2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

On Positive Metaethical Reasons for Theological Voluntarism in Ethics
James G. Quigley
Dr. Chad Mohler, Faculty Mentor

I argue that a good explanation of certain properties of moral facts is that they are ontologically dependent on a volitional state of a divine being. Specifically, I focus on the epistemic benefit to G. E. Moore’s non-naturalist account of morals of saying something extra about what obligations are, the divergence of obligations from naturalistic reasons for following them as argued by George Mavrodes, and the social nature of obligation as argued by Robert M. Adams. As long as the existence of a god is not ruled out by naturalistic assumptions, a deity whose authoritative will is responsible for at least some of the content or nature of human obligations serves to explain these properties better than the view that ‘good is good, and nothing more,’ and better than the view that obligations are merely part of the furniture of the universe.

Keywords: ethics, divine command, voluntarism, metaethics, queerness, Mavrodes

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 31-1
Location: OP 2111
Time: 9:45 am

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