Evil: The Meaning Of Evil By Thomas Aquinas

Powerful Essays
When assigned this exercise I thought to myself, "oh no, time to read something I will not be able to understand." This was nothing like that to my surprise. The point brought up by Aquinas really made me think deeper about the meaning of evil and question how it could possibly be. Throughout this journal I am going to point out the topics and arguments made in the reading, give my opinion, and hopefully educate on where evil might come from. A question that is hard to answer is that what is evil exactly, and then how does it even still exist with our wholly good God? Aquinas states that there is no evil in the world because God would not go out and create evil, but simply those that are perceived as evil will have less good. Aquinas questions…show more content…
Yet when some of good is removed from this wholly good creation... then he uses these good, created talents... for evil ends." If people lose evil, why would God still allow evil to exist? If our decision is made already for us then the good choices should be made, and no one should ever lose their good ways. The argument is made that maybe then we have "free will" with our decision making as humans. Then if it is true that humans have free will then would that not make us as powerful as God himself. Thinking of it from this angle kind of blew my mind because I felt like this is the complete and total answer to everything being questioned. How could this be possible though? Renick uses Martin Luther and John Calvin to help support this argument to an extent. He says, "They couldn't imagine God was less than all-knowing or that he could be wrong, so they concluded that humans must not have free choice." Renick writes Aquinas's response to Luther and Calvin, "If we have no free choice – if everything we do is a product of God's control – then God is unjust, punishing some poor wretches for actions that are not their…show more content…
An example would be God's announcing 'Let there be light'… Aquinas says that God willed necessarily that this light exists." The explanation Renick gives about contingent will of God was, "Aquinas's more original idea is to say God wills other things to happen in an entirely different way: contingently. Contingent means for something to depend upon something else." This was where Renick gave an example about God playing a board game that had to do with the rolling of dice and needing a certain roll to win the game. Renick writes, "What if God wishes for this to happen contingent upon the natural roll of the dice? To say God could not do this," he continues, "seems to say God is less than fully powerful." Finally, after studying these readings and doing some additional web searches I have decided that evil is the outcome of some of God's good. God sets everyone up on the good path in life, watches over their moves, and gives two paths when necessary. When he does set the two paths aside he does still know the complete outcomes. Sometimes humans take what they are given and use it for evil which we hear about more often than necessary. Looking at evil in that light does kind of change the perspective I have of people I will come across in the present and future. It is sad, but sometimes people do lose some of their good
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