St. Augustine's Problem of Evil Analytical Essay by RightRiters

St. Augustine's Problem of Evil
A discussion of St. Augustine's theory of evil and why evil exists if God does.
# 23848 | 1,848 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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This paper examines St. Augustine's doctrine on evil. St. Augustine believed that God made a perfect world, but that God's creatures turned away from God of their own free will, through different types of falls, and that is how evil originated in the world. It shows how Augustine's approach to a solution to the problem of evil has three main parts: The author explains how Augustine assumes that evil is a privation and cannot be properly said to exist at all, he argues that the apparent imperfection of any part of creation disappears in light of the perfection of the whole and he argues that moral evil, together with that suffering which is created as punishment for sin, originates in the free nature of the will of all creatures. According to Augustine, God has allowed evil to exist in the world because it does not conflict with His goodness. He did not create evil but is also not a victim of it. He simply allows it to exist.

From the Paper:

"In Augustine's study of the problem of evil, he argues that there are a variety of things that are good. Without this variety, he says, there can be a greater goodness of things as a whole than there would be if this variety did not exist. Augustine also argues that evil is not completely real in itself. Instead, it is dependent on something more real, like disease, which is a form of evil. He points out that disease can only exist in a body, which is a form of good. Therefore, Augustine says, God, who is the source of everything that exists, is not in contest with a positive being or a counterpart that is evil."

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"St. Augustine's Problem of Evil" 16 April 2003. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>