A recent question asked about God's omni-benevolence, free will and God's ability to do evil. My counter to that was to look at Divine Command Theory which defines moral good as God's will, the questioner did ask further questions that made me wonder about this though.

Would all conclusions of moral good that stem from the bible agree with DCT or is there a definition which sees moral good as something God also adheres to, external to themselves?

  • If God 'adheres' to some greater power or better power or higher power than He, Himself, then he is not 'God' at all. That (supposed) power is 'God' and must be worshipped by all - even 'God' himself. The question turns upon itself and seeks to remove the Deity and seeks to substitute a thing in God's place.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 0:13
  • @NigelJ That is an interesting interpretation, you're quite quick to dismiss God in that situation. It doesn't counter creation at all, nowhere in genesis does it state God created morality. So "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" is not worthy of worship alone? Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 6:58
  • Your question seeks something 'external' to which God 'adheres'. The Gospel declares the 'righteousness of God' . . . an attribute of Deity. (Not 'external' to Deity.)
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


You're referring to the Euthyphro's dilemma which asks whether goodness is above or below God; did he discover or invent goodness? If it is above him, then we should remove the middle man and he is unnecessary. If it's below him then goodness is arbitrary of whatever he commands.

The Christian answer is that there's a third option as well, that goodness is grounded in God's character, it's internal to God. Goodness = God. It is an essential attribute to God, hence goodness naturally flows from God. He has always been essentially good and perfect.

We may still perceive the position as God's perfection and infallible character to be due to his wilful perfection, rather than some logical necessity; that's not to say that God discovered morality and learned to conform to it. His being is maximally good and the foundation of goodness. Morality Therefore comes out if his own standard rather than external standard to him, 1 Peter 1:16.

Many contemporary philosophers of religion suppose that there are true propositions which exist as platonic abstracta independently of God, including propositions constituting a moral order, to which God must conform in order to be good (wiki).

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