Augustine's Ideas About Evil and Original Sin

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Since the birth of Christianity, people have pondered the origin of evil and sin. What is evil or sin and where does it come from, these are questions that people have been trying to answer for ages. Saint Augustine attempts to answer these questions in his book Confessions. In the Confessions Augustine explores his own sin, hoping to discover what caused him to sin and whether or not his actions came from God. Augustine eventually concludes that God did not create evil and sin; people commit acts of evil through the use of free will. It also free-will that allows people to overcome their sinful ways and fully devote themselves to God; because with free-will they have the power to choose God over the evil that would pull them away from him. Augustine did not believe in the innocence and purity of children. He was a strong believer in the idea of original sin, which all humans inherit from the first man Adam. Augustine uses this to clarify his belief that God did not create sin, that it is humanity’s responsibility. In Book One of Confessions Augustine tells a story of jealously among infants. A baby boy was suckling at his mother’s breast while his brother looked on; the infant had a scowl on his face that was clearly one of jealousy and contempt. Augustine uses this example to prove that even as infant’s humans are jealous and selfish. In book one Augustine quotes Job 14:4-5 LXX, “none is pure from sin before you, not even an infant of one day upon earth.” As much as Augustine felt that humans are born to commit sin he also believed that our natural desires could be overcome through baptism and prayer. Baptism would purify the infant of its sins and secure its salvation. While through prayer and confession the sins a person committed during their life would be forgiven. Augustine was not baptized as a baby as his parents thought that he should deal with his
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