Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Moral Law vs. God

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., answered a tough question on Threshold of Hope this week. Paraphrased, the question was: "Is the moral law which differentiates good from evil something that God dictates (and therefore what is good is good because He says so), or is God good because He conforms to this moral law (which therefore exists outside and before Him)?" In other words, is the moral law arbitrary because God invented it or is God subject to it because it was not created by Him?

I'll post his answer here later, but until then, does anyone want to try and give an answer? (Hint: think tertium quid.)


NanaR said...

Hey Japhy,

I didn't see the program, so my answer may be complete bunk.

But --

Is this one of those Catholic both/and things?

That is, the differentiation between good and evil is both dictated by God and also is right so it could exist outside of God?

Just a guess. If God is (as we believe) perfect, then his moral law must be perfect, and could stand with Him or before Him or after Him.


Love ya!


Weekend Fisher said...

The old "Euthyphro's dilemma" (sp?) thing, ey? I can't exactly claim to have discovered the traditional Christian answer, but I do believe it to be the right one: that "moral law" is grounded in the nature of God and woven by him into the fabric of creation, so that it is wrong to separate those things which the question tries to separate.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

justrobnj said...

I see those pesky sophists are fighting round 400,593,393...

The very nature of God is goodness, and goodness is inseparable from God's self.

Goodness is good because it is of God. God, being the source of all goodness, cannot contradict his own self by being anything other than good.