God’s Bootstraps: Euthyphro Generalized
Abstract: Is the good good because it is loved by the gods, or do they love it because it is good? (Euthyphro, 10a). Ostensibly, Christian theologians have found this dilemma unsavory, for accepting the first lemma makes goodness seemingly arbitrary, while the second makes goodness separate from god, and seemingly a se. In this vein, William Craig has recently attacked metaphysical (platonic) realism with regard to properties, arguing that such a position contradicts a historical understanding of God’s aseity. A common response by realists to this argument is that God simply created those properties. Craig has responded with his Bootstrapping Objection: How could God have created at least some properties (e.g. being powerful) without already possessing those properties? This paper seeks to demonstrate the analogies between the famous Euthyphro dilemma and Craig’s Bootstrapping objection, along with the analogous responses to them both.