Acceptance of providence, the belief that an ultimate being determines the course of events, has always created problems for moralists and advocates of free will, and for obivous reasons. If any events has been foreordained, how can hemans be free? If all is determined, why should humans try to do what is right? Aside from the philosophical questions raised by a belief in provedence, however, scholars such as the distinguished economists Jacob Viner have begun to examine the doctrine of providence from the point of view of its broad ideological and social impact. Though Professor Viner modestly claimed that his study of providence was simply an intellectual history pursued for its own sake, he demonstrated many of the doctrine's implications for early modern thought and social structures. Similar emphasis on the significance of the early modern idea of providence is also found in Keith Thomas' Religion and the Decline of Magic.