By Roland J. Teske
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Additional info for Augustine of Hippo: Philosopher, Exegete and Theologian: A Second Collection of Essays
21 Ibid. I, 12, 26. 22 Ibid. I, 12, 25 and 26. 23 Ibid. I, 12, 26. Augustine’s claim about the excellence of a good will recalls Kant’s similar claim. See Immanuel Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, 11. 24 De libero arbitrio I, 13, 20. The happiness of which Augustine speaks is something that is attained in this life. Indeed, in the earlier De ordine II, 9, 26, he spoke of an intellectual contemplation of God that is attainable by 44 Augustine Of Hippo: Philosopher, Exegete & Theologian One the question “whether free will ...
A. The Cause of Existing Despite the doctrine of a necessary emanation of all else from the One that is found in Plotinus, Augustine held that God created the world out of nothing, neither out of himself nor out of some matter that he did not create. In Manichaeism, with which Augustine was associated as a “hearer,” or layman, for nine years before the conversion leading to his Baptism in 387, Augustine had known an account of the origin of things and an explanation of the evil in the world that he once found attractive.
In this sense, to be virtuous or to be wise is a good of man. With respect to such a good, 60 God can make things he has made better than he has made them. If one dispenses with this distinction, one can simply say that God can make another thing better than anything that he has made. Yet God cannot create in a better way than he has, since he creates with his infinite goodness and wisdom, though he can create better things 61 than he does. This universe, given the beings that it contains, could not be better, though God could make other beings or add more beings to those he has made so that there would be another and better 62 universe.
Augustine of Hippo: Philosopher, Exegete and Theologian: A Second Collection of Essays by Roland J. Teske