St. Agustine on the exitance of evil in a world created by a perfect and loving God.

Essay by scarusoUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

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Augustine is unsuccessful in solving the problem of defining evil by using the idea of free will and unchangeable intermediate and inferior goods to argue that everything God Created is good and human beings alone are the cause of sin and evil. To understand Augustine's argument for the existence of evil in a world created by a perfect God of only good things I will briefly examine Augustine's reasoning for belief in God for which no clear evidence can be given. I will then go on to critique Augustine's argument for the existence of evil in a world created by a perfect God.

In Augustine's book 'The Teacher", Augustine illustrates a dialog he had with his young son in which he tries to convey the existence of the Christian God. Augustine's arguments for the perfection of God and the world he created are based on the idea that he must believe in God to understand him.

This is based on a quote from the Book of Isaiah in which the prophet states, "Unless ye believe ye shall not know." (Isa. 7:9:LXX) (Aug. The Teacher pg. 31) This gives Augustine a logical basis for an illogical belief. It can be considered illogical to believe in a God for which no physical proof can be given, so by making the belief in such an entity come first, the arguments for existence can follow. Augustine argues a distinct difference between belief and knowledge. "What I know I also believe, but I do not know everything that I believe." Augustine refers to a story about a great war, which he did not witness but he believes it happened. "I know how useful it is to believe many things of which knowledge is not possible." (Aug. The Teacher pg. 31) Augustine extends the relationship between...