600.00 MAN’S FREEDOM (p.104)
hard cover page 104
Man is innately free and striving for fuller freedom.408
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408 On the importance of freedom~other perspectives.
See Spinoza in his preface to the Tractatus (Tractatus Theologica-Politicus, trans. R. H. M. Eleres [London, 1909]),in which he sums up his argument as the attempt to prove that freedom of religion is indispensable to the genuine piety of the individual: “not only can such freedom be granted to the public peace, but also without such freedom, piety cannot flourish nor the public peace be secure.” Cited in Agus, The Evolution of Jewish Thought, p. 301.
Cf. Wolfson, Religious Philosophy, pp. 196, 198. “Two theories of completely undetermined. freedom of the will were advanced in Greek philosophy in opposition to the rationalized conception of fate which prevailed in the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. One of these theories, the Epicurean, was based upon the denial of causality, maintaining that the rise of the world as well as the occurrence of everything within it was due to chance. The other. the Philonic, was based upon the belief in the possibility of the suspension of causality, maintaining that God, who in His working of miracles intermits the process of causation which He himself implanted in the world, has endowed the human will with a similar miraculous power enabling it to act in a free and undetermined manner.
“In the general history of the philosophy of religion, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, it is the Philonic conception of freedom that prevailed, though sometimes with certain modifications. . . .
“. . . The formula for the Philonic theories would be: given a world in which God is either the remote or the immediate cause of all that happens, and given also a God who in a miraculous manner sometimes either breaks the chain of secondary causes or deviates from the continuity of His own direct creation, one could logically maintain that man’s will was endowed by God with part of His own miraculous power to act in a manner free and undetermined.”
Cf. Descartes, TraitÃ© des passions de l’Ã¢me 111, 152. Free will “in a certain sense renders us like God in making us masters of ourselves.” As cited in ibid., p. 260.
Cf. Wolfson on Descartes in ibid., p. 198. “The freedom with which Descartes endows man’s will is the Philonic, miraculous kind of freedom. He repeatedly speaks of it as something which we ‘have received from God’ or as something which God ‘has given’ to us.’ ”
Cf. Harvey Cox, The Secular City (New York: Macmillan, 1966), p. 72. “A God who emasculates man’s creativity and hamstrings his responsibility for his fellow man must be dethroned.”
Cf. St. Augustine, in McKeon, Selections from Medieval Philosophers, p. 13, “… since without it [free will] man can not live rightly, there is cause enough why it should have been given.”
Cf. Borowitz, Choices in Modern Jewish Thought, p. 245.
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