Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy


In this paper I reexamine the Euthyphro dilemma to determine the principles underlying its critique of divine command theory. From this analysis, I claim that the Euthyphro dilemma can be fruitfully applied to other systems of ethics. As an example, I examine the Utility Principle which undergirds Utilitarianism. I argue that the Utility Principle is metaethically insufficient as the basis for our moral duties because it is good neither necessarily nor independently. The result is that Utilitarianism must be rejected as the definition of morality, though we may retain it as one of the good’s criteria.

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