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From: akt@attglobal.net
Subject: (urth) Pelagianism
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 20:57:30 

> From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>

> As I understand it, the orthodox, anti-Pelagian position does not deny
> the existence of free will, as Nutria points out; nor does it deny
> the unsaved can perform virtuous acts (although these acts will always
> be tainted by sin); nor does it deny that good works can play a role
> salvation (that was, after all, one of the major issues of the
> Reformation).  Rather, it denies that humans can free themselves from
> sin, or attain salvation, by their own unaided efforts.  And
> career illustrates this throughout.  He never frees himself from sin,
> iirc (though it's been a while since I last read the books).  He
> become the Conciliator, or bring the New Sun, through his own unaided
> efforts.  And given that he is manipulated throughout his life by
> time-travellers who know his destiny, it is questionable how much free
> will he actually has (though I've never really understood this aspect
> the books).
> It has always seemed to me that the contrast between Loyal to the
> of Seventeen's story and Folia's story exemplifies the contrast
> the Pelagian and orthodox views of salvation.  The protagonist of
> to the Group of Seventeen's story succeeds through his own
> the protagonist of Folia's story "gains" the princess through the
> princess's free gift, though he has to be able to recognize this gift.


A good argument, but it doesn't take into account that it is Vodalus who
is the Pelagian, not Sev, who doesn't even understand the pass-phrase.
Sev never seems to be interested in the contrast in "views of
salvation," or political stances betwen the autarchy and Vodalus's army.
He's a man of action, not theory. Vodalus is also a man of action, but
Wolfe throws this curious quasi-religious point in to puzzle us all.

> From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
> Alga wrote:
> >I find it difficult to understand how such a doctrinaire belief as
> >Communism could endorse a radical embracement of Free Will. Could you
> >explain a bit?
> The idea, as I understand it, isn't that Communism is Pelagianism,
> rather that it's a kind of secular adaptation of certain ideas with a
> Pelagian flavor.  The key idea is that Pelagianism proposes that it is
> possible to attain perfection and/or the beatific vision without the
> aid of supernatural grace (which Aquinas claims was the Devil's actual
> rebellion--not to become God, because the Devil would know that was
> impossible, but to atain perfection sans divine grace).  Communism
> offers a similar, although deterministic, vision of a purely human
> (and now purely materialistic) method of achieving utopia, of
> "immanentizing the eschaton."  Communism, of course, is not a personal
> achievement of a state of perfection.

This doesn't seem to me to elucidate. Not your fault. I think we need to
think about where Vodalus stands with regard to Ascianism--is he really
a heartfelt ally, or just taking advantage of the fire-power? (Just the
way we seem to be doing, economically,  toward China recently.) I
incline toward the latter. I can't believe Vodalus would buy the Ascian
social line.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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