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Philosophy Notes – Pelagius - Anselm

Philosophy Notes – Pelagius-Anselm
This section covers all of the notes from Pelagius to the last day of class before Test #5. Test will be on Wednesday, January 15th. You do not need to memorize the points for each view – simply be able to recognize if a statement corresponds to a view.

British monk in a Christianized Rome – also eunuch
Original Sin is Not a Problem Original Sin is a Serious Problem

^ Healthy (Pelagius)

^ Sick

^ Very Sick

^ Dead (Augustin)

Original Sin: the condition all people have as a result of the first sin. (This is not Adam’s first sin!) Adam’s sin is important because he sinned in innocence. Pelagius may even go as far as to say that Eden was metaphorical.

14 Point Pelagianism: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. God commands nothing impossible. Adam was created mortal. Adam’s sin injured Adam only. Some people are saved by law and not by gospel Infant baptism is not related to infant sin. Human nature is indestructibly good, only modified by accidence (in an Aristotelian sense) 7. Man can resist sin easily. 8. Everyone is created in the same condition as Adam before he fell. 9. Grace facilitates goodness. 10. Grace is illumination and instruction. 11. Grace is given based on merit.


Philosophy Notes – Pelagius - Anselm
12. The advantage of Christianity is sinlessness made easier. 13. Jesus is our great example of sinlessness. 14. The human will is completely free.

8 Point Augustinianism:
Know all of these points! 1. People are a mass of sin. 2. Four moral states: a. Posse peccare (able to sin) (Before Fall, After Fall) b. Posse non peccare (able to not sin) (Before Fall) c. Non posse non peccare (not able to not sin) (After Fall) d. Non posse peccare (not able to sin) 3. Non posse non mori (not able to not die) 4. Will a. Liber Arbitrium: ability to choose what you want (Before Fall, After Fall) b. Libertas: ability to want the truly right thing (Before Fall) 5. Our best deeds are tainted, even as a Christian. a. Augustin used the phrase “splendid vices” 6. Infants are lost without grace. 7. The Fall of Man was a great fall.

The Middle Ground: Semi-Pelagianism
1. 2. 3. 4. Grace is the external prerequisite for salvation. Grace is not necessary to make us start towards salvation. Predestination is understood in light of prescience. Man’s will is weakened by the fall, not enslaved.

On the “Sin Scale”, Arminians would view humanity as “slightly sick” 1. We inherit a morally diseased nature from Adam. (tradution view) 2. We have the latent (unseen) ability to do good. 3. We need grace to do good, grace is given to all before salvation. (prevenient view)


Philosophy Notes – Pelagius - Anselm
4. Those who co-operate with previent grace are saved. 5. Justifying grace is irresistible. 6. The elect is a class and does not apply to individuals.

1. Man was totally corrupt as a result of the Fall. 2. One of the universal effects of the Atonement was to free us from corruption.

A Fun Diagram Explaining Everything:

^ Pelagianism: Not in trouble

^ ^ Semi-Pelagianism: Arminean: Can swim to ship Grace throws the life preserver

^ Augustin: Dead. Need resurrection

Themes of the Middle Ages:
Advance of Nominalism

Decline of the Church’s Authority (Realism) The Crusades (Turning Point)

The main idea during the church age is “man is small, church is all” After Rome fell, the Ecclesiastical Rome (the church) rose up and cared for people in desperate need (moral character). This eventually translated into moral authority.


Philosophy Notes – Pelagius - Anselm
As time went on, the church’s moral authority declined and nominalism arose from views of the corrupted church.

This all happened because people with moral character generally become people of moral authority. Why is man small? Paganism: a world of unseen, superstitious forces makes people cringe. Feudalism: a hierarchy of society that devalues the lower class (in the Middle Ages, 97% of people were the lower class) Islam: Islamic ideas of fatalism spread to the west Scholasticism: the idea of unquestionable truths Platonic Other-Worldliness: the receptacle world is less important

What is rising? 1. Skepticism of the Church: Aided by the Papal Schism and the Pre-Reformers. As the Papal Authority became messed-up, people doubted their actual authority. 2. Freedom of the Mind: a. The Crusades – opened people’s minds outside of their own views and allowed them to bring back the influence of the Holy Land. Also remember the sale of relics by con-artists. b. Free Towns – eventually people started creating their own marketplace towns separate from a lord/baron c. Free Universities – schools rose that didn’t just regurgitate the church’s authority (or lack of). 3. Humanism: the Renaissance, new appreciation for art, literature, science, etc.

St. Anselm:
Grew up in a home with an abusive dad and a Christian mother. Had a riveting dream where he walked to the top of the mountain, came to God’s house, but saw church leaders profaning his name. Afterwards, he met God Himself. His mother died the next week. At age 14, he ran away from his father and wandered around in France.

Survived on the streets wandering until he came to a monastery in Bec in 1053. Lived in monastery with the monks, taught by a scholar named LeFranc (who came to Bec in 1042). Anselm became the abbot for 25 years after LeFranc left. Moved to England in 1089 and became Archbishop of Canterbury. Known as the “last great Platonian Philosopher of the Time”


Philosophy Notes – Pelagius - Anselm

Two main works: 1. Cur Deus Homo 2. Proslogium

A three-propositional argument for the existence of God. 1. God, as I conceive of him in my mind, is a being than (or “compared to”) whom no greater can be conceived. (Basically, the greatest thing your mind can think of is God. You can ask anyone what they think of but they will always find God to be the greatest because, by definition, He is the greatest. People may deny that idea in their own minds but regardless, it’s the greatest they can come up with.) 2. The greatest conceivable being exists. 3. Therefore God as I conceive of Him in my mind exists. This proves that we all at the least have an idea of a “greatest being.” It’s not exactly watertight but it holds up in an argument. Denying these principles means you cannot value something as being the greatest, and that means insanity (where they lock you in a small room with padded white walls. That’s the part we all remember the most, right?). Conclusion: everyone has God in their minds.

Cur Deus Homo:
This work addresses why it is essential for Christ to be both God and Man. Leads to Theories of Atonement 1). God created the human race to give Himself honor, and when humans fail to do so, they rob God (and therefore in God’s debt). 2). The justice of God is perfect justice and requires a perfect repayment for the lost honor (Feudal Ideas of honor). 3). The only source of official payment to injury of God is God Himself (eternal debts require eternal payments. In this argument, hell is debt-paying for eternity and as soon as someone pays the debt, they can go).


Philosophy Notes – Pelagius - Anselm
4). Thus, the repayment required one who is God (who can pay the debt) and one who is man (the one who owes the debt). This became known later as the “Commercial Theory” because the idea is that of paying a debt in a sort-of market setting.

Two (Well, Three) Views of God’s Decisions:
1. “Sub Lego” (Under the Law): God is confined to His own laws. a. Corresponds to Realism b. Anselm took this view. 2. “Ex Lex” (Out of the Law): God can do whatever He wants, and the laws are simply “declarations” a. Corresponds to Nominalism b. William of Ocham took this view And here, we come to a third view offered by the Reformers. 3. “Sibi Ipsi Lex” (God is a Law Unto Himself): God is bound only to the law of His Own Holy character.