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Evil Cannot Exist

             Augustine was one of the most influential Christian converts of his time. In his book, The Confessions, he described his life and journey towards converting to Christianity. He addressed many of the issues that arise from infancy to adolescence to adulthood. In each phase of his life, he tried to work out how God and Christianity was influencing him. One of the topics he explored was the conflict between good and evil, and where they come from. To compare and contrast two things, one must make sure they know exactly what they are examining. St. Augustine first described what good and evil are in order to assist in further exploration into their conflicts with each other. .
             To grasp a solid understanding of what evil is, St Augustine looked to an act of perversity in the adolescent years of his life. The act consisted of going out with a group of friends and stealing pears from a local farmer, and throwing them at his pigs. This act bothered Augustine, for there seemed to be no reason to perform it other than it was not allowed. For one thing, the pears themselves were of low quality and therefore were not good to eat. But second, they threw them at some pigs nearby, wasting any potential the pears had to begin with. It seemed to Augustine that the only reason to steal the pears was that "[their] pleasure lay in doing what was not allowed" (St. Augustine p. 29). .
             By means of his loving "nothing but the theft itself" (St. Augustine p. 33), Augustine came to the conclusion that all people have a natural tendency towards perversity. That is, the only reason to preform certain acts is because it is a form of evil that is not socially accepted. If we take everything that is human, their actions and motives etc., and put them into a circle, Augustine would claim that a second circle, within the larger one, is there designated for these perverse acts alone. Not only did he enjoy the act of theft and it's evil, but this evil is a natural part of every humans existence.

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