st augustine essay research paper saint augustine

St. Augustine Essay, Research Paper

Saint Augustine, who lived in the late 4th and early fifth centuries, created a really interesting position on the impression of immorality. Augustine first positions of immorality followed the philosophy of the Manichaen Dualists? . Their thought was that there were two almighty forces, good and evil, invariably contending. Both forces, harmonizing to the Manichaen Dualists? , were of equal power. Augustine subsequently rejected this thought and developed his ain theory on the nature of immorality.

Saint Augustine? s position refering immorality is, merely put the want of good. Augustine believes that immorality is non a separate force, but a deficiency of good. This position is contradictory to the Manichaen position. Augustine does non see evil even as a substance, but as a nothingness. This nothingness, kind of like the? Nothing? in the Never Ending Story, takes over the being that it infects. A being that used to incorporate good becomes empty as evil corrupts it. Augustine believes that all existences were created good and all existences have the potency to go corrupted. Even if a being is partly corrupted the being still merely consists of good, since immorality, in and of itself, does non truly exist ; it is merely the deficiency of good. Beings do possess liberate will and their goodness may fluctuate: ? But because they are non, like their Creator, supremely and unalterably good, their good may be diminished and increased. ? ( Cahn, 177 ) Saint Augustine states that? There can be no evil where there is no good? ? ( Cahn, 177 ) Augustine sees evil as a dependant, non an independent. Evil must hold good to be. Not merely is evil a nothingness, it is an ontological parasite, necessitating a host to last. The host is the being, or the good, since both exist within one another. Augustine besides points out that nil is wholly evil because it would discontinue to be. If a being were to be wholly consumed by immorality, there would be no good left within the being. Since some good must be for there to be being or being, a wholly corrupt being can non be. When there is no being there is no good and with out good, there can be no evil. Although it may look like a contradiction, everything that is evil is good. Augustine proves this claim by demoing that immorality is merely an imperfect good. As stated before, evil is non a substance, it is merely a nothingness. An analogy would be, good/being is like a full glass of H2O. When the glass is full, it is wholly good, without corruption/evil. Good or being is represented by the H2O and the physical organic structure is the glass. As the glass becomes empty, it becomes less good. Just like being, the glass does non go filled with any other substance as it becomes empty. When the H2O is gone, good is gone and in bend immorality is gone because there is nil left, but an empty infinite and a glass. Since the organic structure can non populate without being, it will besides discontinue to be. Using this logic, Augustine shows that an? evil adult male is an evil good. ? ( Cahn, 177 ) the old statement claims that immorality is partly good, since it is merely the deficiency of good. Augustine besides makes note that one must non bury that electron volt

erything that is evil is good, but everything that is good is non evil. Good, unlike evil, can be freely and independently. Although good and immoralities are reverses, one can be without the other, viz. good. Something can be genuinely good ; intending that it possesses no corruptness, but nil can be strictly evil because so it would be nonexistent. Evil so, must originate from what is good, which would intend that anything immorality is an evil good because it still must incorporate some good to be. If there were no good there would be no evil because there would be no being to pervert. If there were no immorality, merely pure undefiled good would be. Harmonizing to Augustine, Satan must be partly good to be, although he is considered the ultimate immorality in Christianity. This would follow the instructions of the Bible, doing Satan a fallen angel, one time being good but going corrupt. But, am I to understand that the lone manner to get the better of Satan is to do him more evil or more good. Using the statements of Augustine, to do something non be is to incorporate no being or good. So if Satan exists, he must hold some goodness, but the lone manner to do him nonexistent is to pervert him more. I wonder if it is possible, to do the ultimate immorality, more immoralities.

Augustine farther illustrates that adult male should be most concerned with the cause of good and evil. Knowing the causes of good and evil will assist adult male avoid corruptness of being that comes from one? s problems in life. Augustine believes that true felicity is the turning away of these problems, which can be more easy eluded by the cognition of good and evil. I think that Aristotle influenced Augustine because they both believe that one must cognize the good and so make the good, non to be evil. Socrates believed that if one knew the Good, so he/she would make the good all the clip. Augustine allows human mistake to play a function. Augustine feels that mistake is an evil because it is a error, which can non be good, even if it is good. One can hold mistakes that are advantages to them, but they are still errors and are evil however. If a adult male believes something to be true when it is false, Augustine considers that to be a little immorality. The adult male who is the cheat, is perpetrating a great immorality. Augustine believes that it is the responsibility of all work forces to avoid being deceived and to mistake, since all are considered evil. Liing is besides a great immorality, if one intentionally deceives person. If one is lying, but does non cognize they are lying, it is merely a little immorality because they believe what they are stating is true.


In decision, Saint Augustine creates a really interesting impression of what immorality is, or shall I say what it is non, since immorality does non truly be. Saint Augustine? s position is of import because his doctrine stresses that all existences are created good and so are corrupted, or become evil by free will. The picks made throughout an person? s life determine whether he/she is good or evil, rejecting any impression of destiny or predestination. Later philosophers, like Rousseau and Locke will spread out upon Saint Augustine? s position.

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