Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q21

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Q20 Q22



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IIª-IIae q. 21 pr. Deinde considerandum est de praesumptione. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, quid sit obiectum praesumptionis cui innititur. Secundo, utrum sit peccatum. Tertio, cui opponatur. Quarto, ex quo vitio oriatur. Question 21. Presumption What is the object in which presumption trusts? Is presumption a sin? To what is it opposed? From what vice does it arise?
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praesumptio quae est peccatum in spiritum sanctum non innitatur Deo, sed propriae virtuti. Quanto enim minor est virtus, tanto magis peccat qui ei nimis innititur. Sed minor est virtus humana quam divina. Ergo gravius peccat qui praesumit de virtute humana quam qui praesumit de virtute divina. Sed peccatum in spiritum sanctum est gravissimum. Ergo praesumptio quae ponitur species peccati in spiritum sanctum inhaeret virtuti humanae magis quam divinae. Objection 1. It would seem that presumption, which is a sin against the Holy Ghost, trusts, not in God, but in our own power. For the lesser the power, the more grievously does he sin who trusts in it too much. But man's power is less than God's. Therefore it is a more grievous sin to presume on human power than to presume on the power of God. Now the sin against the Holy Ghost is most grievous. Therefore presumption, which is reckoned a species of sin against the Holy Ghost, trusts to human rather than to Divine power.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, ex peccato in spiritum sanctum alia peccata oriuntur, peccatum enim in spiritum sanctum dicitur malitia ex qua quis peccat. Sed magis videntur alia peccata oriri ex praesumptione qua homo praesumit de seipso quam ex praesumptione qua homo praesumit de Deo, quia amor sui est principium peccandi, ut patet per Augustinum, XIV de Civ. Dei. Ergo videtur quod praesumptio quae est peccatum in spiritum sanctum maxime innitatur virtuti humanae. Objection 2. Further, other sins arise from the sin against the Holy Ghost, for this sin is called malice which is a source from which sins arise. Now other sins seem to arise from the presumption whereby man presumes on himself rather than from the presumption whereby he presumes on God, since self-love is the origin of sin, according to Augustine (De Civ. Dei xiv, 28). Therefore it seems that presumption which is a sin against the Holy Ghost, relies chiefly on human power.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccatum contingit ex conversione inordinata ad bonum commutabile. Sed praesumptio est quoddam peccatum. Ergo magis contingit ex conversione ad virtutem humanam, quae est bonum commutabile, quam ex conversione ad virtutem divinam, quae est bonum incommutabile. Objection 3. Further, sin arises from the inordinate conversion to a mutable good. Now presumption is a sin. Therefore it arises from turning to human power, which is a mutable good, rather than from turning to the power of God, which is an immutable good.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod sicut ex desperatione aliquis contemnit divinam misericordiam, cui spes innititur, ita ex praesumptione contemnit divinam iustitiam, quae peccatores punit. Sed sicut misericordia est in Deo, ita etiam et iustitia est in ipso. Ergo sicut desperatio est per aversionem a Deo, ita praesumptio est per inordinatam conversionem ad ipsum. On the contrary, Just as, through despair, a man despises the Divine mercy, on which hope relies, so, through presumption, he despises the Divine justice, which punishes the sinner. Now justice is in God even as mercy is. Therefore, just as despair consists in aversion from God, so presumption consists in inordinate conversion to Him.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod praesumptio videtur importare quandam immoderantiam spei. Spei autem obiectum est bonum arduum possibile. Possibile autem est aliquid homini dupliciter, uno modo, per propriam virtutem; alio modo, non nisi per virtutem divinam. Circa utramque autem spem per immoderantiam potest esse praesumptio. Nam circa spem per quam aliquis de propria virtute confidit, attenditur praesumptio ex hoc quod aliquis tendit in aliquid ut sibi possibile quod suam facultatem excedit, secundum quod dicitur Iudith VI, praesumentes de se humilias. Et talis praesumptio opponitur virtuti magnanimitatis, quae medium tenet in huiusmodi spe. Circa spem autem qua aliquis inhaeret divinae potentiae, potest per immoderantiam esse praesumptio in hoc quod aliquis tendit in aliquod bonum ut possibile per virtutem et misericordiam divinam quod possibile non est, sicut cum aliquis sperat se veniam obtinere sine poenitentia, vel gloriam sine meritis. Haec autem praesumptio est proprie species peccati in spiritum sanctum, quia scilicet per huiusmodi praesumptionem tollitur vel contemnitur adiutorium spiritus sancti per quod homo revocatur a peccato. I answer that, Presumption seems to imply immoderate hope. Now the object of hope is an arduous possible good: and a thing is possible to a man in two ways: first by his own power; secondly, by the power of God alone. With regard to either hope there may be presumption owing to lack of moderation. As to the hope whereby a man relies on his own power, there is presumption if he tends to a good as though it were possible to him, whereas it surpasses his powers, according to Judith 6:15: "Thou humblest them that presume of themselves." This presumption is contrary to the virtue of magnanimity which holds to the mean in this kind of hope. But as to the hope whereby a man relies on the power of God, there may be presumption through immoderation, in the fact that a man tends to some good as though it were possible by the power and mercy of God, whereas it is not possible, for instance, if a man hope to obtain pardon without repenting, or glory without merits. This presumption is, properly, the sin against the Holy Ghost, because, to wit, by presuming thus a man removes or despises the assistance of the Holy Spirit, whereby he is withdrawn from sin.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, peccatum quod est contra Deum secundum suum genus est gravius ceteris peccatis. Unde praesumptio qua quis inordinate innititur Deo gravius peccatum est quam praesumptio qua quis innititur propriae virtuti. Quod enim aliquis innitatur divinae virtuti ad consequendum id quod Deo non convenit, hoc est diminuere divinam virtutem. Patet autem quod gravius peccat qui diminuit divinam virtutem quam qui propriam virtutem superextollit. Reply to Objection 1. As stated above (20, 3; I-II, 73, 3) a sin which is against God is, in its genus, graver than other sins. Hence presumption whereby a man relies on God inordinately, is a more grievous sin than the presumption of trusting in one's own power, since to rely on the Divine power for obtaining what is unbecoming to God, is to depreciate the Divine power, and it is evident that it is a graver sin to detract from the Divine power than to exaggerate one's own.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ipsa etiam praesumptio qua quis de Deo inordinate praesumit amorem sui includit, quo quis proprium bonum inordinate desiderat. Quod enim multum desideramus, aestimamus nobis de facili per alios posse provenire, etiam si non possit. Reply to Objection 2. The presumption whereby a man presumes inordinately on God, includes self-love, whereby he loves his own good inordinately. For when we desire a thing very much, we think we can easily procure it through others, even though we cannot.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod praesumptio de divina misericordia habet et conversionem ad bonum commutabile, inquantum procedit ex desiderio inordinato proprii boni; et aversionem a bono incommutabili, inquantum attribuit divinae virtuti quod ei non convenit; per hoc enim avertitur homo a veritate divina. Reply to Objection 3. Presumption on God's mercy implies both conversion to a mutable good, in so far as it arises from an inordinate desire of one's own good, and aversion from the immutable good, in as much as it ascribes to the Divine power that which is unbecoming to it, for thus man turns away from God's power.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praesumptio non sit peccatum. Nullum enim peccatum est ratio quod homo exaudiatur a Deo. Sed per praesumptionem aliqui exaudiuntur a Deo, dicitur enim Iudith IX, exaudi me miseram deprecantem et de tua misericordia praesumentem. Ergo praesumptio de divina misericordia non est peccatum. Objection 1. It would seem that presumption is not a sin. For no sin is a reason why man should be heard by God. Yet, through presumption some are heard by God, for it is written (Judith 9:17): "Hear me a poor wretch making supplication to Thee, and presuming of Thy mercy." Therefore presumption on God's mercy is not a sin.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, praesumptio importat superexcessum spei. Sed in spe quae habetur de Deo non potest esse superexcessus, cum eius potentia et misericordia sint infinita. Ergo videtur quod praesumptio non sit peccatum. Objection 2. Further, presumption denotes excessive hope. But there cannot be excess of that hope which is in God, since His power and mercy are infinite. Therefore it seems that presumption is not a sin.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, id quod est peccatum non excusat a peccato. Sed praesumptio excusat a peccato, dicit enim Magister, XXII dist. II Lib. Sent., quod Adam minus peccavit quia sub spe veniae peccavit, quod videtur ad praesumptionem pertinere. Ergo praesumptio non est peccatum. Objection 3. Further, that which is a sin does not excuse from sin: for the Master says (Sent. ii, D, 22) that "Adam sinned less, because he sinned in the hope of pardon," which seems to indicate presumption. Therefore presumption is not a sin.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod ponitur species peccati in spiritum sanctum. On the contrary, It is reckoned a species of sin against the Holy Ghost.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est circa desperationem, omnis motus appetitivus qui conformiter se habet ad intellectum falsum est secundum se malus et peccatum. Praesumptio autem est motus quidam appetitivus, quia importat quandam spem inordinatam. Habet autem se conformiter intellectui falso, sicut et desperatio, sicut enim falsum est quod Deus poenitentibus non indulgeat, vel quod peccantes ad poenitentiam non convertat, ita falsum est quod in peccato perseverantibus veniam concedat, et a bono opere cessantibus gloriam largiatur; cui existimationi conformiter se habet praesumptionis motus. Et ideo praesumptio est peccatum. Minus tamen quam desperatio, quanto magis proprium est Deo misereri et parcere quam punire, propter eius infinitam bonitatem. Illud enim secundum se Deo convenit, hoc autem propter nostra peccata. I answer that, As stated above (Question 20, Article 1) with regard to despair, every appetitive movement that is conformed to a false intellect, is evil in itself and sinful. Now presumption is an appetitive movement, since it denotes an inordinate hope. Moreover it is conformed to a false intellect, just as despair is: for just as it is false that God does not pardon the repentant, or that He does not turn sinners to repentance, so is it false that He grants forgiveness to those who persevere in their sins, and that He gives glory to those who cease from good works: and it is to this estimate that the movement of presumption is conformed. Consequently presumption is a sin, but less grave than despair, since, on account of His infinite goodness, it is more proper to God to have mercy and to spare, than to punish: for the former becomes God in Himself, the latter becomes Him by reason of our sins.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod praesumere aliquando ponitur pro sperare, quia ipsa spes recta quae habetur de Deo praesumptio videtur si mensuretur secundum conditionem humanam. Non autem est praesumptio si attendatur immensitas bonitatis divinae. Reply to Objection 1. Presumption sometimes stands for hope, because even the right hope which we have in God seems to be presumption, if it be measured according to man's estate: yet it is not, if we look at the immensity of the goodness of God.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod praesumptio non importat superexcessum spei ex hoc quod aliquis nimis speret de Deo, sed ex hoc quod sperat de Deo aliquid quod Deo non convenit. Quod etiam est minus sperare de eo, quia hoc est eius virtutem quodammodo diminuere, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. Presumption does not denote excessive hope, as though man hoped too much in God; but through man hoping to obtain from God something unbecoming to Him; which is the same as to hope too little in Him, since it implies a depreciation of His power; as stated above (1, ad 1).
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod peccare cum proposito perseverandi in peccato sub spe veniae ad praesumptionem pertinet. Et hoc non diminuit, sed auget peccatum. Peccare autem sub spe veniae quandoque percipiendae cum proposito abstinendi a peccato et poenitendi de ipso, hoc non est praesumptionis, sed hoc peccatum diminuit, quia per hoc videtur habere voluntatem minus firmatam ad peccandum. Reply to Objection 3. To sin with the intention of persevering in sin and through the hope of being pardoned, is presumptuous, and this does not diminish, but increases sin. To sin, however, with the hope of obtaining pardon some time, and with the intention of refraining from sin and of repenting of it, is not presumptuous, but diminishes sin, because this seems to indicate a will less hardened in sin.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod praesumptio magis opponatur timori quam spei. Inordinatio enim timoris opponitur recto timori. Sed praesumptio videtur ad inordinationem timoris pertinere, dicitur enim Sap. XVII, semper praesumit saeva perturbata conscientia; et ibidem dicitur quod timor est praesumptionis adiutorium. Ergo praesumptio opponitur timori magis quam spei. Objection 1. It would seem that presumption is more opposed to fear than to hope. Because inordinate fear is opposed to right fear. Now presumption seems to pertain to inordinate fear, for it is written (Wisdom 17:10): "A troubled conscience always presumes [Douay: 'forecasteth'] grievous things," and (Wisdom 17:11) that "fear is a help to presumption [Vulgate: 'Fear is nothing else but a yielding up of the succours from thought.']." Therefore presumption is opposed to fear rather than to hope.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, contraria sunt quae maxime distant. Sed praesumptio magis distat a timore quam a spe, quia praesumptio importat motum ad rem, sicut et spes; timor autem motum a re. Ergo praesumptio magis contrariatur timori quam spei. Objection 2. Further, contraries are most distant from one another. Now presumption is more distant from fear than from hope, because presumption implies movement to something, just as hope does, whereas fear denotes movement from a thing. Therefore presumption is contrary to fear rather than to hope.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, praesumptio totaliter excludit timorem, non autem totaliter excludit spem, sed solum rectitudinem spei. Cum ergo opposita sint quae se interimunt, videtur quod praesumptio magis opponatur timori quam spei. Objection 3. Further, presumption excludes fear altogether, whereas it does not exclude hope altogether, but only the rectitude of hope. Since therefore contraries destroy one another, it seems that presumption is contrary to fear rather than to hope.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod duo invicem opposita vitia contrariantur uni virtuti, sicut timiditas et audacia fortitudini. Sed peccatum praesumptionis contrariatur peccato desperationis, quod directe opponitur spei. Ergo videtur quod etiam praesumptio directius spei opponatur. On the contrary, When two vices are opposed to one another they are contrary to the same virtue, as timidity and audacity are opposed to fortitude. Now the sin of presumption is contrary to the sin of despair, which is directly opposed to hope. Therefore it seems that presumption also is more directly opposed to hope.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in IV contra Iulian., omnibus virtutibus non solum sunt vitia manifesta discretione contraria, sicut prudentiae temeritas, verum etiam vicina quodammodo, nec veritate, sed quadam specie fallente similia, sicut prudentiae astutia. Et hoc etiam philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., quod virtus maiorem convenientiam videtur habere cum uno oppositorum vitiorum quam cum alio, sicut temperantia cum insensibilitate et fortitudo cum audacia. Praesumptio igitur manifestam oppositionem videtur habere ad timorem, praecipue servilem, qui respicit poenam ex Dei iustitia provenientem, cuius remissionem praesumptio sperat. Sed secundum quandam falsam similitudinem magis contrariatur spei, quia importat quandam inordinatam spem de Deo. Et quia directius aliqua opponuntur quae sunt unius generis quam quae sunt generum diversorum (nam contraria sunt in eodem genere), ideo directius praesumptio opponitur spei quam timori, utrumque enim respicit idem obiectum cui innititur, sed spes ordinate, praesumptio inordinate. I answer that, As Augustine states (Contra Julian. iv, 3), "every virtue not only has a contrary vice manifestly distinct from it, as temerity is opposed to prudence, but also a sort of kindred vice, alike, not in truth but only in its deceitful appearance, as cunning is opposed to prudence." This agrees with the Philosopher who says (Ethic. ii, 8) that a virtue seems to have more in common with one of the contrary vices than with the other, as temperance with insensibility, and fortitude with audacity. Accordingly presumption appears to be manifestly opposed to fear, especially servile fear, which looks at the punishment arising from God's justice, the remission of which presumption hopes for; yet by a kind of false likeness it is more opposed to hope, since it denotes an inordinate hope in God. And since things are more directly opposed when they belong to the same genus, than when they belong to different genera, it follows that presumption is more directly opposed to hope than to fear. For they both regard and rely on the same object, hope ordinately, presumption inordinately.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sicut spes abusive dicitur de malo, proprie autem de bono, ita etiam praesumptio. Et secundum hunc modum inordinatio timoris praesumptio dicitur. Reply to Objection 1. Just as hope is misused in speaking of evils, and properly applied in speaking of good, so is presumption: it is in this way that inordinate fear is called presumption.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod contraria sunt quae maxime distant in eodem genere. Praesumptio autem et spes important motum eiusdem generis, qui potest esse vel ordinatus vel inordinatus. Et ideo praesumptio directius contrariatur spei quam timori, nam spei contrariatur ratione propriae differentiae, sicut inordinatum ordinato; timori autem contrariatur ratione differentiae sui generis, scilicet motus spei. Reply to Objection 2. Contraries are things that are most distant from one another within the same genus. Now presumption and hope denote a movement of the same genus, which can be either ordinate or inordinate. Hence presumption is more directly opposed to hope than to fear, since it is opposed to hope in respect of its specific difference, as an inordinate thing to an ordinate one, whereas it is opposed to fear, in respect of its generic difference, which is the movement of hope.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod quia praesumptio contrariatur timori contrarietate generis, virtuti autem spei contrarietate differentiae, ideo praesumptio excludit totaliter timorem etiam secundum genus, spem autem non excludit nisi ratione differentiae, excludendo eius ordinationem. Reply to Objection 3. Presumption is opposed to fear by a generic contrariety, and to the virtue of hope by a specific contrariety. Hence presumption excludes fear altogether even generically, whereas it does not exclude hope except by reason of its difference, by excluding its ordinateness.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praesumptio non causetur ex inani gloria. Praesumptio enim maxime videtur inniti divinae misericordiae. Misericordia autem respicit miseriam, quae opponitur gloriae. Ergo praesumptio non oritur ex inani gloria. Objection 1. It would seem that presumption does not arise from vainglory. For presumption seems to rely most of all on the Divine mercy. Now mercy [misericordia] regards unhappiness [miseriam] which is contrary to glory. Therefore presumption does not arise from vainglory.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, praesumptio opponitur desperationi. Sed desperatio oritur ex tristitia, ut dictum est. Cum igitur oppositorum oppositae sint causae, videtur quod oriatur ex delectatione. Et ita videtur quod oriatur ex vitiis carnalibus, quorum delectationes sunt vehementiores. Objection 2. Further, presumption is opposed to despair. Now despair arises from sorrow, as stated above (20, 4, ad 2). Since therefore opposites have opposite causes, presumption would seem to arise from pleasure, and consequently from sins of the flesh, which give the most absorbing pleasure.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, vitium praesumptionis consistit in hoc quod aliquis tendit in aliquod bonum quod non est possibile, quasi possibile. Sed quod aliquis aestimet possibile quod est impossibile, provenit ex ignorantia. Ergo praesumptio magis provenit ex ignorantia quam ex inani gloria. Objection 3. Further, the vice of presumption consists in tending to some impossible good, as though it were possible. Now it is owing to ignorance that one deems an impossible thing to be possible. Therefore presumption arises from ignorance rather than from vainglory.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod Gregorius dicit, XXXI Moral., quod praesumptio novitatum est filia inanis gloriae. On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45) that "presumption of novelties is a daughter of vainglory."
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, duplex est praesumptio. Una quidem quae innititur propriae virtuti, attentans scilicet aliquid ut sibi possibile quod propriam virtutem excedit. Et talis praesumptio manifeste ex inani gloria procedit, ex hoc enim quod aliquis multam desiderat gloriam, sequitur quod attentet ad gloriam quaedam super vires suas. Et huiusmodi praecipue sunt nova, quae maiorem admirationem habent. Et ideo signanter Gregorius praesumptionem novitatum posuit filiam inanis gloriae. Alia vero est praesumptio quae innititur inordinate divinae misericordiae vel potentiae, per quam sperat se obtinere gloriam sine meritis et veniam sine poenitentia. Et talis praesumptio videtur oriri directe ex superbia, ac si ipse tanti se aestimet quod etiam eum peccantem Deus non puniat vel a gloria excludat. I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), presumption is twofold; one whereby a man relies on his own power, when he attempts something beyond his power, as though it were possible to him. Such like presumption clearly arises from vainglory; for it is owing to a great desire for glory, that a man attempts things beyond his power, and especially novelties which call for greater admiration. Hence Gregory states explicitly that presumption of novelties is a daughter of vainglory. The other presumption is an inordinate trust in the Divine mercy or power, consisting in the hope of obtaining glory without merits, or pardon without repentance. Such like presumption seems to arise directly from pride, as though man thought so much of himself as to esteem that God would not punish him or exclude him from glory, however much he might be a sinner.
IIª-IIae q. 21 a. 4 ad arg. Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.

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