Challenge: Why Is Good "Good"?

This week's challenge is a question we received from a reader:

I've read Euthyphro's Dilemma, but I still cannot comprehend it. I read that everything a good God commands is good, but what makes God good in himself? I often think, "Why ought I to behave morally?" Because God commands it. And why does he command it? Because he's good. But in the end, I seem to miss the true concept of "good." Being loving, kind, just is good, but why? I've read that goodness is a quality of God, and therefore what he commands is good, and we should pursue good, but why is pursuing "good" good? I've fallen into an infinite regression, and I can't grasp God anymore. It seems like circular reasoning, or am I missing something?

What I am trying to say is that if good is inherent in God's nature, then by what standard does he see that his nature is good? A self-existing standard doesn't seem reasonable to me anymore because it deprives itself of meaning.

Can you help him answer his question? Tell us how you reason through this, and then Brett will post his video response on Thursday.

[Update: View Brett's video response. Explore past challenges here and here.]


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Amy K. Hall