because he is all knowing, all knowledgeable ? or is he creating that law and then Making it a good thing to not do? ie. to not kill innocent people..
Yes, it is by God saying something is good which makes it good. Without God's law there is no universal yardstick. Laws cannot be independent of God since nothing is independent of God.
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Muhammad
02-05-2012, 09:26 PM
:sl:

If Allaah (swt) has created everything in this world, how can it be possible for anything to be independent of Allaah (swt)? And how can it be possible that He commands us to do something that is anything other than good, when He is the source of all goodness?

I think it should be pointed out that questions like these serve no benefit and may even cause harm. One of the reasons why Muslims in the past began to go astray from the true teachings of Islam was the very act of delving into philosophy, and in particular, Greek philosophy has been mentioned. Such philosophy caused them to hold very deviant beliefs about Allaah (swt) and caused them to split away from the true teachings of Islam. So I believe we should not open our hearts to meaningless questions like these and instead ponder about what is clear cut from the Qur'an and Sunnah. Let us learn about our Lord from these sources and there is so much to ponder over and with much greater meaning and benefit.
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syed1
02-05-2012, 09:33 PM
Originally Posted by Dagless
Both those are technically the same thing since God is also the one who created us

I kinda see what your tryna say, that since God created us, better yet, everything, but it's not the same thing..

The distinction is this: lets agree and say that God created everything. So then God also created this law, lets say, not to kill the innocent. So by him creating this law, it instantly become wrong to kill the innocent. so Before this point it was neither good nor bad. hence, we now have an arbitrarily imposed law on us to follow.

That is one view.. the other view is that Even after God created everything, ie. the world, humans etc. and before he gave us laws or commands, that the idea of not to kill the innocent was an ingrained principal in the fabric of the universe that God simply decided to share with us..

At this point, I guess one would say, "well the very principal that was ingrained in the fabric of the universe was placed by God initially and it not independent of God"..but then this brings us back to the point that it is an absolutely arbitrary imposition upon us, for he could of simply decided to inherit in the fabric of time and space the notion that human ought to abuse the young children..
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syed1
02-05-2012, 09:40 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
If Allaah (swt) has created everything in this world, how can it be possible for anything to be independent of Allaah (swt)? And how can it be possible that He commands us to do something that is anything other than good, when He is the source of all goodness?
yes, you are right. why would God tell us to do something other than Good. but the fact remains that what he has told us to do is Good, not by its very nature, but merely good by the fact that he told us to do so which made it good..

For example: imagine God told us to slap our mother when we turn 9. Then slapping our mother at the age of 9 would be a completely normal thing to do, it would make sense, it would be a good thing to do. Right now we are answering this question based on the information around us but you have to imagine a world where for example, God told us killing is Good and so it would be. human beings would look at a person who is not killing and say OH MY, what a horrible person, he isn't killing anyone !

But since we have notions of right and wrong ingrained in our minds, thinking like that doesn't make sense. It would only make sense if we were born in such a world where killing was the right thing to do as commanded by God and saving a life considered a bad thing..
after all, the only thing that makes it good or bad is by God commanding it to be so...

also, on your remark that we should not waste our time on such questions? are you serious? Does it not mention in the quran numerous times to think and reflect and use our brains. I think there are perfectly plausible questions in philosophy to consider. Just because they are difficult questions and don't have a concrete answer does not mean we should avoid them..

Anyways, I can see why you are worried because there are some people on here who may not be as academically inclined to grasp such a concept and it could easily wrattle their faith, But I just want to say It has not changed my faith at all, so worry not!
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Muhammad
02-05-2012, 10:30 PM
Originally Posted by syed1
also, on your remark that we should not waste our time on such questions? are you serious? Does it not mention in the quran numerous times to think and reflect and use our brains. I think there are perfectly plausible questions in philosophy to consider. Just because they are difficult questions and don't have a concrete answer does not mean we should avoid them..

Anyways, I can see why you are worried because there are some people on here who may not be as academically inclined to grasp such a concept and it could easily wrattle their faith, But I just want to say It has not changed my faith at all, so worry not!
Thinking, reflecting and using our brains is supposed to have a purpose and lead to benefit, such as recognising the existence of Allaah (swt), His Oneness and increase our eemaan. Is there any benefit in the question you have posed? Many of these philosophical questions are themselves flawed in the first place, thus while they may sound very clever they are actually meaningless. Intelligence here should be seen as busying oneself with what leads to benefit and action, and leaving that which does not concern us.
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Tyrion
02-05-2012, 10:36 PM
In case anyone was wondering or wanted to do some more research, this is known as The Euthyphro Dilemma. Here's the wiki if anyone wants some more background knowledge.
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