St Augustine (ad 354-430) was a committed Christian and monk, inspired by the preaching of Ambrose of Milan. His main arguments concerning evil were both originally based on the bible. Augustine himself had many beliefs, one of his main beliefs was that god had made the world and when making the world he had made it free from flaws. He believed very strongly that god is ‘good, omnipotent and omniscience’. For this reason he was also greatly influenced by the creation stories found in Genesis 1-3.
Although Augustine believed in this thesis things he had a problem which was, ‘if god is good and omnipotent and it was god that created the world why is there evil in the world?’ So if God made the Universe and continues to keep it in existence for ever, then if people commit acts of evil, God is keeping alive those very people while they do those acts. He solved this problem by saying that god is responsible for the evil in the world by defining evil as ‘privation.’ This means that something is lacking a particular thing that is should have. Augustine gave the example of ‘blindness’. He called this a privation, because if you are blind it means that you are unable to see – in other words, you lack the attribute of ‘sight’ or if you cannot walk – ‘you lack the health you should have.’ This is a privation in Augustine’s thinking.