Augustine paper

Augustine paper - Avilla 1 Ross Avilla Dr. Mitchell...

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Avilla 1 Ross Avilla Dr. Mitchell Philosophy 1010: Evil March 8, 2003 Essay One: What is Augustine’s conception of evil? How does it relate to free will? Essay Two: What are three characteristics of the material world that might prevent us from achieving happiness and how does the eternal world correct this?
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Avilla 2 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. In the 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
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PHIL 4401 taught by Professor Nagel during the Winter '05 term at CSU Stanislaus.

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Augustine paper - Avilla 1 Ross Avilla Dr. Mitchell...

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