From Nonexistent Evil to Submissive Freedom
Evil and freewill, seemingly unrelated, but if you look at it through Augustine’s
eyes you will see that they are intimately intertwined and inseparable.
When he begins
contemplating the one he can hardly hold himself from divulging into the other.
following I will explain Augustine’s concepts of evil and freewill and illustrate how the
two are indivisible and interconnected.
Evil is nonexistent in that it is nothing.
To Augustine, evil, rather then a force to
drive behavior or an intangible entity that is perpetually dueling against good, is merely a
blemish on what is good, making it less good.
Though, to understand this we must know
what is good.
To this philosopher, who was an avid Christian, something is good insofar
as it has a nature, which is the things doctrine, prescribed by God, for how the thing
ought to be.
So evil is the deviation from this nature, a deviation from what God
intended in what He created.
When one person kills another it is considered evil, not
because the law punishes murder, but because God, when creating us, never intended us
to destroy each other and so made it a part of our nature not to do so.
We know nature is
good, not only because God created it and all of God’s creation is innately good, but also
because we know of evil as a flaw in nature, and we cannot call it a flaw without
inadvertently praising the nature that has been marked by it.
If we feel that evil corrupts
who we are, our nature, then we admit that evil makes the nature less good, and so we
must succumb to the realization that the nature in all of us is good, and the deviation from