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The Philosophy of St. Augustine - Essay Example

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Complete Name: Course: Title: The Philosophy of St. Augustine Being the first great figure of Christian philosophy, St. Augustine of Hippo is argued to have reflected the influence of Platonic tradition which chiefly comprised the formative period of medieval thought…
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The Philosophy of St. Augustine
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The Philosophy of St. Augustine

As such, St. Augustine himself brought the ‘City of God’ to proposition, synthesizing conception of justice and state under Plato’s theory or that it occurs rather disposed to resemble it. Since ‘justice’ is an entity on which the ‘state’ must be founded, its presence is essential in determining how a good kingdom is like or should be. For St. Augustine, the applicability of justice in this sense may be extended to the measure of happiness for the ruler within a state or kingdom. He concretizes moreover: “For neither do we say that certain Christian emperors were therefore happy because they ruled a long time, or dying a peaceful death ... or subdued the enemies of the republic ... But we say that they are happy if they rule justly.” On a biblical context, St. Augustine claimed that rulers can satisfy being just if they are capable of delaying punishment yet are ready to pardon and if they necessitate having to employ such punishing act upon the government in favor of defending the republic. In ‘The Republic’, this well coincides with Plato’s argument explicating that the elements namely – reason, appetite, and spirit must consist in justice just as they must in state (Ebenstein & Ebenstein, 1990). According to St. Augustine, two cities emerge out of love of self or the earthly love and love of God or the heavenly love. While the love of self is sought based on the approval of men, regardless of God’s judgment, the love of God exists in an individual who primarily seeks God’s glory despite harsh criticisms by other men. As a consequence, the earthly city is composed of nobilities and subjects that are governed by the exercise of authority where pleasing the state seems to form the sole basis and cause either of anxiety or of contentment among people. In the heavenly city, however, it is the Lord’s command that matters most for the people who fear or delight in following his will. The truth behind divine forces or the ways by which God communicates to men in the city of God may, to a certain extent, raise doubts requiring support via evidences that are less abstract than intangible conviction, Nevertheless, St. Augustine’s proposition quite matches the remarkable portion of world history when kingdoms indeed found triumph over all others because they, rulers and subjects alike, had hopes that rested highly on God’s power to vanquish the enemies. When St. Augustine further elaborates that the absence of human wisdom enables godliness and genuine worship of God in the heavenly city, such idea may be perceived to bear consistent thought and agreement with the conception of justice in state. A godly nation with a just king or emperor discerns justice that places no distinction between the rich and the poor or the strong and the weak, only between right and wrong by sensible law, for by the fundamental meaning of the term, it is intended to be carried out at times unjust situations transpire. With the city of God, this condition especially holds for the Lord is considered the supreme being so that all else under him are made equal with each other in view of justice and its righteous function as God himself exhibits no partiality in rendering proper justice on anyone through Christian faith. Much as St. Augustine distinguished between the two cities with opposing characteristics he more so argued about the two types of man ... Read More
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