What is voluntarism?

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), in its dictionary, recognizes four meanings of the term voluntarism. The first meaning mentioned refers to the theory of philosophy which gives preponderance to the will over the understanding or reason.

Voluntarism, in this context, considers that the will is the primary value of an individual, rejecting the existence of objective laws in society and in nature. It can be said that he gives more importance to emotions and feelings than to the rational. In the realm of theology, voluntarism is the doctrine that claims that everything obeys God’s will. According to this position, God’s decisions are always just and human beings identify with that will.

It is also known as political voluntarism, a tendency that takes the will as a fundamental element for the development of a project. In some cases, the will of the people is considered the engine of social change. According to voluntarism, society must organize itself on the basis of the voluntary agreement of citizens. Therefore, it rejects the coercive power of the State and that the monopoly of violence is in the hands of the State apparatus. Volunteerism, finally, is the attitude adopted by those who make conjectures and define their perspectives according to their own desires and not analyzing the real possibilities . This voluntarism can be seen as a cognitive bias: a distortion that leads to irrational judgment.

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