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Least loveable among young things, the human
animal has this faculty denied
to all the other animals, the ability
to be naughty, the ability
consciously to make a bad choice, capacity
without which the word "will", surely
is meaningless. Does God,
as Augustine would have us think, regard this
stain in our character, this
"wilfulness", with utter revulsion, and if so
did He decline to assume it Himself, when, lying
in Mary, He assumed
a human character, and if so
how could He have resisted the Devil's temptation if He was not Himself
capable of being tempted? The childhood stories
of Jesus, fruit of the burgeoning
imagination of the early Church, receiving
in all its freshness the astounding
fact of the Incarnation of God, show Him as having been
very naughty, and how could He have been
us if He wasn't, and how could He have been
God if He was, since, after all,
the Augustinian God, absolute
in all the virtues, is, necessarily,
determined in every respect, therefore
lacking a will. Could it have been
mere curiosity on God's part to see
what it would be like to have a will,
what it would be like to suffer, that led
to the incarnation, or should we admit
that the serpent, wisest of animals, was right and that
eating of the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we lost
our absolutely determined happiness and thus became
more godlike? Will being
an attribute of God, while Adam and Eve, still being
children, could only aspire
to being naughty?