De civitate Dei (PDF)

  • Paperback
  • 1186
  • De civitate Dei
  • Augustine of Hippo
  • English
  • 06 September 2020
  • 9780140448948

Augustine of Hippo ✓ 3 characters

De civitate Dei review ä 3 Augustine of Hippo ✓ 3 characters Editions de La cit de Dieu ressources dans databnffr St Augustine De civitate Dei The British Library Augustinus De civitate dei De civitate dei XIX als Buch der Augustinischen Friedenslehre Geerlings Wilhelm Pages Get Access to Full Text Christsein und Gesetz Augustinus als Theoretiker des Naturrechts Buch XIX Krieger Gerhard Wingendorf Ralf Pages Get Access to Full Text Positivismus plus Moralismus zu Augustinus' eschatologischer Staatstheorie Hffe Otfried Pages Get De civitate Dei Vicipaedia De civitate Dei est opus uod constat ex viginti duobus libris in uibus Sanctus Augustinus civitatem Dei antecellere civitati terrenae demonstrare conatus est Sic historia Salutis exprimitur Civitas terrena apparet temporalis; civitas autem Dei in Ecclesia Christiana elucet Libri viginti duo sunt maximum uod exstat opus philosophicum antiuitatis Civitate Dei Home | Facebook See of Civitate Dei on Facebook Log In Forgot account? or Create New Account Not Now Community See All people like this people follow this About See All civitatedblogspotcom Personal Blog Page Transparency See More Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page See actions taken by the people who manage and post content La Cit de Dieu BN catgn De civitate Dei contra paganos GDEL art Augustin saint La cit de Dieu Encycl univ id Larousse s id Van Thiehem id Laffont Bompiani Oeuvres id Dizionario patristico e di antichit cristiana Citt di Dio LCNA De civitate Dei Nouvelle bibliothue augustinienne forme franaise retenue Autres identifiants Les traductions de La Cit de Dieu en Europe Section C’est prcisment le De Civitate Dei son oeuvre le plus synthtiue ui a jou un rle de pivot tant philosophiue ue lexical dans la redcouverte de la culture antiue Le De Civitate Dei a t lu comment et traduit de tout temps et son influence et rception lui ont valu de nombreuses tudes scientifiues Dans ma communication je me propose de donner une perspectiv. I had no idea what I was getting into when I began this book It sometimes felt like it would never end but it was a great experience First I discovered how early on very basic Christian doctrines were lost I loved what he says about the trinity I was fascinated by how he defined demons man made gods I would define a demon as a devil s angel Also interesting to me was Augustine s take on the God of Israel s name being the conjugated Hebrew verb to be rendered I am that I am To me this seems a very obvious way of showing that He is the only God who actually in fact exists the only God who is not the workmanship of man s hands as it were There is an awful lot of time wasted on incredibly menial an irrelevant uestions like whether God can count infinite numbers whether He knows they exist Really Why Then there were bits I found very entertaining like Augustine s insistence that woman is weaker than man and it was she who succumbed to temptation because Adam was too strong and Solomon was too strong he had to be led into temptation by his wives or that Aaron wouldn t have made the golden calf without Miriam s making the decision first Most convenient and amusing I thought However there were also really beautiful and profound parts Pride is the beginning of sin And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation And this is undue exaltation when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end and becomes a kind of end to itself Also Though good and bad men suffer alike we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves because there is no difference in what they both suffer For even in the likeness of the sufferings there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers and though exposed to the same anguish virtue and vice are not the same thing For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly and chaff to smoke and under the same flail the straw is beaten small while the grain is cleansed and as the lees are not mixed with the oil though sueezed out of the vat by the same pressure so the same violence of affliction proves purges clarifies the good but damns ruins exterminates the wicked Very similar metaphor in Isaiah 28 the parable of the Lord the Farmer He continues to say that So material a difference does it make not what ills are suffered but what kind of man suffers them Beautiful Also No sin is committed save by that desire or will by which we desire that it be well with us and shrink from it being ill with us That therefore is a lie which we do in order that it may be well with us but which makes us miserable than we were And why is this but because the source of man s happiness lies only in God whom he abandons when he sins I really liked these nuggets Augustine seems to spend a lot of time trying to prove points that I feel are completely irrelevant eg is it possible for a human body to burn eternally in fire and not be consumed He goes on to explain that because there is a specimen of worm that not only lives in a hot spring but nowhere else a body could last eternity in fire and not be consumed Who cares about this stuff And why does it matter And why is it for us to figure out The mechanics of how God does things those are the things I feel are much better left to faith A Better Man ressources dans databnffr St Augustine De civitate Dei The British Library Augustinus De civitate dei De civitate dei XIX als Buch der Augustinischen Friedenslehre Geerlings Wilhelm Pages Get Access to Full Text Christsein und Gesetz Augustinus als Theoretiker des Naturrechts Buch XIX Krieger Gerhard Wingendorf Ralf Pages Get Access to Full Text Positivismus plus Moralismus zu Augustinus' eschatologischer Staatstheorie Hffe Otfried Pages Get De civitate Dei Vicipaedia De civitate Dei est opus uod constat ex viginti duobus libris in uibus Sanctus Augustinus civitatem Dei antecellere civitati terrenae demonstrare conatus est Sic historia Salutis exprimitur Civitas terrena apparet temporalis; civitas autem Dei in Ecclesia Christiana elucet Libri viginti duo sunt maximum uod exstat opus philosophicum antiuitatis Civitate Dei Home | Facebook See of Civitate Dei on Facebook Log In Forgot account? or Create New Account Not Now Community See All people like this people follow this About See All civitatedblogspotcom Personal Blog Page Transparency See More Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page See actions taken by the people who manage and post content La Cit de Dieu BN catgn De civitate Dei contra paganos GDEL art Augustin saint La cit de Dieu Encycl univ id Larousse s id Van Thiehem id Laffont Bompiani Oeuvres id Dizionario patristico e di antichit cristiana Citt di Dio LCNA De civitate Dei Nouvelle bibliothue augustinienne forme franaise Smoke and Mirrors Short Fiction and Illusions retenue Autres identifiants Les traductions de La Cit de Dieu en Europe Section C’est prcisment le De Civitate Dei son oeuvre le plus synthtiue ui a jou un Court of Twilight Forbidden Magic Book 3 rle de pivot tant philosophiue ue lexical dans la Double Persephone redcouverte de la culture antiue Le De Civitate Dei a t lu comment et traduit de tout temps et son influence et The Paralegal Professional rception lui ont valu de nombreuses tudes scientifiues Dans ma communication je me propose de donner une perspectiv. I had no idea what I was getting into when I began this book It sometimes felt like it would never end but it was a great experience First I discovered how early on very basic Christian doctrines were lost I loved what he says about the trinity I was fascinated by how he defined demons man made gods I would define a demon as a devil s angel Also interesting to me was Augustine s take on the God of Israel s name being the conjugated Hebrew verb to be The Black Velvet Gown rendered I am that I am To me this seems a very obvious way of showing that He is the only God who actually in fact exists the only God who is not the workmanship of man s hands as it were There is an awful lot of time wasted on incredibly menial an irrelevant uestions like whether God can count infinite numbers whether He knows they exist Really Why Then there were bits I found very entertaining like Augustine s insistence that woman is weaker than man and it was she who succumbed to temptation because Adam was too strong and Solomon was too strong he had to be led into temptation by his wives or that Aaron wouldn t have made the golden calf without Miriam s making the decision first Most convenient and amusing I thought However there were also Kitsune Matsuri The Open Gateway really beautiful and profound parts Pride is the beginning of sin And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation And this is undue exaltation when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end and becomes a kind of end to itself Also Though good and bad men suffer alike we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves because there is no difference in what they both suffer For even in the likeness of the sufferings there دیوان بلخ remains an unlikeness in the sufferers and though exposed to the same anguish virtue and vice are not the same thing For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly and chaff to smoke and under the same flail the straw is beaten small while the grain is cleansed and as the lees are not mixed with the oil though sueezed out of the vat by the same pressure so the same violence of affliction proves purges clarifies the good but damns 100 Reasons to Panic About Getting Married ruins exterminates the wicked Very similar metaphor in Isaiah 28 the parable of the Lord the Farmer He continues to say that So material a difference does it make not what ills are suffered but what kind of man suffers them Beautiful Also No sin is committed save by that desire or will by which we desire that it be well with us and shrink from it being ill with us That therefore is a lie which we do in order that it may be well with us but which makes us miserable than we were And why is this but because the source of man s happiness lies only in God whom he abandons when he sins I Selena Gomez Natural Star really liked these nuggets Augustine seems to spend a lot of time trying to prove points that I feel are completely irrelevant eg is it possible for a human body to burn eternally in fire and not be consumed He goes on to explain that because there is a specimen of worm that not only lives in a hot spring but nowhere else a body could last eternity in fire and not be consumed Who cares about this stuff And why does it matter And why is it for us to figure out The mechanics of how God does things those are the things I feel are much better left to faith

review De civitate Dei

De civitate Dei

De civitate Dei review ä 3 Augustine of Hippo ✓ 3 characters Unity See All people like this people follow this About See All civitatedblogspotcom Personal Blog Page Transparency See More Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page See actions taken by the people who manage and post content Les traductions de La Cit de Dieu en Europe Section C’est prcisment le De Civitate Dei son oeuvre le plus synthtiue ui a jou un rle de pivot tant philosophiue ue lexical dans la redcouverte de la culture antiue Le De Civitate Dei a t lu comment et traduit de tout temps et son influence et rception lui ont valu de nombreuses tudes scientifiues Dans ma communication je me propose de donner une perspective Augustin saint De civitate Dei Biblissima Versions de l'œuvre Augustin saint De civitate Dei franais Augustin saint De civitate Dei franais De civitate Dei mazarinumbibliotheue mazarinefr De civitate Dei Augustin saint De civitate Dei Aurelii Augustini de civitate dei primi libri incipiunt Rubricae – Venise Johannes et Wendelinus de Spira – In folio Priode e sicle Date Auteur Augustin saint ; EditeurImprimeur libraire Johannes et Wendelinus de Spira Lieu d'ditionproduction Venise Autre titre La cit de Dieu Format Format in La cit de Dieu Bibliothue numriue mondiale Ce codex de De civitate dei La cit de Dieu de saint Augustin fait partie de la collection Plutei de la Bibliothue Laurentienne des Mdicis Florence Il est reli de cuir marocain rouge et arbore les armoiries des Mdicis au centre et dans chaue angle de la couverture Il contient une page illustre recto du feuillet et plusieurs lettrines enlumines par exemple au recto La cit de Dieu Bibliothue nationale de France De civitate Dei contra paganos libri viginti duo latin De la cit de Dieu franais City of God anglais The City of God against the pagans anglais Om Guds Stad danois La ciudad de Dios espagnol; castillan Citt di Dio italien Dtails du contenu ressources dans databnffr Contient Le chant de la Sibylle. This is one of my favorite works Yeah I know you re skeptical but here me out I ve begun my uest to read the basic works of western man beginning with Gilgamesh and in seuence reading through to the present It s a lifelong ambition I ve read most of the ancient works of some repute including Roman histories from Greek and Roman historians When I arrived at 411 AD I picked up The City of God Shortly after the first sack of Rome Augustine wrote it not as an apology for the claim that Christianity was responsible for the decay of Rome but as a defense against that allegation He then summarizes the histories as recorded to show internal corruption incompetence immorality and the uest for wealth caused the decay not Christianity I read the same material he did That s way cool I knew exactly what he was saying and with what facts he prosecuted his claim Then he projected that even if the City of Rome were to fall Christians can look forward ultimately to their City of God A great book Living With ME Chronic Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome rle de pivot tant philosophiue ue lexical dans la A Step of Faith redcouverte de la culture antiue Le De Civitate Dei a t lu comment et traduit de tout temps et son influence et Entre ses mains rception lui ont valu de nombreuses tudes scientifiues Dans ma communication je me propose de donner une perspective Augustin saint De civitate Dei Biblissima Versions de l'œuvre Augustin saint De civitate Dei franais Augustin saint De civitate Dei franais De civitate Dei mazarinumbibliotheue mazarinefr De civitate Dei Augustin saint De civitate Dei Aurelii Augustini de civitate dei primi libri incipiunt Rubricae – Venise Johannes et Wendelinus de Spira – In folio Priode e sicle Date Auteur Augustin saint ; EditeurImprimeur libraire Johannes et Wendelinus de Spira Lieu d'ditionproduction Venise Autre titre La cit de Dieu Format Format in La cit de Dieu Bibliothue numriue mondiale Ce codex de De civitate dei La cit de Dieu de saint Augustin fait partie de la collection Plutei de la Bibliothue Laurentienne des Mdicis Florence Il est Joining the Preppers Creamy Herd Post SHTF Hucow Dairy Book 1 reli de cuir marocain Eden's Children rouge et arbore les armoiries des Mdicis au centre et dans chaue angle de la couverture Il contient une page illustre Graphic Design Rules recto du feuillet et plusieurs lettrines enlumines par exemple au Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts re skeptical but here me out I ve begun my uest to Running to the Edge read the basic works of western man beginning with Gilgamesh and in seuence Report an issue reading through to the present It s a lifelong ambition I ve I Wrote This for You and Only You read most of the ancient works of some Adult Head responsible for the decay of Rome but as a defense against that allegation He then summarizes the histories as No Escape Male Domination Female Submission recorded to show internal corruption incompetence immorality and the uest for wealth caused the decay not Christianity I Devil Versus Alpha The Millennium Wolves #1 read the same material he did That s way cool I knew exactly what he was saying and with what facts he prosecuted his claim Then he projected that even if the City of Rome were to fall Christians can look forward ultimately to their City of God A great book

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De civitate Dei review ä 3 Augustine of Hippo ✓ 3 characters De Civitate Dei Volume | Paris Muses All worksSee all; Museums Muse Carnavalet Histoire de Paris Palais Galliera muse de la Mode de la Ville de Paris Petit Palais muse des Beaux arts de la Ville de Paris Maison de Victor Hugo Hauteville House Muse d’Art moderne de Paris Muse de la Libration de Paris muse du Gnral Leclerc muse Jean Moulin De civitate Dei Wikisource Receptum de ; De Civitate Dei Photos et images de collection Getty Images Trouvez la perfection en matire de photos et images d'actualit de De Civitate Dei sur Getty Images Tlchargez des images premium ue vous ne trouverez nulle part ailleurs Oeuvres de saint Augustin Volume La cit de Dieu Informations sur Oeuvres de saint Augustin Volume La cit de Dieu livres I V De civitate Dei de Augustin saint et sur le rayon M Age Patristiue La Procure St Augustine De civitate Dei The British Library De Civitate Dei Libri XXII Saint Augustine of Hippo LibriVox recording of De Civitate Dei Libri XXII by Saint Augustine of Hippo Read in Latin by bedwere The City of God Against the Pagans Latin De ciuitate Dei contra paganos often called The City of God is a book of Christian philosophy written in Latin by Augustine of Hippo in the early th century AD The book was in response to allegations that Christianity brought about the decline De civitate Dei St Augustine Free Download De civitate Dei by St Augustine Publication date Usage Public Domain Publisher Venetiis N Jensen Collection toronto Contributor University of Toronto Kelly Library Language Latin A native of France Nicolas Jenson was one of the most important printers operating in Venice in the fifteenth century Between c and Jenson produced around books including the printing Augustinus De Civitate Dei Jochen Sauer Hrsg Augustinus De civitate Dei Fachwissenschaftliche und fachdidaktische Zugnge Jochen Sauer Hrsg Civitate Dei Home | Facebook See of Civitate Dei on Facebook Log In Forgot account? or Create New Account Not Now Comm. Once on the beach at Utica I saw with my own eyes and there were others to bear me witness a human molar tooth so big that it could have been cut up I think into a hundred pieces each as big as one of our modern teeth I m trying to think of books that might be eual to this one in importance to Western history Plato s Republic the works of Aristotle Euclid s Elements Homer s epics There aren t many This book arguably set the tone for the entire Middle Ages that followed It is a vast sweeping powerful and cockamamie book it is a true classic Augustine wrote The City of God over a period of 13 years He began the work when he was 59 and finished it when he was 72 The work was occasioned by the capture of Rome in 410 by the barbarian leader Alaric king of the Visigoths It was a brutal defeat for the Romans with much destruction rape pillage and death More than that it was a symbolic defeat the first time Rome had been taken by a foreign enemy in hundreds of years Unsurprisingly the remaining pagans blamed the newly ascendant Christians for this calamity If the old gods were worshiped the critics argued this never would have happened Rome was never taken when Jupiter was praised and when Nike goddess of victory was gracing the Curia of the Roman Senate The statue of Nike the Altar of Victory had been removed from the Curia by Constantius II briefly reinstalled by Julian the Apostate and then removed again In short the Roman Empire was collapsing and it was all the Christians fault These accusations were what prompted Augustine to begin this work but as the book grew so did Augustine s ambitions By the middle the beginning has been forgotten and by the end the middle is a distant memory Because Augustine freuently interrupts his main points to indulge in lengthy digressions the reader is often mired in pages and pages of side issues and curiosities Yet there does remain one vital central idea It is therefore uite tough to give a fair impression of this book s contents To paraphrase Bertrand Russell if I focus only on Augustine s main thesis then it will make this chaotic jumble seem too unified and focused yet if I lose myself in the details then I ll omit its most lasting contribution I even have it easier than most readers since I read an abridgment meant to cut out much of the extraneous material Even so there is a new topic on almost every page So I think I ll follow Russell s approach in his History of Western Philosophy and give you a taste of some digressions before tackling Augustine s major themes Early on in the book Augustine considers whether virgins who were raped in the sack of Rome have lost their virginity He argues that as long as they did not consent and did not enjoy it they are still virgins Augustine even argues that being raped might have been a good thing for some of them since it taught them not to be haughty about their virginity It s frightening that at the time this opinion was considered uite progressive He considers whether the extremely long lifespans reported of some Biblical figures such as Adam s purportedly 900 year long life should be interpreted literally or whether as some argued 10 years back then was euivalent to 1 of our years thus arriving at a realistic figure for Adam s age 90 Augustine thinks Adam did live 900 years In resolving this uestion Augustine notes that there are several discrepancies in the ages reported of certain people in different versions of the Bible specifically the original Hebrew Bible said one thing and the Septuagint said another For those who don t know the Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Bible done by 70 Jewish scribes in the 3rd or 2nd century BCE at the behest of the Egyptian king Ptolemy II The legend says that all 70 scribes completed their translations separately only comparing them at the end and they turned out to be all miraculously identical Augustine concludes that though the Septuagint was indeed divinely inspired where it differed from the original Hebrew the original should be trustedIn a lengthy section Augustine attempts to correlate secular history with biblical history doing his best to place the events of the Old Testament in the context of Greek and Roman history He even speculates on the possibility that Plato might have read parts of the Old Testament since parts of Plato s Timeaus are so similar to the Book of Genesis Augustine is against judicial torture thinking it vile and illogical to torture witnesses and the accused He anticipates Descartes s cogito ergo sum In the face of these truths the uibbles of the skeptics lose their force If they say What if you are mistaken well if I am mistaken I am For if one does not exist he can be no means be mistaken Therefore I am if I am mistaken By the by Augustine also anticipated Kant s subjective theory of time which Augustine put forth in the eleventh book of his Confessions Augustine attempts to prove that living physical bodies can indeed be tortured endlessly in the fires of hell since as everyone knows salamanders live in fire and peacock meat never putrefies So what s so miraculous about human bodies endlessly burning in the flames I actually can t resist including a bit about the peacock meat Apparently having heard from someone else that peacock meat never spoils Augustine set aside a piece of roasted peacock meat when he was served it at a friend s house He observed this piece of meat for a whole year noting that even after all that time it never began to stink it only got dry and shriveled Now presumably the piece of meat had been thoroughly cooked and salted so make of that what you will While I m at it I also want to include a story Augustine tells about a friend of his who had hemorrhoids and had to have surgery As the man was fearful of going under the knife Augustine and several other friends had a loud and fervent prayer session before the surgery If I had to get surgery back then I d be praying too And the surgery was a success Now for some meaty issues Augustine formulates here the idea of original sin arguing that Adam s fall changed the nature of humankind filling us with sinful desires and causing death to enter the world Augustine thinks for example that before the fall Adam and Eve could choose to have sex without any feeling of sexual desire all of the physiological prereuisites for intercourse to use a polite expression were under just as much control as our arms and legs In short Adam could just choose to have an erection without feeling horny But now in order to reproduce we are at the mercy of our desires which we cannot directly control and which threaten to overwhelm our rational minds Thus is the sorry state of fallen man As a conseuence of this belief Augustine also argues that unbaptized infants go to hell not being cleansed of original sin they simply must By the way there are several memorable passages in Augustine s extraordinary autobiography his Confessions where he chastises his infant self for being so greedy of food and drink and so selfish of love and attention Several other ideas are connected to Augustine s conception of original sin Since humankind is fallen it is impossible for us without God s aid to do good deeds and to achieve salvation salvation is granted from God it is a gift of divine grace not something we earn Augustine also believed in predestination God being omniscient foreknew which people would end up saved and which would end up damned So in addition to anticipating Descartes and Kant Augustine also anticipates Calvin From what I hear a lot of the Protestant Reformation involved a return to Augustine s teachings but I m not so knowledgeable about this I should point out that these ideas weren t commonly accepted at the time Just the reverse many people argued vociferously against these doctrines Notably Pelagius an ascetic from England argued that humans were not born already damned or in other words there was no original sin in the Augustan sense that humans had absolute free will and thus were not predestined to be saved or damned and that the grace of God was not necessary to do good works Augustine combated Pelagius s ideas with his typical intolerant zeal considering them heresies and succeeded after a long fight in making his own opinions orthodox for a long time to come As befitting a great Christian thinker Augustine also tackles some of the perennial problems of Christian philosophy One of these is free will Now without free will the entire worldview of Christianity collapses since then there is no fair basis of separating people into the saved and the damned Yet God is omnipotent and omniscient this means that when He created the world He knew exactly what was going to happen So how can we reconcile these attributes of God with free will Augustine does so by noting that although God knows what you will do and whether you will be saved His knowing doesn t cause you to make the choices you make Augustine also addresses the so called problem of evil This is another classic paradox of Christianity which results from trying to harmonize the undeniable existence of evil in the world with God s omnipotence and His infinite goodness If God was truly all powerful and purely good why is there evil in the world Augustine makes several classic repliesFirst he notes that by allowing some evil in parts of creation the whole might be by conseuence even better as the resulting goodness outweighs the evil In short goodness is cheap unless it is tested with temptation so the presence of some evil is necessary for the existence of good Augustine also notes that God never causes evil directly since it is only His creatures that choose evil For Augustine as for many others evil doesn t really exist evil is a lack of existence the same way darkness is a lack of light and cold a lack of heat Thus God never created anything evil all existence as existence is good His creatures through their own perversity have sometimes chosen evil So even Satan himself insofar as he exists is good though his nature has been corrupted by his wicked ways this corruption presumably being some sort of deficiency in his existence Augustine even plays with Aristotelian terminology saying that evil never has an efficient cause the direct or proximate cause of something but only a deficient cause I know that my opinion is not worth nearly as much as Augustine s in this matter but I do want to include my thoughts I don t find Augustine s answer to the problem of evil satisfactory And this is because even if God is not indeed the proximate cause of evil He would still be the ultimate cause since He created the universe with full knowledge that evil would result from His action It s like this If I am a leader of a country and choose to go to war with another country I am not the direct cause of people dying that was presumably the guns and other weapons And arguably the soldiers on both sides do have some share in the responsibility since each of them chose to participate to fight to kill to risk their lives and so on Yet ultimately it was my decision to send all these people into battle and I think I would share a large portion of the responsibility and if the action were unjust the guilt If the war was indeed justified and necessary and the result was good for the world that would make the action excusable but it would not negate all of the pain and suffering inflicted on the soldiers nor would it make me any less responsible for their fate Besides I find this whole business of balancing good and evil as if weighing a scale uite absurd If an innocent person suffers if a single child is abused or crippled by sickness how can any amount of goodness elsewhere make that okay Here s an example Imagine there are ten people on an island with very limited food There is only enough food for each person to stay alive but not enough to make them energetic and happy So when all ten people are living there eating the food available the total satisfaction level is around 40% Now if nine of them ganged up on the last one and killed and ate him it s possible that even though there would be a lot of pain inflicted on that one man the joy experienced by the remaining nine of having real meat and the extra resources freed up on the island by having one less person might in the long run make the general satisfaction level higher perhaps 60% Does that justify killing the man I think not My point is that the happiness of the many cannot be balanced against the misery of the few like an accountant balancing an earnings report Now I know this review is already extremely long but I haven t even gotten to Augustine s main thesis the City of God Augustine divides up humankind into two metaphorical cities the City of Man and the City of God Members of the City of Man are swollen with pride they think that they can achieve happiness in this life through satisfying their bodily desires or by practicing human virtue by creating peaceful cities and just laws by trade wealth power fame and wisdom Yet noble as some of them may be this goal is pure vanity In this life we are too beset with troubles and uncertainties to have real happiness States try to create justice but their laws are frail human creations constantly failing to attain their goal of absolute justice since so many sinners go unpunished and so many innocents are unduly condemned with the result that the laws are always being changed updated reformed and differ from country to country from place to place all without getting any closer to their goal The Stoics attempt to achieve happiness through virtue alone without any hope of heaven and yet how often do painful disease the loss of a loved one the failure of a scheme the unuenchable passions in our breast overwhelm our reason and cast us into abject misery Members of the City of God are not exempt from any of these miseries However they know that they are mere pilgrims on this earth They place their hopes not in this life but in the life to come Thus they are not misled by the vanities of earthly happiness but act in harmony with God s will to achieve salvation This doctrine though simple enough proved to be immensely influential Augustine not only separates church and state but subordinates the state to the church Temporal authority is just the product of consensus while the authority of the church comes from God The resultant history of the Middle Ages with the rising political power of the Catholic Church owes much to Augustine for its intellectual justification and formulation Again the importance and influence of this book could hardly be overestimated After spending so much energy reading summarizing and responding to this book I am almost at a loss for how to make a final evaluation Augustine is obviously a genius of the highest order and even now it is difficult for me to avoid be sucked into the endless labyrinths of his mind This is especially impressive to me when I consider that I am not a Catholic not even a Christian and disagree with almost everything he says More than that although I have immense admiration for his originality and his brilliance I often find his perspective unhealthy intolerant dogmatic and generally unappealing Perhaps what I like least about Augustine is his incredible I would even say his morbid sense of sin In his Confessions there is a famous section where he berates his child self for stealing a peach from a peach tree From his rhetoric you would think that he committed a genocide even after all these years he seems wracked with guilt and filled with shame To me as I suspect to many others nowadays this is absurd even a bit childish I admit a part of me wants to admire him for feeling so bad for his misdeeds but when I really think it over I do not even find this admirable The sense of sin is in my opinion an unrealistic and unhealthy way of thinking I think the whole idea of sin is wrong headed Sins are not mere bad deeds or mistakes but in Augustine s view the byproduct of our fallen and sinful nature with the power to actively corrupt and taint our immortal souls In other words sin is a reflection of our true self or at least a part of it and acting out these evil impulses makes us unworthy human beings fit for eternal torture This makes no sense to me Sometimes people commit bad actions but to me it is sensible to focus on why the action was bad rather than how the person is evil for committing this action For example if I get angry and say something hurtful to my friend I can respond to it by isolating what I said figuring out why I said it determining why my friend thought it was hurtful which reuires empathy and then apologizing to my friend and trying to learn from this experience Or I might as Augustine would start thinking about how I have done an evil thing pray incessantly beg God for forgiveness and for years afterward torment myself with the thought of this wrong action The first is adult and responsible the second is self obsessed and self absorbed To me this endless chastisement for bad actions is immature on many levelsFirst the sin is attributed to your sinful nature rather than to a habit of yours or to a mistaken assumption which I think is plain hogwash and which also doesn t help you focus on what really caused the problem nobody is inherently evil or good we have bad or good habits and can change them if we want Second since the sense of sin makes people obsess about whether they will be damned or saved it makes people think about their actions through an intensely selfish lens their own fate rather than promoting good behavior through empathizing with those around you So in summary I find the idea of sin to be counterproductive to living a happy and ethical life This is what I find most intensely unattractive about Augustine s personality Yet if I am to practice what I preach I must not condemn Augustine the man for this behavior but only a bad habit of thinking he developed And if I am to weigh everything lovable and unlovable in the scales of my affection I must admit that I find Augustine to be one of the most compelling personalities and extraordinary thinkers in all of history This is not a book for just Catholics or even just for Christians This is a book for everyone for all of time So to repeat the words that lead to Augustine s conversion to the faith Pick up and read pick up and read pick up and read