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The Confessions Of Saint Augustine Essay

1678 words - 7 pages

Day after day, goals are set before us. Expectations for improvement or achievements. Objectives to accomplish tasks or simply to do nothing. Plans constructed to dictate how we are to live; how we are to speak, act, and think. These goals, whether consciously or subconsciously, are influenced by our worldviews. Throughout our lives, aims are in constant creation. Babies cry in order to secure the attention of the caretaker so that nutrients or a clean diaper may be obtain. Young children may fight over one another in hopes to play with a certain toys. Teens work to gain the attention of the one they admire. And this continues well into adulthood. As for the reason for this natural inclination, we are on a never-ending quest for happiness. We are in a constant search for contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction. Our entire life is a journey for completion. It is a journey in search of joy and peace. Augustine’s Confessions is a revelation, explained through parts of his life, of the ultimate joy: God. “You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy…and our heart is unquiet until it rests in you” (I, 1). Yet, to many, giving one’s heart to God is not an easy task. Augustine’s description of human nature is one idea that I found intriguing. Through understanding God’s creations, specifically humans, one will gain better knowledge of the Creator Himself as well as the idea of salvation, and, in turn, acquire fulfillment.
Human nature, being created by God, is in itself good for “God has made all things exceedingly good” (VII, 18). The goodness in human nature is evident in the morals and beliefs of human beings. Despite the difference in culture, man has set for one another a standard of moral expectations. C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity discusses that “human beings, all over the earth have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it” (Lewis, 8). Yes, different people of different cultures or ages differed greatly in terms of morality. However, the never come to complete difference (Lewis, 5). No matter the conditions or surroundings one was raised in, one naturally knows the sense of right and wrong. For example, if one were to lie or break a promise to another fellow human being, from anywhere in the world, he would feel that he has been wronged. No matter where one goes, acts like betrayal is considered unmoral. Even one who feels is that betraying others is acceptable would feel wronged if he himself was betrayed. So despite the differences in values, everyone holds a sense of a common right and wrong, good and evil.
The ability to act on good or bad decisions is based on, to be more specific, the human will, a factor that places us higher than the animals and plants, Augustine emphasizes on the importance of the human will, an idea that I believe strongly reveals a part of God’s image and the existence of evil. The freedom to choose between good and evil is evidence of the freedom God has...

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