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05:18 PM ET (US)
It's cool!.. This is great topic and it is good to meet you all. Webmaster of picture of sleeping pill webpage devoted to picture of sleeping pill. pain killers webpage devoted to pain killers.
  Messages 21-20 deleted by author 07-21-2006 08:56 AM
Jess Carlin
09:50 PM ET (US)
As with many individuals in the past and today, sexuality plays an important role in the life of Augustine. According to Augustine, “sins of the flesh corrupted my [Augustine’s] soul.” Although Augustine was not raised in a Christian household, despite the fact that his mother was a Christian, the lure of lust and flesh during his adolescence enticed Augustine away from any chance of finding the Christian religion. Throughout his life, Augustine battled the temptations of the flesh, with little help in resistance. His father, a pagan, in fact encouraged Augustine’s fornications by not arranging a marriage for the young Augustine, and supporting the idea of grandchildren. Yet despite the encouragement from his father, Augustine knew that sexuality was dangerous because it took him away from God. Augustine quotes “’It is a good thing for a man to not touch a woman’ and ‘An unmarried man is preoccupied with the affairs of God and with pleasing God; but a married man is preoccupied with the affairs of the world and with pleasing his wife.’ A man who is tied to the earth by a woman cannot devote time and thought to God, but instead thinks of his wife and the worries of the world. Later in his life, Augustine prays to the Lorf to give him chastity and continence, but not yet. For Augustine, sexuality is like a test from God. Until he can move past the temptations of the flesh, he is not ready to become a true Christian.
Lyndsey Schutte
01:30 PM ET (US)
How would you explain Augustine's conversion?
Augustine's conversion seems to have two parts, one that took place in the garden and the second half that finished during his baptism. In the garden Augustine has a type of war with himself. (Book 8, line 19 is an example). He argues many things back and forth including his ability to follow this new way of life and his ability to give up his old one with all it's sinful habits and addictions. The time in the garden can be described like birthpangs of a new life trying to emerge and form itself, but this time can also be described like the pains of death since Augustine is 'dying' to his old way of life and giving up on all his ambitions and the things that gave him pleasure previously. As seen by the way he rearranges his career after this event, Augustine is changing most of his social values. He gives up his work, even thinks of it as wrong; his social perspective of the world is completly changed, and with it, the social circles he lives in changes also. Augustine is drawn to this life by the promise of truth, a life with God, and the sinlessness and eternal life that comes from the salvation. Augustine does not leave the 'Roman life' easily though since it has all the attractions of (among other things) sexual pleasure and his respected teaching position, which conflicted with the Christian lifestyle.
The second part of his conversion is perhaps just the completion of it, which takes place a few weeks later during his baptism. He gained his faith and his change of lifestyle in the garden, "yet this same faith did not allow me to be complacent about my past sins, which had not yet been forgiven me through baptism." (book 9, paragraph 12) So, even though he was living a new life, the ever so important 'cleansing from sins' did not seem to take place till his baptism.
Deleted by author 02-10-2003 12:55 PM
Sarah Kutner
12:52 PM ET (US)
<u>The sins of babies<u><p>

According to Augustine, the sins of babies is that they are greedy. G-d provides for every need of infants and they still want more. Babies get away with their screaming and their greed because a) everyone knows they can't make a baby understand them and b) adults believe that this greed will correct itself as the child grows older. <p>

The stins of papies are crucial to understanding humans becuase babies are uninfluenced by the thinking of their peers and others but are rather subject only to their own untampered thoughts. They do not know teh word "sin" but they instinctively sin anyway proving sin to be a part of human nature rather than an invention of society.
Katie McConnaughey
10:42 AM ET (US)
One of the fundamental deliberations preoccupying St. Augustine’s thoughts was the relation and origins of evil. By relying upon the generally accepted theory that the origin of everything is from God and everything that is made by God is good, it was difficult for Augustine to understand the emergence of evil. His considerations were quite interesting, questioning the roots of malevolence and if it even exists, in which case he cannot comprehend why humans would have such immense fear of it: “Or if there is no point in our fears, then our fears themselves are an evil which goads and tortures the heart for no good reason-and all the worse an evil if there is nothing to be afraid of and we are still afraid (Book 7, Chapter 5).” As St. Augustine asks, is evil then an actual entity, created by earthly alterations to God’s original creations? Or is fear the evil, for to fear something that God has made (keeping with the original understanding that all of God’s creations are inherently good) would be to turn your back on God?
Edited 02-10-2003 10:49 AM
Sarah Pagni
08:29 AM ET (US)
What are the sins of babies and why are these sins significant?
 Babies sin because the cry and scream when they want something. They are greedy; they would not even let another child get milk if they could prevent it. Babies get away with being sinful because no one can explain to them that being greedy is wrong in a way that they would understand.
 The sins of babies are significant because infants are uninfluenced by any person. Infants are unable to understand language so their sins must come from within themselves. No one can explain to them what a sin is or how to sin. Therefore everyone has sin from the moment they are born and no one else has made them be sinful. Humans are sinful by nature. Although Augustine does say it is passed from the mother. However they are not informed of their sinful ways either because of their lack of language. They do not realize that they are being sinful at all and they are able to change it. Their greediness is not pointed until they are able to speak and then able to amend their ways.
Julie Bednarski
07:53 AM ET (US)
What is God to Augustine?
A summary of what God is to Augustine can be seen in chapter 27 of book 10. In this chapter Augustine illustrates the vastness of God in both the domains of time and space.
Augustine first describes God as timeless; however time is not the only issue of importance addressed in this statement. God is to Augustine, Beauty that endures from the most ancient time to the most current day. Augustine (like ourselves) is living a life bounded by time and setting. He acknowledges this fact when he emphasizes the eternity of God. The simple depiction of God as Beauty is vital. Do we not love what is beautiful? God is unbounded in Augustine’s eyes. He sees God as the creator, who contains the whole of creation and yet is simultaneously found within each individual creation.
Augustine’s anthropomorphic (yet almighty) portrayal of God shattering his deafness and dispelling his blindness shows a personal God. He explains, that God initiates the worship of God’s self, and rightfully so as God is divine creator, omnipresent, immense, and lacking nothing. Ultimately according to Augustine God is all one needs. The proposal is that once one has experienced God they will desire nothing else.
Marissa Bond
02:06 AM ET (US)
To Augustine, sexuality was one of the sins that he parted with hesitantly. For him, it was bound up in many forms of sin – pride, lust, and, in that end, an ultimate denial of God’s urgings. And it is there that the ultimate danger lies – in refusing to give up sexuality, he was raising it to the level of an idol, a false god, something above God in his desires. Anything that one is not willing to part with for the sake of the kingdom is, in Christian doctrine, a violation of the first and second commandments, because in elevating something or someone’s importance above your devotion to God, you have essentially created a false god. Augustine does try to get around this fact by stating, “‘Lord give me chastity and constancy – but not yet!’ For I feared that you would hear me quickly, and that quickly you would heal me of that disease of lust, which I wished to have satisfied rather than extinguished. I had wandered along crooked ways with a sacrilegious superstition, not indeed because I was certain of it, but as thought I preferred it to other teachings which I did not seek with piety but opposed with hatred” (Book VII 7.17).This prayer he recited from his own lips, written in his mind, with the purpose of Hamlet’s Claudius, who moved his lips out of desire for his salvation, yet had not the force behind them to drive his thoughts to heaven, leaving repentance empty. Augustine knew in the scripture that “Ask, and it shall be given unto you” (Matthew 7:17, KJV). To ask with full heart would deny him of what he thought he truly wanted, and even had he tried, the fact that he felt he truly wanted it would doubtlessly void the act of asking. The clause that he added onto his prayer for chastity proves where his allegiance truly lies – with himself and his mortal desires.
Alexandra Polly
01:17 AM ET (US)
After his conversion, how is a Christian supposed to react toward the world, others, himself, and God in the 4th century?

At this point (Book 10) Augustine begins by saying "I find no pleasure in myself, you shed light upon me and give me joy." He has many motives for confession and hopes that he may thrust himself away in disgust and choose God. By doing this Augustine feels he will not be trying pleasing himself nor God in an expecting way, but pleasing God in offering what he has and is. One point that Augustine seems to be very set upon is that he does not have to verbally confess his sins, reading into this neither do other Christians. Since God can hear one's thoughts he can see everything that a person does. Since God can see everything that a Christian does the need to have others hear one's sins is not as relevant. The role of Christians is to finish Gods work of bringing a person to perfection all that is wanting in them. Christians also have the power in this time to question, and by understanding the things that God has made they may glimpse the unseen things of God and take more joy out of the world.
Christine Chung
01:09 AM ET (US)
what are the sins of babies? and why are the sins of babies so significant?

babies are the simplest creature that the God made. the sins of babies are that their greediness for achieving their desires and hopes are by other people who could do that for them. in his book, he said 'you restrained me from craving more than you provided, and inspired in those who nurtured me the will to give me what you were giving them, for their love for me was petterned on your law... everything i needed for health and salvation flow from my God (Confess. 1:17).' As he mentioned above, he told that the God provided all the needy thing for him when he was an infant. however, as augustine began to know his own mind and desires, he was trying to express his desires and hopes to people whom he knows and can satisfy himself. at that time, he didn't know how to express and deliver his hopes and desires to other people because he didn't know how to speak. only way to communicate with this parents and nurses was crying. he cried greedly and made people to make his wishes come true. he almost used other people as his slaves.
  i am not sure the reason why the sins are so significant. in my opinion, as he said that all of the sins are coming the babies' mothers since the babies were in mothers' wombs, the babies naturally received the sin even though they didn't even know what the sin is.
Sarah Signor
01:00 AM ET (US)
Why is the theft of some pears by some naughty schoolboys such a big "existential moment" for Augustine?
What concerns Augustine about the theft of the pears is not necessarily the theft itself, but the motivations behind his participation in this act. Some type of gain motivates most crimes, be it material or other. Augustine participated in the theft of the pears for no other reason than the pleasure he derived from this sin. He did not derive any profit other than his own enjoyment from this act. The sin of stealing the pears is not justifiable to himself or to his god in any worldly way. He did not sin out of need or desire; he sinned as a direct affront to God and God’s laws. He committed a sin even greater than the sin of theft, for not only has he committed theft, but he has done it in order to establish his liberty. He demonstrates a sort of faulty human omnipotence, asserting his own power in the face of God’s omnipotence. He is declaring himself above the rules of god, and by committing theft and getting away with it, he is imitating God in a way that he is forbidden. To put it simply, he is rebelling against God. Therefore he is also guilty of the sin of pride, the sin of Adam and Eve and the Morning Star. This theft that is so much more than a simple theft places his heart and his actions very much at odds with god and the children of god. He must, in order to be a child of god, submit himself to God's will and I think that his hearts enjoyment of sin is a serious a barrier to his faith. How can one be a child of god when one's heart is at odds with divine law?
Emily Rosenberry
12:32 AM ET (US)
Augustine is very interested in the concept of sin and the concious mind that chooses to commit sinful acts. He abhors the idea that sin resides in him; therefore, he spends great length discussing what it is about sin that is wrong in the eyes of God. As an infant he looks into the half-concieved desires that act as sin, but he must observe them in others because he cannot remember his own infantile short comings and moves on to other topics rather fast, but he dwells on the sin he committed by stealing the pears with great detail and much internal reflection because he sees it as a concious, more malicious act. It wasn't necessarily a great sin to steal the pears, but it was a tremendous breach to steal them only for the joy of stealing. The fact that Augustine discusses at great length his motivations for stealing show his view that sin is inherent in certain deeds, but it is magnified beyond recognition by the original intentions of the trespasser. As a Manichaean the motivations for sin and the thought behind what was sinful and what was not, was bipassed. The ideal that appealed most to Augustine was that evil was a substance outside of his body, and that he wasn't actually committing the sin himself. It gave him an easy way around the immorality and dark nature of sin, and he snatched it up, only later to regret taking the easy, unfulfilling way out.
These thoughts and actions disturbed Augustine's mind and as he poured them out to God he wanted to be rid of the sins of his past, but in writing them down he relived them, and his youthful folly seemed to raise a higher and higher wall between him and God. Augustine was either conciously, or unconciously aware of this, and praised God more frequently in the passages about sin. It could easily be that Augustine was not only ashamed of his past deeds, but in some way craved the partial fulfillment they offered him, and to fill the void of longing in his soul, he praised God all the more, to take his mind away from the dangerous ground of sin.
Edited 02-10-2003 12:33 AM
Leslie Strongwater
11:29 PM ET (US)
Confessions details past sins starting from Augustine’s infancy to adulthood until he reaches the point of conversion. It is clear that Augustine pronounces his disdain for his many sins and he wholeheartedly condemns his past actions. However, there was a time when he reveled in his transgressions, and this he speaks of, specifically when talking of the infamous “pear incident” and his love for committing the crime. From Book II, “It was foul, yet I loved it, I loved to undo myself, I loved mine own fault……” While the Confessions seems to be a work about purging the negative aspects of his life, of trying to come closer to God, one almost gets the idea that Augustine is deriving some form of pleasure, perhaps subconscious, in the actual act of reliving his immoral experiences.
annie yoon
10:27 PM ET (US)
"Pay careful attention to Augustine's relation to his mother and to his father. How does he feel about each, and what does each represent to him?"

Augustine's relationship with his parents wasn't all that surprising considering the fact that in most parental pairs, the mother is usually described as the more pious of the two. It seems that at his earlier age, Augustine connected (and maybe even respected his father's views) with his father more than he did with his mother. Every one of society's expectations for a male adolescent mirrored the expectations that Augustine's father had for him. His mother, however, was more of the religious presence in his life. Although he didn't repect her advice and understand her hopes and fears for him towards the beginning of his life, he started to comprehend her vision for him as he began to mature spiritually and emotionally.
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