The Summa Teologica By Thomas Aquinas Essay

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The Summa Teologica By Thomas Aquinas Essay, Research Paper The Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas Born in Italy, Thomas Aquinas was one of the most educated men of his time. Aquinas, whose family were noble, was educated as a monk and later continued his education at the University of Naples followed by the University of Paris where he studied the ancient Greek thought of Aristotle. Educated in both philosophy and theology,Aquinas is thought to be one of the most important philosophers of Catholicism. One ofAquinas s most influential writings is the Summa Theologica. In this document, Aquinas clarifies four questions concerning the Church: Whether it can be demonstrated t Godexist? Whether it is always sinfuhatl to wage war? Whether it is lawful for Clerics and Bishops to

fight? And whether it is lawful to fight on holy days? He answers each question thoroughly but indecisively; however, when he answers the second question it seems his conclusion have been manipulated in ways that can benefit the church without making them look double sided with their teachings. The second question is: Whether it is always sinful to wage war? In this question Aquinas states in his objection (1), It would seem that it is always sinful to wage war because punishment is not inflicted except for sin. Now those who wage war are threatened by our Lord with punishment; therefore, all wars are unlawful. (172) However, he justifies the act of war by giving three necessities. The first he mentions is only an authority of the sovereign can order a war to be waged. This reply

in itself is a contradiction to the quotation above in the way that he states that wars are justified if you have power and authority. He first states that all wars are sinful, but if it is justified it is not a sin; however, I feel that just because one has authority over others, this shouldn t mean that he is excused from sin because of his stature; thus his reply is bios. The second necessity is that a just cause is required in order to wage war. According to his statement in objection two Further, whatever is contrary to a divine precept is a sin. But war is contrary to a divine precept; therefor, war is always sinful. (172) By this statement he claims that war is sinful , but if it s for the common good then it is just. Aquinas states it is justified for a man to wage war if

the war is for the common good or for the good of those who he is fighting for. But if the one whom he is fighting for is not just in his actions of waging the war, then according to Aquinas, he is still just and lawful, this is a contradiction because he has stated that if a war is not justified, then it is sinful. In the third necessity Aquinas states The belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. (173) This is a contradiction in that war is justified if it is for the advancement of good; however, he states Manly exercise in warlike feats of arms are not all forbidden, but those which are inordinate and perilous, and end in slaying or plundering. (174) Aquinas tells that war is not a sin if you fight for

the advancement of good, but he also states that the killing of others is a sin; thus how can a war be justified if the battles ends in the , slaying of others therefore his conclusion to me seems indecisive and double sided. In conclusion, the document Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas is one of the most highly referenced influences of the Catholic Church; however, I feel Aquinas contradicted himself in many ways. As I viewed this document I saw several instances where he posted a double sided view in his conclusion, mainly in the second question: Whether it is always sinful to wage war? He listed four objections in this question, but when he replied to each objection he molds his answer to best fit the standards of the church and himself.