StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Criticizing Augustine's Account of Natural and Moral Evil - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Criticizing Augustine's Account of Natural and Moral Evil

A number of mortals will be saved by the love and compassion of God, and others will be denounced to endless suffering. Ultimately, the justice and goodness of God are expressed. After reading the City of God, particularly Books XI-XIV, I came to oppose Augustine’s explanation of the roots and of the ultimate nature of moral evil. It is argued that the concept of temporarily faultless entities intentionally giving in to sin is meaningless and paradoxical. A genuinely faultless entity, albeit free to commit transgressions, would ideally or, in truth, never commit even one sin. To point the root of evil to the intentional wrongdoing of a faultless entity is hence to claim the ultimate irony that evil has shaped itself out of nothing. Moreover, there seems to be a dissonance between this theological account and the canon of predestination of Augustine, which effectively creates the root of moral evil within the liability and intention of God. The canon of Augustine talks about the descending of angels. Augustine introduced the notion of Natural and Moral evil. The former are the occurrences that resemble evil, like war, flood, earthquakes, etc. They resemble evil because human beings are ruled by selfishness, have an imperfect consciousness and understanding and are not capable of discerning the ‘grand purpose’ of the unraveling play of God. Hence, when seen in the point of view of God’s grand purpose, natural evils cease to appear evil in any way. In contrast, moral evil is the outcome of human action and will. These are the blameworthy outcomes of a resolve that has become tied to mundane or inferior principles and activities, viewing them as though they were greater. Basically, moral evil is the deviation of the will from God and relating itself to lower principles as though they were greater. My purpose in this paper is to argue against Augustine’s account of the Natural evil and Moral evil or, more particularly, the problem of evil. The Flaws of Augustine’s Natural Evil and Moral Evil I mostly disagree to the notion that God granted good being the liberty to commit sin. If a creature is faultless in its righteousness it would in no way commit any transgression even though it is free to do so. Evil would therefore have to form itself out of nothing, which is absurd. Nevertheless, it is not logical that moral faultlessness essentially involves indisputability. Moreover, Augustine’s dispute of the Manichean’s notion of the human soul as Light’s divided component would eradicate the vital difference between the maker and the created (Jones 1969). In addition, it would weaken the responsibility of human beings for the perpetration of sin. The argument of Augustine, by eliminating the essence of Satan as a contributory factor, makes all the arguments of the Manicheans illogical (Jones 1969). Similar to all excellent critiques Augustine prevails by eliminating the core principle that the argument of the Manicheans is rooted in: “God, being supremely real, is supremely good. God’s creatures, being in varying degrees less real than God, are in corresponding degrees less good. Their so-called evil is simply the absence of goodness and reality; it is the inevitable consequence of their status as creature” (Jones 1969, 95). Moreover, Natural evil is the outcome of human weaknesses, more particularly, human beings’ ...Show more

Summary

Name Name of Professor Criticizing Augustine’s Account of Natural and Moral Evil Introduction The major issues of St. Augustine’s The City of God, specifically Books XI-XIV, are the creation of the universe, the fall of Adam and Eve, and the problem of evil or, more specifically, the difference between natural and moral evil…
Author : willmschristian
Criticizing Augustines Account of Natural and Moral Evil essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Criticizing Augustine's Account of Natural and Moral Evil"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

A lawyers dilemma using Natural Law and Utilitarianism moral theories
It is very evident that if they were to follow the Natural Law, the lawyers had to reveal the killing of the other three people immediately as they came to know it. In the Natural Law perspective, the authority of any law or action is justifiable by their reason.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The Moral Implications of Oretga and Gasset's Account of Barbarism
Therefore the rise and fall of a society is directly linked to barbarism. The principles of civilization and the principle of barbarism evolves and develops at the same time. The initial period of civilization arises from the core of humanity and it is usually through a method of violence.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Evil
However, some companies are forced to engage in ‘evil’ practices for the sake of generating profits from their operations. As such, this paper seeks to critically evaluate the aspect of marketing and selling genetically modified food to consumers which has been roundly condemned by other people as evil practice due to various reasons.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Darwins Theory of Natural Selection and Its Moral Purpose
For many centuries, mankind turned to religious interpretations of various sorts to explain the origin of life and give it a definitive meaning. However, within the past century and a half, the theory of evolution, put forward and expounded upon eloquently by Charles Darwin, has come to define the way in which the majority of the educated and learned individuals within society integrate with an understanding and appreciation for where life originated, how, and to what end such a life should serve.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
EVIL
The study evaluates Inwagen’s fascinating views regarding free will on the global as well as local arguments from evil. Regarding the problem of evil, Inwagen argues that that there is no precise number of evil things that have to happen in order to secure particular compensating goods.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Darwins Theory of Natural Selection and Its Moral Purpose
However, within the past century and a half, the theory of evolution, put forward and expounded upon eloquently by Charles Darwin, has
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
EVIL
The study evaluates Inwagen’s fascinating views regarding free will on the global as well as local arguments from evil. Regarding the problem of evil, Inwagen argues that that there is no precise number of evil things that have to happen in order to secure
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Moral Reasoning: Natural Law Theory and Virtue Ethics
These acts are totally different from our natural day to day responses for survival, but these are right due to the fact these both aim to prolong
1 pages (250 words) Essay
SAINT AUGUSTINE'S CONFESSION
As the story progresses, the reader understands how strongly Augustine is attached to his mother, who enlightens him to be converted to Christianity. In this paper, I will argue that Monica (Augustine’s mother) is the most important
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Augustine's Confessions
He questions the existence of God, and explains how God can reveal himself to people through faith. In Book 1, chapter 6, Augustine says, “...when I came into this life-in-death-or should I call it death-in-life?” (Augustine and Sheed 6). This paper examines this
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation