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Philosophy of St. Augustine
Transcript of Philosophy of St. Augustine
Monica - Christian father:
Patricius - Pagan St. Augustine Religion Manichaeanism Christianity (17 years old) Manichaeism taught an elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness. hedonistic lifestyle Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. They strives to maximize net pleasure. Story of Placianus about the life of Saint Anthony of the Desert
(32 years old) personal crisis St. Augustine's Philosophy of Man "Happiness can be found in GOD alone." God is Love - St. Augustine WHAT IS THEN GOD? Life to Augustine is a dialectic movement towards Love.
Virtue, which is the art of living rightly and well Order of Love A virtuous life is a dynamism of the will which is the dynamism of love.
1. Constant - following of and turning towards love
2. Wicked - life is a constant turning away from love To love God means necessarily to love ones fellowmen, and to love ones fellowmen means never to do any harm to another, or, as the golden principle of justice requires, "To do unto others as you
would others do unto you" Love Justice the two foundation stones of individual as well as social ethics MAN CRAVES FOR PERFECT ENDURING HAPPINESS
Happiness, we all know, comes with the possession of some good;but where, or, in the possession of what good is perfect happiness to be found?Is it in the goods of the body as well as the goods of this world such as health, beauty, power,honor, fame?
Augustine, speaking directly from experience, that these and the possession of these can never give to man what he is truly looking for,as these goods are finite, unstable and ephemeral, whereas man craves for perfect, immutable and enduring. On this ground, he rejects Epicureanism which proposes earthly and bodily pleasure as the ultimate end of man.
How about the goods of the soul, such as wisdom, virtue and all their forms? According to Augustine, these treasures of soul cannot fulfill the supreme purpose for which man is made. For virtue in this life does not necessarily mean happiness. All things come from God and each has a specific purpose to fulfill in the all-embracing plan of divine providence. LIBERTY AND LOVE "That the will is free, and that it is at the same time irresistibly drawntowards the good, are indubitable facts"
- governs the movements of irrational, non-free creatures or objects; does not admit the possibility of its being violated. OUGHT
- governs the voluntary acts of human beings and admits of thepossibility of its being violated. THE EXISTENCE OF MORAL OBLIGATION Eternal Law, God, Himself or the Eternal Reason - guides and leads all things to their proper ends. Law of Conscience
-admonishing us to do good
and to avoid evil. Moral evil in the world is from
mans abuse or misuse of
his freedom. Despite his concept of evil as something negative, Augustine sees the life of every man, the history of nations, and the whole human race as the story of constant struggle and conflict between two forces, two tendencies: that of good(inspired and motivated by love) and that of evil(impelled to and driven by hate). “Tell me if you love or not”, Augustine would say,“and I will tell what your life is and what your destiny will be.“