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Evil in St.Augustine's Confessions - Essay Example

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Evil in St.Augustine's Confessions

From this paper it is clear that the presence of good and evil in the world is obvious, but what are the relations between them? Many experts emphasize the conflict between good and evil. The main statement of St. Augustine is that evil is simply the absence of good. This presumption has a long history. It is a well known fact that St. Augustine was initially a Manichean and became Christian only after he realized the drawbacks of Persian Dualism religion-  Manichaeism. The main idea of this religion lies in the belief in two gods, who represent good and evil. In this religion we can see the struggle between the light and darkness. St. Augustine scrutinized Christianity and rejected Manichaeism. He claimed that in this world there could be only one god, a good one. God and the world that he created are the main aspects of the philosophy of Augustine and the relations between them deserve special attention. This study stresses that Augustine argued that the world is the creation of God, God does not depend on the world and the world is fully dependent on God. Creating human soul, God initially incorporated in it the striving for happiness as the main goal in a man’s life. That is why a man must use all the abilities of his soul to achieve the happiness. Happiness itself consists in the maximum cognition of God and in this case the human reason becomes the main basis for belief. That is why belief is the foundation and the initial point for cognition....
That is why belief is the foundation and the initial point for cognition. Cognition without the belief is sinful. The supreme form of cognition is divine inspiration given by God to humans, who have strong belief. This God’s wisdom can’t be understood by human reason. God gives inspiration to humans only by his own will. Striving for happiness, a man cognizes good and evil. God represents the good, but the question is what evil comes from as God can’t be the creator of evil. This problem was solved by Augustine: all the evil comes from the material nature. All the evil is a product of material body of humans. The first knowledge of Adam and Eve was the product of their cognition, of their material nature and this was a reason of their Fall. Humans were punished for making a fetish of their materiality, their body and after The Fall of the first people their offspring were doomed to death. “For other than this, that which really is I knew not; and was, as it were through sharpness of wit, persuaded to assent to foolish deceivers, when they asked me, “whence is evil?” “is God bounded by a bodily shape, and has hairs and nails?” “are they to be esteemed righteous who had many wives at once, and did kill men, and sacrifice living creatures?” (Book II) However, the substance itself and human’s body were created by God and consequently, they could not be the source of evil. Augustine comes to the conclusion that evil does not exist at all. Evil is weakened and corrupted good. Here the philosophy of St. Augustine is based on Platon’s theory about the ideas, which are present in material bodies, but can be corrupted by the ...Show more


This essay declares that all the religious philosophers were thinking about the essence of such fundamental categories as good and evil. If God is grace, the world is God’s creation, the question is why there is so much evil in the world and how and why God allows this.  …
Author : jleffler
Evil in St.Augustines Confessions essay example
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