10. But: if the evil in men is involuntary, if their own will has not made them what they are, how can we either blame wrong-doers or even reproach their victims with suffering through their own fault?
If there is a Necessity, bringing about human wickedness either by force of the celestial movement or by a rigorous sequence set up by the First Cause, is not the evil a thin rooted in Nature? And if thus the Reason-Principle of the universe is the creator of evil, surely all is injustice?
No: Men are no doubt involuntary sinners in the sense that they do not actually desire to sin; but this does not alter the fact that wrongdoers, of their own choice, are, themselves, the agents; it is because they themselves act that the sin is in their own; if they were not agents they could not sin.
The Necessity [held to underlie human wickedness] is not an outer force [actually compelling the individual], but exists only in the sense of a universal relationship.
Nor is the force of the celestial Movement such as to leave us powerless: if the universe were something outside and apart from us it would stand as its makers willed so that, once the gods had done their part, no man, however impious, could introduce anything contrary to their intention. But, as things are, efficient act does come from men: given the starting Principle, the secondary line, no doubt, is inevitably completed; but each and every principle contributes towards the sequence. Now Men are Principles, or, at least, they are moved by their characteristic nature towards all that is good, and that nature is a Principle, a freely acting cause.