Reflection Paper on St. Augustine and Forgiveness

1) What is forgiveness? (This is a very difficult question. Please consider the following in your answer: a careful exposition of why we consider ourselves victims, the function of emotions, self-respect, the origin of our expectations, power dynamics, the distinction between pity and compassion, our natural inclination towards immaturity, the different stages we encounter in life, etc.)
2) Identify three main turning points in St. Augustine’s life. How did these transformations take place? How did St. Augustine’s relationships create his philosophy of life, God and meaning?
3) Summarize Augustine’s thoughts on happiness and sin. What are the ethical and philosophical ideas that underlie the concept of sin? What do Augustine’s thoughts on sin tell us about what it means to be human? How can we apply these ideas to our own lives? (Again, these difficult questions that do not necessarily accord with our modern understanding of sin and happiness. Please relate your thoughts back to the reading, audios and video.)
4) Review the first chapter of Introductory Lectures on Religious Philosophy, and find in the first pages where St. Augustine is mentioned. Restate the main idea of this paragraph. What does this paragraph, and St. Augustine’s overall philosophy, tell us about pain and guilt? What is the function, or meaning behind pain and guilt, which are unavoidable parts of every life?

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