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Earned Bachelor Degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (Class of 2013) Major: Political Science Minor: Sociology ------------------- I am your typical nerd/geek/otaku. I like to ride my bike, read, write, and surf the internet. Otaku(noun)(おたく/オタク)- is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and/or video games.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The City of God by Saint Augustine -- Foundations of Political Thought -- Blog Post #3

Sunday, April 15, 2012 7:40p.m.
The City of God by Saint Augustine
Selected Readings: (Book II) Pages 1, 7, 17-21, 26, 28, & 29

In these passages, Saint Augustine attempts to persuade Romans to reject Christianity as the one true faith. He does this by using examples of the misfortunes that had plagued them (and Greece) before the birth of Christ to show that the worship of false Gods lead to faults in morality and political interaction. Interestingly enough, one could make distinct comparison's with Plato's cave theory and how Augustine states that "...even after the truth has been as fully demonstrated as man can prove it to man, they hold for the very truth their own unreasonable fancies, either on account of their great blindness, which prevents them from seeing what is plainly set before them, or on account of their opinionative obstinacy, which prevents them from acknowledging the force of what they do see." (City of God pg. 37; Book II pg. 1).

With relation to Plato's allegory of the cave, when returning to the cave with this new-found knowledge, a person would be met with fierce opposition and resentment (Plato's Republic, 517a) so, that same idea can be applied to the absolute truth (being that Christ is the one true God) as the light. In one example, Augustine claims that the "teachings of the philosophers were not the commandments of the gods" and that they were but the discoveries of mere men, who were, by nature, flawed (City of God pg.42-43; Book II: pg. 7). Some of them apparently made great discoveries with God's help but when left to themselves, they were betrayed by their own human weaknesses.

In a way, I suppose I agree in-part with Saint Augustine (in a sense). I can see how man has created an imperfect just society in that for example, when enacting punishment or retribution against those that are unjust or have committed a crime against another just person, the punishment can sometimes be cruel and unusual and that the punishment, by nature, is often an unjust act (there are exceptions to the rules). There has be much debate even now on whether justice comes from divine inspiration with much scrutiny on the religious aspects. If there is anything to take from Saint Augustine it is that it is not deeds that create virtue (as he uses the youth's desire to hear of Jupiter's tales of valor) but humility in all things.

1 comment:

  1. David,

    I like the first part of this, especially your use of Plato's cave. However, your last paragraph and how it relates is not clear to me.

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