Divine Management of History

Favourable circumstances were a sine qua non for this test in the world. Pre-determinism, to a certain extent, had to be a feature of these circumstances—as a guarantee against any obstacle coming in the way of carrying out man’s trial. On the other hand, the element of freedom was also essential in order that the intentions and actions of each individual could be properly judged. For, man can be granted the credit for a good deed only on the condition that, despite having the opportunity to indulge in bad deeds, he chooses of his own free will to act virtuously. If in this world everything had been totally predetermined, the element of trial would have been absent. However the granting of freedom did involve the risk of some people misusing their freedom; and misuse it, they did. This gave rise to the problem of human suffering which results from evil; yet this suffering, or evil, is a very small price to pay for a very precious thing.

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