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Solving The Euthyphro Dilemma Essay

1105 words - 5 pages

Imagine being stranded on the open sea in a lifeboat with a maximum capacity of fifty people. Who would you let go, who would you save? Consider this; there are a total of one hundred and seventy-five people who all deserve to live as much as the next. This can pose a difficult decision for any individual in charge of the situation. There are different ways an individual may go about coming to an ultimate decision which can be traced back to their personal motives along with their background on making ethical decisions. A divine command theorist, a relativist and an egoist could all be placed in this situation and come to completely different decisions on how to best resolve this dilemma. ...view middle of the document...

Divine command theorists may be able to justify their rationale based on divine writings, “actual proof”. By knowing that they have the commands from God to back their decisions it makes it easier for divine command theorists to act in accordance to God’s will. These decisions would not be possible for one individual to make on their own that is why faith in God is obligatory. This theory is consistently contested by what is referred to as the Euthyphro dilemma, which is the question whether morally good actions are willed by God because they are morally good or they are morally good because they are commanded by God.
How would society criticize your actions? Would you be labeled as a hero or a murder? A relativist would make a decision based on their individual or cultural moral backgrounds. The solution may vary from relativist to relativist because of this. An example would be an individual that is influenced by an enlightened society who would no doubt save the women and children versus a barbaric society that would no doubt save the crew members because they are fit to stay alive. If an individual uses their own moral compass they can come to an entirely different conclusion than those influenced by outside means. An individual with a darker side could choose to save no one and take the boat for themselves and let everyone die. On the other hand, an individual that likes a game of chance would have people draw straws to determine who can stay on the boat. For a relativist their decisions are based on the whims of the individual or their culture. Many factors would play into a relativist’s decision and the outcome would vary greatly even with the smallest change.
What is the solution that is most beneficial to you? An egoist would act in accordance with their personal self interest and only take into account the interests of others if they relate. This does not mean that the person is selfish or cold-hearted. Instead their incentive for helping others may be that they simply want to be labeled as a hero. An egoist may go about this in two separate ways. If they wish to save...

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