Augustine was one of the most influential philosophers in the fourth century due to his controversial prospect and his views on Christianity. Marino examines the main Augustine’s works and his thoughts on a person’s will, good and evil, faith, and God. The author demonstrates the main aspects of his work, providing the reader with a short biography and main points represented in the City of Gods.
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Augustine brought philosophical respectability to Christianity due to his doubtful mindset. The City of Gods and Confession are his most famous works. Augustine presented his views regarding the good and evil in the City of Gods. He explains that supreme good is eternal life, and the supreme evil is death, and people may escape death by living rightly. To live rightly means to live by faith as God has given hope to people to believe in him and pray.
He discusses sickness and how the man changes due to events such as deafness, blindness, or any other disability in relation to one’s will, concluding that prudence is a virtue. Marino (2010) states that substituting God for Plato’s form of the good, who assures that everything presents the good and believes that evil is an absence, defines Augustine’s ethics. Augustine believes that God is inherently good, and the moral is written in people’s hearts. Accepting primary desires such as honor, health, and fame can push an individual to transgress.
Augustine suggests that people’s desires cannot count as a mistake due to the discernment of good and evil things. Therefore, all people might be in the midst of evil, and such understanding teaches that the good refuses to the consent of sin, where evil consents (Marino, 2010). However, the evil cannot be eradicated even by prudence. The connection between soul and God, body and soul, and both soul and body to God demonstrates that it is not finished work but moving towards its end. He argues the opinion of Stoic philosophers stating that fortitude is the proof of the ill of life, and this holds good.
Stoic philosophers allow a wise man to commit suicide if he is grievous, and Augustine does not agree with such justification as the person is not supposed to wish to fled from life if he is happy. He calls such life a brief misery and does not find a spot for happiness due to such circumstances and attitude, as he believes that the person can be saved and made happy by hope. He makes a parallel with happiness, stating that people should wait for it patiently just as they look for future salvation; therefore, salvation is supposed to become final happiness.
The nature is good due to the creator, and such a conclusion gives an opportunity to either diminish or augment created sings. The evil is considered a diminution of the good. The corrupted thing is evil due to the privation of the good; hence, there is no evil if there is no privation of the good. However, Augustine proves that there can be no evil if there is no good as every entity is good, and no evil exists in itself, only an evil aspect of the particular entity. In conclusion, Augustine influenced the perception of Christianity and made a significant impact on the understanding of good and evil, which gave a better knowledge of the world’s functioning.
Marino, G. (2010) Ethics (Modern library classics) [Kindle edition]. Web.
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