Friday, 26 March 2021

CONTRA GENTILES - BOOK THREE: PROVIDENCE -Chapter 5 ARGUMENTS WHICH SEEM TO PROVE THAT EVIL IS NOT APART FROM INTENTION

[1] Now, there are certain points which seem to run counter to this view.

[2] That which happens apart from the intention of the agent is called fortuitous, a matter of chance, something which rarely happens. But the occurrence of evil is not called fortuitous, a matter of chance, nor does it happen rarely, but always or in most cases. For corruption always accompanies generation in the things of nature. Even in the case of volitional agents sin occurs in most cases, since “it is as difficult to act in accord with virtue as to find the center of a circle,” as Aristotle says in the Nicomachean Ethics [II, 9: 1109a 24]. So, evil does not seem to happen apart from intention.

[3] Again, in Ethics III [5: 1113b 16] Aristotle expressly states that “wickedness is voluntary.” He proves this by the fact that a person voluntarily performs unjust acts: “now it is unreasonable for the agent of voluntarily unjust actions not to will to be unjust, and for the self-indulgent man not to wish to be incontinent” [1114a 11]; and he proves it also by the fact that legislators punish evil men as doers of evil in a voluntary way [1113b 22]. So, it does not seem that eviloccurs apart from the will or the intention.

[4] Besides, every natural change has an end intended by nature. Now, corruption is a natural change, just as generation is. Therefore, its end, which is a privation having the rational character of evil, is intended by nature: just as are form and the good, which are the ends of generation.

Next - CONTRA GENTILES - BOOK THREE: PROVIDENCE -
Chapter 6 ANSWERS TO THESE ARGUMENTS

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