A fast look at the world shows that there is something that is wrong. One of the most
vexing challenges that the Christians face is the existence of evil. The existence of evil
has had many Christian thinkers such as St. Augustine (354-430) thinking about it
since the beginning. Augustine’s approach is trying to understand the concept of life
focusing on this fallen world. One of the aspects of evil addressed by St. Augustine
focuses on its origin that is all the things in the world were created by God, Evil is a
thing which then means that Evil was created by God.
In the case where the first two premises that have been put forward are then there is no
way the people are going to escape the conclusion. Augustine came to the realization
that the question “What is evil?” was important to finding the solution to various
issues in the society. The argument that has been presented above depends on the idea
that has been brought up that describes evil as a thing. A question to be asked it “What
if evil is not a thing in that sense?” Then there was no need of creating evil which
makes the thinkers to take the idea of the origin of evil to the other direction.
Augustine took a different angle to approach the problem. He asked if there is
evidence that a good God existed. He noted that in the case where there was evidence
that addresses the existence God and He is good then He will not be capable of
creating evil meaning that the evil must have been caused by something else. In the
case where the approach by St. Augustine was fair it therefore leads to a pair of
syllogisms that will to different conclusions.
The first argument is that all the things that were created by God are good, and that
evil cannot be good meaning that it is not God’s creation. Secondly, God created
everything and He did not create evil hence the main argument here will be that evil is
not a thing. The success of the concept will therefore depend on the whether the two
premises are true. In the case where Augustine gives evidence that God exists as
Creator using the natural theology and also that God is good meaning that he only
made good things hence the conclusion is that evil is automatically not a thing. If it
follows that evil is not a thing, the premise that has made the people to present a case
against Christianity is false meaning that the case that has been presented against
Christianity is unsound. I think that Augustine gives us a satisfactory way in which we
can deal with the problem of evil because of the way he presents the arguments. One
particular case of evil is where the soldiers go to war to fight criminals. It is not clear
whether the act of soldiers killing criminals in war is right or evil.
In the society today, people consider the act of the soldiers killing the enemies in the
battlefield is a good thing. However, it involves the loss of life of people because the
other soldiers also take those who wedge war against them to be criminals as well. It
is therefore not clear whether to term the act of the soldiers killing each other in the
battlefield as evil or not meaning that there is need to deal with the issue to the benefit
of the society in general. The other challenging issue is the way people in the society
are supposed to deal with the ethical dilemmas that the people face in their lives and
how they can get the solution to the problems (Warner, 1963).
Anselm’s ontological arguments that God exists.
People are fascinated by the ontological argument about the fact that an all perfect
God exists. There are several arguments about the existence of God. One notable
thing about the Anselm’s argument is the fact that one can understand the existence of
God by looking at the definition of God. Most of the time one cannot justify the
existential claims only from the conceptual claims rather one needs to go into the
world and perform some empirical investigation. According to the ontology of
Anselm it is that one is able to prove some of the negative claims about existence by
merely reflecting on what the concept contains. For instance one does not have to go
around the world looking under the rocks to confirm the presence of square circles to
understand that they do not exist.
In summary, Anselm’s ontology argues that God is a being and not none can be
greater than He. He also argues that the fact that God exists is an idea that one
conceives in the mind. He notes that if God is extant as an idea in the mind of the
people then there is a possibility that one can think of a being that is much greater. He
then adds that we cannot thin about something that is greater than God. He notes the
fact that having a thought that there is something that is greater than God is a
contradiction because it will mean that one believes that there is something that is
greater than the greatest being that can ever exist and that is a contradiction that is
supposed to be deal[t with accordingly. He then concludes by saying that God exists
based on the arguments that he brings up in the ontology. The ontology is important
because it enables the people to hold some objective discussions about the existence
of God (Malcolm, 1960).
Gaunilo comes up with criticism aimed at countering Anselm’s ontological proof that
God exists. He comes up with an argument that the existence of piland is based on an
idea that a person conceives in the mind saying that it is the greatest island and there is
no other one that can be thought of or even imagined. He notes that the existence of
Piland is thought by the brain of the person. He then notes that if a Piland is an idea of
the mind then the people can come up with an island in the mind that is bigger than
Piland and in that case he concludes that the island exists. Gaunilo therefore argues
that Anselm simply defines things into existence-and this cannot be done hence he
gives another example to counter Anselm’s ontology. Gaunilo was worried that
anybody could use the ontology that was brought forward by Anselm to bring many
things into existence including the others that can never come into existence. Gaunilo
therefore gives a good critique of the ontology because it is true that a person may use
the argument that has been presented in the ontology to argue that many things exist
even the ones that can never exist in this world. However, it should be noted that
everything has both a positive and a negative side and all the arguments must have
counterarguments. An argument becomes stronger if it is stronger than the
counterargument that has been put forward in the process. The strength of the
argument versus the counterargument in the above ontology will depend on the
interpretation and the facts that are used to back the argument.
It is therefore important for the scholars and the other philosophers to understand the
importance of the philosophical arguments that are raised in the society and the
benefit that they have in the explanation of phenomena in the society today for the
benefit of the society as a whole (Malcolm, 1960).
Aquinas’s third way of proving that God Exists
Aquinas also comes up with another way that is aimed at giving the proof that God
actually exists. He notes that there are four ways that can be used in explaining the
existence of God. In the first way, he notes that our senses have the ability that some
of the things that are moving. He adds that things will only move if the potential
motion becomes real motion.
He adds that there is nothing in the world that can be in both potential and actual state
at the same time hence everything have to be moved. He argues that anything that is in
motion is moved by something else. He then adds that the sequence by which things
move cannot be extended ad infinitum. Therefore there is another force that keeps the
things moving and the one who provides the force to move things is God. In the third
way is an argument from possibility and necessity. He notes that there are things in
nature that that have the possibility of being or not being since they are found to be
generated and to be corrupt hence they can be said to be or not to be. He notes that
there are contingent things in nature that is the things that are perishable hence they
can move out of existence.
It is therefore impossible for such things to always exist meaning that there is a time
when there was nothing that existed. Therefore in the case where there was nothing
that caused the temporary beings to exist then there was nothing that would exist. It
therefore means that not every being is contingent and the non-contingent being is
God. It therefore means that there must be an imperishable that will live forever and
not get destroyed. The imperishable and being is the one referred to as good. The
argument therefore talks about the fact that the things that are found in the world can
come into existence and go out of existence as well that is plants and animals die, the
buildings can be destroyed etc. However, if all the things in the world was like this
then it means that it would reach a point where nothing will exist it therefore means
that Aquinas thought that all the things would move out of existence if all the things in
the world were perishable. Since is not possible that everything will go out of
existence then there is a possibility that there is a being that will never go out of
The proof that was brought about by Aquinas was successful due to the fact that it is
well thought out and can be argued in the best way possible. I find no problem in the
argument that was brought about by Aquinas because of the fact that it explains the
important issues in the society and it attempts to explain the reason why he thinks that
God exists. I have asked myself a question why things in the world tend to work out in
some form of order which is proof that there is God who continuously controls the
world and was able to build the systems in the best way possible in such a wat that
they will improve the lives of the people in the society.
Based on the theories and the arguments that have been fronted then it is clear that
God exists in the world today and that He influences the lives of the people in the
society (Kenny, 2014).
Kenny, A. (2014). Five Ways: St Thomas Aquinas Vo. Routledge.
Malcolm, N. (1960). Anselm's ontological arguments. The Philosophical
Review, 69(1), 41-62.
Warner, R. (1963). The Confessions of St. Augustine (p. X8218). New York: New