|EVODIUS: It has been demonstrated to my satisfaction that free||1.|
will is to be numbered among good things, and indeed not among the least of them, and therefore that it was given to us by God, who acted rightly in giving it. So now, if you think that this is a good time, I would like you to explain the source of the movement by which the will turns away from the common and unchangeable good toward its own good, or the good of others, or lower goods, all of which are changeable.
AUGUSTINE: Why do we need to know that?
EVODIUS: Because if the will was given to us in such a way that it had this movement naturally, then it turned to changeable goods by necessity, and there is no blame involved when nature and necessity determine an action.
AUGUSTINE: Does this movement please you or displease you?
EVODIUS: It displeases me.
AUGUSTINE: So you find fault with it.
EVODIUS: Of course.
AUGUSTINE: Then you find fault with a blameless movement of the soul.
EVODIUS: No, it's just that I don't know whether there is any blame involved when the soul deserts the unchangeable good and turns toward changeable goods.
AUGUSTINE: Then you find fault with what you don't know.
EVODIUS: Don't quibble over words. In saying "I don't know whether there is any blame involved," I meant it to be understood that there undoubtedly is blame involved. The "I don't know" implied that it was ridiculous to have doubts about such an obvious fact.
AUGUSTINE: Then pay close attention to this most certain truth, which has caused you to forget so quickly what you just said. If that movement existed by nature or necessity, it could in no way be blameworthy. But you are so firmly convinced that this movement is indeed blameworthy that you think it would be ridiculous to entertain doubts about something so certain. Why then did you affirm, or at least tentatively assert, something that now seems to you clearly false? For this is what you said: "If the will was given to us in such a way that it had this movement
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Publication information: Book title: On Free Choice of the Will. Contributors: Augustine - Author, Thomas Williams - Translator. Publisher: Hackett Publishing. Place of publication: Indianapolis. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 70.
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