Philosophy of St. Augustine Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1015 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

This is Augustine's strategy. If evil is not a thing, then the case against Christianity stated in the original syllogism is unsound because one of its premises is false. The critical question is: What is evil?

There is no single cause of evil; rather, everyone who does evil is the cause of his own evildoing."

Central to Augustine's idea of goodness and, evil was the notion of being. To Augustine, anything that had being was good. God as the ground of being was perfectly good, along with everything he brought into being. This goodness was a property that came in varying degrees.

Doing evil is nothing but turning away from learning."

Augustine observed that evil always injures, and such injury is a deficiency of good. If there were no deprivation, there would be no injury. Since all things were made with goodness, evil must be the deprivation of goodness: "All which is corrupted is deprived of good."

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The decrease of the property of goodness is what's called "evil." Good has extensive being; evil does not. It is like a moral hole, a nothingness that results when goodness is removed. Just as a shadow is no more than a "hole" in light, evil is a hole in goodness. To say that something is evil, is a shorthand way of saying it either lacks goodness, or is a lower order of goodness than what ought to have been. Augustine observed that evil could not be chosen because there is no evil thing to choose. One can only turn away from the good that is from a greater good to a lesser good since all things are good.

For when the will abandons what is above itself, and turns to what is lower, it becomes evil -- not because that is evil to which it turns, but because the turning itself is wicked."


Term Paper on Philosophy of St. Augustine on Assignment

For fifteen and a half centuries, Augustine's words have gone on being read and misread, gone on fueling controversy and lending comfort. Whatever those words meant in his lifetime, and whatever their role in the controversies of the day, they have meant more and exercised more influence since their author's death. His words have been analyzed from every possible perspective in every century to try and understand the actual idea behind his words.


Anna Benjamin & L.H.hackstaff, Augustine, Library of liberal Arts

Augustine's Encounter with Neo-Platonism, book 7, last viewed: 19th May'04

Gregory Koukl, Augustine on Evil, last viewed: 19th May'04

James.V.Schall, Manicheanism explains evil but does not eliminate it, last viewed: 19th May'04

Philosophy Quotes, Last viewed: 19th May'04

The Augustinian Theodicy, Philosophy of Religion, last viewed: 19th May'04 [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Philosophy of St. Augustine" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Philosophy of St. Augustine.  (2004, May 19).  Retrieved May 30, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Philosophy of St. Augustine."  19 May 2004.  Web.  30 May 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Philosophy of St. Augustine."  May 19, 2004.  Accessed May 30, 2020.