Augustine De Libero Arbitrio Analysis

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In the first book of St. Augustine’s De Libero Arbitrio, Augustine and his student, Evodius, explore the problem of evil. More specifically, they explore the the question, “Is not God responsible for evil?” In trying to answer this question many more questions focused on evil arise. St. Augustine and his peers explore the original cause of evil and come to the conclusion that God is not to blame for evil, but man is to blame because he abuses the free will that God has given him. In this essay, I will explore the background of De libero arbitrio and what influenced St. Augustine to write the first book; I will also discuss to what conclusions St. Augustine and his colleagues arrived when they explored the origin of evil. De libero arbitrio is a composition consisting of three different books. The first book was written in the winter of 387-388. Augustine wrote the first book based on discussions he had with his peers while he was in Rome. At this time he had recently converted from Manichaeism to Catholicism and was struggling with the concept of evil from the Catholic Church’s perspective. This struggle was the main thing motivating St. Augustine to write. …show more content…
The word ‘freedom’ has many senses. One sort of freedom involves the absence of restraints. As long as the door is open, I am able or free to leave the room. This can be referred to as being physically free. Physical freedom means that there is nothing that hinders me from acting as I choose. However, if I live in a deterministic universe, every choice I make is determined by prior states of the universe, over which I have no control. I may still be physically free— no one has locked me up or tied me down— but I still lack freedom in another sense. I am free to act as I choose, but my choices are not free. The freedom to choose in a way that is not determined by anything outside my control is metaphysical

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