St. Augustine

From an explanation that that was given to St. Augustine, "the cause of evil is the free decision of our will, in consequence of which we act wrongly  (pg 161). In other words the decision of our will is that we make our own decisions and our destiny is what we make of it. In life, majority of people have moral beliefs (to do what is right and not what is wrong) and we know the difference. It is up to us to make that decision as to what we are going to do in a particular situation. Hence, if we act wrongly, we will endure the consequences and basically go to hell, or experience his righteous judgment; which ever that may be. Throughout the reading, it was evident that Augustine did not except the explanation that was given to him. He wanted to see evil and understand evil for himself and not having faith kept him searching.

Discuss the accounts of the origin and construction of evil?

When St. Augustine began his search to understand evil, he had a lot of questions. Augustine wanted to know what was the origin of evil that caused the devil (once an angel of God) to turn into evil especially when an angel is made the supreme creator. He later found that "what is indestructible is better than anything liable to be destroyed  (pg 162). Throughout his search he believed that people are not forced into anything that they really do not want to do. Augustine believing that our power is greater than our will supported that. This means that the angel that now is a devil and is evil chose that way of life. The devil's will was obviously stronger than his power.

However, Augustine confuses me because he states that it (your will) could be greater only if you were greater than your self, for God's will and God's power are identical with God himself. I was wondering if he was trying to say that maybe the devil's will was greater than his power. And if this is so does this means that the devil was greater than God?

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