Cumulative 1 - Cumulative 1 (1) Augustine's view of the...

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Cumulative 1 (1) Augustine’s view of the state is in many ways the antithesis of the ancient Greek view of the state found in Pericles and Socrates . Explain in detail why this is the case, but also be careful to note any similarities Augustine’s view of the state shares with any of these Greek thinkers. Provide a detailed and balanced discussion of whether you agree more with Augustine’s or the ancient Greek view of the state. (a) Augustine ’s view of the state is largely influenced by his Christian beliefs: Augustine removes all normative and moral elements when considering the state. He does not believe any state is capable of morality. (This notion results from Augustine’s Doctrine of Original Sin , which states that all individuals are tainted from original sin – we have a complete loss of free will, except the choice between different types of sin ). Rather, Augustine asserts that there is only one difference between a criminal gang and a state. Sovereignty is the only thing that distinguishes a state from a criminal gang; otherwise, morally, these two entities are essentially the same. (i) Augustine believes humans are divided into two cities – the earthly city (which contains the damned, who compromise the majority of the population) and the city of God (the small minority who are saved). Thus, Augustine believes an authoritarian state (absolute monarchy) is necessary to quell the majority who are damned and, ultimately, immoral. Though Augustine assumes that these authoritarian leaders are bad and
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSCI 495B taught by Professor Lester during the Fall '08 term at Mary Washington.

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Cumulative 1 - Cumulative 1 (1) Augustine's view of the...

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