Free Will and Divine Foreknowledge Essay

Free will is the ability to do our ain picks in issues sing all facets of life. It is a power that enables us to do our ain picks that are non affected by external factors such as Godhead will. Therefore. each one wickednesss by his/her ain will. While. Godhead precognition is the fact that God has complete cognition of what will go on in the hereafter. In “On Free Choice of the Will” . St. Augustine discusses a critical issue which is the mutual exclusiveness of man’s free will and God’s precognition. So the inquiry is. do we truly have free will in malice of the fact that God foreknows everything?

If God knows what must needfully go on next. so how do hold the free will to do our ain picks? Augustine comes up with a series of statements to turn out that we sin by our ain will with no intercession of the Godhead precognition. Augustine foremost argued a feature of God that He has free will. and that He has precognition of his ain actions. Therefore. both God’s will and foreknowledge travel along with each other. From this point he so assumes that man’s will and God’s precognition are both compatible. But can we compare God with adult male? And is this statement converting plenty?

More amplification has to be given in order to do it more convincing. Augustine so proceeds to make so. He states that people who do non believe in the compatibility of free will and divine precognition are those who “are more eager to pardon than squeal their sins” ( p. 73 ) . That means that people who ever blame others for their ain incorrect behaviors instead than acknowledging it are those who claim that we have no free will and that everything is already known by God. and that nil can be changed. which they besides use as a justification for their incorrect actions.

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These people live their life by opportunity. go forthing everything harmonizing to the fortunes instead than seeking to take good actions. An illustration for that is the mendicants. who ever try to take money from people without giving anything in return or even holding a occupation. although they have the ability to make so. But because of their indolence and their belief that this is what they were created to be. they leave everything to go on by fortune and harmonizing to God’s precognition that couldn’t be changed ( p. 73 ) . Augustine so moves to another point which is the relation between the will and the power to accomplish that will.

He states that the will itself is within our power. Therefore. our desire to perpetrate certain Acts of the Apostless is a power that we own. But if we will something that is non within our power so it is non considered as a will because we can merely will what is within our power. Augustine so discusses that if something good happens to us so it is conformity to our will. non against it. So for illustration. being happy. although God foreknows that you will be so. doesn’t mean that we are happy against our will. Thus. God’s precognition of our felicity doesn’t take away our will to be happy ( P.

76 ) . And so. he concludes that if God foreknows our will. so decidedly this will is traveling to happen. and so it will be a will in the hereafter. Consequently. his precognition doesn’t take away our will. And since that what we will is in our power. God foreknows our power and He will non take it off. Hence. we will hold that power because God foreknows it ( p. 77 ) . So Augustine made it clear “that it is necessary that whatever God has foreknown will go on. and that he foreknows our wickednesss in such a manner that our volitions remain free and are with in our power” ( p. 77 ) .

However. the fact that God’s precognition of our wickednesss is consistent with our free will in transgressing still stays questionable. Taking into consideration the fact that God is merely. so how does He penalize our wickednesss that happen by necessity? Or is God’s precognition non an duty? The subject is still confounding so Augustine so proceeds to do it clearer. He explains that if we are certain that person is traveling to transgress. so we have foreknowledge with the error that he/she is traveling to perpetrate.

This precognition didn’t coerce them to make so. but it was done by their ain free will. Consequently. their will to transgress is consistent with our precognition of that wickedness. Therefore. “God forces no 1 to transgress. even though he foresees those who are traveling to transgress by their ain will” ( p. 78 ) . Augustine so compares precognition with memory. He states that our “memory does non coerce the yesteryear to hold happened” . and likewise God’s precognition of the hereafter doesn’t force it to happen ( p. 78 ) .

And we remember things in the past that we have done but didn’t do everything that we remember. likewise God foreknows everything that He will do in the hereafter. but doesn’t cause everything that is within His precognition ( p. 78 ) . As a consequence. God punishes our wickednesss that we do by our ain will and which He did non do. as God is known by his justness. Augustine so comes up with a good statement for all those who are still somewhat confused. that if God should non penalize us for our wickednesss that He foresees so He besides shouldn’t honor us for our good work that He besides foresees ( p. 78 ) .

To reason. Augustine succeeded in coming up with a good statement demoing that man’s free will and God’s precognition are both compatible. The sequence of his thoughts made his statement apprehensible and converting for any reader. As a reader. I’ve ever thought about that topic but didn’t receive any replies. However. reading “On Free Choice of the Will” made everything clear for me and made me good convinced that God’s foreknowledge doesn’t intervene with our ain picks that we make. Works Cited Williams. Thomas. On Free Choice of the Will. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company. Inc. . 1993. 129. Print.