Freely Choosing Between the Divided House Essay

Freely Choosing Between the Divided House Essay

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One of the many questions that are raised in the discussion of the freedom of the will is the reason why we as humans do not love and have turned away from the highest good. According to Augustine’s philosophy, the chains or bonds of bad habits are self-forged by our divided will, also referred to as the divided house. In Book XII of “City of God” Augustine declares it pointless to look for the cause of the evil will. For the cause, he argues, is “deficient,” not “efficient.” Before I can discuss the issues of the divided will, I will explain what Augustine means by “deficient” as opposed to” efficient” cause as the cause of the divided will.
Often times, actions are analyzed by rational explanation or causal explanation. Rational explanation attempts to explain an action by the goals a person might have in his mind at the moment. Causal explanation attempts to find the cause for that particular action. Augustine thinks it is pointless to find the cause of the evil will. Perhaps we should take into account Augustine’s view about The First Sin, when the defection of the bad angels first happened. “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth… And God saw that it was good” (NRSV, Genesis 1). If the Bible states that God created everything good because He is good, then evil, according to Augustine, is the absence of good and does not have any positive being--- defective and lack some perfection. The verb “defect” means to abandon allegiance to something. Its reason follows the noun “defect” which means to lack some perfection. One might suggests that an evil will must cause an evil act or choice. Augustine argues that there is no efficient natural cause of an evil will rather the lack of some goodness--- a matter ...


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...e is living in "Truth."
True Happiness as Reward for Rightly Ordered Love
In agreement with Augustine, I believe that like happiness, virtue can only be given by God. Virtue is rightly ordered love. Jesus’ two commandments: love God above all and love your neighbor as yourself, indicates that we should love the most what is objectively the best. Pride is a perverse kind of self-love and also a feature of the will. Pride was the reason why Satan freely willing to choose himself over God. In redemption, Jesus Christ, a model of humility, was the Second Adam who because of grace sacrifices Himself to bear and forgive humans of sins. I believe that we can choose to will good or to will evil. To freely will the love of the highest good means to willingly love God above all. In having this rightly ordered love, God gives the gift of true happiness in the afterlife .

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