God, Logic and the Euthyphro Dilemma

I have been discussing God’s attributes of late, and the subject of logic is never far away. One aside to this – perhaps the very fundamental nature of it all – concerns logic itself and from whence it came.

I am not talking about ideas of whether God can make a rock too heavy for him to lift or whether, if given the axioms of Riemannian geometry, an omnipotent being could create a triangle whose angles did not add up to 180 degrees? Or could God create a prison so secure that he could escape from it?

No, but there is warrant for asking where logic has come from. Now, there are different ideas of what logic is (dependant upon definitions, of course), and there are different logics dependent upon various axioms.

In some sense, this is immaterial (well, in a very obvious sense, it is immaterial!), because whatever you define as logic, and however you conceive and construct it, it – if you believe in most conceptions of God – was created by God.

And here we come across a problem that is perhaps analagous to the Euthyphro Dilemma, which itself reads as follows:

“Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”

In other words, is something good just because God commands it, or is goodness rooted outside of God?

If we substitute “logic” into this, then we have:

“Is what is logic commanded by God because it is logic, or is it logic because it is commanded by God?”

Is logic rooted in God or outside of God such that he taps into it? Is it contingent or necessary?

One can bring in all sort of subsequent ideas such as whether logic is merely a descriptive quality of the universe, and its language is how we navigate ourselves about our universe? Of course, these are arguably entirely secular approaches to the subject.

To return to God, if we were to insist on these ideas of twisting God up in logical, usually semantic wordplays, are these impotent from the get-go because God arguably created the whole system himself?

More questions than answers, admittedly. But if might is right causes a problem for divinely derived morality, does it cause similar problems in its application to God? Or, indeed, is the analogy simply false, and such a dilemma cannot be applied to logic as it is to morality?

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