Thomas Aquinas 2 Essay Research Paper THOMAS

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Thomas Aquinas 2 Essay, Research Paper THOMAS AQUINAS Saint Thomas Aquinas, as a philosopher, wrote several works that justified Christianity in a philosophical context, taking cue on Aristotle’s old writings. Naturally, Aquinas took up on the Church’s “ultra-conservative” views on sexuality and worked to rationalize them through his own theory of natural law. Aquinas argues against any form of sex where the intention to produce children is not involved. He explains this through his theory of natural law, where sex is purely for the purpose of reproduction to ensure the continuance of the human race, only in the context of a monogamous relationship, and not for simple physical pleasure. There are many laws that Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks of, such as eternal law,

human law, divine law, and natural law. All humans are part of “God’s plan” and therefore subject to eternal law, where we are guided to God’s “supernatural end in a higher way” (Bobik, 33). According to Aquinas, humans in particular follow God’s eternal law through a natural law, and inborn instinct to do good. Something is said to be part of natural law if “there is a natural inclination to it” and if “nature does not produce the contrary,” (Mcinerny, 74). Natural law includes such ideas as self-preservation, union of the male and the female, and education of the young, which is easily found in nature. Humans also have a unique knowledge of God and were meant to live in a society. Aquinas explains that even though concepts such as slavery and personal

possessions are not found alone in nature, they were created by human reason, and in such cases “the law of nature was not changed but added to” (Burrell, 39). Because we can do such things, we are separated from the rest of God’s creatures. After explaining his theory of natural law, Aquinas goes on to explain sexuality in the context of it. According to him, “promiscuity is contrary to the nature of man” because “to bring up a child requires both the care of the mother who nourishes him and even more the care of the father to train and defend him and to develop him in internal and external endowments” (Burrell, 58). Therefore, he finds fornication to be a mortal sin because “it is contrary to the good of the upbringing of the offspring” (Burrell, 67).

Curiously, though, he does not bring up the more likely scenario where fornication does not result in the impregnation of the woman. His reasoning makes much better sense in the case of adultery. Not only does it upset one’s obligations to his family, but also because the Ten Commandments specifically condemn adultery as a great sin. The Ten Commandments are God’s laws and are not relative, so there is no disputing their validity. However, Aquinas’ argument that monogamy is “natural” for humans is not easily justified. If we look carefully at nature, most mammals have to be raised by their parents just as humans are, but only for a few years. Also, in many cases, the mother may raise her young with a different male, or on her own. Therefore, this makes it harder for

Aquinas to appeal to natural law to prove his case for monogamy and life-long relationships. Also, Aquinas does not agree that a male should have the option of leaving a female who has had a child even if it is properly provided for, making an indirect case against divorce (Jenkins, 46). Curiously, in Islam, the Koran allows divorce and remarriage, and it is based for the most part on the very same Bible that Aquinas defended. Aquinas makes clear that sex is right only when it is for the purpose of reproduction and it should only be between a male and female in a monogamous relationship; all other forms are sinful. However, he brings up a very striking exception. The acts of fornication or adultery are not considered sins at all if they are performed under the command of God