Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor, Islamic Knowledge Department, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran
One of the challenges facing the belief in the universality of the divine decree is the doubt on the conflict between the necessity of the contentment with the divine decree and the necessity of discontentment with the ethical evils. Avicenna has given in a two-part response to this doubt. In the first part, he examines the ethical evils’ mode of relationship with actor and acceptor, with only the latter relationship as leading to evilness. In the second part, he distinguishes the essential and accidental matters, and deems accidental evils as subject to the divine decree. This response solves the doubt only if the evils do not have any true existence and their existence is arbitrary. In this case, the contentment with something that does not have a true existence is not necessary and the doubt is answered. There are evidences in Avicenna’s words based on which we can figure out that he believed in the arbitrariness of the evils. This study shows that these evidences imply that Avicenna believed in this meaning of evilness. Of course, if one does not accept this implication, then Avicenna’s response to this doubt cannot be considered as an appropriate answer.