Saint Augustine's Deduction That Free Will Is A Good Gift From God

1204 words - 5 pages

Saint Augustine's Deduction that Free Will is a Good Gift from God

Before the central theme of this essay is analytically summarized, it
is important to note a few propositions already established in the
conversations between Saint Augustine and Evodius. Firstly, Saint
Augustine has already ascertained that God gave human beings free
choice of the will – Evodius is also sure of this proposition. He
deduces that since our existence came from God, then it must be God
who gave us free will. Secondly, Augustine then questions Evodius on
how he knows that our existence comes from God. His answer begs the
question as he states that our existence must come from God since he
punishes the unjust and rewards those who are good.

Another proposition that must be established before the crux of the
argument may be presented is that although God gave human beings free
will, we must use it to live rightly. This again is resting on the
assumption that God rewards the just and punishes those who use their
free will to sin. Augustine proposes that God does not punish those
who live rightly. Moreover, if free will was intended for living
rightly and unjustly, then punishment of those who sin and reward for
those who live rightly would not be justified. Therefore, Saint
Augustine concludes that free will must have been given to humans by
God for the purpose of living rightly.

This leads to the crux argument discussed between Saint Augustine and
Evodius that free will is a good gift from God. The argument may be
summarized as follows: 1) All good things come from God, 2) God gave
humans free will, therefore, 3) free will is a good thing from God.
Although the argument is sound, it is not completely valid. Evodius
notes that our free will could also be used wrongly. This jeopardizes
the second proposition that all good things come from God. Augustine
rebuts this argument of Evodius by giving another example. He states
that a great good is missing from the body with no hands and yet
people can use their hands wrongly (i.e., by committing
violent/shameful acts). Augustine is still begging the question. He
states that it is better to have something which be used for just and
unjust acts the not possess it at all. From this statement, however,
one can conclude that free will is not a good thing in itself because
it can lead to wrong or unjust acts.

Saint Augustine was a Christian, and a brief and simple counterexample
from his religious perspective could prove this proposition to be
false. Augustine states that a great good is missing if someone lost
their hands or eyes,...

Find Another Essay On Saint Augustine's Deduction that Free Will is a Good Gift from God

"Cloning - A Gift From God ... Or an Injustice Towards Humanity?" A moral and religious debate between the pro's and con's of cloning.

1722 words - 7 pages Cloning - a Gift From God, or an Injustice Towards Humanity?In a world that is as fast paced as the one we live in today, it is hard to stop and remember the moral values and religious beliefs we were taught as children. We live in a world where science is put on a pedestal, and religion is a far off thought saved for holidays that we hardly remember the meanings of. Why is it that when we hear about scientific advancements we get excited, and

Assessment of the View that it is Rational to Believe that there is a God

1058 words - 4 pages talking about whether or not it is rational to believe in god. Pascal for instance thinks that you should believe in God as you will gain more from it when you pass away if he does exist, i.e. going to heaven, whereas if you don't believe in God and it turns out he does in fact exists you will lose more. This is often referred to as Pascal's wager and Pascal is a prudentialist, which means believing in something because

Patience is a Great Gift--Sara Vee

557 words - 2 pages looked at as unprofessional and inappropriate. Keeping my cool and being nice and funny with the kids is something I like to do. It's not too hard to keep everything moving smoothly, but there are always a few days out of the two weeks that are a little more difficult than the others to keep calm. This is where God has blessed me with a hint of patience. This great gift helps me to become a good teacher, and learn about the things that are really important to the kids. Patience is a tough role, but with a little work everyone can achieve it.

What is Frankfurt's account of free will? Is it successful?

954 words - 4 pages agent with free will despite their acting on the desires they want to be effective. The brainwashed agent has no more freedom than a wanton (Double, 1991). As can now be seen, Frankfurt’s account of free will misses something important and, consequently, breaks down when applied to this special case. In which case, what does Frankfurt’s account miss? From the example it seems that what is missing is a consideration of our ability to reflect on

The anecdotes A Good Man is Hard to Find and The Comforts of Home will

800 words - 3 pages . Various cultures perceive colors differently which could change a reader’s perspective. A Good Man is Hard to Find is told from the grandmother’s point of view. The first significant color is describing her son’s wife. “… a young woman is slacks, whose face was as broad and innocent as a cabbage and was tied around with a green head-kerchief that had two points on top like rabbit’s ears.” The use of this color is ambiguous. It could be

Is there a god?

855 words - 3 pages paradoxes, such as can God create a wall that even he cant tear down? Or can God create a Rock even he can't carry? By saying no to either of these your showing that god is not all-powerful. There could therefore be no free will if you had a choice in anything you do, God could not know what you will do and therefore not be all knowing. In the bible it states I believe that God is above our understanding and through time we have seen that to be true

Is there a God?

1458 words - 6 pages wickedness, if he knows everything?" This is undoubtedly questionable. God wiped out the world just to restart the wickedness that has been going on for centuries, I think not. Furthermore, all species came to Noah from around the world, which brings up another pondering point, species live in different parts of the world because that is their habitat, did Noah have a frozen area on the Ark for the arctic animals? Did he have a place the ones

Is there a God?

1868 words - 7 pages that Russell highlights links happiness with religion. “People will tell us that without the consolations of religion they would be intolerably unhappy” (10). This is a much generalized argument and takes only those people into account who consider religion as the key towards happiness. The criteria for happiness varies from person to person. If one person, who is a stern believer, feels happy for his strong connection with God while another person

Is there a God?

1408 words - 6 pages be understanding the concept of what a God is, you are proving his existence. This is because if you understand who God is, you can also accept his existence, and therefore cannot conceive that he does not exist. Therefore making him that which nothing greatercan be conceived of, and which cannot be conceived not to exist which we have already defined as God.The second argument for a God comes from St. Tomas Aquinas, who argues for the

What it's really like to be a freshman. The essay is about being a freshman from a freshmans point of view (that it's hard) Some dates will need to be changed in order to update it!

643 words - 3 pages . Freshmen are the lowest of all classes, sometimes referred to as the "Lower side of the L". The only good thing about being a freshman is that you gain some freedom. Freedom from middle school. At high school, you aren't thought of as a fire hazard for standing up or being in the hallway as you are in middle school.You get off the bus every morning, and open the doors to what most freshmen call their worst nightmare. Parents think they are doing the

Science versus religion from a Friedrich Nietzche perspective "God is dead"

1589 words - 6 pages . Further, he deduced that the universe was at one time condensed matter, and then expanded into what science refers to as "The Big Bang". Christian organizations will not hear of this. In Christianity, it is told that man is descended from a man named Adam, and his wife, Eve. When Eve ate the apple of knowledge and shared it with her husband, both of them were cast from the Garden of Eden, and bred on Earth to form society as is known today.The

Similar Essays

Augustine's Thoughts On Free Will Essay

1010 words - 5 pages One thing that philosophers are great at is asking big questions, usually without providing answers. However, Saint Augustine has a more direct approach to his speculation, often offering a solution to the questions he poses. One such topic he broached in The City of God against the pagans. In this text, Augustine addresses the problem of free will and extends his own viewpoint. Stating that humankind can have free will with an omniscient God

“A Gift Sent From Heaven” Essay

2627 words - 11 pages slums too. “That reminds me Marcie, I’ve been meaning to ask you something.” Marcellina raised her head to look at her beloved husband. “Yes my dear?” “Did you ever find out who left that box at you mother’s grave?” Marcellina laughed at Celio’s inquiry, her voice like the rippling of wind chimes, “I was wondering when you’d ask that, but no, we really didn’t. Although my father and I like to believe that it was a gift sent from heaven.”

Free Will A Major Debate Essay

1484 words - 6 pages this is automatically inclined to steal. This would mean that this person's morals are out of his or her control. Therefore this person cannot be held morally responsible and once again free will is irrelevant.The argument from immediate experience states that people are able to deliberate before making a radically free choice. The argument from immediate experience would say that when a person is presented with a decision such as choosing between

Marijuana As A Gift From Mother Earth

1049 words - 4 pages that it is a donkey, eventually the horse will believe it. The amount of propaganda that has been flooding the country for all these years, misinformation from top government officials, and blatant lies from our country’s health “experts” has instigated a furious “war” that has divided the country in half. This war has no winners – the country is not even coming close to ridding the country of the “problem”, and the drug users are growing in