Good and evil - theodicy, On freedom and divine predestination...

Good and evil - theodicy

Speaking about the deeds of God, the thinkers emphasized his all-goodness. But the world is evil. Why does the all-good God allow evil? Is not it responsible for the evil in the created (ie created) world? No religious philosopher could pass by these questions, including, of course, Augustine. In Neoplatonism, evil was seen as a negative degree of good. Based on the texts

There remains the responsibility of man before God, and before people, and before his conscience. Yes, the mother feeds the child but to the laws of nature, but she is exercising her "I", her freedom.

Holy Scripture, which speaks of the Creator's kindness, Augustine argued that all that he created was, in one way or another, involved in this absolute kindness: for the Most High, realizing the creation, embodied in the created a certain measure, weight and order; they are invested with an extraterrestrial image and meaning. To the extent of this, good is done in nature, in people, in society. Just as silence is the absence of noise, nakedness is the absence of clothing, illness is the absence of health, and darkness is the absence of light, and evil is the absence of good, and not something that exists in itself, as a special force. True, this is a weak consolation for the suffering and suffering, Augustine's attempt to remove from God the responsibility for evil in the world is inconclusive. True, some slight consolation is possible if we take into account the relativity of evil and perceive it as a weakened good and as a necessary step to good. Next, a person is punished for a crime (evil) in order to bring him good through redemption and the torture of conscience, which leads to purification. In the dialectic of being, it is sometimes difficult to even figure out what is good and what is evil. So dialectically thinking moralists often argue: for without evil we would not know what good is.

On Freedom and Divine Predestination

Great influence on the subsequent Christian philosophy was given by Augustine's teaching about divine grace in her attitude to the will of man and about divine predestination. The essence of this teaching is as follows. The first people had a free will before the fall: they could not sin. According to Adam and Eve, they used this freedom badly and lost it after the fall. Now they could not help but sin. After the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, those who are chosen by God can no longer sin. The deity from the age predestined some people to goodness, salvation and bliss, and others to evil, perdition and torment. Without a predestined divine grace, a person can not have goodwill. This position Augustine defended in a fierce polemic with one of the church writers - Pelagius, who argued that the salvation of man depends on his own moral efforts. Augustine's doctrine of predestination can be called religious fatalism. Augustine's ideas on this question gave rise to a wide and sharp discussion, which lasted for many centuries (and even now).

Doctrine of the Soul, Will and Cognition

Reason and faith. Knowledge, according to Augustine, is based on inner feeling, sensation and reason. The norm of knowledge is truth. The unchanging, eternal truth, according to Augustine, is the source of all truths, is God. Augustine spoke of skeptics: "It seemed to them that it is impossible to find the truth, but it seems probable that I can find it." Reason, according to Augustine, is the gaze of the soul, to which by itself, without the mediation of the body, contemplates the true. The truth is contained in our soul, and our soul is immortal, and man has no right to forget about the extraterrestrial purpose of his life. Man must subordinate his knowledge of wisdom, for in the salvation of the soul is his supreme purpose. "All that we contemplate, we grasp by thought or feeling and understanding. The soul can not be extinguished unless it is separated from the mind. Separate, she can not. "

Augustine views reason as a very important function of the soul: "I believe that the soul eats nothing but the understanding of things and knowledge, speculations and reflections, if it can through them to know something. To the study of sciences, we are led by a twofold path-authority and reason: in relation to time, authority prevails, but the mind is the relation to the essence of the matter.

Faith in authority greatly reduces the matter and does not require any work. Nel, and you like it, you can read a lot of things that they wrote about these subjects, as if out of condescension, the great and divine men, finding it necessary for the use of the simplest, and in which they demanded faith from themselves for those for whose souls , more stupid or more occupied with worldly affairs, there could be no other means to salvation. Such people, who are always the vast majority, if they want to comprehend the truth with reason, are very easily fooled by the likeness of reasonable conclusions and fall into such a vague and harmful way of thinking that they can not and only can be sober and free from never, or only in the most disastrous way for them. It is most useful to believe the supreme authority and, accordingly, lead the life of it. "

About society and history. Reflecting on social reality, in particular about wealth and poverty, Augustine argued that the property inequality of people is an inevitable phenomenon of social life. Therefore, it is pointless to strive for the equalization of wealth: inequality will continue in all ages, as long as the earthly life of mankind exists. Augustine consoled people by the fact that a person is virtuous, although he is in slavery and naked, he is free in his soul and, on the contrary, an evil person, even though he reigns, is a miserable slave of his vices ("On the City of God." IV. Augustine, relying on one of the main Christian ideas - the idea of ​​the fundamental equality of all people before God (because they come from one ancestor), calls them to live in peace.

The comprehension of the real destinies of mankind is what is the philosophy of the history of Augustine, set forth in the 22 books of his main work, "On the City of God." Here he attempted to embrace the world-historical process, to put the history of mankind in close connection with the plans and intentions of the Divine. According to Augustine, humanity forms in the historical process two "hailstones": on the one hand, the secular state is the kingdom of evil, sin, the kingdom of the devil, on the other hand, the Christian church is the kingdom of God on earth. The very composition of the "City of God". is an attempt to create a philosophy of history.

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