History Paper on Augustine’s View of Human Nature

Augustine’s View of Human Nature

According to St. Augustine, being an infant means being greatly in need and fussy to the extent that one cannot handle anything by oneself. He gives an example of himself when he would throw tantrums whenever he needed help. He cites a case where infants cannot do anything apart from crying when in need (Manning & Cassel, 2013). He equates the acts to sin stating that the acts by babies are sinful and they should be sorry even though they do not have the capacity and capability to understand their actions.

He narrates a story during his teenage years when in the company of a friend; they stole pears from a neighbor’s tree. He says that their act was sinful as they had plenty of foodstuffs at their own home. Though he is upset by the sin he committed, believes that he has greater sins to worry about rather than the little sin of stealing a pear. The entire concept of his encounters is that one should not sin without reason as it would be much worse.

According to Augustine, there is both good and evil. He believes good determines the existence of evil and vice versa. He states that God was not perfect by creating good as a measure of righteousness. This, he believes, underrates acts of perfection. Good and evil correspond to one another and one stance is a scale measured by the other (Manning & Cassel, 2013). Through morality, St. Augustine believes that the society is dependent on ethics and there are no perfections including God who individuals regard to being supreme and all powerful.



Manning, L., Cassel, D. & Cassel, J. (2013). St. Augustine’s Reflections on Memory and Time and the Current Concept of Subjective Time in Mental Time Travel. Behavioral Sciences (2076-328X), 3(2), 232-243. doi:10.3390/bs3020232