Jenay Faulkner Professor Bernstein Of Humans and Gods 13 April 2018 Development Through Free Will Agathe Christie states, “There is too much tendency to attribute to God the evils that the man does of his own free will.” Free will comes from God, but the choices made with that very freedom become the responsibility of every human being. Free will ultimately shapes a person’s character because it allows an individual to decide how to live life. Maimonides believes that the Law and the commandments would be pointless apart from the freedom of will. There would be no allowance for individual growth without the ability to act freely. This freedom opens the door for people to learn through experiences and repentance, which helps sculpt character. If God were in control of all actions, the human race would be perfect, but because people have free will, sin invades the lives of all people. However, through repentance, connecting with the good, and changing our disposition humans build character. Maimonides believes human choice determines natural order, which is ultimately controlled by God. Particularly, free choice occurs as a result of God’s initial will for humans. Maimonides understands the association of freedom and necessity with how humanity learns to develop through the their actions, the Law, and repentance. Habitual practices often determine one’s moral virtues. Maimonides believes people change their natural instincts through training, despite predispositions toward certain character traits. He argues, “If man's actions were done under compulsion, the command- ments and prohibitions of the Law would be nullified and they would all be absolutely in
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- Spring '12
- Philosophy, Sin, Maimonides