Journal directory listing - Volume 69 (2024) - Journal of NTNU【69(1)】March

Origen on the Freedom of Choice and the Will Author: Yip Mei Loh(Center for General Education Chung Yuan Christian University Associate Professor)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 69, No. 1
Date:March 2024

It is widely assumed that it was Augustine who first formulated a philosophical standpoint on free will; but in this paper I hope to show that it was Origen before him who laid the ground work, as evidenced in the remaining fragments of his works, Peri Archôn and Contra Celsum. Therein, he refers extensively to Plato's myth in the Republic X, which delved into the relationship between man and choice. Socrates holds that virtue is knowledge (episteme); that is, if one knows what good is, he does good. In brief, knowledge of goodness is necessarily the action of goodness. Likewise, for Origen the choice of the will, being an act of pistis, is related to the act of knowledge. Origen goes on to rebuke Celsus for propagating the idea that man’s actions are pre-ordained, and that he (man) holds no responsibility for his choices, good or evil. For Origen this is nothing less than heresy. Herein I will discuss Origen’s concept of the will to try to uphold the premise that he, in his Peri Archôn, disagrees with the premise that the devil’s fall is because of his nature, but because of his free choice of will.

Keywords:Augustine, Choice, ratio, the Septuagint, Will