The Voluntarist Critique of Hard Natural Law

Anver M. Emon

in Islamic Natural Law Theories

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579006
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722639 | DOI:
 The Voluntarist Critique of Hard Natural Law

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This chapter provides an analytic overview of the opponents of Hard Natural Law, whose critique was launched from a Voluntarist perspective. Voluntarist jurists considered Shari'a values to be products of a Voluntarist divine will. Without a scriptural basis (shar'), they argued, there can be no Shari'a valuation or divine obligation. For them, obligation implies punishment and reward, praise and blame – all of which are the products of God's express will. While human reason can make evaluative judgments, their authority is limited by the contingencies and fallibilities of the jurist. To suggest that such judgments reflect a divine intent is tantamount to holding God hostage to human reasoning, and thus undermines the Voluntarists' theological commitment to God's omnipotence.

Keywords: voluntarism; theology; legal philosophy; knowledge; reason; authority

Chapter.  13551 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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