Rejecting the Premise of the Question

The Euthyphro Problem—The question whether things are good because God wills them or God wills them because they are good. These two aspects of the question do not do justice to a Judeo/Christian Biblical worldview.

Any concept we have of what is good must stem from God’s self-revelation. If we follow Judeo/Christian concepts and teachings concerning God and creation we see that our first glimpse at what is good comes from God in His creative act. In Genesis 1:1-3 we learn that God called light into existence, observed what He had done, and made the assessment that it was good.

If we ignore the Bible and its concepts and look at the universe from strictly naturalistic or evolutionary perspectives, we would have to say that our concept of good begins with a process the outcome of which is a perpetual, predictable, measureable system (order from chaos). Once such a system is seen as one which is favorable to and sustaining of life we come closer still to being able to distinguish between that which is good (pro-life) and that which is either hostile to or anti-life.

Approaching the discussion from the Judeo/Christian concept and understanding of God and the universe (where it rightly belongs and can best be viewed and discussed), we realize that we cannot make a separate postulation about “the good” or that which is good or good as universal or nominal category outside of God’s self-revelation and His revelatory acts in creation. The concept of goodness is only known to us because of God. Therefore, the question as to whether something is good because God wills it or God wills it because it is good is an inadequate framing of the larger question of goodness. God is good. We know this because in His self-revelation, we have observed Him to be inclined toward life. Our ability to determine what is good and what is not is traced back to the image of God in which we have been created. Further, we cannot rightfully imagine what things might have been like had God been evil instead of good. In a scenario where God was evil there would be no life since, as God, He would be pure in His nature and, consequently would not be life sustaining. It is not reasonable to postulate a universe created and sustained by an evil God.