I intend to present a comprehensive case as to why the Euthyphro Dilemma advances atheism, but to do this, I must substantively and seriously address the reasons given by MS Quixote as to why he believes the Euthyphro Dilemma advances theism. This is my goal, and I intend to demonstrate my case thoroughly and convincingly.
This is my second post which analyzes MS Quixote's argument for why the Euthyphro Dilemma advances theism rather than atheism.
Last time, I explained my assertion that one cannot avoid the ED by positing that the paradigm of goodness is embedded in God's nature:
The first philosophic move of the theist is to pass through the horns of the ED by locating the Good as the nature of God. In effect, the theist answers the dilemma by saying “neither.” Hence, the theist claims that the good is not independent of God, as posited by horn one, nor is the good commanded by God, as claimed by horn two. In effect, a tertium quid is presented: God’s nature is the paradigm of goodness. God’s nature is the good...Note, the theist objection does not say that God’s nature is good; it says that God’s nature is the good.
(The emphasis on the final sentence of that quote is solely mine.)
MS Quixote tries to argue that the paradigm of goodness is embedded in God's nature; but he is simultaneously arguing that God's nature is "the good" rather than good. So he seems to be arguing that there is, in fact, no way to tell whether the paradigm of goodness really is, in and of itself, actually good.
Let's try to use your argument for a thought experiment:
Goodness is embedded in God's nature necessarily, since God is the paradigm of goodness. God's standard for goodness is not a coherent concept - because God is the standard. But why is God good? Because he is; it's a brute fact of existence - deal with it. But what if God's nature was malevolent: if God's nature is the paradigm of goodness, and God's nature is malevolent, then is malevolence actually goodness? God could've been anything, but he just is good. We just got lucky that he isn't apathetic or malevolent or bipolar. God's the standard for goodness because he is - through God, all things are. We know God is good because all things are patterned from him - we can tell that all things are patterned from God's goodness, we can tell that he is the ultimate paradigm, because that's just exactly the kind of world we seem to inhabit:
No random, indiscriminate earthquakes, volcano eruptions, mudslides, or tsunamis,
No rampant diseases such as polio, typhoid, smallpox, or the Black Plague,
Just goodness. We know God is good because that's just the way the world works.
You want evidence, you say? You want to know if this assertion really means something?
Just examine the world around you. Then you'll know.
Why do we really say that God is the paradigm of goodness? Why do we really believe in a maximally great being?
Perhaps it's comforting. Perhaps it's disorienting to believe that we are here on this planet, in the middle of this universe, lacking guidance, lacking care, and lacking supervision.
Perhaps that was the best explanation we had at one time. Perhaps it helps us derive meaning from our existence. Perhaps we feel that it keeps us in touch with the traditions of our families and our communities.
It doesn't mean anything to say that any God is the paradigm of goodness if we refuse to define a standard for goodness. So you say that God is the standard? Fine, judge God by his handiwork, if that's what you believe.
God is "the good", you say. God is "maximally great", you say. How do you know?, I say.
Do you know that God's nature is the paradigm of goodness because it is good, or do you know that God's nature is the paradigm of goodness because it is his nature, by fiat?
If you know that God's nature is the paradigm of goodness because of some outside standard, then your God is inferior to that standard. If you know that God's nature is the paradigm of goodness because it is - by fiat - then you've admitted that you have no basis for interpreting God's nature as "good" or "evil".
Whatever God's nature becomes (or rather, what it has become) is the good; whatever it does not become (or rather, what it has not become) is not the good. As a consequence, you have absolutely no idea what the good resultant from God's nature should be, nor what it is, nor what it means.
Anyone can say, "this comes from God, it must be the good!"
"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you believe atrocities." - Voltaire