Law, Politics, and Philosophy

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. Atty. MICHAEL JHON M. TAMAYAO manages this blog. Contact: mjmtamayao@yahoo.com.

Lecture notes on St. Augustine

Summary

  1. Augustine merged Greek Philosophy and the revealed truths from the Judeo-Christian Bible
  2. God is Love. And because He is our model, we should imitate Him by living a life of love.
  3. Life is a Dialectic movement towards love
    1. Virtue, the art of right living, is the order of love
    2. Vice is turning away from love
    3. To love God means to also love others
  4. True happiness is not found in Hedonism and Stoicism
    1. Possession of world goods is not the true source of happiness
    2. Virtue is not the ultimate end of man; it still serves as a means to a further end, which is God Himself.
    3. Virtue is the constant harmonizing and ordering of all activities of the human personality towards Love under the guiding inspiration of Love.
  5. Man belongs to two social institutions: the church and the state.
    1. The church takes care of the spiritual well-being of the people
    2. The state takes care of the temporal well-being of the people
    3. Although the church is more supreme than the state, they are inseparable
    4. Obedience, Love, and Justice must reign in both cities
    5. All created under the image of God, men share one brotherhood under the fatherhood of God.
    6. Justice, which is the foundation of order of all societies, springs from love.
  6. The will is free and it aims towards the good. How can we reconcile law and freedom?
    1. For the Greeks, the moral law (man always aims the good) is part of the law of nature. Man is naturally drawn to the good
    2. For St. Augustine, although man is physically free to do any action, he is morally bound to obey the law; that is to say, he can obey or disobey the laws. Man ought to follow the laws but he may disobey it.
    3. There are two types of laws: the Physical Laws and Moral Laws. The first can never be violated but the second is violable.
    4. Responsibility and sanction are necessarily attached to the Moral laws.
  7. Moral Truth: Do good and avoid evil.
    1. This rule does not come from us. Reason only recognizes and tells us of this law, but we do not make them.
    2. This law of conduct is binding, immutable, and irreversible. And only an All-powerful Being can promulgate and constitute this invariable norm of morality. Augustine calls this the Eternal Law or the Eternal Reason, which leads all things to their proper ends.
    3. The law of conscience, which constantly tells us of this moral rule, is the proximate norm of morality.
  8. Moral evil is man’s irresponsible and unnatural turn towards the bad. Physical evil is non-being.
    1. The consequence of the ill choice of man is moral evil.
    2. Physical evil is the negation or privation of being. While order needs explanation, disorder needs no explanation for there is nothing positive in it to explain.
  9. Human history is a constant struggle between two forces: Love and Hate, Good and Evil.
    1. There are two camps: those belonging to the city of Jerusalem who are imbued with the spirit of Love, and those belonging to the city of Babylon who are imbued with the spirit of Hate and lust.
    2. The warfare, beginning with the revolt of the angels, goes on raging in every nation, in every city, in every heart of man, all throughout the ages; but in the end, good will triumph over evil.

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2 comments on “Lecture notes on St. Augustine

  1. Joe Ruel T. Dizon
    May 6, 2009

    Man is naturally good because we are drawn from the image of God, and “God is good” according to the book of genesis chapter one verse 26 “And God went on to say, let us make man in our image, according to our likeness”.

    If there is no law and man acts in an evil manner, that is because man is imperfect, the law is invented to depict what is right from what is wrong and to guide us from doing what we must do.

  2. Joe Ruel T. Dizon
    May 6, 2009

    I believe that there is God, differentiating the theory of Epicurus from the theory of creation. Epicurus’s theory is, that man is made from swerving atoms and those atoms are permanent, they are there from the beginning and no one created them, it is just the same as Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution that before there is just a bacteria that evolved from its’ state to a man. If that is the case why don’t every bacteria or every swerving atom chooses to be a man? why is it that there are still rocks, trees,monkeys,etc…? why don’t they chose to be the highest form of being? That is because there is a God that created us, according to the same book, chapter, and verse that I mentioned awhile, “And God went on to say, let us make man in our image, according to our likeness and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every moving animal that is moving upon the earth.”
    Early man believed that there is a supernatural being greater then them because they have an innate knowledge on it, just as what Socrates told, there is a “Pure Consciousness” that knows everything, trapped in a human’s body and forget what he knows. We believe in God because have an innate knowledge about God that we forgot because we are trapped in this imperfect body.

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2008 by in Ethics.

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tamayaocsu

tamayaocsu

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Atty. MICHAEL JHON M. TAMAYAO manages this blog. He is currently starting his private law practice. Contact: mjmtamayao@yahoo.com; Tel. No. 09353343739. PROFILE: Atty. Tamayao is currently teaching law, philosophy and social sciences at the Cagayan State University. He finished his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Santo Tomas and graduated in 2005, garnering the highest academic honors in that Academic Year. He pursued Licentiate in Philosophy and Master of Arts in Philosophy degrees at the same university, completing them both in 2007. In 2009, he took up Bachelor of Laws and Letter at the Cagayan State University, where he also teaches. He passed the 2013 bar exams, and now currently taking up Master of Laws and Letters at the San Beda Graduate School of Law.

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