As Clearly And Carefully As You Can

1326 Words Dec 23rd, 2014 6 Pages
Voluntarists and non-voluntarists have had intense debate on the issue of religion and morality. The underlying central argument of the debate is whether the morality requires a religious foundation or not. While the voluntarists claim that morality does require a religious foundation, non-voluntarists assert that it doesn’t. David Brink and George Mavrodes argues with this theme of voluntarist and non-voluntarist. My essay will largely focus on the strengths and weakness of both voluntarists and non-voluntarists associating with Mavrodes and Brink’s idea on this issue.

Voluntarists are the people who insist that it is the will or the attitude of god that determines morality and its qualities, while the non-voluntarists argue that moral
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What Brink argues is that if the natural properties of a situation determine its moral properties, then its moral properties can’t depend on god’s will. He further states that if voluntarism were true, then two situations could have different moral properties even if there were no natural differences between them, i.e. , if god’s attitudes to the two tokens of the same type were different, one system could be unjust, but an absolute same one of that system don’t have to be unjust. Therefore, the second argument against to the voluntarism is that voluntarism implies a rejection of supervenience of the moral properties of natural ones, which rejecting supervenience is counterintuitive and thus voluntarism has a counterintuitive implication.

The third opposition is a substantive claim argument. This argument explains that if the god merely selects whatever he or she wants to be good or right, then when people say “God is good”, this notion becomes trivial and non-substantive. This argument implies that if voluntarism is true, then praise of god as good or right wouldn’t be meaningful. For example, we can pick our own grades for the work we had done but don’t consider their quality which are independent of our choice of grade. It would genuinely not count as substantive praise if one person says to another “you got an A. You did very well”.

On the contrary, there are also arguments against non-voluntarism. To begin