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Comparison Between God And Augustine

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Samantha Pryor Dr. Donald Viney Medieval Philosophy February 28, 2017 God and Augustine Medieval philosophers developed very precise notions of God and the attributes that he has, many of which are even now well-known among believers. For example, God is all-powerful all-knowing and all-good Other commonly discussed attributes of God are that he is eternal, that he is present everywhere and that he has foreknowledge of future events. While these traditional attributes of God offer a clear picture of the kind of being that he is, many of them present special conceptual problems, particularly when we try to make them compatible them with potentially conflicting facts about the world. It’s clear that suffering is abundant…show more content…
The cause of evil itself, according to Augustine, is the human will, and thus all blame for it rests on our shoulders, not on Gods. We willfully turn our souls away from God when we perform evil deeds. Even the punishment that God imposes on us for our evil is something that we brought on ourselves. Consequently, a first solution that Augustine offers to the problem of evil is that human will is the cause of evil and reason for divine punishment. A second and related solution is that the evil we willfully create within our souls is only a deprivation of goodness. Think of God’s goodness like a bright white light; the evil that we humans create is like an act of dimming that light, or shielding ourselves from it to create an area of darkness. It is not like we’ve created a competing light source of our own, such as a bright red light that we shine around to combat God’s bright white light. Accordingly, the evil that we create through our wills is the absence of good, and not a substantive evil in itself. Yet a third solution to the problem of evil is Augustine’s suggestion that the apparent imperfection of any part of creation disappears in light of the perfection of the whole. To explain, Augustine considers a common objection that God seems to be the source of suffering when our young children die with no clear purpose. His response is this: In view of the encompassing network of
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