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Transcript
Augustine on Love and God
Introduction
Introduction

Aurelius Augustinus (354-430)
Introduction

Fall of Rome
Introduction

Fall of Rome (Divided)
Introduction

Fall of Rome (Attacked)
Introduction

Fall of Rome (Sacked 410 AD)
Introduction

Fall of Rome (Sacked 410 AD)

Augustine in De Civitate Dei (City of God) tries to
explain this
Introduction

‘Salvation’ Religions
Introduction

‘Salvation’ Religions

Incompetence of Empire
Introduction

‘Salvation’ Religions
Incompetence of Empire
 Oppression of common populace

Introduction

‘Salvation’ Religions
Incompetence of Empire
 Oppression of common populace
 Irrelevance of philosophers’ ideals and
recommendations for living

Introduction

‘Salvation’ Religions
Incompetence of Empire
 Oppression of common populace
 Irrelevance of philosophers’ ideals and
recommendations for living
 Seek help elsewhere

Introduction

‘Salvation’ Religions
Incompetence of Empire
 Oppression of common populace
 Irrelevance of philosophers’ ideals and
recommendations for living
 Seek help elsewhere


Mithra, Isis, Cybele and Attis, … Christ.
Introduction

‘Salvation’ Religions
Incompetence of Empire
 Oppression of common populace
 Irrelevance of philosophers’ ideals and
recommendations for living
 Seek help elsewhere

Mithra, Isis, Cybele and Attis, … Christ.
 Constantine accepts Christianity in Empire, 313 AD

Introduction

Jewish Ethics
Introduction

Jewish Ethics

Follow the Law!
Introduction

Jewish Ethics

Follow the Law!

the observance of the
commandments is not
conditional on
understanding them
Introduction

Jewish Ethics

Follow the Law!
the observance of the
commandments is not
conditional on
understanding them
 Ten Commandments

Introduction
Christian ethics is normative, and the norms are set by
known, fixed statements of Law
Introduction

Problem of Evil
Introduction

Problem of Evil

How can there be Evil in the World?
Introduction

Problem of Evil

How can there be Evil in the World?

Manichaeans – Two principles: one Good, one Bad
Introduction

Problem of Evil

How can there be Evil in the World?

Christians – God is all-powerful
God wishes all good things
Therefore there are all good things.
But there are also Evil things.
How?
Introduction

Problem of Evil

How can there be Evil in the World?

Stoics –
Evil and Good can only exist together
Man can reason faultily
Evils are only apparent, not real.
Introduction

Problem of Evil

How can there be Evil in the World?

Stoics –
Evil and Good can only exist together
Man can reason faultily
Evils are only apparent, not real.

Augustine agrees:
he saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good
Introduction

Problem of Evil

Why do we do wrong?
Introduction

Problem of Evil

Why do we do wrong?

Original Sin – we are naturally prone to be naughty
Introduction

Problem of Evil

Why do we do wrong?
Original Sin – we are naturally prone to be naughty
 We have Free Will

Introduction

Problem of Evil

Why do we do wrong?
Original Sin – we are naturally prone to be naughty
 We have Free Will


Augustine tells us how he enjoyed sinning: he once stole
some pears, and didn’t even eat them. Why?
Introduction

Problem of Evil

Why do we do wrong?
Original Sin – we are naturally prone to be naughty
 We have Free Will

Augustine tells us how he enjoyed sinning: he once stole
some pears, and didn’t even eat them. Why?
 Just to enjoy the freedom of theft!

Introduction

Problem of Evil

Why do we do wrong?
Original Sin – we are naturally prone to be naughty
 We have Free Will

Augustine tells us how he enjoyed sinning: he once stole
some pears, and didn’t even eat them. Why?
 Just to enjoy the freedom of theft!
 Discipline the Will! Want what is right!

Introduction
Christians take the Will rather than the Act to be the
principal carrier of moral value in humans
The Order of Love
The Order of Love

How should the will be shaped?
The Order of Love

How should the will be shaped?

Do what it takes to achieve Happiness – eudaimonia,
beatitudo (which is not just ‘blessedness’)
The Order of Love

How should the will be shaped?
Do what it takes to achieve Happiness – eudaimonia,
beatitudo (which is not just ‘blessedness’)
 Contra most pagan philosophers, this is not entirely
up to the individual

The Order of Love

Immortality is required for happiness
The Order of Love

Immortality is required for happiness

So accept there is a heaven to reach
The Order of Love

Immortality is required for happiness


So accept there is a heaven to reach
Act so as to reach it
The Order of Love

Immortality is required for happiness



So accept there is a heaven to reach
Act so as to reach it
Obey God’s (New Testament) commands
The Order of Love

Immortality is required for happiness



1.
2.
So accept there is a heaven to reach
Act so as to reach it
Obey God’s (New Testament) commands
Love God above all.
Love your neighbour as you love yourself.
The Order of Love

Immortality is required for happiness



1.
2.
So accept there is a heaven to reach
Act so as to reach it
Obey God’s (New Testament) commands
Love God above all
Love your neighbour as you love yourself
Isn’t this a bit self-interested to be real love?
The Order of Love

Love can be justified without commands
The Order of Love

Love can be justified without commands

Happiness requires loving right things
The title ‘happy’ cannot, in my opinion, belong either to him who has not what he
loves, whatever it may be, or to him who has what he loves if it is hurtful, or to him
who does not love what he has, although it is good in perfection
The Order of Love

Love can be justified without commands


Happiness requires loving right things
There is a hierarchy of things
(According to the Neo-Platonists)
God
Angels
Humans
Horses
Insects
Rocks
Nothing
The Order of Love

Love can be justified without commands



Happiness requires loving right things
There is a hierarchy of things
They are of declining changeability
God
Angels
Humans
Horses
Insects
Rocks
Nothing
The Order of Love

Love can be justified without commands




Happiness requires loving right things
There is a hierarchy of things
They are of declining changeability
Love the least changeable
and most perfect
God
Angels
Humans
Horses
Insects
Rocks
Nothing
The Order of Love

Love can be justified without commands





Happiness requires loving right things
There is a hierarchy of things
They are of declining changeability
Love the least changeable
and most perfect
Happiness is in Loving God
God
Angels
Humans
Horses
Insects
Rocks
Nothing
The Order of Love

Love can be justified without commands





Happiness requires loving right things
There is a hierarchy of things
They are of declining changeability
Love the least changeable
and most perfect
Happiness is in Loving God
If we find something which is both superior to man, and can be possessed by the
man who loves it, who can doubt that in seeking for happiness man should
endeavour to reach that
The Order of Love

Love and the worth of others
The Order of Love

Love and the worth of others

The hierarchy of things gives their
absolute value
God
Angels
Humans
Horses
Insects
Rocks
Nothing
The Order of Love

Love and the worth of others


The hierarchy of things gives their
absolute value
We tend to use a scale of instrumental values
determined by advantage to us
The Order of Love

Love and the worth of others



The hierarchy of things gives their
absolute value
We tend to use a scale of instrumental values
determined by advantage to us
We are wrong to value ourselves absolutely and
others instrumentally
The Order of Love

Love and the worth of others




The hierarchy of things gives their
absolute value
We tend to use a scale of instrumental values
determined by advantage to us
We are wrong to value ourselves absolutely and
others instrumentally
Love others as ourselves
The Order of Love


A virtuous person treats others according to
their absolute value and loves God above all
Failure to order your love in this way is a
failure of will
Law and Grace
Law and Grace

Any rational person can become virtuous
Law and Grace


Any rational person can become virtuous
The Lex Aeterna is the law derivable by reason
Law and Grace



Any rational person can become virtuous
The Lex Aeterna is the law derivable by reason
The assistance of God is required to
understand the Law
Law and Grace




Any rational person can become virtuous
The Lex Aeterna is the law derivable by reason
The assistance of God is required to
understand the Law
His assistance is Grace, a gift to undeserving
persons
Law and Grace





Any rational person can become virtuous
The Lex Aeterna is the law derivable by reason
The assistance of God is required to
understand the Law
His assistance is Grace, a gift to undeserving
persons
So Happiness requires God
Peace
Peace

Lex Temporalis is the law Man makes
Peace


Lex Temporalis is the law Man makes
To preserve peace
Peace



Lex Temporalis is the law Man makes
To preserve peace
Peace requires justice
(Justice = proper order of values)
Peace




Lex Temporalis is the law Man makes
To preserve peace
Peace requires justice
(Justice = proper order of values)
Peace can only exist in Heaven
Summary

Christian additions to Western ethical values:


sin, love of God and one’s fellow man, humility,
kindness, forgiveness, mercy
Christian additional emphasis on:



Importance of Will
Acceptance of ultimate Worth of Others
Belief in Lawful order of things