Saint Augustine's Source Of Evil

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Saint Augustine spent almost his entire life focusing on the true source of evil and how it correlates to God. He studied Platonism, Manichean dualism, and Christianity to figure out the origins of sin. Also, through interpreting his own experiences with sin in his adolescence, he was able to give a personal reflection of the source of evil. Augustine loved and devoted himself to God and all things holy. Thus, he believed that God was all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing. This led him to question whether evil actually exists, if God is ultimately good and pure. Saint Augustine, through his years of examining theology and philosophy, concluded that the reason evil manifests itself in human behavior is not due to the presence of evil in the…show more content…
Augustine argues that the source of evil is related solely to the absence or blockage of goodness from our souls, thereby enabling people to follow our worldly desires and not necessarily those prescribed by God’s doctrine. His argument loses coherence, because he does not explain why we choose to turn from God. Augustine does not attempt to explain why we allow God’s goodness to be over-shadowed or blocked in our lives. He does not explain why we do turn our profile side-ways to the sun when the shadow is on our back thereby making the shadow cast far less wide, allowing more of Good’s goodness and light through. The choice to not turn sideways has at its source some motivation, perhaps evil or sin. Once the goodness is blocked and shadow is cast, the desire to act in ways inconsistent with God’s goodness comes from somewhere. Some would argue that the catalyst to act in ways inconsistent with God’s will has at its core the seed of sin. If God is as pure and powerful as Augustine believed, why do we in moments of darkness use our free will to act in ways inconsistent with the goodness of God and on occasion act in evil ways? These questions are neglected in Augustine’s…show more content…
In order the subscribe to Augustine’s argument, one needs to believe that envy, jealousy, malice, and hatred are emotions related to the absence of goodness as opposed to weaknesses that result as a consequence of the presence of a corollary to God’s goodness. These desires are a part of us as human beings, and humans are creations of God. While it is true that our free leads us to commit these acts, God created the desires to do evil that are hidden inside of people. If humans are innately good as a result of having a spiritual connection to God, then people should not have the desire to break the link with God. The source of evil, according to Saint Augustine, is our following corrupted desires and turning our backs on the love and goodness that God extends to us. His theory ignores the roots or source of these desires, as they are what lead humans to choose to act in ways inconsistent with God’s will. Evil exists in all of us, irrespective of how godly we are or how vigilant we are in following the goodness of God. The desire is always present and the commitment we make to helping God’s goodness cast a bright light that over-washes the shadow of evil is what keeps the world as good and godly as the world is
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