St. Augustine’s Reason Why God Permit Evil

Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis(354-430)

          [S]ome people see with perfect truth that a creature is better if, while possessing free will, it remains always fixed upon God and never sins; then, reflecting on men’s sins, they are grieved, not because they continue to sin, but because they were created. They say: He should have made us such that we never willed to sin, but always to enjoy the unchangeable truth.

          They should not lament or be angry. God has not compelled men to sin just because He created them and gave them the power to choose between sinning and not sinning. There are angels who have never sinned and never will sin.

          Such is the generosity of God’s goodness that He has not refrained from creating even that creature which He foreknew would not only sin, but remain in the will to sin. As a runaway horse is better than a stone which does not run away because it lacks self-movement and sense perception, so the creature is more excellent which sins by free will that that which does not sin only because it has no free will.

A Free Will Theodicy quoted from: The Problem of Free Choices, Vol 22 of Ancient Christian Writers cited in Alvin Plantinga’s God, Freedom and Evil. p. 26-27

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2 thoughts on “St. Augustine’s Reason Why God Permit Evil

  1. ” so the creature is more excellent which sins by free will that that which does not sin only because it has no free will.”

    If heaven has no evil (no sin), does that mean its creatures have no free will? And if the creatures of heaven have no free will, are they less excellent than the creatures on earth that have free will? I like these Christian arguments that support my decision to reject heaven, even if it did exist.

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