PH. Certainly not because God willed it.
MS. Your agenda seems deliberately provocative and self-contradictory. Are you making a case for a wholly determined existence because you really want to show that actions in the pursuit of, say, happiness of hedonism or of wealth at the expense of others, are perfectly understandable and reasonable because they were inevitable? In that case, you are effectively valorizing power and cunning and making irrelevant the experience of those who are their victims. In other words you are valorizing the problem of evil, which is for some a problem of human agency and responsibility and for others proof of the nonexistence of God.
PH. You cannot grasp the reality, so attached are you to your illusion of human agency. As I have said, everything that happens by and to and in and next to a person, ˘as well as all that happens in nature, or that is attributed to her, is derived from necessary causes, which act according to necessary laws, and which produce necessary effects form whence necessarily flow others÷ (422). I insist on that point.
MS. I havenĂt said they are not, and moreover it may be that a raft of influences may motivate A to push B into the abyss. But identifying motive and cause is one thing, and looking at the action as an act of will or an exemplum of the cosmos is another. If a bad action is not an act of will, then we must look at motive, neurosis, and so on. Maybe even nature in some manner, such as in the complex of psychological and social development. But these are complicating factors of choice, not counterexamples that prove it is impossible. I am talking about free will in the context of ˘a familiar psychological type÷ (Nagel 58). ˘We must find the person in whom the decisive junction of causes lies. The question of who is responsible is the question concerning the correct point of application of the motive÷ (61). You donĂt need to go to an infinite regression, or ˘recur,÷ to some ˘mysterious connection be