The Role of Charity in Knowing Truth
Following this discussion of making the proper choice, the ensuing visions rely upon a more biblically informed type of discourse to instruct Will. Scripture confirms a revealed truth that validates the human desire to seek an end that lies in another realm. The most concrete example of this reality is the Good Samaritan parable. As evinced by Samaritan’s actions, charity proves itself to be not only the motive of God’s communicating his goodness but is the very means that one can love in the way God loves. It elevates the natural loving capacity of the individual because its immediate object is divine goodness. Scotus notes that God can be loved above all not only by charity, but also by one’s natural endowments, at least in the state in which nature was instituted. For Scotus and Ockham, each person can freely choose to respond to the goodness extended by the divine. Although both thinkers assert that particular objects provide certain knowledge, neither one believes that this ability produces metaphysical skepticism; intellectual acumen does not supplant faith. This chapter then considers how the revealed truths of Scripture supplement the tenets of voluntarism and how a proper functioning will produces an ethic of mutuality whose moral goal is friendship with God.