From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

you prefer it, the laws, of their nature, for then it is only themselves whom they obey."

"Still another question occurs to me," interrupted Olympia. "God, who has his laws or his necessities in himself, is in all his acts free; but men, who have received the cause and laws of their actions from God, act according to the universal will, and yet are not free?"

"The individual inclination is as different from the universal will as Peter and Paul are from mankind; they exist and act for themselves in individual freedom, though they fall collectively under the idea and laws of humanity, of which they cannot pretend to be perfect representatives. Whoever has advanced so far that his individual inclinations are in immediate accord with the universal laws of reason, so that he destines himself for what God or nature has destined him, he lives in God, and is a partaker in the highest felicity, but only a partaker. In the individual the community cannot be included; it is as impossible as the squaring of the circle."

"But in that way," objected Oldenburg, "if everything happened inside the limits and according to the laws of the universal or divine will, the evil would be as much of necessity as the good, and he who does evil is not accountable for it. All therefore must be blessed. And the Scriptures lie