Thomas Aquinas 2 Essay Research Paper THOMAS — страница 2

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(Burrell, 65). Aquinas goes on to define more serious mortal sins which he refers to as indecent sex. This includes homosexuality and bestiality. He quotes bestiality from the Bible: “‘[Joseph] accused his brothers of the worst sin they had relations with cattle’” (Jenkins, 95). Perhaps he is right, but homosexuality, on the other hand, was accepted in societies even before Aquinas’ time. For instance, the ancient Greeks accepted intercourse between a younger and older man as a higher form love. Even if Aquinas tried to invoke the “natural law” argument, he could have shown evidence of homosexuality in nature, even though it is not very common. This is interesting in the sense that considering animal s lack of reasoning, they are not capable of sin because they have

no real knowledge of distinguishing between moral right and wrong. In that case, there seems to be a loophole in Aquinas’ theory, if natural law seems to prove homosexuality not to be a mortal sin. Thomas Aquinas takes his arguments concerning sexuality even further. He goes on to reproach situations even where no sexual intercourse is involved, pointing out more mortal sins. By his reasoning, lustful kisses and caresses are actually mortal sins, because of the mere purpose behind them, since they show consent to the idea of sex, in forms like fornication. Drunkenness can also be a mortal sin in that way, if one drinks in order to purposely lose his sense of reason and put himself in danger of sinning (Bobik, 25). Aquinas turns to virginity as something worthy of praise because

it frees the mind of unclean thoughts to focus on “contemplation of the divine.” He quotes the Apostle Paul, saying “‘The unmarried woman who is a virgin thinks of the things of the Lord so that she may be holy in body and spirit. The woman who is married thinks of things of the world and how to please her husband’” (78). Bobik points out on his book that this “holy virginity” is the rationale behind the priests’ and nuns’ vows of celibacy. As much as it did when Aquinas wrote his works, the views of the Church and Aquinas on sexuality are one and the same. The Church today officially does not allow pre-marital sex, homosexuality, and even artificial birth control, though it does not literally enforce its policies on Church followers. Still, it is interesting

to consider the effects of such regression on a society. While lust is not considered part of natural law because it is deemed as unique to us as humans as punishment for Adam and Eve’s fall from grace, it seems to be a powerfully “natural” inclination for us (67). According to Mcinerny, if we turn to Freud, we see that virtually everything we do has an underlying sexual purpose. By Freud’s logic, any contact we make with the opposite sex has some underlying sexual motive, no matter how sublime it is. The only way someone can put aside his or her sexual aggressions is by finding another outlet for such passions. Sports, music, art, and virtually any hobby that we can enjoy works as an outlet for sexual aggressions. For those who work for the Church, that passion is

obviously channeled into worshiping the divine. Obviously, there are times when people must “relieve” themselves (92). Fortunately Aquinas did classify the severity of such mortal sins; bestiality being the worst, and “uncleanness” being the mildest (Macinerny, 68). Therefore there are “levels” of transgression, so these require different levels of penance. Of course we are to believe that God will forgive us if we are truly sorry for committing such moral sins, or else we will burn in hell. Certainly we do not have to agree with all of Aquinas’ arguments, as many may seem unnecessarily cruel. We can follow him on many points but not all. Surely we can agree that sex is something that should be treated with respect, and obscene acts like bestiality upset that.

Adultery is also a sinful thing because it is specifically condemned in the Ten Commandments and it disrupts family life. One might also view homosexuality and say that it defeats the whole purpose of sex. Other things don’t seem quite as bad, and acts like lustful kisses and purposely getting drunk are much too trivial to be considered mortal sins. Another point that clearly arises from sexuality in the perspective of the divine is our role on earth altogether. Often there seem to be only two trains of thought, either the pursuit of happiness or strictly living a life of following God (Jenkins 60). In the Christian viewpoint, it seems that if we are to follow God, any happiness we come upon is more coincidental since it is not a goal for this lifetime. Theoretically, true