So He orders all things for the good, inasmuch as He orders all things and He is good.  This is the tiller and the rudder by which the universe is preserved and kept safe.  (III, xii, pg. 100)

Previously, Boethius defined God as the being who keeps the universe from bursting apart despite its conflicting elements. As the being who governs all things, God has authority over the nature of all of creation. Boethius makes the argument that God governs the universe to be good, proposing that God is the source of everything, God is the epitome and ultimate good, and everything is good.

Everything is from God. The first part of the argument maintains that God governs all things.  As happiness itself, God naturally possesses self-sufficiency from which we can infer that He needs no outside help to govern the universe, that “He alone orders all things” (III, xii, pg. 100).  Everything on earth comes from God: human beings, animals, grass, water, etc.  His argument completely nullifies the idea of Satan, the supposed force that brings evil into the world, therefore, evil is nonexistent.  Because God alone brought everything on the earth into being, that which He created is necessarily complementary to His own nature.

God is the epitome of good, the ultimate goodAs we have seen, God is the highest form, and consequently, there is no better thing.  As the highest form, God must be the highest good.

Everything is good.  Since he believes that God is supremely good, Boethius suggests that God would not create anything to act against His own nature.  It is natural to order things in accordance with one’s own nature; in relation to God, the epitome of good, all things must be good, “so there is nothing that, in the effort to remain true to its nature, would want to try to oppose God” (III, xii, pg. 101).  God created human beings, for example, to be good by nature just as He is good.  Not only is it God’s will that humans do good and be good, but it is also in the nature of human beings, making the submission to God’s will an entirely voluntary act.

The logical progression of ideas that Boethius presents in his argument suggests the innate goodness of all things and the complete absence of evil.  As a result, everything that happens on this earth is for good.

Reflection

We can conclude from this section of Boethius that everything is good, a comforting thought considering the hardships that we all must face.  If God created everything, all must be good and therefore be for the best.  We cannot always understand this fact, as it is quite profound, but it is proof that we are not just here.  We were put on this earth by God to be good; however, this logic raises the question of why bad things happen, which can be answered in the next section.

 

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