I. Biblical Medieval Catholicism §4 III. Analysis of the problem
II. Historical The Reformation Period §5    The Nature of Freedom §1
   Classical Antiquity §1 Modern Philosophy §6    The Avoidability of Sin §2
   Greek Patristics §2 The Nineteenth Century §7    Omniscience and Freedom §3
   Latin Patristics; Pelagian Controversy § 3 IV. Supplement

   I Biblical: The Old Testament as a Biblical theological basis is favorable to the assumption of the freedom of the human will. The will of God always appeals to the autonomy of man. Nothing happens without the divine will (Job vii 17-21; Isa. xlv 17-21; Jer. x 23, xxxi 18); . on the other hand, the autonomous decision of the human will, whether in relation to enticing sin (Gen. iv 7) or to grace (Jer. xxix 13-14), is asserted more frequently and positively. The law makes its appeal to free choice (Deut. xxx 15 sqq.); the relation of man and God adapts itself to the free inclination of the human heart (Pa. xviii 26-29). In view of this parallelism striking antitheses and paradoxical symbolisms are inevitable (Ex. xxxiv 6-7; Hos. xiii; cf. Deut. xxx, xxxi; Jer. xviii). The tradition of the Mosaic idea of hereditary guilt gives way to that of personal accountability (Jer. xxxi; Ezek. xviii). A distinction between hereditary guilt and original sin would not resolve the contradiction: because (1) it would exceed the simple Old-Testament representation; (2) the same figures applied to ordinary human weaknesses are also referred to man's proneness to sin; (3) a development of the idea of freedom appears in prophecy (Isa. xxix, xlv; Jer. xviii). Western thought first laid open the logical alternative between these two trains of religious and ethical thought aeries, which lie in the Old Testament in embryo: Is the good such because God wills it or vice versa? (Plato.) Must man will the good because God works within him to do so? (Augustine.) Or, is the willing of man good because of voluntary adaptation to the divine will? (Duns Scotus.) This dilemma gave rise to a theological antinomy and became the principal point of controversy between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants; and the cleavage was present already between the free-will Sadducees, the deterministic Essenes, and the Pharisees holding to a general dependence upon divine omnipotence, with free choice to the individual. The synoptical discourses of Jesus emphasize sometimes the moral freedom of the individual (Matt. vii 24, xii 27, 37, xix 14, xxiii 37); at other times the causal connection of character with education, heredity, or divine descent (Matt. xii 34, xv 13, xviii 7, xxiii 32). Paul, too, emphasizes the idea of freedom. Although everything good, especially forgiveness, is a gift of God and sanctification the work of God, yet there is the direct appeal (Rom. vi 12); damnation is just (iii 7-8), and every one is accountable (II Cor. v 10). To the contrary is the fact of experience that conduct does not result from perception of the good and corresponding willing (Rom. vii 20; Gal. v 17) ; much less may the natural man sold under sin (Rom. vii 14) be called free (vii 23, viii 7). Grace has broken the bond of sin (vi 18), but the new state is another servitude (vi 19), and God performed the act of transformation (iii 21 sqq.; Eph. ii 8). The descent of sin according to the law may be traced back to the progenitor of the race (Rom. v 12 sqq.), and the growth of sin falls into unison with the purpose of grace (v 20-21). Formal freedom may seem implied at least for the reason (vii 16); but free deliberation is expressly denied the arbitrament (iii 19, ix 20; II Cor. x 5); and beside the duality of "mind" and "flesh", is pictured the monism of the absolute dependence on God (Rom. xi 32). The contrast is yet sharper in the Johannine writings. The knowledge of truth and the reception of eternal life depend on the will of the individual (John v 40, vii 17; cf. viii 45-46). I John betrays a strong undertone sounding an appeal to faithfulness and brotherly love, and casually calls for the duty of self-sacrifice (iii 16). On the other hand, the Christian state of grace appears so exclusively the work of divine omnipotence that the believer is designated as the offspring of God, as the product of a divine "seed," even incapable of sinning (iii 9, iv 4-5).. The Gospel, too, teaches this dualism (viii 34, 44, 47). God wills the salvation of all men (II Pet, iii 9), and voluntary surrender to corruption results in the inevitable doom (ii 9). On the other side, unbelievers are appointed to stumble (I Pet. ii 8). The New-Testament doctrine teaches freedom as well as constraint. There is no theoretical contradiction, since there is no thematic discussion, but a multiplicity of particular expressions bear upon the various sides of the problem in the vivid, Oriental symbolical fashion. The individual is now God's planting, offspring, elect, and now self-determining: partly fundamentally one with God, and partly distinct and different. Dualism applies now to the antithesis of God and man, now of God and Satan, and again of good and evil. The only difference between the Old and New Testaments is that in the latter the duty of moral volition and the sense of natural impotence have been intensified (Mark xiii 37; I Cor. xvi 13; Gal. v; Rom. vii).

   II. Historical: §1 The Old Hellenic theory of the will was predominantly deterministic, partly in the metaphysical, religious sense of fate (Heraclitus, the Pythagoreans, and the Eleatics), and partly in the psychological, ethical sense that the will is governed by the degree of understanding (the Socratic school).


Epicurus, in spite of his atomic philosophy and his doctrine of blind fortuity, advocated the sense of freedom, perhaps as a postulate of happiness; and Aristotle consented to the preponderance of free moral practise to mere understanding. The doctrine of the Sophists that man is the measure of all things favored freedom. The Stoics emphasized the independence of man from external influences, but at the same time held to the fixedness of the basic character. The problem how to reconcile freedom and necessity they tried to solve by the use of the Socratic conception of providence and by moral education for voluntary submission to the cosmic purpose. The Neoplatonists distinguished between the servitude of the sensuous life with its imagined freedom and the contemplative transport of the soul to participation in the divine life. Plato taught that virtue uncoerced was free to every one. Whoever chooses it, chooses life, to which he then is attached of necessity; and not God but the individual is responsible for an evil destiny. This became the basis for the predeterminism of Origen. Interesting were the distinctions of Aristotle: (1) between the free and the necessary; (2) the indifferent mean, not perceived as necessity and not taking place by design; (3) the free act under involuntary circumstances; (4) the purpose ripening from rational premeditation; (5) the future subject to decision in contrast with the past as apparently the result of necessity; and (6) in double contrast with necessity the contingent and the free volitional, both involving alternative possibilities. An ascending series is thus formed as follows: (1) necessity to nature, (2) partial freedom, (3) entire freedom but with unripe judgment, and (4) deliberate design with ripened judgment. Enlightened freedom is a goal, only to be reached by practise, and every man is responsible for his own acts. Plato and Aristotle coined the terminology for the future. From the time of Boethius the Christian influence prevails in speculative philosophy. Only the personal God is free; man's reason thinks in terms of time and the human will is complicated with temporal change.

   §2 According to the Greek Fathers freedom of will formed the central characteristic of the divine image in man. But between this divine gift of the good and human independence there is only a formal difference: on the one hand, the incipient freedom of choice is to be considered a gift of God by creation, and the goal or complete conscious conformity with the divine will, as a purposive human object; on the other hand, the beginning in moral development seems more a matter of human freedom, and the providential consequence more a matter of divine concern. The human subject, exercising the primal gift of God in choosing the good, happens to choose, at the same time, in conformity with the will of the giver, God. According to Chrysostom (q.v.), choice and decision belong to man, the fulfilment to God. According to Clement of Alexandria (q.v.) Adam was only "adapted for virtue", not "perfect"; without free consent there is no salvation; self-determination is the nature of the soul. Cyril of Jerusalem (q.v.) remarks that grace needs a willingness to believe as the stylus requires the hand that writes. Gregory Nazianzen (q.v.) comments on Rom. ix 16, stating that "not merely human willing" was of more importance than "willing and running." The Antiochians (see ANTIOCH, SCHOOL OF) taught that faith and faithfulness were wholly matters of self-resolution, in spite of the grace of providence. Gregory of Nyssa strongly emphasizes objective purpose as independent volition. Origen's predeterminism, the doctrine of the pretemporal fall, only offers a peculiar expression to the conviction of individual self-determination. The typical representative of extreme indeterminism was Isaac of Antioch (c. 450). According to him the whole struggle of life rests upon freedom; even regeneration is the personal act of man. Man in his freedom ranks higher than the angels and is more free than Satan who lacks the power of execution, although his will is capable of taking up every concept of evil. On the contrary man, by moral dietetics, may intensify his moral power to a godlike perfection. However, this virtue of moral independence, by which man resembles God, is not by nature but grace. The Greek position transmits itself to the Pelagian controversy, except that it blunts the assertion of freedom by emphasis on grace. The analogy of the physician and the free acceptance of his remedies by Origen and Clement returns in SemiPelagianism (q.v.).

   §3 In the West other motives enter with the Biblical, corresponding to the stern sense of Roman law, the Stoic basic necessity, and the Platonic-Manichean dualism with the consequence of the doctrine of the hereditary corruption of Patristrics; man, of the exclusiveness of grace, and the necessity of a vicarious atonement. The line of thought becomes more soteriological than anthropological. Tertullian (q.v.) admits, beside the omnipotent freedom of God, limited human freedom; but holds that human volition, in so far as it is good, is the work of God. Cyprian (q.v.) accedes that grace is received in proportion to the "capacity of faith" offered by man, but presupposes everything, even the latter, as determined in God's will. Ambrose perceived that the idea of freedom lies in the conception of obedience as well as in that of transgression, but emphasized that the efficient work of redemption demands the initiative of God. The first scientific discussion of the problem of the will within the history of the development of the Christian dogma was occasioned by the Pelagian controversy (see PELAGIUS, PELAGIAN CONTROVERSIES). Pelagius and Celestius were offended by Augustine's formula of prayer: "Give what thou commandest and command what thou wilt"; because of the apparent elimination of all human freedom. The Council at Ephesus (431) consented to the rejection of the Pelagian doctrine ac cording to which man also after the fall retained the capacity to choose the good, since man has kept some commandments while Adam kept none; and without the freedom of good or evil there can be no imputation of guilt. Conscience, it maintained, shows a certain sanctity of the nature made by God, from which issues responsibility. Sin is not nature, for man shall do the good; therefore he can: but it is a


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