- At the beginning of this Book,Augustine invites God to 'come into me.' What
qualities of God make this request impossible (if it is taken literally)?
o He transcends everything and is within everything. Cannot be contained
by what he created, as he is not a bounded, mobile, divisible being.At the
same time God is the necessary condition for everything, so he’s within
Augustine already. Same amount in everything.
- What is Augustine's opinion about reading fiction?
o Amisleading waste of time, it is sinful because you are reading of other’s
sins while remaining ignorant of ones own.
- What is the message of the pear-tree experience?
o Stole pears for no reason other than pure mischief (twisted one of God’s
attributes) – choose lesser good
o Friendship can be dangerous, a seduction of the mind. It must subject
to reason if it is to be truly good.
- How doesAugustine explain the fact that human beings act badly or follow evil?
o Every sin a human perversion of God and goodness. Pride seeks loftiness
(God is highest), perverse curiosity is knowledge (God knows all) and
idleness is quietude (God is unchanging). Sin is choosing the lesser good.
Every action is aimed at returning to God.
- Why doesn’tAugustine accept the Manichean view of God and evil? How does
Augustine explain the existence of evil?
o God is not all-powerful and struggles against dark material world that is
by nature evil.Augustine says it is simply the extent to which something
in God’s creation has turned from him. He argues evil is just a label for
how far something has drifted or turned away from God and that evil does
not really exist. To the extent a human is unaware
o God is limited and does not control everything, think God has a material
body. Augustine says God is being itself and the most pure and
supreme form of existence.
- What doesAugustine say regarding personal freedom? Why doesn’t God limit
- When one ofAugustine’s good friends died,Augustine reflected on the nature of
friendship. What does the true friendship look like?