Evil and the Confessions of St. Augustine

Essay by brettwalterUniversity, Bachelor's October 2004

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Brett Walter

HUM 205

Paper # 9

Evil and the

Confessions of St. Augustine:

Aurelius Augustine lived from 354 -430 A.D. During his life, Augustine introduced some extremely important philosophical ideas with regards to these concepts of evil. These concepts were introduced in a direct defense of the Christian faith.

Prior to St. Augustine's time, many philosophers questioned the picture of evil

painted by the Christians. This picture portrayed evil as a being generated in a world which was created by a perfectly good God. It is understandable that many philosophers had reservations regarding this belief as it seemed contradictory in nature. While the overall outlook of evil is a complicated issue, St. Augustine offered some good explanations for the problem. Today, in many people's mind's, the question of evil has been answered for the most part;, however, there are still those who disbelieve St. Augustine's interpretation of the dispute.

In my opinion, I believe there is good reason for today's disagreement as the question of evil is inherent to understanding Christianty's big picture. As such, it is not something that can be easily explained.

At first, St. Augustine devised the idea that evil was the result of an alternate force which existed outside of God's Creation and functioned primarily as a nemesis to God. It was shortly afterwards that Augustine realized the problem with his solution. Christianity states that God is the sole Creator of the world to include everything that exists both inside and outside of it. With that being the case, Augustine's initial theory had absolutely no validity, so it was back to the drawing board for St. Augustine.

Augustine's next speculation related closely to Platonic theory, which declared that evil is not real and therefore was not created by God. I personally find this concept...