Epic Battle Between Good and Evil

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The Bible portrays the story of the Devil’s fall from grace as an epic battle between good and evil. The devil faces off against God and the good angels, demanding that he be granted the same power as God. God cast down the Devil and all of his followers for turning away from him and willing for power they were not able to possess. In order to understand what it was that made the Devil turn away from God and what he willed for that was considered such a sin, I read Anslem’s On the Fall of the Devil to find out, not how the devil fell from grace, but why he fell from grace. By primarily interpreting Anselm’s accounts from On the Fall of the Devil, and reviewing Saint Augustine’s view on the Devil’s, biblical texts, and other philosophical interpretations, I will compare various accounts to discover why the devil chose to turn away from God and why he ultimately fell from grace. In On the Fall of the Devil, Anselm argued that in order for the angels to protect their “righteousness” of will, they had to will for justice and will for happiness. “Imagine”, the Teacher in On the Fall of the Devil states, “that God creates an angel and gives him only the will for happiness. Is it possible that the angel wills anything besides happiness?” The Teacher explains that if the angels only had a will for happiness then they would have only willed for what they believed would make them happy, and because they were created by God, they would only find happiness in him and therefore, could not possess “self-initiated” action . In other words, they would not have free choice. If He only gave them a will for justice, then their will for justice would be in God, not themselves, just like the will for happiness. This is why, Anselm says, God gave the... ... middle of paper ... ...fered perseverance by God, he refused to receive it, because he believed he had the right to be as great as God. Works Cited Anselm, and Thomas Williams. Three Philosophical Dialogues. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub., 2002. Print. Augustine, and Peter King. On the Free Choice of the Will, On Grace and Free Choice, and Other Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print. Brown, Peter. Augustine of Hippo; a Biography. Berkeley: University of California, 1967. Print. Evans, G. R. Augustine on Evil. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982. Print. Fleming, Chris. René Girard: Violence and Mimesis. Cambridge: Polity, 2004. Print. Girard, René. I See Satan Fall like Lightning. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2001. Print. Tolkien, J. R. R., and Rosemary Phelps. Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur, The Creation of the Earth as Told by the Elves. Northfield, MN: Aragwanod, 2008. Print.

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