By Roland J. Teske
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Extra resources for Augustine of Hippo: Philosopher, Exegete and Theologian: A Second Collection of Essays
II, 6, 14. 39 Ibid. II, 19, 50; also II, 18, 48–50. 40 What is significant in Augustine’s argument is that acting rightly or acting wrongly is a matter of acts of the will, not external actions. The goodness or evil of external actions derives from the goodness or evil of the will. ” Each man’s happiness is his own good, but is attained only through clinging to the highest good common to all. In happiness lie all the virtues that man cannot use wrongly and that are the great goods proper to each man.
There are within the world things that merely exist, but do not live or understand, and there are things that exist and live, but do not understand. Finally, there are things that exist, live, and understand, such as, the soul of man. The latter sort of things that exist, live, and understand are more 36 perfect than things that lack either understanding or life. There is also a hierarchy within man of cognitive activities. The common or interior sense is superior to the five bodily senses, and reason or un32 De libero arbitrio I, 3, 6.
To the best of my knowledge Augustine never argued that this world was the best possible world or that the goodness of God required that he create the best possible world. Augustine did argue that this world was good, that each nature was good, that there is a hierarchy of goods 57 in this world, and that the totality was very good. Aquinas clearly thought that this world is not the best possible and that God could 58 have made another world better than this one. He argues that the goodness of anything is twofold.
Augustine of Hippo: Philosopher, Exegete and Theologian: A Second Collection of Essays by Roland J. Teske