A division in free will

1.) The will of persons follows intellect, which is the capacity of knowing being and its transcendental attributes: good, truth, unity, etc.

2.) Being and its transcendentals have indefinite concrete expressions and realizations, and so any intellect deliberating over the concrete deliberates over indefinite goods. This is the first and only proper meaning of the freedom of the will.

3.) The intellect and will are powers and therefore distinct from the subject or person.

4.) Some per accidens exercises of powers destroy their subject. The mouse’s power to run might lead it over a glue trap; the oven’s the power to start fires might burn the house down. Again, cancer grows till it destroys its host; unsustainable farming grows until the power to grow is destroyed. The exercise of a power that destroys its proper subject is the best short definition of evil. 

5.) Call any such evil, per accidens exercise of a power abuse. Because things exist in certain ways, certain evils are possible while others are not. Mice and ant are household pests, but the mouse can get caught in a mousetrap while the ant cannot.

6.) When free will chooses between good and evil, it is not the proper sense specified in (2), but an entirely distinct sense of the indifference between use and abuse. True, moral evil is an abuse proper to intellectual volition, but it is not a proper function of intellection as such for the same reason that burning the house down isn’t a feature of stove design, even if a stove burns the house down.  Baking/ frying is not the same alternative set as baking/ burning the house down, and the stove is responsible for these in different ways.

 

 

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