Angel's minds and free will

I assume all angels were created unique from one another. In what sense could they have free will if God created every aspect of their being and placed them in their environment? Each angel would have a unique “personality” and proclivities programmed into them by God since there would be no external influences. In terms of the nature/nurture debate, for them it would be all nature (for which God is 100% responsible). Those that rebelled would have been 100% destined to do so since they are what they are, totally created by God with the knowledge that exactly how He created them would determine their actions. Would they be capable of reasoning, emotions, learning? They existed in an environment totally connected with God and no other influence. In what sense could they possibly exercise free will?

God created each of those unique angels in a state of journeying and constituted them with supernatural grace, and a will whereby the supernatural grace can be opposed or cooperated with.

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “… the angelic creature in the beginning of its existence had the perfection of its nature; but it did not have the perfection to which it had to come by its operation.”

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1062.htm

KevinK
I assume all angels were created unique from one another. In what sense could they have free will if God created every aspect of their being and placed them in their environment?

God created every aspect of Adam’s being, and Eve’s, and placed them in their environment. Did they lack free will?

Each angel would have a unique “personality” and proclivities programmed into them by God since there would be no external influences.

Please explain what makes you think there could be no external influences. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden. Why should God not give the angels an environment and a chance to experience it?

In terms of the nature/nurture debate, for them it would be all nature (for which God is 100% responsible).

On what ground do you assert this? Why would God deny the angels what He gave to our first parents?

Those that rebelled would have been 100% destined to do so

No. God does not create puppets.

since they are what they are, totally created by God

As were Adam and Eve.

with the knowledge that exactly how He created them would determine their actions.

Again, on what ground do you assert this?

Would they be capable of reasoning, emotions, learning?

God does not create puppets.

They existed in an environment totally connected with God and no other influence.

That does not mean they were unaware of the created universe, nor that they were unable to think, learn or choose.

In what sense could they possibly exercise free will?

In the same sense that Adam and Eve could do so. God does not create puppets.

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Don’t make the mistake of thinking that angels are smarter, prettier but invisible types of humans (but with wings).

They’re a completely different creature.

God is just. He doesn’t play games or set us up to fail (although humans do that to each other).

The angels had every means at their disposal for their salvation (if that’s the correct term, but you know what I’m getting at)

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You may want to review the Mystical City of God (link is below) which gives more information about angels and their rebellion. Scarlett is spot on saying they are not “humans with wings”. According to Mother Mary Agreda and the private revelation given to her their range and scope of knowledge is beyond ours … and the choice they made was a free choice …no hard-wiring by God. The link will take you right to the contents where you can select the rebellion of the angels.

I love Mystical City of God!
Changed my life, that book did…

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Ditto… a real eye-opener, brain-expander, changed my life (me too!) book for sure.

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God doesn’t predestine any creature to hell. God created the angels as self determined creatures. God determined that the angels would naturally determine their own being and their own destinies by powers inherent in their own selves. That is what they did and what you are thinking they couldn’t do. They determined their own being.

Love requires freedom. Wouldn’t you agree that one can’t love what one doesn’t know? So God created them knowing Him in as much as they were able to know. God is fully revealed to angels at the moment they are created. So they can freely choose love. You would require that the acts done out of love for you be acts freely chosen wouldn’t you? I mean acts that aren’t freely chosen by the person doing them only look like acts of love but fail to be acts of love right?

Why would a created Being with no context outside of being in God’s presence choose a futile path of rebellion. Even a human like Mary didn’t sin.

After reading all your responses I have to ask: Other than physical bodies, what is the difference between an angel and a human?

Context outside of God’s presence was found in themselves.

What does that even mean?

The powers inherent to angels do not require a body to operate.
The powers of a soul require a body to operate.
A human requires a body and soul to be completely human and to be a person.
An angel is complete person

depends on what you mean by context outside of presence. God was present to them and they were present to themselves and other angels. Their being was also present to creation as it is known in an eternal way. Not a finite way.

Well, I can close my eyes right now and make acts of my will such as an act of love for God or an act of hatred towards God unaffected by any external influence. God has free will and he has exercised his act of will from all eternity unaffected by anything external to Him and angels and human beings are made in his image principally in their spiritual powers of intellect and will. If only a single angel or a single human being was the only creature God created and nothing else, that angel or human being could make an act of free will. The only other power needed in the creature itself for the will to proceed to its act is an intellect in which there is knowledge because the will follows the intellect. The will cannot love, love is the first movement of the will, what it does not know. It is the ‘job’ of the intellect to know what the will is to love. The spiritual creature with intellect and will cannot proceed to either an act of the intellect or will without the external influence of God who is the first cause of the acts of intellect and will and of all other second causes.

The only external influence the free will is dependent on in the exercise of its act is God alone. God alone can move a created will efficiently. No created thing either in the spiritual world of the angels or in the corporeal physical world can move either an angel’s will or a human’s will efficiently and of necessity. Created things can influence the movement of the free will such as by persuasion but not out of necessity. Even though the will in the exercise of its act is dependent on the intellect as presenting its object to it, the intellect itself does not move the will necessarily, i.e., as the efficient cause of the act of the will. It is within the power of the free will that it can will or not will, to will to think about something or not to think about it. However, if the will is to will anything at all than the will depends on the intellect to present its object of willing to it. Even though it is within the power of the free will to will or not will something, the end or purpose of the power of the will is for its act or operation, i.e., to will something.

The angels have an intellect so they have knowledge and understanding. However, St Thomas Aquinas teaches that angelic knowledge and understanding is not derived by a process of reasoning or the discursive method, i.e., advancing from one known thing to another or syllogistic reasoning, as human beings do. By infused universal principles that God created the angels with, the angels straightway and at once know whatever particulars or conclusions are contained under such universal principles. Consequently, the angels are often referred to as intelligences rather than rational beings as human beings are who use a reasoning process in their acquisition of knowledge.

Since the angels are purely spiritual creatures they do not have emotions or more properly speaking passions in which a body made out of matter is involved. However, they do have spiritual emotions such as love, joy, delight, happiness, or in the case of the fallen angels hate, sorrow, and remorse of conscience.

(continued)

The angels can grow in knowledge by God revealing to them some new knowledge especially concerning God’s providence over the world in which the good angels take part in. Depending on God’s own designs for the world, He enlightens certain angels or whole orders of angels who stand ready to do His will and fulfill his commands in the carrying out of God’s providence over the world especially concerning human affairs. According to St Thomas Aquinas, if I remember correctly, in fulfilling the designs of Providence concerning the corporeal world which we humans live in and which as I said the various choirs of angels take part it in, God enlightens the higher choirs of angels which angels in turn enlighten the lower choirs of angels whose administrations are more immediately connected as it were with the corporeal world. Angelic knowledge is also increased as they witness and see new events happening in our world especially those arising from the free actions of human beings. Angels cannot naturally know what may take place concerning the future free actions of human beings unless it is supernaturally revealed to them by God.

Angels can only know future events from necessary natural causes such as the sun rising tomorrow or, for example, the position of the stars 100 years from now or the next eclipse of the sun. Humans also have this kind of knowledge of future events but it is so much the greater in the angels as they understand the causes of things (the works or workings of the natural world) more universally and more perfectly than we do. As I understand it presently, we don’t really know what light or gravity are, we have theories.

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