Augustine’s Perception Of The Problem Of Evil

Saint Augustine provided thoughts that have been fundamental in Christian philosophy, especially the perception of the problem of evil. Augustine’s argument presented the aspect of evil as a result of human free will and a perversion of good and not a Godly-created substance. An intense exploration of the Middle Ages intertwines the problem of evil with philosophical and theological debates. The works of Augustine on the issue of evil have had a significant effect on Christian thoughts, shaping how individuals approach and perceive the problem of evil. This paper explores Augustine’s approach to the problem of evil in which he based his arguments on divine justice, man’s fall, and free will.

Augustine believed that individuals can only attain God’s actual knowledge if they believe in divine revelation, spiritual insight and faith instead of the rational and empirical means they are inclined towards. From his argument, philosophical reason and study were the ultimate way of proving the existence of God. Augustine highlighted that the approach of alternative probabilities was indispensable for divine justice and human responsibility but only for the founding of human beings in paradise (Mendelson, 2019). In Augustine’s pivotal thoughts through his context, he is true to his approach of faith seeking and understanding, which highlights the philosophical needs of benevolence and God’s justice while also stressing the aspect that the election of God is not occasioned by any of the merits of human beings but it is instead solely gratuitous (Mendelson, 2019). The gratuitous election is not only consoling, omnipotence and justice, and comparatively highly linked divine benevolence’s axioms; it is also corollary. Hence, the evil in the world cannot exist and prevail in a vacuum independently because it is based on humanity’s failure to use good properly.

Additionally, Augustine’s perspective on the Fall of Man presents a teleological and anthropological sense of the problem of evil. He presents the fall of man as the denial of reason (God because God is the reason) and that individuals often try to fulfil personal happiness by entirely willing their happiness without reason. He allegorically takes on the tale of the fall in the garden from Genesis, which is a metaphor but a symptom of human aspirations. Christian theology relies on the approach that there was a causal correlation between Eve and Adam’s character in the garden, followed by drama related to human history through the stories of creation and fall (Gavrilyuk, 2020). Augustine asserted that all the succeeding generations are subjected to the consequences of sin and moral evil because of how Adam and Eve disobeyed God. In addition, Augustine believed that the people are accountable for evil in the world and not God because human beings act freely. Augustine asserted that nothing coerces the mind to fall into desire except its own free choice and will (Peterson, n.d.). Thus, he argues that nothing, be it less noble or nobler, can result in the mind to will evil, making the will itself the source of evil. When individuals fall, humanity’s willpower and freedom have portrayed the inability to keep people from evil practices and eradicate evil in society only by God’s grace.

In conclusion, Augustine’s argument asserts that the presence of evil is not culpable to God. God gave the will so that it could be used for the good of the people, but instead resulted in the fall of man. Man’s free will coexists harmoniously with the foreknowledge of God, and God only judges sinners because their sins often result from their free will. Hence, God’s foreknowledge relies on an individual’s will, and it does not determine or necessitate power over the will of the individual.


Gavrilyuk, P. L. (2020). The problem of Evil: Ancient Answers and Modern Discontents. International Journal of Orthodox Theology.

Mendelson, M. (2019, September 25). Saint Augustine. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Peterson, B. (n.d.). Augustine: Advocate of Free Will, Defender of Predestination.

Carbon Emissions And Catholicism


Advancement in technology in the modern world has continued to increase carbon emissions through the burning of greenhouse gases. The effects have been experienced significantly by increased temperature in the atmosphere as a result of the greenhouse effect. Burning of fossil fuels, including natural gas, oil, coal, and petroleum products, causes the release of carbon dioxide. Since most carbon emissions result from human activities, actions to reduce their release can be effectively taken. Christianity teaches its followers to take care of the environment since it represents God’s creation. The essay aims to discuss carbon emissions in the modern world through the lens of Catholicism.

Carbon Emissions

The world is highly dependent on fossil fuels as a major source of energy in almost all sectors. Carbon emissions cause damage to the ozone layer that shields the earth’s atmosphere from excessive heat from the sun. Recent human activities causing the emission of greenhouse gases have continued to cause devastating impacts, such as the melting of snow and glaciers. However, increased industrial activities continue to depend mainly on fossil fuels as a source of energy. The main human activities that cause carbon emissions include deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels, as well as agricultural activities and the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) for refrigeration (Perera & Nadeau, 2022). The government and other stakeholders should take the initiative to develop laws and regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Human Aggravation

Humans have significantly contributed to increased global warming effects due to the extensive use of fossil fuel energy. For instance, the detrimental impacts of the use of fossil fuel energy were acknowledged and recognized many years ago. Still, little has been done to develop effective and efficient mitigation plans. Individuals have also contributed significantly to the increased use of fossil fuels. Investors and owners of the industry have ensured significant wealth and political power to defend their interests (Lelieveld et al., 2019). Such people aim to maximize profits and would be unwilling to promote the campaign for clean energy. Moreover, recent years have seen massive growth in industries and technology. Such actions have resulted in an increased market for fossil fuel energy. Increased wealth has also made many people buy appliances using fossil fuels, especially vehicles. Consequently, the self-interest of human beings has significantly contributed to the increased use of fossil fuels.

Human practices have also significantly caused an increased threat to the global environment. Human beings have increased in population, causing an expanded market for fossil fuels. Moreover, the clearing of the worldwide forest has been rampant to settle the surplus population. Moreover, an increased population will mean that more people will own cars, and more industries will be established to meet the demands of the consumer market. Cutting down trees causes a significant impact on global warming. Decreased trees will cause carbon dioxide to accumulate in the atmosphere (Lelieveld et al., 2019). Consequently, the global warming effect is increased. Multiple human practices cause increased use of fossil fuel energy.

Role of Catholicism

Religion plays a significant role in various aspects affecting the world, including climatic and environmental problems. The Catholic Church can use its immense influence and the Global Catholic Climate Movement to ensure a call for governments and other stakeholders across the world to develop mitigation for the problem (Dall’Oglio, 2020). Biblical teaching also provides that God gave man power over all creation and was tasked with taking care of everything on earth. Therefore, the Catholic Church can create awareness of the need to ensure we do activities that protect the environment. Such actions would ensure that we follow the teachings and will of God (Orellano & Chuvieco, 2022). For instance, as a result of a significant increase in the threats posed by the use of fossil fuels as the primary source of energy across the world, developing effective and efficient plans for interventions is essential. The use of alternative sources of energy can be an appropriate and effective plan for mitigation. Although it is difficult to shift from fossil fuel energy effectively, the move could potentially develop a proper solution to the global environmental threats of its use (Perera & Nadeau, 2022). Governments and other stakeholders should develop effective and efficient paradigms to encourage producers and consumers to prefer the use of clean energy such as wind, solar, and water energies. Such sources are renewable and do not pose significant challenges to the global climate.


The essay discusses carbon emissions in the modern world through the lens of Catholicism. Burning of fossil fuels, including natural gas, oil, coal, and petroleum products, causes the release of carbon dioxide. Since most carbon emissions result from human activities, actions to reduce their release can be effectively taken. Christianity teaches its followers to take care of the environment since it represents God’s creation.


Dall’Oglio, C. (2020). Ecological Initiatives of the Global Catholic Climate Movement. Studia Ecologiae et Bioethicae18(1), 61–72.

Lelieveld, J., Klingmüller, K., Pozzer, A., Burnett, R., Haines, A., & Ramanathan, V. (2019). Effects of fossil fuel and total anthropogenic emission removal on public health and climate. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences116(15), 7192-7197.

Orellano, A., & Chuvieco, E. (2022). Examining the Relationships between Religious Affiliation, External and Internal Behavioural Factors, and Personal Carbon Footprint. Religions13(5), 416.

Perera, F., & Nadeau, K. (2022). Climate Change, Fossil-Fuel Pollution, and Children’s Health. New England Journal Of Medicine386(24), 2303-2314.

Causes And Mitigation Of Climate Change

Addressing climate change is challenging, with political and economic obstacles making reducing greenhouse gas emissions complex. Since the potential benefits of mitigating climate change are immense, all individuals globally should take necessary measures to avert the worst impacts of climate change and create a more sustainable future for all. Since the middle of the 20th century, human activity has been responsible for changes in the Earth’s climate. Burning fossil fuels, in particular, has increased the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has raised the planet’s average surface temperature. Greenhouse gases include high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and other harmful gases such as nitrous oxide, methane, and halocarbons that trap thermal heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. This relates to a recent article by Muhammad Kabir et al., in which the authors undergo the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on our climate and the environment. Muhammad Kabir et al., all of whom are students of Natural and Environmental Sciences in Pakistan and Chile, undergo the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on our climate and the environment. In 2017, around 35.8 Gt CO2/year was emitted into the air, which is projected to increase by 2.6% in 2018. Deforestation is also viewed as a human activity that causes global warming. Collins et al., who are all researchers in physical sciences, including astrology, atmospheric science, astrophysics, and astronomy in various universities in the US, explain that deforestation leads to the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses into the atmosphere (65). According to the United Nations Climate Change Commission, Pakistan is one of the top ten nations most threatened or vulnerable to climate change. According to scientific and technological predictions, the Earth’s average temperature will increase from 2.5 to 4.5 in the twenty-first century. The Pakistan Meteorological Department reports that February 2021 was one of the hottest and driest in Pakistan’s history (Muhammad Kabir et al). In other words, the frequency of global warming has significantly increased, disrupting the global ecosystem.

Furthermore, elements of industrialization, such as intensive industrial and agricultural processes that emit greenhouse gases as waste to the atmosphere and urbanization, have caused increased temperatures and changes in weather patterns. Industrialization produces harmful gases to the environment, while urbanization removes protective factors such as vegetation, which otherwise purifies the atmosphere by absorbing and cleaning CO2 from the environment (Kabir et al. 2). In addition, building and construction are also aspects of urbanization that significantly contribute to atmospheric pollution and, thus, climate change. Kessler, a doctorate student in Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania, explains that the construction process pollutes the environment through evacuation, mining, transportation of building materials, and manufacturing, which constitutes embedded emissions (2). Moreover, structures cause CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from energy used for activities such as heating, lights, receptacles, cooling, and industrial load processes. Apart from the above causes, Abbas et al., all of whom are researchers in media, economics, and environmental sciences, various universities in China, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh state that “other anthropogenic activities include excessive agricultural operations, which further involve the high use of fuel-based mechanization, burning of agricultural residues and deforestation” (2). Excessive agricultural operations such as mechanization, burning agrarian residues, and deforestation increase greenhouse gas emissions, worsening climate change. Therefore, the causes of climate change are mainly excessive human activities that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, causing heat-trapping and global warming, whose ripple effects affect agents of weather such as temperature, precipitation, humidity, and pressure.

The anthropogenic causes of climate change outlined above continue to escalate wide-ranging consequences on human life. Some of the effects of human activities on climate include extreme weather events that considerably impact agricultural production. Awazi, a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Technology from the University of Dschang in Cameroon, explains that hurricanes, cyclones, floods, droughts, bushfires, and pests are the frequent consequences of climate change (1). Awazi notes that these extreme weather events significantly affect agriculture, which depends on climate. Due to unpredictable climactic changes, farmers find it increasingly difficult to continue their agricultural routines. As a result, farmers are resorting to agroecological practices such as agroforestry. Climate change can have devastating implications in countries that rely on agriculture as the backbone of the economy.

In addition to the effects on agricultural production, climate change also leads to health implications. The extreme weather events caused by global warming and the causes of climate change, including greenhouse gases, multiply the risk of illnesses. Mickel, a Postdoctoral Researcher at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, explains that extreme weather events, including heat waves, bad air quality, storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires increase the risk for illnesses (). The researcher notes that respiratory infections, malnutrition, food and water-borne diseases, and heat strokes are some of the conditions caused by extreme weather events resulting from climate change. Mickel also reports that wildfire smoke contains particulate matter and poisonous chemicals that cause respiratory diseases. In addition, floods have led to increased mosquitoes, which spread vector-borne illnesses. Vectors are sensitive to changes in climate, and their biting rates tend to multiply when temperatures rise and during certain levels of humidity. Pathogenic transmission also occurs at a faster rate during higher temperatures. As such, these aspects underscore the need to mitigate climate change to promote environmental and human health and well-being.


Tackling climate change to mitigate its impacts on public health requires community-level leadership because climate change is fundamentally experienced at the local level. Local authorities can, therefore, use their closeness to the people and improve their quality of life through climate change mitigation. Dam et al., who are leading credible experts studying for their graduate degrees in Health Science at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, emphasize the need for coordinated local actions in tackling global climate change (2). The scholars stress the central role of local governments in developing policy, mobilizing resources and research to tackle climate change and its health impacts. Dam et al. however, state that: “local governments face numerous challenges in developing local climate policy, including a lack of leadership or political will from higher levels of government, limited resources, institutional constraints, and availability and access to research.

In addition to a local-level approach to climate change mitigation to promote public health, it is essential to mitigate the climate change implications on agricultural production. Agroforestry is one way of mitigating climate change to shield the human population from its adverse effects on agriculture. Awazi, in his article exploring ways of achieving agricultural sustainability in the context of climate change, emphasizes the value of agroforestry in minimizing the effects of climate change in smallerholder farms (1). The scholar explains that agroforestry reduces erosion by providing a cover that reduces the impact of raindrops on the soil as well as contributing to soil fertility through decomposition of organic matter. In addition, agroforestry modifies the microclimate enabling crops that are vulnerable to drought to thrive as well as providing shade. Moreover, agroforestry helps in retention of soil water, which enables crops to thrive during extreme droughts. Agroforestry therefore improves agricultural sustainability through mitigation of the impacts of climate change on agriculture.

However, reducing the greenhouse emissions can be a more sustainable mitigation measure for climate change. Reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions can minimize global warming and minimize extreme weather events caused by global warming. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions should, however prioritize areas or activities that contribute significant percentages of greenhouse gas emissions. Kessler, in her article exploring the contribution of buildings to greenhouse gas emissions, states that climate change mitigation should focus on reducing the 40% of carbon dioxide that buildings contribute as a result of energy uses for operations such as manufacturing, mining, transportation and hydroelectric power use (2). The scholar suggests that keeping existing buildings as opposed to tearing them down will help to reduce the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere. The rationale behind this suggestion is that buildings have a significant amount of embodied carbon, and tearing them down necessitates building others, which further adds carbon to the atmosphere.

However, climate change mitigation at the global level tends to be characterized by blame game. Densely populated countries are blamed for climate change, yet, realistically, some developed nations with lower populations contribute much more greenhouse gas emissions than densely populated countries. Rosling, in his book, Factfulness, discuss this blame game and states that blame game is meant to locate the causes of the climate change (213). In addition, Rosling views the blame game in climate change discourse as a demonstration of personal taste. This aspect means that some countries show hesitancy in switching to renewable energy as a way of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions for fear of the economic consequences that would follow such action. Instead of blame game, there is a need to show shared responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change to ameliorate the adverse effects it has on the life of species on the planet.


Overall, climate change is a significant global risk with adverse effects on the environment and human life. Human or anthropogenic activities are the leading cause of climate change because these activities contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases, which are the chief causes of climate change. Some of the human activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions include industrial activities such as urbanization, agricultural activities, building and construction, and transportation. These activities release harmful gases into the atmosphere, leading to increased temperatures and changes in weather patterns. Climate change leads to extreme weather events which disrupt agricultural routines in smallholder farms, forcing farmers to opt for agroforestry practices. In addition, climate change presents a public health challenge as it increases the risks for illnesses. However, these effects can be mitigated by adopting a local approach to help local communities address climate change effects. Local governments have a fundamental role to play in developing policy and mobilizing resources through evidence-based and coordinated approaches to create local positive impacts and improve the well-being of communities and environments. Agroforestry can be used to improve agricultural sustainability through improved water retention, moderation of microclimates and reduction of soil erosion. However, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on key contributors such as building and construction is a more sustainable mitigation measure. It is also essential for countries to embrace shared responsibility in climate change mitigation as opposed to blame game.

Works Cited

Abbass, Kashif, et al. “A review of the global climate change impacts, adaptation, and sustainable mitigation measures.” Environmental Science and Pollution Research 29.28 (2022): 42539-42559.

Awazi, Nyong Princely. “Achieving Agricultural Sustainability in the Midst of Climate Change through Agroforestry: Anecdotal Evidence from Smallholder Farmers and Key Agricultural Stakeholders in Rural Cameroon.” Forestist, 73.3, Sept. (2023): pp. 213+.

Collins, William et al.”The Physical Science behind Climate Change.” Scientific American, 297.2, 2007, pp. 64–73. JSTOR,

Dam, Jennifer, et al. “Global issues, local action: exploring local government’s use of research in “tackling climate change and its impacts on health” in Victoria, Australia.” BMC Health Services Research 23.1 (2023): 1142.

Kabir, Muhammad, et al. “Climate change due to increasing concentration of carbon dioxide and its impacts on the environment in 21st century; A mini-review.” Journal of King Saud University-Science (2023): 102693.

Kessler, Helen J. “Impact of Buildings on Global Warming.” Probate & Property, 37.4, (2023) pp. 8+. Gale Academic OneFile, d=76d193df.