Evil: Our Proof of Freewill
I would like to discus the causal relation ship of good(c) versus evil(d), and evil in connection with freewill(e). For ages man has sought to answer the question if man is inherently evil, or is it simply a product of free will? Also I must be certain not to ignore the question that must precede the prior, are we free? Leibniz uses the example of Judas betraying Christ to demonstrate the best of all possible worlds’ theory, and to show that God’s manifestation of the possibility of evil does not go hand in hand with god being evil.
“God(a) thought it good for him(b) to exist, despite the sin he foresaw this evil(d) must be repaid with the interest in the universe, that God will obtain a greater good from it; and that in all He will find this sequence of things including the existence of this sinner the most perfect of all the other possible ones… Nevertheless it is clear that God is not the cause of evil.”
In regards to the best of all possible worlds theory; In God’s channel he is able to perceive all things that will ever be experienced, therefore we must consider that he witnessed the evil acts that man would commit, however despite those acts God created inherently good beings with freewill (e). If (a) had foreseen the choice of (b), and limited the possibilities of existence by eliminating the possibility to choose wrong, or in the name of evil (d), then this concept of freewill (e) would not exist. If all choices were ultimately good(c), we would dehumanize the world and take away the value in choosing (c) over (d), because (d) would also not exist. It is mans ability to choose good over evil that reflects value, rather than simply being good because nothing else is possible. The possibility for man (b) to choose both (c) and (d) creates Leibniz’s best of all possible worlds.
God knew Judas would betray his only son, yet he created him with the ability to make that choice anyway. It can be then said that in the contrast of good versus evil there is an inevitable resulting good that caused God to create free will. God thought it good for Judas to exist because it reflected the most perfect of all possible scenarios. If there was not this distinction between good things and evil things, man would be like machine. Each being (b) is programmed by God (a) to have these choices, or freewill (e), if each (b) was programmed with the inability to choose evil(d), then each and every being would be the same, like robots.
The greater good resulting in the scenario of Judas betraying Christ could be argued. Even those closest to God’s grace are not free of choice; therefore even those seemingly possessing the most good can choose evil, and of course, even those furthest from God’s grace, most full of evil, can revert to man’s inherent nature and choose good. Leibniz states that God is not the cause of evil, however God is the cause of the possibility of evil, thus reflecting freewill(e) through the necessary possibility to choose good(a) or evil(b). The concept of good(c) would not exist without the concept of evil(d). If God(a) created the world without freewill(e), there would be no choices to distinguish the contrast found between (c) and (d), therefore if no (e), no (c) or (d). It is God who created all possible worlds, therefore if no (a), no (b), (c), (d), or (e).
It is freewill that allows me to have an understanding of the logical perspective “I think,” in regards to Descartes’ Cognito. Without the ability to choose freely, the logical I would not be a condition of my soul or essence, rather a condition of God’s limitation, therefore in complete contrast to Leibniz and his best of all possible worlds’ theory. Therefore because of (e), (b) exists, and also God(a) created freewill(e) to be manifested through man(b), resulting in, if not (b), then not (e). However if one were to argue that freewill(e) is not simply a condition of man, then it could be conjured that God’s choice of including (c) and (d) are a testament of God’s freewill(e).
In the end, God (a) creates man (b). His choice to then create freewill (e), as it supports the best of all possible worlds, in that the creation of freewill (e), is thus the creation of possibility of Good (c) and evil (d). Therefore evil (d) is not a reflection that man(b) is inherently evil, rather a reflection of God’s desire to bestow freewill (e) upon man (b), ultimately reflecting God’s grace. With the ability for man (b) to freely choose good (c) or evil (d), experiences are made able to distinguish a varying species unlike that of a robot or machine.
One could offer an alternate interpretation; regardless to God’s (a) creation of the distinguishable good (c) and evil (d), it may not ultimately guarantee freewill (e). Perhaps God (a) created both inherently good (c) beings, and inherently evil (d) beings. In this case our nature or essence would predetermine a life of seemingly freewill (e) in that the choices we make are a direct cause of its effect on our lives, but if predetermined by God (a) to be good (c) or evil (d) these choices would serve as a maze with many paths but only one end, either good (a) or evil (b), which was already presupposed making the choices not a reflection of freewill (b), rather a means to an end which was determined by God (a) upon creation.