Religion

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Gage Achtner Essay 3 Throughout the history of organized religion questions have always have arose about god One particular philosophical bishop who lived in ancient Greece tried to find answers to his question through different religions and ways of thinking His name was St Augustine and through his searching found a catch twenty two in religious views that puzzled him St Augustine s question or better known as The Problem Of Evil was about the powers that God really possesses For example in the bible it says that God is all good all powerful and all knowing but there is still evil in this world This is a problem because if God is all good then there should not be any evil in the world and he could not create it Also if God were all knowing he would know of any evil in the world or how any evil could come about And if he were all powerful God would want and be able to get rid of evil entirely In order to solve this problem Augustine looked into Manicheanism which was a combination of Persian religion and Zoroastrianism The reason there is evil in this world say the Manichees is that there is no omnipotent good power Rather there are two equal and opposed powers one good and one evil Melchert 228 The Manichees believed that everybody had good and evil in them the body and matter on earth being evil and the soul being absolutely good They said that if you can indentify your soul with your body then that is how you truly reach salvation This is still contradictory to their Christian scriptures because God would not be able to create anything evil in the first place if he was perfectly good Augustine found that this way of thinking was no use to him on his quest for his solution because these beliefs were too inert He felt that sin lies deeper than the knowledge you possess After being disappointed in Manicheanism beliefs Augustine went to Rome to teach and ended up attending services by Ambrose the Bishop of Milan In his orations Ambrose spoke of a different type of Christianity that really appealed to Augustine One of the main things that Ambrose speaks of is about how god is an immaterial reality If God is an immaterial spirit however then he is not excluded by the material world and he can be omnipresent Melchert 230 This differs with the thought that God and the soul are actual bodies from the Manichees Ambrose used a great deal of philosophy in his orations and also showed Augustine how to interpret the bible in more allegorical ways Augustine was now certain that this kind of Christianity was the truth that he was seeking the whole time and everything was starting to click in his mind Then one day Augustine had an epiphany of thought and realized that he needed to convert to Christianity and free himself of sin Although everything seemed to connect in Augustine s brain through Christianity it still does not solve the Problem of Evil Although the teachings revealed to Augustine are valid they do not solve the issue that if God is omnipotent and omniscient and perfectly good but there is still evil All that is clarified in the Christianity of Ambrose is how God can be everywhere and see everything


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