Conclusion A Kafkaesque Element At this point in the study, I invited a Catholic priest who had been a prison chaplain to evaluate how realistic our prison situation was, and the result was truly Kafkaesque. The chaplain interviewed each prisoner individually, and I watched in amazement as half the prisoners introduced themselves by number rather than name. After some small talk, he popped the key question:
The historical context is essential to understanding his purposes. Augustine, more than any other figure of late antiquity, stands at the intellectual intersection of Christianity, philosophy, and politics. As a Christian cleric, he takes it as his task to defend his flock against the unremitting assault by heresies spawned in an era uninformed by the immediate, divine revelations which had characterized the apostolic age.
As a philosopher, he situates his arguments against the backdrop of Greek philosophy in the Platonic tradition, particularly as formulated by the Neo-Platonists of Alexandria.
As a prominent Roman citizen, he understands the Roman Empire to be the divinely-ordained medium through which the truths of Christianity are to be both spread and safeguarded. Augustine died reciting the Penitential Psalms as the Vandals besieged the city of Hippo on the coast of northern Africa now the city of Annaba, in Algeria.
This occurred two decades after the sacking of Rome by Alaric. Quite the contrary, his political arguments are scattered throughout his voluminous writings, which include autobiography, sermons, expositions, commentaries, letters, and Christian apologetics. Moreover, the contexts in which the political and social issues are addressed are equally varied.
Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to suggest that his arguments are not informed by a cogent theory. Taken together, his political and social musings constitute a remarkable tapestry. The Augustinian World View Because Augustine considers the Christian scriptures to constitute the touchstone against which philosophy—including political philosophy—must be assayed, his world view necessarily includes the Christian tenets of the Creation, the Fall of man, and the Redemption.
In stark contrast to the pagan philosophers who preceded him—who viewed the unfolding of history as a cyclical phenomenon, Augustine conceives history in strictly linear terms, with a beginning and an end.
According to Augustine, the earth was brought into existence ex nihilo by a perfectly good and just God, who created man. The earth is not eternal; the earth, as well as time, has both a beginning and an end. Man, on the other hand, was brought into existence to endure eternally.
Damnation is the just desert of all men because of the Fall of Adam, who, having been created with free will, chose to disrupt the perfectly good order established by God.
The onward march of human history, then, constitutes the unfolding of the divine plan which will culminate in one or the other outcome for every member of the human family. Within this framework of political and legal systems, the state is a divinely ordained punishment for fallen man, with its armies, its power to command, coerce, punish, and even put to death, as well as its institutions such as slavery and private property.
The state simultaneously serves the divine purposes of chastening the wicked and refining the righteous.
Also simultaneously, the state constitutes a sort of remedy for the effects of the Fall, in that it serves to maintain such modicum of peace and order as it is possible for fallen man to enjoy in the present world.
In any case, predestination fixes the ultimate destination of every human being—as well as the political states to which they belong. Hence, predestination for Augustine is the proverbial elephant in the room. Whether predestination was divinely contemplated prior or incidental to the Fall a point which Augustine never clearly articulatesthe following problem arises: If one is to be saved or damned by divine fiat, what difference does it make whether the world possesses the social order of a state?
For those predestined for salvation, what is the point of their being refined by the vicissitudes of life in a political state?
In order to prevent the collapse of such a systematic account of the human condition as Augustine provides, the question simply must be set aside as a matter unknowable to finite man.
As the social fabric of the world around him unravels in the twilight years of the Roman Empire, Augustine attempts to elucidate the relationship between the eternal, invisible verities of his faith and the stark realities of the present, observable political and social conditions of humanity.
At the intersection of these two concerns, Augustine finds what for him is the central question of politics: How do the faithful operate successfully but justly in an unjust world,where selfish interests dominate, where the general welfare is rarely sought, and where good and evil men are inextricably and, to human eyes, often unidentifiably intermingled, yet search for a heavenly reward in the world hereafter?
Foundational Political and Social Concepts a. Two Cities Even though those elected for salvation and those elected for damnation are thoroughly intermingled, the distinction arising from their respective destinies gives rise to two classes of persons, to whom Augustine refers collectively and allegorically as cities—the City of God and the earthly city.
Indeed, the object of their love—whatever it may be—is something other than God. No political state, nor even the institutional church, can be equated with the City of God. What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms? Likewise, the legitimacy of any earthly political regime can be understood only in relative terms: The emperor and the pirate have equally legitimate domains if they are equally just.
The state maintains order by keeping wicked men in check through the fear of punishment. In this regard, the institution of the state marks a relative return to order from the chaos of the Fall.
Rulers have the right to establish any law that does not conflict with the law of God.
Citizens have the duty to obey their political leaders regardless of whether the leader is wicked or righteous. There is no right of civil disobedience. Citizens are always duty bound to obey God; and when the imperatives of obedience to God and obedience to civil authority conflict, citizens must choose to obey God and willingly accept the punishment of disobedience.
Nevertheless, those empowered to levy punishment should take no delight in the task.A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah The neutral evil creature views law and chaos as unnecessary considerations, for pure evil is all-in-all.
Either might be used, but both are disdained as foolish clutter useless in eventually bringing maximum evilness to the world. “A god could not have created a more vicious cycle if it tried: Tying the very existence of life with the necessary killing of other life is the work of an evil genius, not of an all-powerful and all-loving god.
and tax fairness. No political party could remain so consistently wrong by accident. The only rational conclusion is that, despite their cynical "family values" propaganda, the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the interests of the American people.
In a large sense, described as the sum of the opposition, which experience shows to exist in the universe, to the desires and needs of individuals; whence arises, among human beings at least, the sufferings in which life abounds.
Social evil grow because of poverty and unemployment. When people find no source of income then they found only way of earning through social evils. Social evil grow in the society like diseased tree that no one have courage to cut done.