After reading a challenging book by St. Augustine on free will and the problem of evil, one of my classmates posted a question on the class discussion board about how Augustine could suggest that an abused child “deserved suffering”.
I wrote back and explained how Augustine issues faith in his writings and isn’t asking non-Catholics to receive what he’s saying. It stands at the end of a long and difficult chain of reasoning where one accepts all or none of it.
My classmate’s response was:
“William, Sincere thanks for your thoughtful reply. As a person who has never studied philosophy, I was wondering whether I misconstrued what Augustine was saying. Was he saying that the innocent child who is abused, or the woman who was raped, deserved punishment because they are wicked? Logically, the answer seems to be “of course not.” Which begs the question of whether I am missing the point of what Augustine was saying. I was trying to understand his point from an objective perspective and to as a person with, or without religious beliefs. I’m still not sure whether I am misunderstanding his point… Again, very sincerely appreciate your comment.”
Compare that to replies from men and women claiming to be Catholics on Social media and you’ll see why I prefer spending my time with non-Christianclassmates at Harvard than with fellow Catholics on social media.