Philosophy and Theology

Volume 26, Issue 1, 2014

Micah D. Tillman
Pages 207-219

Genesis 1's Solution to the Euthyphro Problem

Plato’s Euthyphro presents a puzzle about priority: is deity prior to morality, or vice versa? A Neoplatonic solution identifies God with the Good, claiming the dilemma to be illusory. If we treat the orders of being and power as distinct, however, the God of Genesis 1 may seem to be prior in one order, while goodness is prior in the other; the picture becomes complex, with the various senses of priority apparently balancing out. Without being either Neoplatonic or following other ancient theologies, therefore, Genesis 1 challenges Plato’s dichotomy, highlighting the potential for finding philosophical resources in theological texts.