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Augustine, the origin of evil, and the mystery of free will

  • ADAM M. WILLOWS (a1)

The question of why humanity first chose to sin is an extension to the problem of evil to which the free-will defence does not easily apply. In De libero arbitrio and elsewhere Augustine argues that as an instance of evil, the fall is necessarily inexplicable. In this article, I identify the problems with this response and attempt to construct an alternative based on Peter van Inwagen's free will ‘mysterianism’. I will argue that the origin of evil is inexplicable not because it is an instance of evil, but because it is an instance of free will.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
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