The Augustinian Theodicy; Augustine starts from the point of view that God is perfect, the world he created reflected that perfection, this is evident in Genesis as after each day of creation ‘God was pleased with what he saw’. He continues by suggesting that evil is not a substance, it is the absence of good. So sin and death enterd the world through adam and eve and their disobedience to god, because they ate the apple from the tree when god told them not too.This bought about disharmony both in our human nature and in creation, it also destroyed the delicate balance of the world (the good world god created) and caused the world to become distanced to god. Hence, God created a perfect world which was very good.
Natural evil is a consequence of the disharmony of nature brought about by the fall, human actions brought about it. Moral evil is the second and flourished and spread in a now imperfect world. We all share in the evil nature brought about by Adam and Eve because we were seminally present in them, so therefore we deserved to be punished.However, God is justified in not intervening, because the suffering is a consequence of human action. Augustine was criticised about his theodicy, to begin with one of the principal critics of the Augustinian Theodicy is F.
D. E Schleiermacher. He argued that it was logically contradictory to claim that a perfectly created world went wrong, since this implies that evil created itself , which is a logical contradiction. Either the world was not perfect to start with or God made it go wrong; so it is God and not humans who are to blame, and the existence of evil is not justified.If the world was perfect and there was no knowledge of good and evil, how could Adam and Eve have the freedom to disobey God if goodness and evil were as yet unknown? The disobedience of Adam and Eve and the angels implies that there already was knowledge of good and evil.
Augustine’s interpretation of the tree of knowledge therefore is questionable. Augustine’s view is also inconsistent with the theory of evolution which asserts that the universe began in chaos and is continually developing, not diminishing over time. Also Augustine’s view that every human in seminally present in the loins of Adam is biologically inaccurate.The last criticism, is a moral one within Augustinian’s theodicy which concerns his concept of hell. Hell appears to be a part of the design of the universe which implies that God must have already anticipated that the world would go wrong, and have accepted it. Hell is a place of eternal suffering, so therfore it seems to contradict the existance of an all loving God. Finally, although Augustine argued that God’s selection of some people for heaven shows his mercy, others would argue that it displays irrational inconsistency, further questioning God’s existence.