more from Ralph Cudworth

Single Idea 6223

[catalogued under 28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality]

Full Idea

If the arbitrary will and pleasure of God is the first and only rule of good and justice, it follows that nothing can be so grossly wicked or unjust but if it were commanded by this omnipotent Deity, it must forthwith become holy, just and righteous.

Gist of Idea

If the will and pleasure of God controls justice, then anything wicked or unjust would become good if God commanded it


Ralph Cudworth (On Eternal and Immutable Morality [1688], Ch.I.I.5)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.106

A Reaction

This is the strong (Platonic) answer to the Euthyphro Question (Idea 336). One answer is that God would not command in such a way - but why not? We may say that God and goodness merge into one, but we are interested in ultimate authority.

Related Idea

Idea 336 Is what is pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because they love it? (the 'Euthyphro Question') [Plato]