Augustine on Sin and Moral Agency

Journal of Religious Ethics 16 (1):28 - 55 (1988)
Against the Manichees, Augustine argued that sin must involve a free exercise of will. Otherwise it will not count as the agent's own act for which the agent is morally responsible. In the 390's, however, Augustine became convinced that only the first humans sinned by free exercise of will. This view faced him with the question: how is it that unambiguously good agents (humans or angels as first created) come to will the evil? Augustine found no satisfactory solution, and the first evil will appears, on his reckoning, to be either a random outcome or due to a withholding of grace. Despite his best efforts, his account of moral agency in evil remains flawed.
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DOI 10.2307/40015077
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