As part of a course I am taking, I was asked to continue the dialogue Euthyphro as if Euthyphro had given the opposite response to Plato's famous question:
Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?
That is, what if Euthyphro said that the pious is pious because it is loved by the gods - how would Plato have responded.
Here's my logic for a potential rebuttal:
- If something is pious because it is loved by the gods, and impious because it is hated by them, what causes the gods to love and hate things? There is no possible answer except that the will of the gods (i.e., what they approve/disapprove of) is arbitrary and accidental.
- I remember reading that Plato identified the form of the good with the gods --> the gods are identical to the form of the good.
- Just like any form, there must be a good itself. Therefore, there must be a cause that makes a good thing the way it is (good).
- Since the gods are identical to the form of the good, there must also be a cause that makes the gods the way they are.
- We have reached a contradiction because if the will of the gods is arbitrary and accidental, that means that nothing is causing them to be the way they are. (if their will were not arbitrary, then external standards of piety/impiety would be causing them to be the way they are)
Is my logic flawed? What is a better rebuttal? Is there even a rebuttal if Euthyphro is willing to believe that the will of the gods is arbitrary?