Thomas Aquinas on Free Will

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2013-05
Authors
Hartung, Christopher
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Abstract
This paper argues that, with respect to creaturely freedom, Thomas Aquinas is a theological compatibilist. The compatibilist position is entailed by his claim that God is the cause of everything including all creaturely choices, though humans and angels have free will. Aquinas‘s views on a wide variety of issues, including divine sovereignty, the problem of evil, grace, foreknowledge, and predestination, either entail compatibilism or at least provide strong evidence for this interpretation; his views on other issues, such as sin, are at least consistent with compatibilism. However, Aquinas believes that God is free in a very broad sense: nothing necessitates His actions, so He could have created a different world (even one which is better than this world) or chosen not to create at all.
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