The Confessions of St. Augustine
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The Confessions of St. Augustine
The main ideas in the Confessions Books 2 and 3, which characterize the moral philosophies upheld by St Augustine are his rebuke and refute of the Manichean religion, which he had been a follower for some years. This is because of the contrary belief to Christianity held by the Manichean religion that God is not omnipotent. He also engages in discourses on issues of sexual morality such as fornication during his day. This is an indication that he adequately values his sexual morals and seeks to uphold them in relation to the will of God and the church. In confessions Book Two, he gives a confession of the pleasure derived from the acts of stealing. Additionally he also engages in a discussion about his quest for higher knowledge in the course of his work, and he seems to make an inference that knowledge even at the highest or noblest level is empty without the presence of humility granted by God through his grace.
St Augustine has a specific prayer that he longs for the grace of God to provide him with the grace to live up against his unclean soul, because God is essentially the true support against all the evils of the world. He provides that the laws of God are sufficient to provide man with the needed soul nourishment and ensure his ability to overcome the societal evils and temptations.
Supporting argument one
St. Augustine in his discourses manages to make a deep self-evaluation in terms of his adherence to the laws of God and his level of innocence and righteousness.
It is evident that he desire to love and be loved which is a gift of God. In Book Two, he provides “who can unravel such a twisted and tangled knottiness? It is unclean”. This statement is clear in providing that man is inherently unclean and seeks constant redemption from God, which he grants through his enduring love and grace.
Supporting argument two
St. Augustine provides that he longed fro the righteousness and innocence bestowed by God given that he was unclean and was characterized by a great level of wretchedness. His belief fro forgiveness and cleansing is based on the foundation of the love of God and man.
He is of the opinion that love is divine and mirrors the grace and mercies given to man in terms of existence. He points out that such privileges should be exercised within the context of divine relationships between man and woman. This is essential, as it would prevent the numerous incidences of fornication, which are essentially exercised outside the marital settings or context.
Supporting argument three
He had strong relationships with friends, which served as principal motivation towards committing acts of sins such as theft.
His acts of theft were driven by the joy he derived from the presence of his friends as well s the acts of stealing and not in the good, which they stole. He provides such an example to give an illustration of the ability of friendships to corrupt the morals and ethics of others.
St Augustine provides thorough his discourses that man is, evidently, inherently unclean. This is because of the belief in Christ that man is sinful and thus is in need of constant redemption from God to rid himself of his great share of sin. The order of the arguments is provided from the initial relationships of man and god to the relationships of man with friends, partners and peers. The logical order is expressly provided from the beginning of an inward evaluation of self by St Augustine to determine the cause of deviation from the natural laws of God. He makes an inference that man is unable to attain purity and righteousness independently as if against God.
Education is an essential factor in determining the ability of an individual to relate with God. This is because education with the inclusion of god in such plans is paramount in setting a good foundation for success. However, the exclusion of such plans has the potency to lead to mockery of God as an individual seeks to stand p against God resulting in God acting in a manner aimed at humbling man and illustrating who is the authority. He essentially seeks to indicate to the human race that he is the beginning and the end of all things in the earth. He defined that his departure from the presence and grace of God resulted in a feeling of wasted opportunity given that he was unclean, and his life was in shambles. This is an indication of a revelation for man of the incompleteness of a man in need of God’s grace for completion and purpose of life.
Conversely, he points out that men in the world seeking to progress towards the path of goodness and righteousness are also susceptible to temptation and failure on their journey towards goodness. He points out that there exists a difference between the right in the sight of God and the sight of man. What might seemingly be right in sight of man might be inappropriate and a sin in the sight of God. Conversely, what might be wrong or inappropriate in the sight of man might be appropriate in the sight of God. Such is provided through an example of a correction act against an individual or a child. This might be viewed from the human eye as driven by the need to inflict paint, whereas it is driven by the need to correct and provide direction terms of repetition of a similar act, which attracted the punishment.
The predominant point derived from the two books is the inherent nature of man to incline towards sin. This necessitates him to engage constantly in a fight for redemption from his sinful nature given that he stumbles and falls due to the temptations. In addition, he also provides that God is omnipotent and understands that man is inherently sinful and is in need of his constant grace and everlasting love. Love is a strong factor in that through love God provides his grace and mercies to man leading to an eventual forgiveness and a renewed relationship.
Furthermore, another aspect also provide din the writings is the presence of friendships and relations, which are based on love. Love is a God given privilege, which he also exercises in his illustration of grace and mercies towards the human race and all his creations on earth. Friendships, as St. Augustine provides in his discussions, have the ability to bring forth great fruits if such friendships are based on truth and other natural factors granted by God to society in order to ensure that society abides according to the will of God.
Conclusively, love is strong and should be used to enhance emotional bonds in marital settings. This is because true love is provided by God and is enduring. It has the ability to reduce or eliminate altogether the possible incidences of fornication and other sexually immoral activities, which are associable with relations outside of marriage. St. Augustine stated that God has mercy on all irrespective of their transgressions, and he thus sought mercies from god because of his enduring love and grace for man irrespective of their sins and transgressions against his will.