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De libero arbitrio (libri tres); The free choice of the will (three books) Related Work: Augustine, of Hippo, Saint, Free choice of will. Related Work: The . following treatises,—the former entitled De Gratiâ et Libero Arbitrio, and the latter De to the brethren that are with you, Augustin sends greeting in the Lord. 1. These are: Augustine’s account of its composition in the Retractations; the into the WillThe Theological and Philosophical Significance of De libero arbitrio$.
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Why, then, I want to know, do you not think that we ought similarly to accept the authority of these same men with regard to those other matters, which we re- solved to examine as being uncertain and quite unknown, without troubling about further investi- gation?
Classical, Early, and Medieval World History: I agree now that God gave it. Inner sense is superior augusttine outer senses; b. When we have decided these ques- tions, it will be plain enough, I think, augstine it has been given rightly to man.
We hold, then, that a man is happy who loves his own good will, and who despises auguatine comparison with this whatever else is called good and can be lost, while the desire to keep it remains. Can this be reason, which beasts lack? He loves it with all his heart and strength since he lives as he does in obedience to this law.
Creatures are arranged fittingly in order; there is no reason for the lower to be made like the higher, for each has its proper place 3. The reason is that it contains the fullest exposition in any of his writings of an argument, based on reason and not on reve- lation, for the existence of God.
Moreover, since the augusstine cannot overcome the stronger, the wicked cannot make the virtuous wicked, nor can a just soul make the virtuous wicked, because to do this it would have to become wicked itself, and there- fore weaker. When Semipelagianism was condemned, so also was the doctrine of predestination to evil.
To appreciate the place which the De libero arbitrio holds among St. The point is not of such a libeeo that we can leave it out, and still be able to reach our con- arbigrio with the rational precision I feel to be required. No, it is not wrong because the law forbids it; the law forbids it because it is wrong. Evodius can now see that passion, or blameworthy desire, is love of those things which we can lose, yet not wish to lose. There is no state half-way between reward and punishment If it were learnt, it would be part of teaching, and so teaching would not be a good.
Hence it brings pressure to bear through fear, and to gain its arbirrio turns and twists the souls of the unhappy people for whose government it is fitted. No, I think decidedly that it ought to be aimed at.
AUGUSTINE We need only notice that the power of this law to enforce itself does not extend further than to take away and confiscate as a punishment those things or a part of them.
So raising our thoughts to Him and seeking His help, let us examine the problem augustone us.
Without it apparently we should not have sinned, and there is danger that through this line of argument God may be thought the cause even of our wrongdoing.
It is plain too that the thing is not to be con- demned when a man uses it wrongly, but the man himself who uses it wrongly. All that is right in temporal law is derived from eternal law, and eternal law is that whereby it is just that every- thing should have its due order. For those who are happy and who ought also to be good, are not happy because they wished to live happily the wicked also wish this but because they wished to live rightly, which the wicked do not wish.
Thus augusgine receive knowledge from God, but not the charity whereby to live rightly.
If a soul does not pay the debt it owes by doing what it ought to do, it will pay by suffering what it ought to suffer: Though brought up at first as a catechumen in the Catholic Church, he joined the Manichees when he was nineteen years old, and con- tinued as a Manichee for ten years. For, while they fear to lose these things, they exercise in their use a certain restraint suitable to hold together such a society as can be composed of men of this kind.
That is very true.
Then you must ask me nothing more. No, of course I could not. Which of these three do you think is the most important? We may add that the De libero arbitrio contains several passages as fine, in their own way, as any that St.
Evodius agrees that this seems true, but Augustine raises a difficulty. Do you remember you said a few minutes ago that passion was the dominant motive in every evil act, and was the cause of its being evil? If it were equal to arbitrii minds, we would likewise pass judgment on it: Certainly not; they are distinguished by an inner perception.