A Problem in Orientalizing Cretan Birds: Mycenaean or by J. L Benson

By J. L Benson

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Sample text

One of these is a person’s fear of the object of his injustice, another is greed for something that the object may possess, and the third is ignorance concerning the truth about the object of injustice. Since, however, God cannot said to be afraid, desirous, or ignorant, none of these causes of injustice can be applied to him. Saadiah goes on to support these statements by a number of Scriptural verses. 54 To be sure, there are those who hold that reward and punishment are given to the soul alone, others maintain that they are only given to the body, and still others state that they are given to the human bones.

But if this were the case, how can God justly punish people for their misdeeds or reward them for the good deeds they do? To obviate this difficulty, Mu‘tazilites interpreted divine omnipotence to mean that God has the ability to be the direct cause of everything that happens in the world, but they presented evidence that for the case of human actions, God delegated his power to human beings, that is, human beings are the direct causes of their actions. To support this claim, Mu‘tazilites presented two arguments.

The soul has its seat in the heart since nerves controlling sensation and motion issue from the heart. To be sure, many nerves issue from the brain, but these have only a bodily function and do not participate in the activities of the soul. Having presented his definition of the soul, Saadiah turns to objections by certain unnamed opponents. 53 These argue that God was unjust in placing the soul that in its purity exceeds the heavenly bodies into the gross human body. To answer these opponents Saadiah states that acts of injustice cannot be predicated of the Creator.

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