The Human Will: Nature, Purpose, and Evil

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If my reason erroneously commands me to do something evil, can I have a good will? Why or why not? In this essay I will support the claim that one can have a good will if their reason erroneously commands them to do something evil if the evil act is antecedent. It was also asked if the statements “I loved evil even if it served no purpose” and “Evil would never be sought, not even incidentally, unless the good involving evil were to be sought more than the good evil takes away” could be reconciled. Why or why not? I will argue that these statements cannot be reconciled as evil for no purpose is the product of an evil will which cannot be reconciled with the good will described in the second statement. Lastly the following questions were raised: how can the will be both necessitated and free? How are intention, choice, deliberation, and consent related? I contest that the will can be both necessitated and free through God’s grace and that the aforementioned terms are related through the twelve-step model of a human act. I will answer and connect these queries by exploring will and evil as investigated in Augustine’s On Free Choice of the Will and Aquinas’s A Summary of Philosophy and providing an example of a complete human act indicating at each step the role of intellect and will. An antecedent evil act is one in which the ignorance or misinformation is not voluntary and if the person committing the evil act becomes knowledgeable of their misinformation then remorse for their evil act is shown. While an antecedent evil act can be carried out by a good will, consequent and concomitant acts are those that are products of evil wills. Erroneous reason plays a large part in these acts as many make reasoned decisions based on misinformation; therefore to determine whether or not their will is good one must investigate why they were misinformed. A consequent act is one in

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