Wednesday, March 15, 2017
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.