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Augustine Confessions Essay

671 words - 3 pages

Response paper of Confessions

Augustine outlines his sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity in Confessions, which is almost the earliest autobiography with deeply philosophical and theological thinking. He gives accounts of his faults to God genuinely and praises God with authenticity, along which he takes the chance to think about the origin of sins.
In Book I, he narrates his observation on a little baby to explain that even very young children have the tendency of being selfish, when “he could not yet speak and, pale with jealousy and bitterness, glared at his brother sharing his mother’s milk.” It seems that the tendency towards self over others is rooted ...view middle of the document...

He threads his praises to God into the description of his life story, meanwhile, he writes in-depth discussion of the origin of sins. From Plato’s theory in Symposium, we understand that people are only pursuing and desiring what they consider as goodness. Because of this agreement, including Augustine can’t help to examine what exactly makes us follow the evil.
Based on Plato’s logic, if one wants to sin, it’s either because one mistakenly consider it as good, or because it has some good part covering the evil core, which he/she accidentally ignores. Yet, in Augustine’s case, the sin is not out of desire for a specific good thing, but instead out of the satisfaction of transgression. Hence, Plato’s theory can’t be used to explain Augustine’s sin, as he reiterates that the pears he steal are not “tempting either for its color of for its flavor” and the boys know that they are hard and indigestible, but for the simple joy of violating the rules.
If we interpret this kind of...

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