St. Augustine and the Problem of Evil from a Christian Basis

2419 Words10 Pages
St. Augustine and the Problem of Evil from a Christian Basis In his Confessions, St. Augustine writes about a large number of topics that continue to have relevance today. The text documents the development of Augustine’s faith and his Christian philosophy, and one thing of particular interest is his argument for the nature of evil. Christianity predicates several important ideas that Augustine builds upon in his philosophy, and within its context, he presents a thorough, compelling argument against the problem of evil that identifies evil as a misperception. Augustine first characterizes God based on how he experiences God’s presence and qualities. Augustine searches for Him unsuccessfully in the…show more content…
Love knows it. Eternal truth and true love and beloved eternity: you are my God.” (Augustine, 123) Augustine states that God is the truth and that he who does not know God therefore does not know the truth. God’s goodness is additionally characterized by eternity, eternal truth, and true love. If God is eternal truth, then his true love must also be eternal because of the eternal nature inherent to its trueness. Taken together, the three qualities of God that Augustine explicitly states above are each eternal as expected. If they are eternal, then they are also by definition infinite, meaning that God’s goodness is infinite because it is defined by His truth and love. God created everything, including man in His likeness, and God is supremely good as discussed by Augustine and in The Bible. Thus, everything, which He created, must also be good but of a degree lesser than His own because it is not God. The fact that goodness is measured on an infinite scale is important because it means that something, which is good by nature of its creation, will always have some degree of goodness. Based on God’s qualities and those of His creations, Augustine classifies two states of existence. The first is the state that God exists in, which Augustine calls ‘Being,’ and the second, for all things that He creates, is being. Just as God transcends his creations, so does his state of Being

More about St. Augustine and the Problem of Evil from a Christian Basis

Open Document