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Did St. Paul Have Free Will?
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Author:  David Hopkins [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Did St. Paul Have Free Will?

Last Friday's readings included the conversion of St. Paul from the Acts of the Apostles. Was Paul operating under his own free will or was he simple a vessel for God's grace?

Author:  Max Majestic [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did St. Paul Have Free Will?

David Hopkins IV wrote:
Was Paul operating under his own free will or was he simple a vessel for God's grace?



Yes.

Author:  David Hopkins [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Did St. Paul Have Free Will?

Max Majestic wrote:
David Hopkins IV wrote:
Was Paul operating under his own free will or was he simple a vessel for God's grace?



Yes.


:D

Author:  David Hopkins [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:51 am ]
Post subject: 

But seriously, think about this - here was a man who was a bloodthirsty persecuter of Christians and as far as we know did not have a prior literary career. He was struck from his horse, converted to Christianity, and went on to become the greatest evangelizer and man of letters in Christian history. An argument could be made that he could have not have responded to God's call to conversion and in by doing so exhibited free will. That seems so unlikely to me. Does God "suspend" free will for certain people in certain times in history so that His will will be done?

Author:  Max Majestic [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:55 am ]
Post subject: 

David Hopkins IV wrote:
But seriously, think about this.....



I was being serious. It's not an either/or. It's both. The Church's only consistent statements in regards to this are: 1) We have freewill 2) God's grace is necessary. So how do the two interact? Write that question down and ask when you get to heaven, cuz' there ain't no answer here. :D

Author:  Brendan [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:42 am ]
Post subject: 

Christ made Truth know to St. Paul. St. Paul, then of his own Free Will, accepted the Truth and chose not to live in falsehood.

God gave Paul both the Truth, and the Grace to be able to accept it, but it was still Paul's choice to accept.

The story is very poetic. Paul was blinded, and then his eyes were opened.

Once one who was blind could see, would he really want to return to his blinded life? Yes one could theoretically choose to do so (don blindfolds for the rest of their life)

It is the same with God's Grace.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:18 am ]
Post subject: 

Err . . . in the interest of consistency, I have to say that the point of this forum is pure philosophy, more or less. A question on the nature and interplay of free will in the light of divine foreknowledge would be manageable. But this is more in the line of exegesis and really belongs somewhere else. Right now, I don't know that we have that "somewhere else" clearly defined, but I need to lock this from here.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:32 am ]
Post subject: 

At David's request, I've unlocked the thread. He'll move it to a less exegetical base. I want to take this opportunity to thank him for his cooperation. :clap:

Author:  David Hopkins [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:48 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Obi :D

Restating the orginal question: Does free will exist at all times or can it be "suspended?"

Author:  Matthew [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:06 am ]
Post subject: 

Free will does not exist in heaven because our will is fixed and confirmed immutabley on the Supreme Good, the Beatific Vision. In this life, our will is free, not because God supposedly "respects" our free will, as the personalists say, but because it is metaphysically impossible because of the dominating indifference throughout volitional act. "If we set before the will an object, which from any point of view is not good, the will is not drawn to it by necessity." Since we do not see the divine essence as it is, in itself, but only know things of the supernatural by analogy, or negatively, our will is not necessitated.

The twenty first Thomistic thesis states thus: "The will follows, it does not precede the intellect. And the will necessarily wills only that object which is presented to it as good from every angle, leaving nothing to be desired. But the will chooses freely between good things presented by mutable judgment. Hence choice follows indeed the last practical judgment, but it is the will which makes that judgment to be the last."

Author:  Max Majestic [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

Matthew wrote:
In this life, our will is free, not because God supposedly "respects" our free will, as the personalists say, but because it is metaphysically impossible because of the dominating indifference throughout volitional act.


Can you rephrase that?

Author:  forumjunkie [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

Matthew wrote:
Free will does not exist in heaven because our will is fixed and confirmed immutabley on the Supreme Good, the Beatific Vision. In this life, our will is free, not because God supposedly "respects" our free will, as the personalists say, but because it is metaphysically impossible because of the dominating indifference throughout volitional act. "If we set before the will an object, which from any point of view is not good, the will is not drawn to it by necessity." Since we do not see the divine essence as it is, in itself, but only know things of the supernatural by analogy, or negatively, our will is not necessitated.

The twenty first Thomistic thesis states thus: "The will follows, it does not precede the intellect. And the will necessarily wills only that object which is presented to it as good from every angle, leaving nothing to be desired. But the will chooses freely between good things presented by mutable judgment. Hence choice follows indeed the last practical judgment, but it is the will which makes that judgment to be the last."


I disagree with your contention that the will cannot be free in heaven. A will does not need to know evil to be free.

FJ

Author:  Matthew [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:52 am ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
I disagree with your contention that the will cannot be free in heaven. A will does not need to know evil to be free.


I didn't say the will needs to know evil. I said that the will cannot be fixed immutabely in this life because everything the intellect presents to the will is considered good under one aspect and not good under another. That cannot happen when the soul sees the divine essence in itself. There is no room for indifference, it is impossible to remain aloof; therefore, the will is eternally fixed, by necessity. Heaven transcends the freedom of the will as its final end. It finally rests in the Supreme Good.

Author:  forumjunkie [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Matthew wrote:
Quote:
I disagree with your contention that the will cannot be free in heaven. A will does not need to know evil to be free.


I didn't say the will needs to know evil. I said that the will cannot be fixed immutabely in this life because everything the intellect presents to the will is considered good under one aspect and not good under another. That cannot happen when the soul sees the divine essence in itself. There is no room for indifference, it is impossible to remain aloof; therefore, the will is eternally fixed, by necessity. Heaven transcends the freedom of the will as its final end. It finally rests in the Supreme Good.


I guess I don't know why you think the fixing of the will towards the Good somehow affects its freedom. The freedom of the will does not mean that one needs the ability to choose evil. If the will is fixed on the Good, it can still be free.

FJ

Author:  Max Majestic [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

forumjunkie wrote:
If the will is fixed on the Good, it can still be free.

FJ


Free to choose.....what?

Author:  forumjunkie [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Max Majestic wrote:
forumjunkie wrote:
If the will is fixed on the Good, it can still be free.

FJ


Free to choose.....what?


The Good.

FJ

Author:  Max Majestic [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

forumjunkie wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
forumjunkie wrote:
If the will is fixed on the Good, it can still be free.

FJ


Free to choose.....what?


The Good.

FJ



So, like Eddie Izzard said: When your options are cake or death, and they're out of cake, then your choice is "or death"???

Author:  forumjunkie [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

Max Majestic wrote:
forumjunkie wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
forumjunkie wrote:
If the will is fixed on the Good, it can still be free.

FJ


Free to choose.....what?


The Good.

FJ



So, like Eddie Izzard said: When your options are cake or death, and they're out of cake, then your choice is "or death"???


Exactly...

FJ

Author:  Max Majestic [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

Let me preface this by saying that I understand the difference between positive and negative liberty. That being said, ya'll seem to be asserting that in heaven:

1) We have freewill.
2) Our will is free to choose one thing only: the good.
3) This is the essence of positive liberty.
4) God designed things this way.

Am I correct about your argument?

Author:  Matthew [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

What I'm saying is that the will cannot help but to choose the Good when it sees the Good in its essence.

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