Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIa/Q20

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Q19 Q21



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Iª-IIae q. 20 pr. Deinde considerandum est de bonitate et malitia quantum ad exteriores actus. Et circa hoc quaeruntur sex. Primo, utrum bonitas et malitia per prius sit in actu voluntatis, vel in actu exteriori secundo, utrum tota bonitas vel malitia actus exterioris dependeat ex bonitate voluntatis. Tertio, utrum sit eadem bonitas et malitia interioris et exterioris actus. Quarto, utrum actus exterior aliquid addat de bonitate vel malitia supra actum interiorem. Quinto, utrum eventus sequens aliquid addat de bonitate vel malitia ad actum exteriorem. Sexto, utrum idem actus exterior possit esse bonus et malus. Question 20. Goodness and malice in external human affairs Is goodness and malice first in the act of the will, or in the external action? Does the whole goodness or malice of the external action depend on the goodness of the will? Are the goodness and malice of the interior act the same as those of the external action? Does the external action add any goodness or malice to that of the interior act? Do the consequences of an external action increase its goodness or malice? Can one and the same external action be both good and evil?
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod bonum et malum per prius consistat in actu exteriori quam in actu voluntatis. Voluntas enim habet bonitatem ex obiecto, ut supra dictum est. Sed actus exterior est obiectum interioris actus voluntatis, dicimur enim velle furtum, vel velle dare eleemosynam. Ergo malum et bonum per prius est in actu exteriori, quam in actu voluntatis. Objection 1. It would seem that good and evil are in the external action prior to being in the act of the will. For the will derives goodness from its object, as stated above (19, 1,2). But the external action is the object of the interior act of the will: for a man is said to will to commit a theft, or to will to give an alms. Therefore good and evil are in the external action, prior to being in the act of the will.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, bonum per prius convenit fini, quia ea quae sunt ad finem, habent rationem boni ex ordine ad finem. Actus autem voluntatis non potest esse finis, ut supra dictum est, actus alicuius alterius potentiae potest esse finis. Ergo per prius consistit bonum in actu potentiae alterius, quam in actu voluntatis. Objection 2. Further, the aspect of good belongs first to the end: since what is directed to the end receives the aspect of good from its relation to the end. Now whereas the act of the will cannot be an end, as stated above (1, 1, ad 2), the act of another power can be an end. Therefore good is in the act of some other power prior to being in the act of the will.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, actus voluntatis formaliter se habet ad actum exteriorem, ut supra dictum est. Sed id quod est formale, est posterius, nam forma advenit materiae. Ergo per prius est bonum et malum in actu exteriori quam in actu voluntatis. Objection 3. Further, the act of the will stands in a formal relation to the external action, as stated above (Question 18, Article 6). But that which is formal is subsequent; since form is something added to matter. Therefore good and evil are in the external action, prior to being in the act of the will.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro Retract., quod voluntas est qua peccatur, et recte vivitur. Ergo bonum et malum morale per prius consistit in voluntate. On the contrary, Augustine says (Retract. i, 9) that "it is by the will that we sin, and that we behave aright." Therefore moral good and evil are first in the will.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod aliqui actus exteriores possunt dici boni vel mali dupliciter. Uno modo, secundum genus suum, et secundum circumstantias in ipsis consideratas, sicut dare eleemosynam, servatis debitis circumstantiis, dicitur esse bonum. Alio modo dicitur aliquid esse bonum vel malum ex ordine ad finem, sicut dare eleemosynam propter inanem gloriam, dicitur esse malum. Cum autem finis sit proprium obiectum voluntatis, manifestum est quod ista ratio boni vel mali quam habet actus exterior ex ordine ad finem, per prius invenitur in actu voluntatis, et ex eo derivatur ad actum exteriorem. Bonitas autem vel malitia quam habet actus exterior secundum se, propter debitam materiam et debitas circumstantias, non derivatur a voluntate, sed magis a ratione. Unde si consideretur bonitas exterioris actus secundum quod est in ordinatione et apprehensione rationis, prior est quam bonitas actus voluntatis, sed si consideretur secundum quod est in executione operis, sequitur bonitatem voluntatis, quae est principium eius. I answer that, External actions may be said to be good or bad in two ways. First, in regard to their genus, and the circumstances connected with them: thus the giving of alms, if the required conditions be observed, is said to be good. Secondly, a thing is said to be good or evil, from its relation to the end: thus the giving of alms for vainglory is said to be evil. Now, since the end is the will's proper object, it is evident that this aspect of good or evil, which the external action derives from its relation to the end, is to be found first of all in the act of the will, whence it passes to the external action. On the other hand, the goodness or malice which the external action has of itself, on account of its being about due matter and its being attended by due circumstances, is not derived from the will, but rather from the reason. Consequently, if we consider the goodness of the external action, in so far as it comes from reason's ordination and apprehension, it is prior to the goodness of the act of the will: but if we consider it in so far as it is in the execution of the action done, it is subsequent to the goodness of the will, which is its principle.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod actus exterior est obiectum voluntatis, inquantum proponitur voluntati a ratione ut quoddam bonum apprehensum et ordinatum per rationem, et sic est prius quam bonum actus voluntatis. Inquantum vero consistit in executione operis, est effectus voluntatis, et sequitur voluntatem. Reply to Objection 1. The exterior action is the object of the will, inasmuch as it is proposed to the will by the reason, as good apprehended and ordained by the reason: and thus it is prior to the good in the act of the will. But inasmuch as it is found in the execution of the action, it is an effect of the will, and is subsequent to the will.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod finis est prior in intentione, sed est posterior in executione. Reply to Objection 2. The end precedes in the order of intention, but follows in the order of execution.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod forma, secundum quod est recepta in materia, est posterior in via generationis quam materia, licet sit prior natura, sed secundum quod est in causa agente, est omnibus modis prior. Voluntas autem comparatur ad actum exteriorem sicut causa efficiens. Unde bonitas actus voluntatis est forma exterioris actus, sicut in causa agente existens. Reply to Objection 3. A form as received into matter, is subsequent to matter in the order of generation, although it precedes it in the order of nature: but inasmuch as it is in the active cause, it precedes in every way. Now the will is compared to the exterior action, as its efficient cause. Wherefore the goodness of the act of the will, as existing in the active cause, is the form of the exterior action.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod tota bonitas et malitia actus exterioris dependeat ex voluntate. Dicitur enim Matth. VII, non potest arbor bona malos fructus facere, nec arbor mala facere fructus bonos. Per arborem autem intelligitur voluntas, et per fructum opus, secundum Glossam. Ergo non potest esse quod voluntas interior sit bona, et actus exterior sit malus; aut e converso. Objection 1. It would seem that the whole goodness and malice of the external action depend on the goodness of the will. For it is written (Matthew 7:18): "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit." But, according to the gloss, the tree signifies the will, and fruit signifies works. Therefore, it is impossible for the interior act of the will to be good, and the external action evil, or vice versa.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro Retract., quod non nisi voluntate peccatur. Si ergo non sit peccatum in voluntate, non erit peccatum in exteriori actu. Et ita tota bonitas vel malitia exterioris actus ex voluntate dependet. Objection 2. Further, Augustine says (Retract. i, 9) that there is no sin without the will. If therefore there is no sin in the will, there will be none in the external action. And so the whole goodness or malice of the external action depends on the will.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, bonum et malum de quo nunc loquimur, sunt differentiae moralis actus. Differentiae autem per se dividunt genus, secundum philosophum, in VII Metaphys. Cum igitur actus sit moralis ex eo quod est voluntarius, videtur quod bonum et malum accipitur in actu solum ex parte voluntatis. Objection 3. Further, the good and evil of which we are speaking now are differences of the moral act. Now differences make an essential division in a genus, according to the Philosopher (Metaph. vii, 12). Since therefore an act is moral from being voluntary, it seems that goodness and malice in an act are derived from the will alone.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro contra mendacium, quod quaedam sunt quae nullo quasi bono fine, aut bona voluntate, possunt bene fieri. On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Mendac. vii), that "there are some actions which neither a good end nor a good will can make good."
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut iam dictum est, in actu exteriori potest considerari duplex bonitas vel malitia, una secundum debitam materiam et circumstantias; alia secundum ordinem ad finem. Et illa quidem quae est secundum ordinem ad finem, tota dependet ex voluntate. Illa autem quae est ex debita materia vel circumstantiis, dependet ex ratione, et ex hac dependet bonitas voluntatis, secundum quod in ipsam fertur. Est autem considerandum quod, sicut supra dictum est, ad hoc quod aliquid sit malum, sufficit unus singularis defectus, ad hoc autem quod sit simpliciter bonum, non sufficit unum singulare bonum, sed requiritur integritas bonitatis. Si igitur voluntas sit bona et ex obiecto proprio, et ex fine, consequens est actum exteriorem esse bonum. Sed non sufficit ad hoc quod actus exterior sit bonus, bonitas voluntatis quae est ex intentione finis, sed si voluntas sit mala sive ex intentione finis, sive ex actu volito, consequens est actum exteriorem esse malum. I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), we may consider a twofold goodness or malice in the external action: one in respect of due matter and circumstances; the other in respect of the order to the end. And that which is in respect of the order to the end, depends entirely on the will: while that which is in respect of due matter or circumstances, depends on the reason: and on this goodness depends the goodness of the will, in so far as the will tends towards it. Now it must be observed, as was noted above (19, 6, ad 1), that for a thing to be evil, one single defect suffices, whereas, for it to be good simply, it is not enough for it to be good in one point only, it must be good in every respect. If therefore the will be good, both from its proper object and from its end, if follows that the external action is good. But if the will be good from its intention of the end, this is not enough to make the external action good: and if the will be evil either by reason of its intention of the end, or by reason of the act willed, it follows that the external action is evil.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod voluntas bona, prout significatur per arborem bonam, est accipienda secundum quod habet bonitatem ex actu volito, et ex fine intento. Reply to Objection 1. If the good tree be taken to signify the good will, it must be in so far as the will derives goodness from the act willed and from the end intended.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod non solum aliquis voluntate peccat, quando vult malum finem; sed etiam quando vult malum actum. Reply to Objection 2. A man sins by his will, not only when he wills an evil end; but also when he wills an evil act.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod voluntarium dicitur non solum actus interior voluntatis, sed etiam actus exteriores, prout a voluntate procedunt et ratione. Et ideo circa utrosque actus potest esse differentia boni et mali. Reply to Objection 3. Voluntariness applies not only to the interior act of the will, but also to external actions, inasmuch as they proceed from the will and the reason. Consequently the difference of good and evil is applicable to both the interior and external act.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod non eadem sit bonitas vel malitia actus interioris voluntatis, et exterioris actus. Actus enim interioris principium est vis animae interior apprehensiva vel appetitiva, actus autem exterioris principium est potentia exequens motum. Ubi autem sunt diversa principia actionis, ibi sunt diversi actus. Actus autem est subiectum bonitatis vel malitiae. Non potest autem esse idem accidens in diversis subiectis. Ergo non potest esse eadem bonitas interioris et exterioris actus. Objection 1. It would seem that the goodness and malice of the interior act of the will are not the same as those of the external action. For the principle of the interior act is the interior apprehensive or appetitive power of the soul; whereas the principle of the external action is the power that accomplishes the movement. Now where the principles of action are different, the actions themselves are different. Moreover, it is the action which is the subject of goodness or malice: and the same accident cannot be in different subjects. Therefore the goodness of the interior act cannot be the same as that of the external action.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, virtus est quae bonum facit habentem, et opus eius bonum reddit, ut dicitur in II Ethic. Sed alia est virtus intellectualis in potentia imperante, et alia virtus moralis in potentia imperata, ut patet ex I Ethic. Ergo alia est bonitas actus interioris, qui est potentiae imperantis, et alia est bonitas actus exterioris, qui est potentiae imperatae. Objection 2. Further, "A virtue makes that, which has it, good, and renders its action good also" (Ethic. ii, 6). But the intellective virtue in the commanding power is distinct from the moral virtue in the power commanded, as is declared in Ethic. i, 13. Therefore the goodness of the interior act, which belongs to the commanding power, is distinct from the goodness of the external action, which belongs to the power commanded.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, causa et effectus idem esse non possunt, nihil enim est causa sui ipsius. Sed bonitas actus interioris est causa bonitatis actus exterioris, aut e converso, ut dictum est. Ergo non potest esse eadem bonitas utriusque. Objection 3. Further, the same thing cannot be cause and effect; since nothing is its own cause. But the goodness of the interior act is the cause of the goodness of the external action, or vice versa, as stated above (1,2). Therefore it is not the same goodness in each.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod supra ostensum est quod actus voluntatis se habet ut formale ad actum exteriorem. Ex formali autem et materiali fit unum. Ergo est una bonitas actus interioris et exterioris. On the contrary, It was shown above (Question 18, Article 6) that the act of the will is the form, as it were, of the external action. Now that which results from the material and formal element is one thing. Therefore there is but one goodness of the internal and external act.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, actus interior voluntatis et actus exterior, prout considerantur in genere moris, sunt unus actus. Contingit autem quandoque actum qui est unus subiecto, habere plures rationes bonitatis vel malitiae; et quandoque unam tantum. Sic ergo dicendum quod quandoque est eadem bonitas vel malitia interioris et exterioris actus; quandoque alia et alia. Sicut enim iam dictum est, praedictae duae bonitates vel malitiae, scilicet interioris et exterioris actus, ad invicem ordinantur. Contingit autem in his quae ad aliud ordinantur, quod aliquid est bonum ex hoc solum quod ad aliud ordinatur, sicut potio amara ex hoc solo est bona, quod est sanativa. Unde non est alia bonitas sanitatis et potionis, sed una et eadem. Quandoque vero illud quod ad aliud ordinatur, habet in se aliquam rationem boni, etiam praeter ordinem ad aliud bonum, sicut medicina saporosa habet rationem boni delectabilis, praeter hoc quod est sanativa. Sic ergo dicendum quod, quando actus exterior est bonus vel malus solum ex ordine ad finem, tunc est omnino eadem bonitas vel malitia actus voluntatis, qui per se respicit finem, et actus exterioris, qui respicit finem mediante actu voluntatis. Quando autem actus exterior habet bonitatem vel malitiam secundum se, scilicet secundum materiam vel circumstantias, tunc bonitas exterioris actus est una, et bonitas voluntatis quae est ex fine, est alia, ita tamen quod et bonitas finis ex voluntate redundat in actum exteriorem, et bonitas materiae et circumstantiarum redundat in actum voluntatis, sicut iam dictum est. I answer that, As stated above (Question 17, Article 4), the interior act of the will, and the external action, considered morally, are one act. Now it happens sometimes that one and the same individual act has several aspects of goodness or malice, and sometimes that it has but one. Hence we must say that sometimes the goodness or malice of the interior act is the same as that of the external action, and sometimes not. For as we have already said (1,2), these two goodnesses or malices, of the internal and external acts, are ordained to one another. Now it may happen, in things that are subordinate to something else, that a thing is good merely from being subordinate; thus a bitter draught is good merely because it procures health. Wherefore there are not two goodnesses, one the goodness of health, and the other the goodness of the draught; but one and the same. On the other hand it happens sometimes that that which is subordinate to something else, has some aspect of goodness in itself, besides the fact of its being subordinate to some other good: thus a palatable medicine can be considered in the light of a pleasurable good, besides being conducive to health. We must therefore say that when the external action derives goodness or malice from its relation to the end only, then there is but one and the same goodness of the act of the will which of itself regards the end, and of the external action, which regards the end through the medium of the act of the will. But when the external action has goodness or malice of itself, i.e. in regard to its matter and circumstances, then the goodness of the external action is distinct from the goodness of the will in regarding the end; yet so that the goodness of the end passes into the external action, and the goodness of the matter and circumstances passes into the act of the will, as stated above (1,2).
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ratio illa probat quod actus interior et exterior sunt diversi secundum genus naturae. Sed tamen ex eis sic diversis constituitur unum in genere moris, ut supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 1. This argument proves that the internal and external actions are different in the physical order: yet distinct as they are in that respect, they combine to form one thing in the moral order, as stated above (Question 17, Article 4).
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut dicitur in VI Ethic., virtutes morales ordinantur ad ipsos actus virtutum, qui sunt quasi fines; prudentia autem, quae est in ratione, ad ea quae sunt ad finem. Et propter hoc requiruntur diversae virtutes. Sed ratio recta de ipso fine virtutum non habet aliam bonitatem quam bonitatem virtutis, secundum quod bonitas rationis participatur in qualibet virtute. Reply to Objection 2. As stated in Ethic. vi, 12, a moral virtue is ordained to the act of that virtue, which act is the end, as it were, of that virtue; whereas prudence, which is in the reason, is ordained to things directed to the end. For this reason various virtues are necessary. But right reason in regard to the very end of a virtue has no other goodness than the goodness of that virtue, in so far as the goodness of the reason is participated in each virtue.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, quando aliquid ex uno derivatur in alterum sicut ex causa agente univoca, tunc aliud est quod est in utroque, sicut cum calidum calefacit, alius numero est calor calefacientis, et calor calefacti, licet idem specie. Sed quando aliquid derivatur ab uno in alterum secundum analogiam vel proportionem, tunc est tantum unum numero, sicut a sano quod est in corpore animalis, derivatur sanum ad medicinam et urinam; nec alia sanitas est medicinae et urinae, quam sanitas animalis, quam medicina facit, et urina significat. Et hoc modo a bonitate voluntatis derivatur bonitas actus exterioris, et e converso, scilicet secundum ordinem unius ad alterum. Reply to Objection 3. When a thing is derived by one thing from another, as from a univocal efficient cause, then it is not the same in both: thus when a hot thing heats, the heat of the heater is distinct from the heat of the thing heated, although it be the same specifically. But when a thing is derived from one thing from another, according to analogy or proportion, then it is one and the same in both: thus the healthiness which is in medicine or urine is derived from the healthiness of the animal's body; nor is health as applied to urine and medicine, distinct from health as applied to the body of an animal, of which health medicine is the cause, and urine the sign. It is in this way that the goodness of the external action is derived from the goodness of the will, and vice versa; viz. according to the order of one to the other.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod exterior actus non addat in bonitate vel malitia supra actum interiorem. Dicit enim Chrysostomus, super Matth., voluntas est quae aut remuneratur pro bono, aut condemnatur pro malo. Opera autem testimonia sunt voluntatis. Non ergo quaerit Deus opera propter se, ut sciat quomodo iudicet; sed propter alios, ut omnes intelligant quia iustus est Deus. Sed malum vel bonum magis est aestimandum secundum iudicium Dei, quam secundum iudicium hominum. Ergo actus exterior nihil addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam super actum interiorem. Objection 1. It would seem that the external action does not add any goodness or malice to that of the interior action. For Chrysostom says (Hom. xix in Matt.): "It is the will that is rewarded for doing good, or punished for doing evil." Now works are the witnesses of the will. Therefore God seeks for works not on His own account, in order to know how to judge; but for the sake of others, that all may understand how just He is. But good or evil is to be estimated according to God's judgment rather than according to the judgment of man. Therefore the external action adds no goodness or malice to that of the interior act.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, una et eadem est bonitas interioris et exterioris actus, ut dictum est. Sed augmentum fit per additionem unius ad alterum. Ergo actus exterior non addit in bonitate vel malitia super actum interiorem. Objection 2. Further, the goodness and malice of the interior and external acts are one and the same, as stated above (Article 3). But increase is the addition of one thing to another. Therefore the external action does not add to the goodness or malice of the interior act.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, tota bonitas creaturae nihil addit supra bonitatem divinam, quia tota derivatur a bonitate divina. Sed bonitas actus exterioris quandoque tota derivatur ex bonitate actus interioris, quandoque autem e converso, ut dictum est. Non ergo unum eorum addit in bonitate vel malitia super alterum. Objection 3. Further, the entire goodness of created things does not add to the Divine Goodness, because it is entirely derived therefrom. But sometimes the entire goodness of the external action is derived from the goodness of the interior act, and sometimes conversely, as stated above (1,2). Therefore neither of them adds to the goodness or malice of the other.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra, omne agens intendit consequi bonum et vitare malum. Si ergo per actum exteriorem nihil additur de bonitate vel malitia, frustra qui habet bonam voluntatem vel malam, facit opus bonum, aut desistit a malo opere. Quod est inconveniens. On the contrary, Every agent intends to attain good and avoid evil. If therefore by the external action no further goodness or malice be added, it is to no purpose that he who has a good or an evil will, does a good deed or refrains from an evil deed. Which is unreasonable.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, si loquamur de bonitate exterioris actus quam habet ex voluntate finis, tunc actus exterior nihil addit ad bonitatem, nisi contingat ipsam voluntatem secundum se fieri meliorem in bonis, vel peiorem in malis. Quod quidem videtur posse contingere tripliciter. Uno modo, secundum numerum. Puta, cum aliquis vult aliquid facere bono fine vel malo, et tunc quidem non facit, postmodum autem vult et facit; duplicatur actus voluntatis, et sic fit duplex bonum vel duplex malum. Alio modo, quantum ad extensionem. Puta, cum aliquis vult facere aliquid bono fine vel malo et propter aliquod impedimentum desistit; alius autem continuat motum voluntatis quousque opere perficiat; manifestum est quod huiusmodi voluntas est diuturnior in bono vel malo, et secundum hoc est peior vel melior. Tertio, secundum intensionem. Sunt enim quidam actus exteriores qui, inquantum sunt delectabiles vel poenosi, nati sunt intendere voluntatem vel remittere. Constat autem quod quanto voluntas intensius tendit in bonum vel malum, tanto est melior vel peior. Si autem loquamur de bonitate actus exterioris quam habet secundum materiam et debitas circumstantias, sic comparatur ad voluntatem ut terminus et finis. Et hoc modo addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam voluntatis, quia omnis inclinatio vel motus perficitur in hoc quod consequitur finem, vel attingit terminum. Unde non est perfecta voluntas, nisi sit talis quae, opportunitate data, operetur. Si vero possibilitas desit, voluntate existente perfecta, ut operaretur si posset; defectus perfectionis quae est ex actu exteriori, est simpliciter involuntarium. Involuntarium autem, sicut non meretur poenam vel praemium in operando bonum aut malum, ita non tollit aliquid de praemio vel de poena, si homo involuntarie simpliciter deficiat ad faciendum bonum vel malum. I answer that, If we speak of the goodness which the external action derives from the will tending to the end, then the external action adds nothing to this goodness, unless it happens that the will in itself is made better in good things, or worse in evil things. This, seemingly, may happen in three ways. First in point of number; if, for instance, a man wishes to do something with a good or an evil end in view, and does not do it then, but afterwards wills and does it, the act of his will is doubled and a double good, or a double evil is the result. Secondly, in point of extension: when, for instance, a man wishes to do something for a good or an evil end, and is hindered by some obstacle, whereas another man perseveres in the movement of the will until he accomplish it in deed; it is evident that the will of the latter is more lasting in good or evil, and in this respect, is better or worse. Thirdly, in point of intensity: for these are certain external actions, which, in so far as they are pleasurable, or painful, are such as naturally to make the will more intense or more remiss; and it is evident that the more intensely the will tends to good or evil, the better or worse it is. On the other hand, if we speak of the goodness which the external action derives from its matter and due circumstances, thus it stands in relation to the will as its term and end. And in this way it adds to the goodness or malice of the will; because every inclination or movement is perfected by attaining its end or reaching its term. Wherefore the will is not perfect, unless it be such that, given the opportunity, it realizes the operation. But if this prove impossible, as long as the will is perfect, so as to realize the operation if it could; the lack of perfection derived from the external action, is simply involuntary. Now just as the involuntary deserves neither punishment nor reward in the accomplishment of good or evil deeds, so neither does it lessen reward or punishment, if a man through simple involuntariness fail to do good or evil.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Chrysostomus loquitur, quando voluntas hominis est consummata, et non cessatur ab actu nisi propter impotentiam faciendi. Reply to Objection 1. Chrysostom is speaking of the case where a man's will is complete, and does not refrain from the deed save through the impossibility of achievement.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de bonitate actus exterioris quam habet a voluntate finis. Sed bonitas actus exterioris quam habet ex materia et circumstantiis, est alia a bonitate voluntatis quae est ex fine, non autem alia a bonitate voluntatis quam habet ex ipso actu volito, sed comparatur ad ipsam ut ratio et causa eius, sicut supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. This argument applies to that goodness which the external action derives from the will as tending to the end. But the goodness which the external action takes from its matter and circumstances, is distinct from that which it derives from the end; but it is not distinct from that which it has from the very act willed, to which it stands in the relation of measure and cause, as stated above (1,2).
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 4 ad 3 Et per hoc etiam patet solutio ad tertium. From this the reply to the Third Objection is evident.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod eventus sequens addat ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus. Effectus enim virtute praeexistit in causa. Sed eventus consequuntur actus sicut effectus causas. Ergo virtute praeexistunt in actibus. Sed unumquodque secundum suam virtutem iudicatur bonum vel malum, nam virtus est quae bonum facit habentem, ut dicitur in II Ethic. Ergo eventus addunt ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus. Objection 1. It would seem that the consequences of the external action increase its goodness or malice. For the effect pre-exists virtually in its cause. But the consequences result from the action as an effect from its cause. Therefore they pre-exist virtually in actions. Now a thing is judged to be good or bad according to its virtue, since a virtue "makes that which has it to be good" (Ethic. ii, 6). Therefore the consequences increase the goodness or malice of an action.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, bona quae faciunt auditores, sunt effectus quidam consequentes ex praedicatione doctoris. Sed huiusmodi bona redundant ad meritum praedicatoris, ut patet per id quod dicitur Philipp. IV, fratres mei carissimi et desideratissimi, gaudium meum et corona mea. Ergo eventus sequens addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus. Objection 2. Further, the good actions of his hearers are consequences resulting from the words of a preacher. But such goods as these redound to the merit of the preacher, as is evident from Philippians 4:1: "My dearly beloved brethren, my joy and my crown." Therefore the consequences of an action increase its goodness or malice.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, poena non additur nisi crescente culpa, unde dicitur Deut. XXV, pro mensura peccati, erit et plagarum modus. Sed ex eventu sequente additur ad poenam, dicitur enim Exod. XXI, quod si bos fuerit cornupeta ab heri et nudius tertius, et contestati sunt dominum eius, nec recluserit eum, occideritque virum aut mulierem; et bos lapidibus obruetur, et dominum eius occident. Non autem occideretur, si bos non occidisset hominem, etiam non reclusus. Ergo eventus sequens addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus. Objection 3. Further, punishment is not increased, unless the fault increases: wherefore it is written (Deuteronomy 25:2): "According to the measure of the sin shall the measure also of the stripes be." But the punishment is increased on account of the consequences; for it is written (Exodus 21:29): "But if the ox was wont to push with his horn yesterday and the day before, and they warned his master, and he did not shut him up, and he shall kill a man or a woman, then the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death." But he would not have been put to death, if the ox, although he had not been shut up, had not killed a man. Therefore the consequences increase the goodness or malice of an action.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 arg. 4 Praeterea, si aliquis ingerat causam mortis percutiendo vel sententiam dando, et mors non sequatur, non contrahitur irregularitas. Contraheretur autem si mors sequeretur. Ergo eventus sequens addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus. Objection 4. Further, if a man do something which may cause death, by striking, or by sentencing, and if death does not ensue, he does not contract irregularity: but he would if death were to ensue. Therefore the consequence of an action increase its goodness or malice.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra, eventus sequens non facit actum malum qui erat bonus, nec bonum qui erat malus. Puta si aliquis det eleemosynam pauperi, qua ille abutatur ad peccatum, nihil deperit ei qui eleemosynam fecit, et similiter si aliquis patienter ferat iniuriam sibi factam, non propter hoc excusatur ille qui fecit. Ergo eventus sequens non addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus. On the contrary, The consequences do not make an action that was evil, to be good; nor one that was good, to be evil. For instance, if a man give an alms to a poor man who makes bad use of the alms by committing a sin, this does not undo the good done by the giver; and, in like manner, if a man bear patiently a wrong done to him, the wrongdoer is not thereby excused. Therefore the consequences of an action doe not increase its goodness or malice.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod eventus sequens aut est praecogitatus, aut non. Si est praecogitatus, manifestum est quod addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam. Cum enim aliquis cogitans quod ex opere suo multa mala possunt sequi, nec propter hoc dimittit, ex hoc apparet voluntas eius esse magis inordinata. Si autem eventus sequens non sit praecogitatus, tunc distinguendum est. Quia si per se sequitur ex tali actu, et ut in pluribus, secundum hoc eventus sequens addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus, manifestum est enim meliorem actum esse ex suo genere, ex quo possunt plura bona sequi; et peiorem, ex quo nata sunt plura mala sequi. Si vero per accidens, et ut in paucioribus, tunc eventus sequens non addit ad bonitatem vel ad malitiam actus, non enim datur iudicium de re aliqua secundum illud quod est per accidens, sed solum secundum illud quod est per se. I answer that, The consequences of an action are either foreseen or not. If they are foreseen, it is evident that they increase the goodness or malice. For when a man foresees that many evils may follow from his action, and yet does not therefore desist therefrom, this shows his will to be all the more inordinate. But if the consequences are not foreseen, we must make a distinction. Because if they follow from the nature of the action and in the majority of cases, in this respect, the consequences increase the goodness or malice of that action: for it is evident that an action is specifically better, if better results can follow from it; and specifically worse, if it is of a nature to produce worse results. On the other hand, if the consequences follow by accident and seldom, then they do not increase the goodness or malice of the action: because we do not judge of a thing according to that which belongs to it by accident, but only according to that which belongs to it of itself.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod virtus causae existimatur secundum effectus per se, non autem secundum effectus per accidens. Reply to Objection 1. The virtue of a cause is measured by the effect that flows from the nature of the cause, not by that which results by accident.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod bona quae auditores faciunt, consequuntur ex praedicatione doctoris sicut effectus per se. Unde redundant ad praemium praedicatoris, et praecipue quando sunt praeintenta. Reply to Objection 2. The good actions done by the hearers, result from the preacher's words, as an effect that flows from their very nature. Hence they redound to the merit of the preacher: especially when such is his intention.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod eventus ille pro quo illi poena infligenda mandatur, et per se sequitur ex tali causa, et iterum ponitur ut praecogitatus. Et ideo imputatur ad poenam. Reply to Objection 3. The consequences for which that man is ordered to be punished, both follow from the nature of the cause, and are supposed to be foreseen. For this reason they are reckoned as punishable.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 5 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod ratio illa procederet, si irregularitas sequeretur culpam. Non autem sequitur culpam, sed factum, propter aliquem defectum sacramenti. Reply to Objection 4. This argument would prove if irregularity were the result of the fault. But it is not the result of the fault, but of the fact, and of the obstacle to the reception of a sacrament.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod unus actus possit esse bonus et malus. Motus enim est unus qui est continuus, ut dicitur in V Physic. Sed unus motus continuus potest esse bonus et malus, puta si aliquis, continue ad Ecclesiam vadens, primo quidem intendat inanem gloriam, postea intendat Deo servire. Ergo unus actus potest esse bonus et malus. Objection 1. It would seem that one and the same external action can be both good and evil. For "movement, if continuous, is one and the same" (Phys. v, 4). But one continuous movement can be both good and bad: for instance, a man may go to church continuously, intending at first vainglory, and afterwards the service of God. Therefore one and the same action can be both good and bad.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, secundum philosophum, in III Physic., actio et passio sunt unus actus. Sed potest esse passio bona, sicut Christi; et actio mala, sicut Iudaeorum. Ergo unus actus potest esse bonus et malus. Objection 2. Further, according to the Philosopher (Phys. iii, 3), action and passion are one act. But the passion may be good, as Christ's was; and the action evil, as that of the Jews. Therefore one and the same act can be both good and evil.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, cum servus sit quasi instrumentum domini, actio servi est actio domini, sicut actio instrumenti est actio artificis. Sed potest contingere quod actio servi procedat ex bona voluntate domini, et sic sit bona, et ex mala voluntate servi, et sic sit mala. Ergo idem actus potest esse bonus et malus. Objection 3. Further, since a servant is an instrument, as it were, of his master, the servant's action is his master's, just as the action of a tool is the workman's action. But it may happen that the servant's action result from his master's good will, and is therefore good: and from the evil will of the servant, and is therefore evil. Therefore the same action can be both good and evil.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra, contraria non possunt esse in eodem. Sed bonum et malum sunt contraria. Ergo unus actus non potest esse bonus et malus. On the contrary, The same thing cannot be the subject of contraries. But good and evil are contraries. Therefore the same action cannot be both good and evil.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod nihil prohibet aliquid esse unum, secundum quod est in uno genere; et esse multiplex, secundum quod refertur ad aliud genus. Sicut superficies continua est una, secundum quod consideratur in genere quantitatis, tamen est multiplex, secundum quod refertur ad genus coloris, si partim sit alba, et partim nigra. Et secundum hoc, nihil prohibet aliquem actum esse unum secundum quod refertur ad genus naturae, qui tamen non est unus secundum quod refertur ad genus moris, sicut et e converso, ut dictum est. Ambulatio enim continua est unus actus secundum genus naturae, potest tamen contingere quod sint plures secundum genus moris, si mutetur ambulantis voluntas, quae est principium actuum moralium. Si ergo accipiatur unus actus prout est in genere moris, impossibile est quod sit bonus et malus bonitate et malitia morali. Si tamen sit unus unitate naturae, et non unitate moris, potest esse bonus et malus. I answer that, Nothing hinders a thing from being one, in so far as it is in one genus, and manifold, in so far as it is referred to another genus. Thus a continuous surface is one, considered as in the genus of quantity; and yet it is manifold, considered as to the genus of color, if it be partly white, and partly black. And accordingly, nothing hinders an action from being one, considered in the natural order; whereas it is not one, considered in the moral order; and vice versa, as we have stated above (3, ad 1; 18, 7, ad 1). For continuous walking is one action, considered in the natural order: but it may resolve itself into many actions, considered in the moral order, if a change take place in the walker's will, for the will is the principle of moral actions. If therefore we consider one action in the moral order, it is impossible for it to be morally both good and evil. Whereas if it be one as to natural and not moral unity, it can be both good and evil.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ille motus continuus qui procedit ex diversa intentione, licet sit unus unitate naturae, non est tamen unus unitate moris. Reply to Objection 1. This continual movement which proceeds from various intentions, although it is one in the natural order, is not one in the point of moral unity.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod actio et passio pertinent ad genus moris, inquantum habent rationem voluntarii. Et ideo secundum quod diversa voluntate dicuntur voluntaria, secundum hoc sunt duo moraliter, et potest ex una parte inesse bonum, et ex alia malum. Reply to Objection 2. Action and passion belong to the moral order, in so far as they are voluntary. And therefore in so far as they are voluntary in respect of wills that differ, they are two distinct things, and good can be in one of them while evil is in the other.
Iª-IIae q. 20 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod actus servi, inquantum procedit ex voluntate servi, non est actus domini, sed solum inquantum procedit ex mandato domini. Unde sic non facit ipsum malum mala voluntas servi. Reply to Objection 3. The action of the servant, in so far as it proceeds from the will of the servant, is not the master's action: but only in so far as it proceeds from the master's command. Wherefore the evil will of the servant does not make the action evil in this respect.

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