Influences forming Plato’s views of the world workbook answers

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Exam-style question

Part (a)

You might begin by pointing out that, in his struggles with the problem of evil, Augustine argues that:

  • the fact that there are things of varying goodness makes for a greater goodness of things as a whole than if there were not such variety

  • evil is not something fully real but only something dependent on that which is more real, as disease (which is an evil) can exist only in a body (which is a good)

This may lead you to an explanation of privatio boni, which underlies Augustine’s belief that everything God created is good. Natural evil is also seen as the result of the fall of angels and man. Again it would be important to explain how Augustine comes to this belief but not to evaluate his position at this stage; leave that for Part b.

Part (b)

You could decide to agree with this statement and argue that there is no such being as the Christian God and make use of any area of philosophy you have studied in order to evaluate the statement and come to some sort of conclusion. Alternatively, you might challenge the idea that ‘natural evil’ exists at all and use the philosophical writers who hold this position to argue for their view. It is important that you do not just state their views; you must attempt some philosophical justification for them.

Topic 11

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