Free choice of the will By Augustine


Free choice of the will By Augustine

Augustine’s ontology of being states that there is an order in regard to God, the body and the soul. According to the order, God is the higher most being in that he is the creator of all beings. The soul is the second highest being after God making it in charge of the body. Augustine states that there is a complete separation between the body and the soul. He gives both them the state of being making the soul more valuable than the body. Since God is the creator of all things existing, all creation is classified as becoming. The state of becoming switches to being on the time of its creation. When one an individual is created, they acquire the status of being. Since it is in the nature of man to sin, their state of being is not as superior as that of God and the angles. If an individual possesses a characteristic of constant evil, they are classified under individuals who strive to good and not evil.

Teachings of the Bible and other philosophical works

Augustine’s take on free will involved the teachings of both the Bible and other philosophical works. He states that all human beings are entitled to free will which in turn, gives them freedom. He mentions that free will is a gift from God which is passed on to human beings as a gift. Free will, in this case, is associated with moral values that are reflective of good and not evil. Human beings have a will in that they have personal desires which they would like to fulfill. These desires should, however, be associated with goodwill which involves following the teachings of the Bible. This, in turn, suggests that free will should be free of worldly and material things that are responsible for clouding the judgment of human beings.

Relationship between the soul and free will

Augustine mentions that there is a relationship between the soul and free will. The soul is in charge of most of the thoughts and action that human beings projects. One of the essential points to mark regarding Augustine’s stance of sin is his take on determinism. He states that God is the ultimate decider of which individual will conduct good of evil. A person can choose to be good but will only be successful if God allows for this to occur. If it is not intended for an individual to perform good deeds, they will not succeed in their quest no matter how hard they try. The soul is thus essential in that it is the soul that is chosen by God on how to behave. A person has control of their soul when they choose to place reason above all things. The action of a person’s soul is therefore responsible for the sin one chooses to commit. If the soul is chosen to commit good deeds it will follow the demands of the individual. This is due to the fact that the person is determined to do good deeds vice versa.

How sin should be approached

According to Augustine, sin should be approached from the original sin committed by Adam and Eve. He states that all men are sinners due to the curse of the Lord as a result of Adam and Eve’s defiance of his law. Having is no correct order of the soul means that man is more likely to commit sin. Sin is committed according to the will of a human being. Human beings have a choice on whether to use their free will to commit good or evil. Free will is thus divided into the goodwill and bad will depend on the disorder of the soul. Despite his mention of Gods place in determining which individual will perform good or evil. Human beings have the ability to use their free will to perform any deed. For one to perform a good act, they have to have a will that guides them on the correct choices to make. This will is responsible for an individual’s actions which will result in the soul gaining order. If one, on the other hand, chooses to perform evil deeds, they have to have the will to carry out those particular actions. If an individual places the performance of evil ahead of the performance of good, they create a shift in the order of the soul. This results in the disorder of the soul which promotes which places priority in evil over good.


In conclusion, free will has been a discussion for a long time amongst the most recognized philosophers. The question of whether human beings have the choice of free will has led to the definition of free will. Augustine states that human beings are given the choice of free will due to the teachings in the Bible. Free will can, however, result in the conduction of either good or evil deeds. This factor depends on the nature of an individual’s soul in that the soul can lead one to perform good or evil. If a soul recognizes the need to commit sin, it will create a will for a person to commit evil.


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