An analysis of Augustine's interpertation of the concept of evil. Was it through the hands of G-d or from the hands of human

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA-, December 1996

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A philosophical question faces Christians, and in fact all theists, that challenges the belief in G-d. To theists, G-d is an omnipotent, perfect God. He is good. Theists accept this, and embrace it, for how else can they worship G-d and give their lives to Him unless He is good? However, n this world evil is constantly seen all around us. Because G-d is the author of all things in this world, and he is good, theists must then ask themselves what evil is and where it came from. Augustine sets up an argument I his Confessions that attempts to define evil, and in doing so he explains its existence.

To follow this argument, it is important to realize that Augustine accepts some basic precepts regarding G-d and His creation. To begin with, G-d is the author of everything. Augustine says, "nothing that exists could exist without you [G-d]" (1.2).

G-d is the creator and source of all things. Again " . . . when He made the world He did not go away and leave it. By Him it was created and in Him exists" (4.12). Nothing in this world exists apart from G-d. Also, G-d is in control of everything in this world. "Everything takes its place according to your law" (1.7). Augustine clearly sets forth that G-d is the creator and source of everything. Not only is He the source, but he is the reason for its continued existence. The next step Augustine takes regards the nature of G-d's creation.

For Augustine, G-d is good, because everything He made is good. "You are our G-d, supreme Good, the Creator and Ruler of the universe" (1.20), and again, "Therefore, the G-d who made me must be good and all the good in me is His"(1.20). Everything about...