Here we go, sisters and brothers. The crux. Free will, in God and in us.
 …For the end is the reason of willing the means. Now God wills His goodness as an end, and He wills all else as means to that end. Therefore His goodness is the reason why He wills other things which are different from Him…
 Again. As we have shown above, supposing God to will a certain thing, it follows of necessity that He wills whatever is required for that thing. Now that which imposes necessity on something else, is the reason why this other thing is. Therefore the reason why God wills that which is requisite for a thing, is that the thing for which it is requisite may be [may exist]…
 Now although it is possible to assign some reason of the divine will, it does not follow that anything is the cause of that will.
 For the end is to the will the cause of willing. Now the end of God’s will is His goodness. Therefore this is the cause of God’s willing, and is the selfsame as the act of His will…
 Nevertheless it is clear that there is no need to allow of any discursion in the divine will. Because where there is one act, we cannot find discursion, as we have proved above with regard to the intellect. Now God by one act wills His goodness and all else, since His action is His essence.
 By what we have said we refute the error of some who say that all things proceed from God according to His simple will, so that no reason is to be given for anything except that God wills it.
 IT is possible to conclude from the foregoing that free-will is to be found in God.
 For free-will is applied to those things that one wills not of necessity but of one’s own accord: wherefore in us there is free-will in regard to our wishing to run or walk. Now God wills not of necessity things other than Himself, as we have shown above. Therefore it is fitting that God should have free-will.
 Again. The divine will, in those things to which it is not determined by its nature, is inclined in a way by the intellect, as we have shown above. Now man to the exclusion of other animals is said to have free-will, because he is inclined to will by the judgment of his reason, and not by natural impulse as brute animals are. Therefore there is free-will in God.
 Again. According to the Philosopher [Aristotle] (3 Ethic.) will is of the end, but choice is of the means to the end. Wherefore since God wills Himself as end, and other things as means to the end, it follows that in regard to Himself He has will only, but in respect of other things choice. Now choice is always an act of free-will. Therefore free-will is befitting God.
 Further. Through having free-will man is said to be master of his own actions. Now this is most befitting the first agent, whose action depends on no other. Therefore God has free-will…
Notes Two common mistakes in discussing human free will, since I think most will accept what Thomas has here, at least arguendo, that God has free will. First, free will does not apply to every action of the workings of our body—and thank God for that. How hectic would it be to squirt enzymes into your stomach of just the right amount for every bite you take! And don’t get me started on intestinal fortitude. But anything which is a decision necessarily involves free will. This includes deciding to answer this argument with some (self-defeating) rebuttal. Second, that free will is an “illusion.” This is empty. Only a person with free will can have an illusion. We know there are illusions because we have free will. See also last week’s comments about contingency in the face of an Omnipotent God’s will.
The problem of “determinism” isn’t solved by running to science. I think somebody last week asked for an example of science’s shortcomings with regard to God. This is the prime example.
We’re fast coming to the crucial discussion: if God is good, and has free will, why is there evil? Stick around!