Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Augustine-Latham Crihfield

Augustine of Hippo was the bishop of Hippo and a philosopher/Christian theologian born in 354 AD in Thagaste, Numidia.  He is mostly known for his writings, which include Confessions and The City of God, helped to influence the development and creation of both Western and modern Christianity and philosophy, making him one of the most important figures in Western Christianity during the Partistic Era.  The Roman Catholics and Protestants acknowledge him as an important figure when it comes to both forms of Christianity, as his works and doctrines are still used in modern Christian teachings.  Augustine was also known for creating the doctrine of the original sin, which signifies the fall of man from the Garden of Eden.  Augustine was influenced heavily by the teachings Manichaeism (founded by the Iranian prophet Mani) and, later on in life, the teachings of Neo-Platonism (founded by Plotinus).  There was one question Augustine asked himself and in his works time and time again: "Why does evil exist in the world?"  His conclusion is that evil exists because of "free will".  Because God has given humanity free will to choose our own actions, evil results as the consequence of such actions.  In a way, I agree with his stance on free will, but not in the conclusion he believes.  It's true that evil is the result of free will, but it does in a different way than what Augustine claimed.  Evil exists not because of the result of all choices of free will, but rather some people choose evil as a road to travel.  Gang members, terrorists, thieves, dictators, and other bad people choose evil actions to further their own gain, and the results affect the rest of the world in a negative way, sometimes even prompting others to act upon the same evil. 


  1. Section 9
    Perfectionism is an idea that people, especially in today’s society, get engraved in their brains. Each person has an ideal image of what this perfection entails whether it be body image, future goals or even a desire to be something/someone he or she isn’t. Life has too many ways of going about it; therefore, perfecting it would be impossible. Yes, the concept of achieving perfection would be anyone’s dream, but someone can only achieve an optimum based on the circumstances of their own life. I’m not saying that having an idea of perfection is impossible because I personally strive to achieve my own version of this every day, but perfection can’t have a generalized conception. My view of what I think perfection encompasses will vary from a guy or even more mature woman. Perfection tends to cause more stressors on people. We see what we “think” is desirable, but this is really a concept of complete flawlessness. Someone can work towards getting that 100 on the exam, but working toward a goal of a perfect life is completely different. By thinking life, itself, can be entirely perfect, our abilities are being limited and the true purpose and goal in life is being distorted. Why not just try to improve the insecurities instead of going after what facilitated these insecurities to begin with? This just goes to show that the universe isn’t perfect because we are allowing our consciousness to corrupt us, but we need to rise above this state of corruptness. Each person is unique and has his or her own definition for perfection, but all of those would relate back to a common ground, all of which would prove that the universe is otherwise. Vince Lombardi stated, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”, so let’s go attain a state of excellence instead of wanting everything to be something that it is not.

    1. Devin Willis9:56 PM CDT

      Devin Willis-8
      I definitely agree with your view on perfectionism.

  2. Section 8
    Augustine was born in North Africa in 354 A.D. to a Christian mother and a pagan father. He was a student, and later a teacher, of rhetoric. He disagreed with the fact that nothing can be known for certain. Thus, he converted to Christianity in 386 A.D. He believed that there was just one supernatural power, God (or the One), who made all physical things but was not physical himself. Augustine sought the truth in his mind, in which God gave him, by realizing that his existence must be true, and also his feelings. But he realized that there are numerous truths which could be doubted and that ultimately leads to the existence of God, or the One, that compensates for all the unexplainable truths. So, he relied on faith alone and focused more on theological interests. However, most of his philosophical questions and discussions arose from something theological. He realized that free will may lead to evil, but it is God’s responsibility to absolve for human wrongdoings. But, free will wasn’t necessary pre-inclined for evil, every human being can freely choose his or her path. There is no perfection. Everyone has at least one wrong thing about themselves. This idea gives rise to the fact (?) that God himself, immaterial yet perfect. People may have free will, but he has perfect knowledge and knows what they will do with their free will. Augustine, later, became a bishop and was regarded to as a saint and is responsible for the conversion, uprising, and spread of Christianity.

  3. Section 8
    After reading Augustine story I felt like I have asked this question myself. Why does evil exist in the world? I have always wondered myself why and Augustine answered for me. He explains that humans have the free will to do anything they want whether it be good or chaos. As a result it there are consequences to these actions. Augustine was a bishop who was born in North Africa in 354 A.D. He was raised with a mother who was Christian and a father who was a pagan. Throughout his life he was always curious and wanted to learn the way things were. He was student as he grew up after graduating he decided to become a teacher. He become know for his writings and questions making him the most important figure in Western Christianity. Augustine was also known for creating the doctrine of the original sin, which signifies the fall of man from the Garden of Eden. Well he also asked why is there evil in the world he lived in?
    At first he thought it was free will but he came to realize it was more than just that. t's true that evil is the result of free will, but it does in a different way than what Augustine claimed. Evil exists not because of the result of all choices of free will, but rather some people choose evil as a road to travel. Some examples included dictators, murders, and corrupt people all did it for personal gain. As a result it just puts humanity in a endless of chaos and violence.

  4. Devin Willis9:51 PM CDT

    Devin Willis-8
    Augustine is the most influential of early Christian thinkers. Augustine had been born in North Africa in AD 354, to a Christian mother and pagan father. Augustine was influenced by various teachings such as Manichaeism and Neo-Platonism, and there was one question that intrigued Augustine: “Why does evil exist in the world?” His answer was evil exists because of “free will” and I would have to agree with Augustine. God has given us free will and it is a blessing to be able to do what our hearts desire. Free will is the opportunity to experience the fruits of god’s glory. Since he has given us this blessing, it is only right that we praise him for it. Although a lot of people recognize this blessing, few people give god thanks and/or glory for it and some may not even acknowledge him for it. With that being said, this is where the evil comes in to world. God knows everything and he knows that we will mess up in life because we have free will. He gives us an opportunity to choose whatever road we want to go down, and it’s based on an individual’s own account what he chooses to do. Therefore, god is not the cause of the evil, it is us. We cannot blame any of the action we do in life on god. For example, Adam and Eve eating the apple from the Garden of Eden is not god’s fault, it is solely theirs and we need to apply the same analysis to world we live in now.

  5. Alexus Uqdah - 8

    Augustine was a Christian thinker that believed freewill was the reason for the evil in the world. I agree with his view. The idea of freewill, for today and his time, explains a lot of why people do the things they do. It’s as simple as because they can. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe everyone should act in this way. I just mean people, throughout history, have always chose how they wanted to act and whether what they did was good or evil is another story. I think it is important to know why evilness exists, but in looking at why it exists, we must also deem what is evil. Evilness can be socially constructed over time and can change depending on the situation and the circumstances, as well as the community and the over bearing beliefs of that community. One harsh example of evilness as a social construct would be there was a serial killer, who murdered men for years. When he was caught, and interviewed, and asked why he killed men his answer was because his father did the same and he was raised to believe it was okay to do. His father, in fact, was a wanted serial killer and was never caught, but died of cancer ten years before his son was caught. For this man, his social upbringing taught him that murder was NOT wrong and it was okay. However, I think everyone would agree with me that murdering people “just because I can” is evil and wrong.
    So, I think Augustine hit the nail on the head when he prosed free will as the answer to why evil exists. However, we must be able to continuously define evil. Now, of course, that was one extreme example, but it shows how what must see as evil, some might not.