Abstract

In two places, Nicolas Malebranche makes a strange moral argument that he presents as an advantage of his occasionalist metaphysics. Because God is the only true cause, every choice of sin can only be given causality by God's power. Every sinner, therefore, profanely forces God to serve sin; to avoid such sacrelige, the occasionalist has extra reason to avoid sin. My analysis of Malebranche's reasoning shows how this initially perplexing argument does indeed work and, in fact, provides a useful example of how several distinct pieces of his philosophical theology come together to form a surprisingly cohesive argument.

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