Influences forming Plato’s views of the world workbook answers

‘…better than the one which does not sin because it has no free will.’ 13

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12 ‘…better than the one which does not sin because it has no free will.’

13 He put together an argument based on the idea that we all know people who, as well as having free will, always do the right. He claims they are reliable even though they could choose to do otherwise. This led Mackie to ask why could God not make creatures with free will who, because of their character, always chose to do the right thing.

14 The ancient theory about homunculi was clearly based on mistaken biology of a primitive people. In Augustine’s time, some believed that a man’s loins were populated with little people and that successful intercourse meant the planting of this little person in the womb.

15 This belief about homunculi is what led Augustine to believe in the possibility of pre-existence, since in a sense we already existed before being implanted in a womb.

16 Augustine believed that getting into heaven was entirely dependent on the grace of God and something over which we have no control, hence we are predestined and free will ceases to be a good argument for his theodicy. This confusion comes about because of his challenge to Pelagianism.

17 Pelagius taught a very strict morality that emphasised the natural, innate human ability and autonomy to attain salvation. This led him to believe in the moral sphere that ‘anything you can do, you must do’. So there was no need to ask for God’s help nor should we need it in order to be saved. This was the antithesis of Augustine’s position that it is only through the grace of God that we can receive salvation.

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