Boethius Was Successful in His Argument That God Rewards and Punishes Justly.’ Discuss.

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Boethius was successful in his argument that God rewards and punishes justly.’ Discuss. (35) In this essay I am going to be examining Boethius and his theory of divine foreknowledge and attempting to come to a conclusion on whether or not his theory is successful in arguing that God rewards and punishes justly. Boethius’ argument is a very interesting theory that attempts to overcome the idea that God is partly responsible for human evil, if he knows in advance what we are going to do. It does so by arguing that God does in actual fact not know human actions in advance of us doing them and therefore cannot do anything about them. In this, Boethius’ ensures that God can be both omniscient and omnibenevolent. The basic background of this argument is the idea that God is changeless and does not act in time. Whereas we witness life events on a continuous timeline of past, present and future, God’s understanding of time does not work in this way. Instead, all time is a continuous, simultaneous present for God. For example, God sees a person being born, saying their first words, starting school, taking exams, graduating, having children, becoming grandparents, retiring and dying all in one simultaneous moment. On these grounds, Boethius is able to argue that God is not able to prevent us from doing bad acts in the future, for all time is happening right now to God, or it could be said that, in God’s eyes, has already happened. Boethius goes on to talk about two types of necessity which he distinguishes between by talking of simple and conditional necessity. A simple necessity is one which is an intrinsic part of how the universe works. For example, if a man is out for a walk on a sunny day, the fact that the sun is shining is a simple necessity. It is a part of nature, built into the universe and cannot be changed. Human beings have no free choice or control
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