Analysis Of Theology: The Problem Of Evil
Theology : The Problem Of Evil
Plotinus, Enneads, First Ennead, 8th Tractate
Our presentation was on Plotinus, Enneads, First Ennead, 8th Tractate. The Enneads which is fully The Six Enneads, is the collection of writings of Plotinus, edited and compiled by his student Porphyry. We focused on the First Ennead and the 8th Tractate, which is "On the Nature and Source of Evil".
The part that I, Lindsay Chafizadeh, focused mainly on throughout the presentation was the background information and history of Plotinus and The Enneads. First, I researched Plotinus, who was a major Greek-speaking philosopher of the ancient world and a strong influence on Ibn Sina. He followed three principles in …show more content…
In the first Ennead, 8th Tractate, Plotinus creates twelve sections to discuss the nature and source of evil. Beginning with tractate 8 section 1, Plotinus discusses how humans know evil in the same way as we know the good in the world. In tractate 8 section 2, Plotinus defines goodness as the self-sufficient source and measure of all things. The good is beyond beautiful, beyond the highest and beyond the most intellect. Plotinus goes on to explain that the “... Good is that on which all else depends, towards which all Existences aspire as to their source and their need, while Itself is without need, sufficient to Itself, aspiring to no other” (Plotinus). Intellect circles good, and soul circles intellect, and through it sees good. If this were all, then evil would not exist. Next, I looked at tractate 8 section 3 where Plotinus discusses how Evil has to be a source of non-being and must be removed from being. Plotinus goes on to say that,“The Non Being we are thinking of is, rather, an image of Being or perhaps something so further removed than even an image” (Plotinus). In tractate 8, section 4 Plotinus stated how the Body is evil because it resists orderly movement while the Soul is what is good. Plotinus states, “In their ceaseless flux, they are always slipping away from Being” (Plotinus). Plotinus explains in this section that the evil soul turns to the pleasures of the body while the pure soul turns to intellect. In tractate 8 section 5 Plotinus furthers his discussion about the nature of evil by stating that, “Evil is not just any lack, but only absolute lack” (Plotinus). The point Plotinus makes here is that things that aren't defined necessarily as good, aren't always evil. Humans are not the source of evil. Evil is seen in things created for the soul from the body such as sickness, ugliness, and poverty. In