The Problem of Evil accoding to Saint Augustine Essay

628 Words3 Pages
The Problem of Evil Saint Augustine was one of the first to really address the problem of evil in the Christian sense. After disbanding from the Manicheans due to his dissatisfaction with the way they viewed the problem, he reasoned a sound solution to the problem of evil that could put Christians' minds at ease. Saint Augustine lived from 354-430. During the era in which he lived, his world was a crockpot of instability and suffering. The Roman Empire, a symbol of strength, was falling. He lost his mother, lover, and son during his lifetime. These circumstances certainly prompted Augustine to question evil. According to his Christian faith, God is all-good and created all things. Evil presented a problem because if God was all-good, it…show more content…
One of his most important ideas was that of human free will. Since humans have free will, they can choose to do good or evil, right or wrong. They in themselves are causes of suffering. He thought humans needed more responsibility for evil – not just Satan. After breaking from the Manichees, Augustine found his way to Neoplatonism, a philosophy developed by a follower of Plato. Neoplatonism emphasized the important difference between the physical world and the ideal, intangible world to explain the body and soul. The physical world is changeable, perishable, and not perfect. The ideal world, or Forms, are everlasting and perfect. The soul is part of this ideal world and is perfect, but is in an imperfect body which is stuck in the physical world. They did not believe that humans were players on a neutral battleground as the Manichees did, but orchestrated their own suffering. Neoplatonism even went so far as to say that the body was unimportant in human existence, that it was the soul that mattered, and this is where Augustine drew the line. He thought both were important in human existence, and that we bring evil on ourselves by choosing to do bad things. Augustine eventually came to the conclusion that evil is not a thing in itself, but rather a lack of goodness. As Augustine states in City of God, “For when the will abandons what is above itself,

    More about The Problem of Evil accoding to Saint Augustine Essay

      Open Document