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Chapter 4

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PHIL 1070

Augustine’s Confessions Book 4 Chapter I: • 19yrs to 28yrs o Studied liberal arts (Manicheism) “under the false name of religion” (55)  Deceived himself and others—through self-assertion • Sought fame, money, prizes, etc. BUTALSO strived to be made clean of this sin  Material gain vs.  False spiritual purity Chapter II: • Regrets of these years: o Taught rhetoric as a way of making money  “Without guile I taught them guilefulness” (55) Augustine taught trickery to be used against a guilty man rather than against an innocent man  “I…did my best for men who loved vanity and sought after lying: and in truth I was one with them” (56) Augustine was just as bad as a liar o Kept a secret, unnamed woman Chapter III: • Astrology is BAD o Religion  sin derives from the individual, who must ask forgiveness from God o Astrology  sin derives from Venus, Saturn, Mars, etc.… individuals are guiltless  WHY is it successful?  CHANCE • “by some higher but quite blind instinct, not by art but merely by chance —things should sometimes emerge that should seem to have a bearing upon the affairs and actions of the inquirer” (58) Chapter IV: • Augustine’s childhood friend became ill and was thought to die, so he was baptized. However, the friend remained living.Augustine mocked the baptism but the friend became angry because it was inappropriate. The friend suddenly became ill again and died.Augustine felt grief. Chapter V: • Material objects = unreliable, transient  grief • God = permanent  faith Chapter VI: • Augustine was too selfish to surrender his own life for the life of his beloved friend  The more he loved his friend, the more he feared death o Contrast to Orestes and Pylades: they “wanted to die for each other and both together, because for either life without the other was worse than death” (61) Chapter VII: • Only God can lighten the burden of misery o Augustine was miserable from his friend’s death because he had no “firm and solid” idea of God at the time • Augustine left Thagaste for Carthage Chapter VIII: • Augustine learned lessons from his grief even though it has left him • HOW TO HAVE FRIENDSHIP: o Give affection and receive it back  To talk, laugh, etc.  To do kindnesses  To read books together  To joke, but to also be serious  To teach each other, and learn from each other  To miss someone when they’re gone  To rejoice when they come back Chapter IX: Friendship = expecting nothing from a friend except affection • Affection is the “root of our grief” (63) because when our friends die, we lack affection and become miserable and depressed • God is permanent, thus will never die o “Blessed is the man that loves Thee… For he alone loses no one that is dear to him” (63) Chapter X: • All things are defined by having a beginning and an end… They are transient objects, and thus, should NOT be loved • The cycle of beginning and ending in all things makes up the whole being o (ex. speech: “For there n
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