free will

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Evildoing is caused by inordinate desire. Things such as adultery, murder, and sacrilege, are considered forms of evildoing. If one desires to commit any of these evildoings then he is no less guilty than if he was caught in the act. In St. Augustine’s On Free Choice of the Will, he introduces a free will theodicy, which is one of the most influential theodicies and serves as a prominent foundation for Christianity today. He explains his theodicy as the following: free will, not evil, cause sin to happen. St. Augustine, an influential church father believed man caused most of evil. Relative to St. Augustine’s belief, in the dynamic poem Paradise Lost, free will is a consistent lingering theme throughout the poem. Milton acknowledges that God gave man free will alongside reason, by which he describes “reason also is choice”(III.108). Milton explains that it is our own choice whether we obey or disobey God because when he gave us reason, he gave us free will. In this paper, I will explore the joint between free will, love, and reason in relation to our obedience and/ or disobedience to God. More so, in this paper I will use the works of John Milton and St. Augustine to comprehend the notion that the presence of evil is a result of human’s free will, not Satan or a predestined fate. In Paradise Lost, Milton uses the creation story as a strategy to explain man’s free will. Through this story, Milton recognizes that in the same instance free will and reason facilitates us to obey God, it is also a challenge to control against our selfish desires. Free will promotes one’s innate selfish desire causing them to disobey God. Most Christian denominations understand free will from the fall of man. The fall of man illustrates the original ... ... middle of paper ... ...e such a thing would be too weak.”(17) In this explanation, Augustine synopsizes the idea that the mind is not subject to the inordinate desire if it has virtue and is in control. However, if a mind does not have control, then free will becomes attracted to our selfish desires. Reason enables man with the ability to decipher between what is wrong and right. Being that God created man as rational, autonomous beings, they are able to have control over worldly desires. However, God knew that by providing us with free will, we might not always find God’s law appealing and obey him. At times, man will reason to obey God willingly. At other times, man will lose control over their mind and their free will becomes subject to the appeal of one’s selfish nature. Given these two situations, in neither case is Satan or God the cause of our immorality, but our own free will.

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