St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province

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Deinde considerandum est de causa peccati ex parte appetitus sensitivi, utrum passio animae sit causa peccati. Et circa hoc quaeruntur octo. We must now consider the cause of sin, on the part of the sensitive appetite, as to whether a passion of the soul may be a cause of sin: and under this head there are eight points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum passio appetitus sensitivi possit movere vel inclinare voluntatem. (1) Whether a passion of the sensitive appetite can move or incline the will?
Secundo, utrum possit superare rationem contra eius scientiam. (2) Whether it can overcome the reason against the latter's knowledge?
Tertio, utrum peccatum quod ex passione provenit, sit peccatum ex infirmitate. (3) Whether a sin resulting from a passion is a sin of weakness?
Quarto, utrum haec passio quae est amor sui, sit causa omnis peccati. (4) Whether the passion of self-love is the cause of every sin?
Quinto, de illis tribus causis quae ponuntur I Ioan. II, concupiscentia oculorum, concupiscentia carnis, et superbia vitae. (5) Of three causes mentioned in 1 Jn. 2:16: "Concupiscence of the eyes, Concupiscence of the flesh," and "Pride of life."
Sexto, utrum passio quae est causa peccati, diminuat ipsum. (6) Whether the passion which causes a sin diminishes it?
Septimo, utrum totaliter excuset. (7) Whether passion excuses from sin altogether?
Octavo, utrum peccatum quod ex passione est, possit esse mortale. (8) Whether a sin committed through passion can be mortal?

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Article: 1  [ << | >> ]

Whether the will is moved by a passion of the senstive appetite?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod voluntas non moveatur a passione appetitus sensitivi. Nulla enim potentia passiva movetur nisi a suo obiecto. Voluntas autem est potentia passiva et activa simul, inquantum est movens et mota, sicut in III de anima philosophus dicit universaliter de vi appetitiva. Cum ergo obiectum voluntatis non sit passio appetitus sensitivi, sed magis bonum rationis; videtur quod passio appetitus sensitivi non moveat voluntatem. Objection 1: It would seem that the will is not moved by a passion of the sensitive appetite. For no passive power is moved except by its object. Now the will is a power both passive and active, inasmuch as it is mover and moved, as the Philosopher says of the appetitive power in general (De Anima iii, text. 54). Since therefore the object of the will is not a passion of the sensitive appetite, but good defined by the reason, it seems that a passion of the sensitive appetite does not move the will.
Praeterea, superior motor non movetur ab inferiori, sicut anima non movetur a corpore. Sed voluntas, quae est appetitus rationis, comparatur ad appetitum sensitivum sicut motor superior ad inferiorem, dicit enim philosophus, in III de anima, quod appetitus rationis movet appetitum sensitivum, sicut in corporibus caelestibus sphaera movet sphaeram. Ergo voluntas non potest moveri a passione appetitus sensitivi. Objection 2: Further, the higher mover is not moved by the lower; thus the soul is not moved by the body. Now the will, which is the rational appetite, is compared to the sensitive appetite, as a higher mover to a lower: for the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, text. 57) that "the rational appetite moves the sensitive appetite, even as, in the heavenly bodies, one sphere moves another." Therefore the will cannot be moved by a passion of the sensitive appetite.
Praeterea, nullum immateriale potest moveri ab aliquo materiali. Sed voluntas est quaedam potentia immaterialis, non enim utitur organo corporali, cum sit in ratione, ut dicitur in III de anima. Appetitus autem sensitivus est vis materialis, utpote fundata in organo corporali. Ergo passio appetitus sensitivi non potest movere appetitum intellectivum. Objection 3: Further, nothing immaterial can be moved by that which is material. Now the will is an immaterial power, because it does not use a corporeal organ, since it is in the reason, as stated in De Anima iii, text. 42: whereas the sensitive appetite is a material force, since it is seated in an organ of the body. Therefore a passion of the sensitive appetite cannot move the intellective appetite.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Dan. XIII, concupiscentia subvertit cor tuum. On the contrary, It is written (Dan. 13:56): "Lust hath perverted thy heart."
Respondeo dicendum quod passio appetitus sensitivi non potest directe trahere aut movere voluntatem, sed indirecte potest. Et hoc dupliciter. Uno quidem modo, secundum quandam abstractionem. Cum enim omnes potentiae animae in una essentia animae radicentur, necesse est quod quando una potentia intenditur in suo actu, altera in suo actu remittatur, vel etiam totaliter impediatur. Tum quia omnis virtus ad plura dispersa fit minor, unde e contrario, quando intenditur circa unum, minus potest ad alia dispergi. Tum quia in operibus animae requiritur quaedam intentio, quae dum vehementer applicatur ad unum, non potest alteri vehementer attendere. Et secundum hunc modum, per quandam distractionem, quando motus appetitus sensitivi fortificatur secundum quamcumque passionem, necesse est quod remittatur, vel totaliter impediatur motus proprius appetitus rationalis, qui est voluntas. I answer that, A passion of the sensitive appetite cannot draw or move the will directly; but it can do so indirectly, and this in two ways. First, by a kind of distraction: because, since all the soul's powers are rooted in the one essence of the soul, it follows of necessity that, when one power is intent in its act, another power becomes remiss, or is even altogether impeded, in its act, both because all energy is weakened through being divided, so that, on the contrary, through being centered on one thing, it is less able to be directed to several; and because, in the operations of the soul, a certain attention is requisite, and if this be closely fixed on one thing, less attention is given to another. In this way, by a kind of distraction, when the movement of the sensitive appetite is enforced in respect of any passion whatever, the proper movement of the rational appetite or will must, of necessity, become remiss or altogether impeded.
Alio modo, ex parte obiecti voluntatis, quod est bonum ratione apprehensum. Impeditur enim iudicium et apprehensio rationis propter vehementem et inordinatam apprehensionem imaginationis, et iudicium virtutis aestimativae, ut patet in amentibus. Manifestum est autem quod passionem appetitus sensitivi sequitur imaginationis apprehensio, et iudicium aestimativae, sicut etiam dispositionem linguae sequitur iudicium gustus. Unde videmus quod homines in aliqua passione existentes, non facile imaginationem avertunt ab his circa quae afficiuntur. Unde per consequens iudicium rationis plerumque sequitur passionem appetitus sensitivi; et per consequens motus voluntatis, qui natus est sequi iudicium rationis. Secondly, this may happen on the part of the will's object, which is good apprehended by reason. Because the judgment and apprehension of reason is impeded on account of a vehement and inordinate apprehension of the imagination and judgment of the estimative power, as appears in those who are out of their mind. Now it is evident that the apprehension of the imagination and the judgment of the estimative power follow the passion of the sensitive appetite, even as the verdict of the taste follows the disposition of the tongue: for which reason we observe that those who are in some kind of passion, do not easily turn their imagination away from the object of their emotion, the result being that the judgment of the reason often follows the passion of the sensitive appetite, and consequently the will's movement follows it also, since it has a natural inclination always to follow the judgment of the reason.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod per passionem appetitus sensitivi fit aliqua immutatio circa iudicium de obiecto voluntatis, sicut dictum est; quamvis ipsa passio appetitus sensitivi non sit directe voluntatis obiectum. Reply to Objection 1: Although the passion of the sensitive appetite is not the direct object of the will, yet it occasions a certain change in the judgment about the object of the will, as stated.
Ad secundum dicendum quod superius non movetur ab inferiori directe, sed indirecte quodammodo moveri potest, sicut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2: The higher mover is not directly moved by the lower; but, in a manner, it can be moved by it indirectly, as stated.
Et similiter dicendum est ad tertium. The Third Objection is solved in like manner.

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Whether the reason can be overcome by a passion, against its knowledge?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ratio non possit superari a passione contra suam scientiam. Fortius enim non vincitur a debiliori. Sed scientia, propter suam certitudinem, est fortissimum eorum quae in nobis sunt. Ergo non potest superari a passione, quae est debilis et cito transiens. Objection 1: It would seem that the reason cannot be overcome by a passion, against its knowledge. For the stronger is not overcome by the weaker. Now knowledge, on account of its certitude, is the strongest thing in us. Therefore it cannot be overcome by a passion, which is weak and soon passes away.
Praeterea, voluntas non est nisi boni vel apparentis boni. Sed cum passio trahit voluntatem in id quod est vere bonum, non inclinat rationem contra scientiam. Cum autem trahit eam in id quod est apparens bonum et non existens, trahit eam in id quod rationi videtur, hoc autem est in scientia rationis, quod ei videtur. Ergo passio nunquam inclinat rationem contra suam scientiam. Objection 2: Further, the will is not directed save to the good or the apparent good. Now when a passion draws the will to that which is really good, it does not influence the reason against its knowledge; and when it draws it to that which is good apparently, but not really, it draws it to that which appears good to the reason. But what appears to the reason is in the knowledge of the reason. Therefore a passion never influences the reason against its knowledge.
Praeterea, quicumque scit universale, scit etiam particulare quod novit sub universali contineri; sicut quicumque scit omnem mulam esse sterilem, scit hoc animal esse sterile, dummodo sciat quod sit mula; ut patet per id quod dicitur in I Poster. Sed ille qui scit aliquid in universali, puta nullam fornicationem esse faciendam, scit hoc particulare sub universali contineri, puta hunc actum esse fornicarium. Ergo videtur quod etiam in particulari sciat. Objection 3: Further, if it be said that it draws the reason from its knowledge of something in general, to form a contrary judgment about a particular matter—on the contrary, if a universal and a particular proposition be opposed, they are opposed by contradiction, e.g. "Every man," and "Not every man." Now if two opinions contradict one another, they are contrary to one another, as stated in Peri Herm. ii. If therefore anyone, while knowing something in general, were to pronounce an opposite judgment in a particular case, he would have two contrary opinions at the same time, which is impossible.
Praeterea, quicumque scit universale, scit etiam particulare quod novit sub universali contineri; sicut quicumque scit omnem mulam esse sterilem, scit hoc animal esse sterile, dummodo sciat quod sit mula; ut patet per id quod dicitur in I Poster. Sed ille qui scit aliquid in universali, puta nullam fornicationem esse faciendam, scit hoc particulare sub universali contineri, puta hunc actum esse fornicarium. Ergo videtur quod etiam in particulari sciat. Objection 4: Further, whoever knows the universal, knows also the particular which he knows to be contained in the universal: thus who knows that every mule is sterile, knows that this particular animal is sterile, provided he knows it to be a mule, as is clear from Poster. i, text. 2. Now he who knows something in general, e.g. that "no fornication is lawful," knows this general proposition to contain, for example, the particular proposition, "This is an act of fornication." Therefore it seems that his knowledge extends to the particular.
Praeterea, ea quae sunt in voce, sunt signa intellectus animae, secundum philosophum. Sed homo in passione existens frequenter confitetur id quod eligit esse malum etiam in particulari. Ergo etiam in particulari habet scientiam. Objection 5: Further, according to the Philosopher (Peri Herm. i), "words express the thoughts of the mind." Now it often happens that man, while in a state of passion, confesses that what he has chosen is an evil, even in that particular case. Therefore he has knowledge, even in particular.
Sic igitur videtur quod passiones non possint trahere rationem contra scientiam universalem, quia non potest esse quod habeat scientiam universalem, et existimet oppositum in particulari. Therefore it seems that the passions cannot draw the reason against its universal knowledge; because it is impossible for it to have universal knowledge together with an opposite particular judgment.
Sed contra est quod dicit apostolus, Rom. VII, video aliam legem in membris meis repugnantem legi mentis meae, et captivantem me in lege peccati. Lex autem quae est in membris, est concupiscentia, de qua supra locutus fuerat. Cum igitur concupiscentia sit passio quaedam, videtur quod passio trahat rationem etiam contra hoc quod scit. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rm. 7:23): "I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin." Now the law that is in the members is concupiscence, of which he had been speaking previously. Since then concupiscence is a passion, it seems that a passion draws the reason counter to its knowledge.
Respondeo dicendum quod opinio Socratis fuit, ut philosophus dicit in VII Ethic., quod scientia nunquam posset superari a passione. Unde ponebat omnes virtutes esse scientias, et omnia peccata esse ignorantias. In quo quidem aliqualiter recte sapiebat. Quia cum voluntas sit boni vel apparentis boni, nunquam voluntas in malum moveretur, nisi id quod non est bonum, aliqualiter rationi bonum appareret, et propter hoc voluntas nunquam in malum tenderet, nisi cum aliqua ignorantia vel errore rationis. Unde dicitur Prov. XIV, errant qui operantur malum. I answer that, As the Philosopher states (Ethic. vii, 2), the opinion of Socrates was that knowledge can never be overcome by passion; wherefore he held every virtue to be a kind of knowledge, and every sin a kind of ignorance. In this he was somewhat right, because, since the object of the will is a good or an apparent good, it is never moved to an evil, unless that which is not good appear good in some respect to the reason; so that the will would never tend to evil, unless there were ignorance or error in the reason. Hence it is written (Prov. 14:22): "They err that work evil."
Sed quia experimento patet quod multi agunt contra ea quorum scientiam habent; et hoc etiam auctoritate divina confirmatur, secundum illud Luc. XII, servus qui cognovit voluntatem domini sui et non fecit, plagis vapulabit multis; et Iac. IV dicitur, scienti bonum facere et non facienti, peccatum est illi, non simpliciter verum dixit, sed oportet distinguere, ut philosophus tradit in VII Ethic. Cum enim ad recte agendum homo dirigatur duplici scientia, scilicet universali et particulari; utriusque defectus sufficit ad hoc quod impediatur rectitudo operis et voluntatis, ut supra dictum est. Contingit igitur quod aliquis habeat scientiam in universali, puta nullam fornicationem esse faciendam; sed tamen non cognoscat in particulari hunc actum qui est fornicatio, non esse faciendum. Et hoc sufficit ad hoc quod voluntas non sequatur universalem scientiam rationis. Iterum considerandum est quod nihil prohibet aliquid sciri in habitu, quod tamen actu non consideratur. Potest igitur contingere quod aliquis etiam rectam scientiam habeat in singulari, et non solum in universali, sed tamen in actu non consideret. Et tunc non videtur difficile quod praeter id quod actu non considerat, homo agat. Quod autem homo non consideret in particulari id quod habitualiter scit, quandoque quidem contingit ex solo defectu intentionis, puta cum homo sciens geometriam, non intendit ad considerandum geometriae conclusiones, quas statim in promptu habet considerare. Quandoque autem homo non considerat id quod habet in habitu propter aliquod impedimentum superveniens, puta propter aliquam occupationem exteriorem, vel propter aliquam infirmitatem corporalem. Et hoc modo ille qui est in passione constitutus, non considerat in particulari id quod scit in universali, inquantum passio impedit talem considerationem. Impedit autem tripliciter. Primo, per quandam distractionem, sicut supra expositum est. Secundo, per contrarietatem, quia plerumque passio inclinat ad contrarium huius quod scientia universalis habet. Tertio, per quandam immutationem corporalem, ex qua ratio quodammodo ligatur, ne libere in actum exeat, sicut etiam somnus vel ebrietas, quadam corporali transmutatione facta, ligant usum rationis. Et quod hoc contingat in passionibus, patet ex hoc quod aliquando, cum passiones multum intenduntur, homo amittit totaliter usum rationis, multi enim propter abundantiam amoris et irae, sunt in insaniam conversi. Et per hunc modum passio trahit rationem ad iudicandum in particulari contra scientiam quam habet in universali. Experience, however, shows that many act contrary to the knowledge that they have, and this is confirmed by Divine authority, according to the words of Lk. 12:47: "The servant who knew that the will of his lord... and did not... shall be beaten with many stripes," and of James 4:17: "To him... who knoweth to do good, and doth it not, to him it is a sin." Consequently he was not altogether right, and it is necessary, with the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 3) to make a distinction. Because, since man is directed to right action by a twofold knowledge, viz. universal and particular, a defect in either of them suffices to hinder the rectitude of the will and of the deed, as stated above (Question [76], Article [1]). It may happen, then, that a man has some knowledge in general, e.g. that no fornication is lawful, and yet he does not know in particular that this act, which is fornication, must not be done; and this suffices for the will not to follow the universal knowledge of the reason. Again, it must be observed that nothing prevents a thing which is known habitually from not being considered actually: so that it is possible for a man to have correct knowledge not only in general but also in particular, and yet not to consider his knowledge actually: and in such a case it does not seem difficult for a man to act counter to what he does not actually consider. Now, that a man sometimes fails to consider in particular what he knows habitually, may happen through mere lack of attention: for instance, a man who knows geometry, may not attend to the consideration of geometrical conclusions, which he is ready to consider at any moment. Sometimes man fails to consider actually what he knows habitually, on account of some hindrance supervening, e.g. some external occupation, or some bodily infirmity; and, in this way, a man who is in a state of passion, fails to consider in particular what he knows in general, in so far as the passions hinder him from considering it. Now it hinders him in three ways. First, by way of distraction, as explained above (Article [1]). Secondly, by way of opposition, because a passion often inclines to something contrary to what man knows in general. Thirdly, by way of bodily transmutation, the result of which is that the reason is somehow fettered so as not to exercise its act freely; even as sleep or drunkenness, on account of some change wrought on the body, fetters the use of reason. That this takes place in the passions is evident from the fact that sometimes, when the passions are very intense, man loses the use of reason altogether: for many have gone out of their minds through excess of love or anger. It is in this way that passion draws the reason to judge in particular, against the knowledge which it has in general.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod scientia universalis, quae est certissima, non habet principalitatem in operatione, sed magis scientia particularis, eo quod operationes sunt circa singularia. Unde non est mirum si in operabilibus passio agit contra scientiam universalem, absente consideratione in particulari. Reply to Objection 1: Universal knowledge, which is most certain, does not hold the foremost place in action, but rather particular knowledge, since actions are about singulars: wherefore it is not astonishing that, in matters of action, passion acts counter to universal knowledge, if the consideration of particular knowledge be lacking.
Ad secundum dicendum quod hoc ipsum quod rationi videatur in particulari aliquid bonum quod non est bonum, contingit ex aliqua passione. Et tamen hoc particulare iudicium est contra universalem scientiam rationis. Reply to Objection 2: The fact that something appears good in particular to the reason, whereas it is not good, is due to a passion: and yet this particular judgment is contrary to the universal knowledge of the reason.
Ad tertium dicendum quod non posset contingere quod aliquis haberet simul in actu scientiam aut opinionem veram de universali affirmativo, et opinionem falsam de particulari negativo, aut e converso. Sed bene potest contingere quod aliquis habeat veram scientiam habitualiter de universali affirmativo, et falsam opinionem in actu de particulari negativo, actus enim directe non contrariatur habitui, sed actui. Reply to Objection 3: It is impossible for anyone to have an actual knowledge or true opinion about a universal affirmative proposition, and at the same time a false opinion about a particular negative proposition, or vice versa: but it may well happen that a man has true habitual knowledge about a universal affirmative proposition, and actually a false opinion about a particular negative: because an act is directly opposed, not to a habit, but to an act.
Ad quartum dicendum quod ille qui habet scientiam in universali, propter passionem impeditur ne possit sub illa universali sumere, et ad conclusionem pervenire, sed assumit sub alia universali, quam suggerit inclinatio passionis, et sub ea concludit. Unde philosophus dicit, in VII Ethic., quod syllogismus incontinentis habet quatuor propositiones, duas universales, quarum una est rationis, puta nullam fornicationem esse committendam; alia est passionis, puta delectationem esse sectandam. Passio igitur ligat rationem ne assumat et concludat sub prima, unde, ea durante, assumit et concludit sub secunda. Reply to Objection 4: He that has knowledge in a universal, is hindered, on account of a passion, from reasoning about that universal, so as to draw the conclusion: but he reasons about another universal proposition suggested by the inclination of the passion, and draws his conclusion accordingly. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 3) that the syllogism of an incontinent man has four propositions, two particular and two universal, of which one is of the reason, e.g. No fornication is lawful, and the other, of passion, e.g. Pleasure is to be pursued. Hence passion fetters the reason, and hinders it from arguing and concluding under the first proposition; so that while the passions lasts, the reason argues and concludes under the second.
Ad quintum dicendum quod, sicut ebrius quandoque proferre potest verba significantia profundas sententias, quas tamen mente diiudicare non potest, ebrietate prohibente; ita in passione existens, etsi ore proferat hoc non esse faciendum, tamen interius hoc animo sentit quod sit faciendum, ut dicitur in VII Ethic. Reply to Objection 5: Even as a drunken man sometimes gives utterance to words of deep signification, of which, however, he is incompetent to judge, his drunkenness hindering him; so that a man who is in a state of passion, may indeed say in words that he ought not to do so and so, yet his inner thought is that he must do it, as stated in Ethic. vii, 3.

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Article: 3  [ << | >> ]

Whether a sin committed through passion, should be called a sin of weakness?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum quod est ex passione, non debeat dici ex infirmitate. Passio enim est quidam vehemens motus appetitus sensitivi, ut dictum est. Vehementia autem motus magis attestatur fortitudini quam infirmitati. Ergo peccatum quod est ex passione, non debet dici ex infirmitate. Objection 1: It would seem that a sin committed through passion should not be called a sin of weakness. For a passion is a vehement movement of the sensitive appetite, as stated above (Article [1]). Now vehemence of movements is evidence of strength rather than of weakness. Therefore a sin committed through passion, should not be called a sin of weakness.
Praeterea, infirmitas hominis maxime attenditur secundum illud quod est in eo fragilius. Hoc autem est caro, unde dicitur in Psalmo LXXVII, recordatus est quia caro sunt. Ergo magis debet dici peccatum ex infirmitate quod est ex aliquo corporis defectu, quam quod est ex animae passione. Objection 2: Further, weakness in man regards that which is most fragile in him. Now this is the flesh; whence it is written (Ps. 77:39): "He remembered that they are flesh." Therefore sins of weakness should be those which result from bodily defects, rather than those which are due to a passion.
Praeterea, ad ea non videtur homo esse infirmus, quae eius voluntati subduntur. Sed facere vel non facere ea ad quae passio inclinat, hominis voluntati subditur, secundum illud Gen. IV, sub te erit appetitus tuus, et tu dominaberis illius. Ergo peccatum quod est ex passione, non est ex infirmitate. Objection 3: Further, man does not seem to be weak in respect of things which are subject to his will. Now it is subject to man's will, whether he do or do not the things to which his passions incline him, according to Gn. 4:7: "Thy appetite shall be under thee [*Vulg.: 'The lust thereof shall be under thee.'], and thou shalt have dominion over it." Therefore sin committed through passion is not a sin of weakness.
Sed contra est quod Tullius, in IV libro de Tuscul. quaest., passiones animae aegritudines vocat. Aegritudines autem alio nomine infirmitates dicuntur. Ergo peccatum quod est ex passione, debet dici ex infirmitate. On the contrary, Cicero (De Quaest. Tusc. iv) calls the passions diseases of the soul. Now weakness is another name for disease. Therefore a sin that arises from passion should be called a sin of weakness.
Respondeo dicendum quod causa peccati propria est ex parte animae in qua principaliter est peccatum. Potest autem dici infirmitas in anima ad similitudinem infirmitatis corporis. Dicitur autem corpus hominis esse infirmum, quando debilitatur vel impeditur in executione propriae operationis, propter aliquam inordinationem partium corporis, ita scilicet quod humores et membra hominis non subduntur virtuti regitivae et motivae corporis. Unde et membrum dicitur esse infirmum, quando non potest perficere operationem membri sani, sicut oculus quando non potest clare videre, ut dicit philosophus, in X de historiis animalium. Unde et infirmitas animae dicitur quando impeditur anima in propria operatione, propter inordinationem partium ipsius. Sicut autem partes corporis dicuntur esse inordinatae, quando non sequuntur ordinem naturae; ita et partes animae dicuntur inordinatae, quando non subduntur ordini rationis, ratio enim est vis regitiva partium animae. Sic ergo quando extra ordinem rationis vis concupiscibilis aut irascibilis aliqua passione afficitur, et per hoc impedimentum praestatur modo praedicto debitae actioni hominis, dicitur peccatum esse ex infirmitate. Unde et philosophus, in I Ethic., comparat incontinentem paralytico, cuius partes moventur in contrarium eius quod ipse disponit. I answer that, The cause of sin is on the part of the soul, in which, chiefly, sin resides. Now weakness may be applied to the soul by way of likeness to weakness of the body. Accordingly, man's body is said to be weak, when it is disabled or hindered in the execution of its proper action, through some disorder of the body's parts, so that the humors and members of the human body cease to be subject to its governing and motive power. Hence a member is said to be weak, when it cannot do the work of a healthy member, the eye, for instance, when it cannot see clearly, as the Philosopher states (De Hist. Animal. x, 1). Therefore weakness of the soul is when the soul is hindered from fulfilling its proper action on account of a disorder in its parts. Now as the parts of the body are said to be out of order, when they fail to comply with the order of nature, so too the parts of the soul are said to be inordinate, when they are not subject to the order of reason, for the reason is the ruling power of the soul's parts. Accordingly, when the concupiscible or irascible power is affected by any passion contrary to the order of reason, the result being that an impediment arises in the aforesaid manner to the due action of man, it is said to be a sin of weakness. Hence the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 8) compares the incontinent man to an epileptic, whose limbs move in a manner contrary to his intention.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut quanto fuerit motus fortior in corpore praeter ordinem naturae, tanto est maior infirmitas; ita quanto fuerit motus fortior passionis praeter ordinem rationis, tanto est maior infirmitas animae. Reply to Objection 1: Just as in the body the stronger the movement against the order of nature, the greater the weakness, so likewise, the stronger the movement of passion against the order of reason, the greater the weakness of the soul.
Ad secundum dicendum quod peccatum principaliter consistit in actu voluntatis, qui non impeditur per corporis infirmitatem, potest enim qui est corpore infirmus, promptam habere voluntatem ad aliquid faciendum. Impeditur autem per passionem, ut supra dictum est. Unde cum dicitur peccatum esse ex infirmitate, magis est referendum ad infirmitatem animae quam ad infirmitatem corporis. Dicitur tamen etiam ipsa infirmitas animae infirmitas carnis, inquantum ex conditione carnis passiones animae insurgunt in nobis, eo quod appetitus sensitivus est virtus utens organo corporali. Reply to Objection 2: Sin consists chiefly in an act of the will, which is not hindered by weakness of the body: for he that is weak in body may have a will ready for action, and yet be hindered by a passion, as stated above (Article [1]). Hence when we speak of sins of weakness, we refer to weakness of soul rather than of body. And yet even weakness of soul is called weakness of the flesh, in so far as it is owing to a condition of the flesh that the passions of the soul arise in us through the sensitive appetite being a power using a corporeal organ.
Ad tertium dicendum quod in potestate quidem voluntatis est assentire vel non assentire his in quae passio inclinat, et pro tanto dicitur noster appetitus sub nobis esse. Sed tamen ipse assensus vel dissensus voluntatis impeditur per passionem, modo praedicto. Reply to Objection 3: It is in the will's power to give or refuse its consent to what passion inclines us to do, and it is in this sense that our appetite is said to be under us; and yet this consent or dissent of the will is hindered in the way already explained (Article [1]).

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Article: 4  [ << | >> ]

Whether self-love is the source of every sin?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod amor sui non sit principium omnis peccati. Id enim quod est secundum se bonum et debitum, non est propria causa peccati. Sed amor sui est secundum se bonum et debitum, unde et praecipitur homini ut diligat proximum sicut seipsum, Levit. XIX. Ergo amor sui non potest esse propria causa peccati. Objection 1: It would seem that self-love is not the source of every sin. For that which is good and right in itself is not the proper cause of sin. Now love of self is a good and right thing in itself: wherefore man is commanded to love his neighbor as himself (Lev. 19:18). Therefore self-love cannot be the proper cause of sin.
Praeterea, apostolus dicit, Rom. VII, occasione accepta, peccatum per mandatum operatum est in me omnem concupiscentiam, ubi Glossa dicit quod bona est lex, quae, dum concupiscentiam prohibet, omne malum prohibet, quod dicitur propter hoc, quia concupiscentia est causa omnis peccati. Sed concupiscentia est alia passio ab amore, ut supra habitum est. Ergo amor sui non est causa omnis peccati. Objection 2: Further, the Apostle says (Rm. 7:8): "Sin taking occasion by the commandment wrought in me all manner of concupiscence"; on which words a gloss says that "the law is good, since by forbidding concupiscence, it forbids all evils," the reason for which is that concupiscence is the cause of every sin. Now concupiscence is a distinct passion from love, as stated above (Question [3], Article [2]; Question [23], Article [4]). Therefore self-love is not the cause of every sin.
Praeterea, Augustinus, super illud Psalmi, incensa igni et suffossa, dicit quod omne peccatum est ex amore male inflammante, vel ex timore male humiliante. Non ergo solus amor sui est causa peccati. Objection 3: Further, Augustine in commenting on Ps. 79:17, "Things set on fire and dug down," says that "every sin is due either to love arousing us to undue ardor or to fear inducing false humility." Therefore self-love is not the only cause of sin.
Praeterea, sicut homo quandoque peccat propter inordinatum sui amorem, ita etiam interdum peccat propter inordinatum amorem proximi. Ergo amor sui non est causa omnis peccati. Objection 4: Further, as man sins at times through inordinate love of self, so does he sometimes through inordinate love of his neighbor. Therefore self-love is not the cause of every sin.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, XIV de Civ. Dei, quod amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei, facit civitatem Babylonis. Sed per quodlibet peccatum pertinet homo ad civitatem Babylonis. Ergo amor sui est causa omnis peccati. On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 28) that "self-love, amounting to contempt of God, builds up the city of Babylon." Now every sin makes man a citizen of Babylon. Therefore self-love is the cause of every sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, propria et per se causa peccati accipienda est ex parte conversionis ad commutabile bonum; ex qua quidem parte omnis actus peccati procedit ex aliquo inordinato appetitu alicuius temporalis boni. Quod autem aliquis appetat inordinate aliquod temporale bonum, procedit ex hoc quod inordinate amat seipsum, hoc enim est amare aliquem, velle ei bonum. Unde manifestum est quod inordinatus amor sui est causa omnis peccati. I answer that, As stated above (Question [75], Article [1]), the proper and direct cause of sin is to be considered on the part of the adherence to a mutable good; in which respect every sinful act proceeds from inordinate desire for some temporal good. Now the fact that anyone desires a temporal good inordinately, is due to the fact that he loves himself inordinately; for to wish anyone some good is to love him. Therefore it is evident that inordinate love of self is the cause of every sin.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod amor sui ordinatus est debitus et naturalis, ita scilicet quod velit sibi bonum quod congruit. Sed amor sui inordinatus, qui perducit ad contemptum Dei, ponitur esse causa peccati secundum Augustinum. Reply to Objection 1: Well ordered self-love, whereby man desires a fitting good for himself, is right and natural; but it is inordinate self-love, leading to contempt of God, that Augustine (De Civ. Dei xiv, 28) reckons to be the cause of sin.
Ad secundum dicendum quod concupiscentia, qua aliquis appetit sibi bonum, reducitur ad amorem sui sicut ad causam, ut iam dictum est. Reply to Objection 2: Concupiscence, whereby a man desires good for himself, is reduced to self-love as to its cause, as stated.
Ad tertium dicendum quod aliquis dicitur amare et illud bonum quod optat sibi, et se, cui bonum optat. Amor igitur secundum quod dicitur eius esse quod optatur, puta quod aliquis dicitur amare vinum vel pecuniam, recipit pro causa timorem, qui pertinet ad fugam mali. Omne enim peccatum provenit vel ex inordinato appetitu alicuius boni, vel ex inordinata fuga alicuius mali. Sed utrumque horum reducitur ad amorem sui. Propter hoc enim homo vel appetit bona vel fugit mala, quia amat seipsum. Reply to Objection 3: Man is said to love both the good he desires for himself, and himself to whom he desires it. Love, in so far as it is directed to the object of desire (e.g. a man is said to love wine or money) admits, as its cause, fear which pertains to avoidance of evil: for every sin arises either from inordinate desire for some good, or from inordinate avoidance of some evil. But each of these is reduced to self-love, since it is through loving himself that man either desires good things, or avoids evil things.
Ad quartum dicendum quod amicus est quasi alter ipse. Et ideo quod peccatur propter amorem amici, videtur propter amorem sui peccari. Reply to Objection 4: A friend is like another self (Ethic. ix): wherefore the sin which is committed through love for a friend, seems to be committed through self-love.

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Whether concupiscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and pride of life are fittingly described as causes of sin?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter ponantur causae peccatorum esse concupiscentia carnis, concupiscentia oculorum, et superbia vitae. Quia secundum apostolum, I ad Tim. ult., radix omnium malorum est cupiditas. Sed superbia vitae sub cupiditate non continetur. Ergo non oportet poni inter causas peccatorum. Objection 1: It would seem that "concupiscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and pride of life" are unfittingly described as causes of sin. Because, according to the Apostle (1 Tim. 6:10), "covetousness [*Douay: 'The desire of money'] is the root of all evils." Now pride of life is not included in covetousness. Therefore it should not be reckoned among the causes of sin.
Praeterea, concupiscentia carnis maxime ex visione oculorum excitatur, secundum illud Dan. XIII, species decepit te. Ergo non debet dividi concupiscentia oculorum contra concupiscentiam carnis. Objection 2: Further, concupiscence of the flesh is aroused chiefly by what is seen by the eyes, according to Dan. 13:56: "Beauty hath deceived thee." Therefore concupiscence of the eyes should not be condivided with concupiscence of the flesh.
Praeterea, concupiscentia est delectabilis appetitus, ut supra habitum est. Delectationes autem contingunt non solum secundum visum, sed etiam secundum alios sensus. Ergo deberet etiam poni concupiscentia auditus, et aliorum sensuum. Objection 3: Further, concupiscence is desire for pleasure, as stated above (Question [30], Article [2]). Now objects of pleasure are perceived not only by the sight, but also by the other senses. Therefore "concupiscence of the hearing" and of the other senses should also have been mentioned.
Praeterea, sicut homo inducitur ad peccandum ex inordinata concupiscentia boni, ita etiam ex inordinata fuga mali, ut dictum est. Sed nihil hic enumeratur pertinens ad fugam mali. Ergo insufficienter causae peccatorum tanguntur. Objection 4: Further, just as man is induced to sin, through inordinate desire of good things, so is he also, through inordinate avoidance of evil things, as stated above (Article [4], ad 3). But nothing is mentioned here pertaining to avoidance of evil. Therefore the causes of sin are insufficiently described.
Sed contra est quod dicitur I Ioan. II, omne quod est in mundo, aut est concupiscentia carnis, aut concupiscentia oculorum, aut superbia vitae. In mundo autem dicitur aliquid esse propter peccatum, unde et ibidem, dicit quod totus mundus in maligno positus est. Ergo praedicta tria sunt causae peccatorum. On the contrary, It is written (1 Jn. 2:16): "All that is in the world is concupiscence of the flesh, or [Vulg.: 'and'] pride of life." Now a thing is said to be "in the world" by reason of sin: wherefore it is written (1 Jn. 5:19): "The whole world is seated in wickedness." Therefore these three are causes of sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut iam dictum est, inordinatus amor sui est causa omnis peccati. In amore autem sui includitur inordinatus appetitus boni, unusquisque enim appetit bonum ei quem amat. Unde manifestum est quod inordinatus appetitus boni est causa omnis peccati. Bonum autem dupliciter est obiectum sensibilis appetitus, in quo sunt animae passiones, quae sunt causa peccati, uno modo, absolute, secundum quod est obiectum concupiscibilis; alio modo, sub ratione ardui, prout est obiectum irascibilis, ut supra dictum est. Est autem duplex concupiscentia, sicut supra habitum est. Una quidem naturalis, quae est eorum quibus natura corporis sustentatur; sive quantum ad conservationem individui, sicut cibus et potus et alia huiusmodi; sive quantum ad conservationem speciei, sicut in venereis. Et horum inordinatus appetitus dicitur concupiscentia carnis. Alia est concupiscentia animalis, eorum scilicet quae per sensum carnis sustentationem aut delectationem non afferunt, sed sunt delectabilia secundum apprehensionem imaginationis, aut alicuius huiusmodi acceptionis, sicut sunt pecunia, ornatus vestium, et alia huiusmodi. Et haec quidem animalis concupiscentia vocatur concupiscentia oculorum, sive intelligatur concupiscentia oculorum, idest ipsius visionis, quae fit per oculos, ut referatur ad curiositatem, secundum quod Augustinus exponit, X Confess.; sive referatur ad concupiscentiam rerum quae exterius oculis proponuntur, ut referatur ad cupiditatem, secundum quod ab aliis exponitur. I answer that, As stated above (Article [4]), inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin. Now self-love includes inordinate desire of good: for a man desires good for the one he loves. Hence it is evident that inordinate desire of good is the cause of every sin. Now good is, in two ways, the object of the sensitive appetite, wherein are the passions which are the cause of sin: first, absolutely, according as it is the object of the concupiscible part; secondly, under the aspect of difficulty, according as it is the object of the irascible part, as stated above (Question [23], Article [1]). Again, concupiscence is twofold, as stated above (Question [30], Article [3]). One is natural, and is directed to those things which sustain the nature of the body, whether as regards the preservation of the individual, such as food, drink, and the like, or as regards the preservation of the species, such as sexual matters: and the inordinate appetite of such things is called "concupiscence of the flesh." The other is spiritual concupiscence, and is directed to those things which do not afford sustentation or pleasure in respect of the fleshly senses, but are delectable in respect of the apprehension or imagination, or some similar mode of perception; such are money, apparel, and the like; and this spiritual concupiscence is called "concupiscence of the eyes," whether this be taken as referring to the sight itself, of which the eyes are the organ, so as to denote curiosity according to Augustine's exposition (Confess. x); or to the concupiscence of things which are proposed outwardly to the eyes, so as to denote covetousness, according to the explanation of others.
Appetitus autem inordinatus boni ardui pertinet ad superbiam vitae, nam superbia est appetitus inordinatus excellentiae, ut inferius dicetur. The inordinate appetite of the arduous good pertains to the "pride of life"; for pride is the inordinate appetite of excellence, as we shall state further on (Question [84], Article [2]; SS, Question [162], Article [1]).
Et sic patet quod ad ista tria reduci possunt omnes passiones, quae sunt causa peccati. Nam ad duo prima reducuntur omnes passiones concupiscibilis, ad tertium autem omnes passiones irascibilis; quod ideo non dividitur in duo, quia omnes passiones irascibilis conformantur concupiscentiae animali. It is therefore evident that all passions that are a cause of sin can be reduced to these three: since all the passions of the concupiscible part can be reduced to the first two, and all the irascible passions to the third, which is not divided into two because all the irascible passions conform to spiritual concupiscence.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod secundum quod cupiditas importat universaliter appetitum cuiuscumque boni, sic etiam superbia vitae continetur sub cupiditate. Quomodo autem cupiditas, secundum quod est speciale vitium, quod avaritia nominatur, sit radix omnium peccatorum, infra dicetur. Reply to Objection 1: "Pride of life" is included in covetousness according as the latter denotes any kind of appetite for any kind of good. How covetousness, as a special vice, which goes by the name of "avarice," is the root of all sins, shall be explained further on (Question [84], Article [1]).
Ad secundum dicendum quod concupiscentia oculorum non dicitur hic concupiscentia omnium rerum quae oculis videri possunt, sed solum earum in quibus non quaeritur delectatio carnis, quae est secundum tactum, sed solum delectatio oculi, idest cuiuscumque apprehensivae virtutis. Reply to Objection 2: "Concupiscence of the eyes" does not mean here the concupiscence for all things which can be seen by the eyes, but only for such things as afford, not carnal pleasure in respect of touch, but in respect of the eyes, i.e. of any apprehensive power.
Ad tertium dicendum quod sensus visus est excellentior inter omnes sensus, et ad plura se extendens, ut dicitur in I Metaphys. Et ideo nomen eius transfertur ad omnes alios sensus, et etiam ad omnes interiores apprehensiones, ut Augustinus dicit, in libro de verbis domini. Reply to Objection 3: The sense of sight is the most excellent of all the senses, and covers a larger ground, as stated in Metaph. i: and so its name is transferred to all the other senses, and even to the inner apprehensions, as Augustine states (De Verb. Dom., serm. xxxiii).
Ad quartum dicendum quod fuga mali causatur ex appetitu boni, ut supra dictum est. Et ideo ponuntur solum passiones inclinantes ad bonum, tanquam causae earum quae faciunt inordinate fugam mali. Reply to Objection 4: Avoidance of evil is caused by the appetite for good, as stated above (Question [25], Article [2]; Question [39], Article [2]); and so those passions alone are mentioned which incline to good, as being the causes of those which cause inordinately the avoidance of evil.

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Article: 6  [ << | >> ]

Whether sin is alleviated on account of a passion?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum non allevietur propter passionem. Augmentum enim causae auget effectum, si enim calidum dissolvit, magis calidum magis dissolvit. Sed passio est causa peccati, ut habitum est. Ergo quanto est intensior passio, tanto est maius peccatum. Passio igitur non minuit peccatum, sed auget. Objection 1: It would seem that sin is not alleviated on account of passion. For increase of cause adds to the effect: thus if a hot thing causes something to melt, a hotter will do so yet more. Now passion is a cause of sin, as stated (Article [5]). Therefore the more intense the passion, the greater the sin. Therefore passion does not diminish sin, but increases it.
Praeterea, sicut se habet passio bona ad meritum, ita se habet mala passio ad peccatum. Sed bona passio auget meritum, tanto enim aliquis magis videtur mereri, quanto ex maiori misericordia pauperi subvenit. Ergo etiam mala passio magis aggravat peccatum quam alleviat. Objection 2: Further, a good passion stands in the same relation to merit, as an evil passion does to sin. Now a good passion increases merit: for a man seems to merit the more, according as he is moved by a greater pity to help a poor man. Therefore an evil passion also increases rather than diminishes a sin.
Praeterea, quanto intensiori voluntate aliquis facit peccatum, tanto gravius videtur peccare. Sed passio impellens voluntatem, facit eam vehementius ferri in actum peccati. Ergo passio aggravat peccatum. Objection 3: Further, a man seems to sin the more grievously, according as he sins with a more intense will. But the passion that impels the will makes it tend with greater intensity to the sinful act. Therefore passion aggravates a sin.
Sed contra, passio ipsa concupiscentiae vocatur tentatio carnis. Sed quanto aliquis maiori tentatione prosternitur, tanto minus peccat, ut patet per Augustinum. Ergo passio diminuit peccatum. On the contrary, The passion of concupiscence is called a temptation of the flesh. But the greater the temptation that overcomes a man, the less grievous his sin, as Augustine states (De Civ. Dei iv, 12).
Respondeo dicendum quod peccatum essentialiter consistit in actu liberi arbitrii, quod est facultas voluntatis et rationis. Passio autem est motus appetitus sensitivi. Appetitus autem sensitivus potest se habere ad liberum arbitrium et antecedenter, et consequenter. Antecedenter quidem, secundum quod passio appetitus sensitivi trahit vel inclinat rationem et voluntatem, ut supra dictum est. Consequenter autem, secundum quod motus superiorum virium, si sint vehementes, redundant in inferiores, non enim potest voluntas intense moveri in aliquid, quin excitetur aliqua passio in appetitu sensitivo. I answer that, Sin consists essentially in an act of the free will, which is a faculty of the will and reason; while passion is a movement of the sensitive appetite. Now the sensitive appetite can be related to the free-will, antecedently and consequently: antecedently, according as a passion of the sensitive appetite draws or inclines the reason or will, as stated above (Articles [1],2; Question [10], Article [3]); and consequently, in so far as the movements of the higher powers redound on to the lower, since it is not possible for the will to be moved to anything intensely, without a passion being aroused in the sensitive appetite.
Si igitur accipiatur passio secundum quod praecedit actum peccati, sic necesse est quod diminuat peccatum. Actus enim intantum est peccatum, inquantum est voluntarium et in nobis existens. In nobis autem aliquid esse dicitur per rationem et voluntatem. Unde quanto ratio et voluntas ex se aliquid agunt, non ex impulsu passionis, magis est voluntarium et in nobis existens. Et secundum hoc passio minuit peccatum, inquantum minuit voluntarium. Accordingly if we take passion as preceding the sinful act, it must needs diminish the sin: because the act is a sin in so far as it is voluntary, and under our control. Now a thing is said to be under our control, through the reason and will: and therefore the more the reason and will do anything of their own accord, and not through the impulse of a passion, the more is it voluntary and under our control. In this respect passion diminishes sin, in so far as it diminishes its voluntariness.
Passio autem consequens non diminuit peccatum, sed magis auget, vel potius est signum magnitudinis eius, inquantum scilicet demonstrat intensionem voluntatis ad actum peccati. Et sic verum est quod quanto aliquis maiori libidine vel concupiscentia peccat, tanto magis peccat. On the other hand, a consequent passion does not diminish a sin, but increases it; or rather it is a sign of its gravity, in so far, to wit, as it shows the intensity of the will towards the sinful act; and so it is true that the greater the pleasure or the concupiscence with which anyone sins, the greater the sin.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod passio est causa peccati ex parte conversionis. Gravitas autem peccati magis attenditur ex parte aversionis; quae quidem ex conversione sequitur per accidens, idest praeter intentionem peccantis. Causae autem per accidens augmentatae non augmentant effectus, sed solum causae per se. Reply to Objection 1: Passion is the cause of sin on the part of that to which the sinner turns. But the gravity of a sin is measured on the part of that from which he turns, which results accidentally from his turning to something else—accidentally, i.e. beside his intention. Now an effect is increased by the increase, not of its accidental cause, but of its direct cause.
Ad secundum dicendum quod bona passio consequens iudicium rationis, augmentat meritum. Si autem praecedat, ut scilicet homo magis ex passione quam ex iudicio rationis moveatur ad bene agendum, talis passio diminuit bonitatem et laudem actus. Reply to Objection 2: A good passion consequent to the judgment of reason increases merit; but if it precede, so that a man is moved to do well, rather by his passion than by the judgment of his reason, such a passion diminishes the goodness and praiseworthiness of his action.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, etsi motus voluntatis sit intensior ex passione incitatus, non tamen ita est voluntatis proprius, sicut si sola ratione moveretur ad peccandum. Reply to Objection 3: Although the movement of the will incited by the passion is more intense, yet it is not so much the will's own movement, as if it were moved to sin by the reason alone.

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Article: 7  [ << | >> ]

Whether passion excuses from sin altogether?

Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod passio totaliter excuset a peccato. Quidquid enim causat involuntarium, excusat totaliter a peccato. Sed concupiscentia carnis, quae est quaedam passio, causat involuntarium, secundum illud Gal. V, caro concupiscit adversus spiritum, ut non quaecumque vultis, illa faciatis. Ergo passio totaliter excusat a peccato. Objection 1: It would seem that passion excuses from sin altogether. For whatever causes an act to be involuntary, excuses from sin altogether. But concupiscence of the flesh, which is a passion, makes an act to be involuntary, according to Gal. 5:17: "The flesh lusteth against the spirit... so that you do not the things that you would." Therefore passion excuses from sin altogether.
Praeterea, passio causat ignorantiam quandam in particulari, ut dictum est. Sed ignorantia particularis totaliter excusat a peccato, sicut supra habitum est. Ergo passio totaliter excusat a peccato. Objection 2: Further, passion causes a certain ignorance of a particular matter, as stated above (Article [2]; Question [76], Article [3]). But ignorance of a particular matter excuses from sin altogether, as stated above (Question [6], Article [8]). Therefore passion excuses from sin altogether.
Praeterea, infirmitas animae gravior est quam infirmitas corporis. Sed infirmitas corporis totaliter excusat a peccato, ut patet in phreneticis. Ergo multo magis passio, quae est infirmitas animae. Objection 3: Further, disease of the soul is graver than disease of the body. But bodily disease excuses from sin altogether, as in the case of mad people. Much more, therefore, does passion, which is a disease of the soul.
Sed contra est quod apostolus, Rom. VII, vocat passiones peccatorum, non nisi quia peccata causant. Quod non esset, si a peccato totaliter excusarent. Ergo passiones non totaliter a peccato excusant. On the contrary, The Apostle (Rm. 7:5) speaks of the passions as "passions of sins," for no other reason than that they cause sin: which would not be the case if they excused from sin altogether. Therefore passion does not excuse from sin altogether.
Respondeo dicendum quod secundum hoc solum actus aliquis qui de genere suo est malus, totaliter a peccato excusatur, quod totaliter involuntarius redditur. Unde si sit talis passio quae totaliter involuntarium reddat actum sequentem, totaliter a peccato excusat, alioquin, non totaliter. Circa quod duo consideranda videntur. Primo quidem, quod aliquid potest esse voluntarium vel secundum se, sicut quando voluntas directe in ipsum fertur, vel secundum suam causam, quando voluntas fertur in causam et non in effectum, ut patet in eo qui voluntarie inebriatur; ex hoc enim quasi voluntarium ei imputatur quod per ebrietatem committit. Secundo considerandum est quod aliquid dicitur voluntarium directe, vel indirecte, directe quidem, id in quod voluntas fertur; indirecte autem, illud quod voluntas potuit prohibere, sed non prohibet. I answer that, An act which, in its genus, is evil, cannot be excused from sin altogether, unless it be rendered altogether involuntary. Consequently, if the passion be such that it renders the subsequent act wholly involuntary, it entirely excuses from sin; otherwise, it does not excuse entirely. In this matter two points apparently should be observed: first, that a thing may be voluntary either "in itself," as when the will tends towards it directly; or "in its cause," when the will tends towards that cause and not towards the effect; as is the case with one who wilfully gets drunk, for in that case he is considered to do voluntarily whatever he does through being drunk. Secondly, we must observe that a thing is said to be voluntary "directly" or "indirectly"; directly, if the will tends towards it; indirectly, if the will could have prevented it, but did not.
Secundum hoc igitur distinguendum est. Quia passio quandoque quidem est tanta quod totaliter aufert usum rationis, sicut patet in his qui propter amorem vel iram insaniunt. Et tunc si talis passio a principio fuit voluntaria, imputatur actus ad peccatum, quia est voluntarius in sua causa, sicut etiam de ebrietate dictum est. Si vero causa non fuit voluntaria, sed naturalis, puta cum aliquis ex aegritudine, vel aliqua huiusmodi causa, incidit in talem passionem quae totaliter aufert usum rationis; actus omnino redditur involuntarius, et per consequens totaliter a peccato excusatur. Quandoque vero passio non est tanta quod totaliter intercipiat usum rationis. Et tunc ratio potest passionem excludere, divertendo ad alias cogitationes; vel impedire ne suum consequatur effectum, quia membra non applicantur operi nisi per consensum rationis, ut supra dictum est. Unde talis passio non totaliter excusat a peccato. Accordingly therefore we must make a distinction: because a passion is sometimes so strong as to take away the use of reason altogether, as in the case of those who are mad through love or anger; and then if such a passion were voluntary from the beginning, the act is reckoned a sin, because it is voluntary in its cause, as we have stated with regard to drunkenness. If, however, the cause be not voluntary but natural, for instance, if anyone through sickness or some such cause fall into such a passion as deprives him of the use of reason, his act is rendered wholly involuntary, and he is entirely excused from sin. Sometimes, however, the passion is not such as to take away the use of reason altogether; and then reason can drive the passion away, by turning to other thoughts, or it can prevent it from having its full effect; since the members are not put to work, except by the consent of reason, as stated above (Question [17], Article [9]): wherefore such a passion does not excuse from sin altogether.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod hoc quod dicitur, ut non quaecumque vultis, illa faciatis, non est referendum ad ea quae fiunt per exteriorem actum, sed ad interiorem concupiscentiae motum, vellet enim homo nunquam concupiscere malum. Sicut etiam exponitur id quod dicitur Rom. VII, quod odi malum, illud facio. Vel potest referri ad voluntatem praecedentem passionem, ut patet in continentibus qui contra suum propositum agunt propter suam concupiscentiam. Reply to Objection 1: The words, "So that you do not the things that you would" are not to be referred to outward deeds, but to the inner movement of concupiscence; for a man would wish never to desire evil, in which sense we are to understand the words of Rm. 7:19: "The evil which I will not, that I do." Or again they may be referred to the will as preceding the passion, as is the case with the incontinent, who act counter to their resolution on account of their concupiscence.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ignorantia particularis quae totaliter excusat, est ignorantia circumstantiae quam quidem quis scire non potest, debita diligentia adhibita. Sed passio causat ignorantiam iuris in particulari, dum impedit applicationem communis scientiae ad particularem actum. Quam quidem passionem ratio repellere potest, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2: The particular ignorance which excuses altogether, is ignorance of a circumstance, which a man is unable to know even after taking due precautions. But passion causes ignorance of law in a particular case, by preventing universal knowledge from being applied to a particular act, which passion the reason is able to drive away, as stated.
Ad tertium dicendum quod infirmitas corporis est involuntaria. Esset autem simile, si esset voluntaria, sicut de ebrietate dictum est, quae est quaedam corporalis infirmitas. Reply to Objection 3: Bodily disease is involuntary: there would be a comparison, however, if it were voluntary, as we have stated about drunkenness, which is a kind of bodily disease.

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Whether a sin committed through passion can be mortal?

Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum quod est ex passione, non possit esse mortale. Veniale enim peccatum dividitur contra mortale. Sed peccatum quod est ex infirmitate, est veniale, cum habeat in se causam veniae. Cum igitur peccatum quod est ex passione, sit ex infirmitate, videtur quod non possit esse mortale. Objection 1: It would seem that sin committed through passion cannot be mortal. Because venial sin is condivided with mortal sin. Now sin committed from weakness is venial, since it has in itself a motive for pardon [venia]. Since therefore sin committed through passion is a sin of weakness, it seems that it cannot be mortal.
Praeterea, causa non est potior effectu. Sed passio non potest esse peccatum mortale, non enim in sensualitate est peccatum mortale, ut supra habitum est. Ergo peccatum quod est ex passione, non potest esse mortale. Objection 2: Further, the cause is more powerful than its effect. But passion cannot be a mortal sin, for there is no mortal sin in the sensuality, as stated above (Question [74], Article [4]). Therefore a sin committed through passion cannot be mortal.
Praeterea, passio abducit a ratione, ut ex dictis patet. Sed rationis est converti ad Deum vel averti ab eo, in quo consistit ratio peccati mortalis. Peccatum ergo quod est ex passione, non potest esse mortale. Objection 3: Further, passion is a hindrance to reason, as explained above (Articles [1],2). Now it belongs to the reason to turn to God, or to turn away from Him, which is the essence of a mortal sin. Therefore a sin committed through passion cannot be mortal.
Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, Rom. VII, quod passiones peccatorum operantur in membris nostris ad fructificandum morti. Hoc autem est proprium mortalis peccati, quod fructificet morti. Ergo peccatum quod est ex passione, potest esse mortale. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rm. 7:5) that "the passions of the sins... work [Vulg.: 'did work'] in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." Now it is proper to mortal sin to bring forth fruit unto death. Therefore sin committed through passion may be mortal.
Respondeo dicendum quod peccatum mortale, ut supra dictum est, consistit in aversione ab ultimo fine, qui est Deus, quae quidem aversio pertinet ad rationem deliberantem, cuius etiam est ordinare in finem. Hoc igitur solo modo potest contingere quod inclinatio animae in aliquid quod contrariatur ultimo fini, non sit peccatum mortale quia ratio deliberans non potest occurrere, quod contingit in subitis motibus. Cum autem ex passione aliquis procedit ad actum peccati, vel ad consensum deliberatum, hoc non fit subito. Unde ratio deliberans potest hic occurrere, potest enim excludere, vel saltem impedire passionem, ut dictum est. Unde si non occurrat, est peccatum mortale, sicut videmus quod multa homicidia et adulteria per passionem committuntur. I answer that, Mortal sin, as stated above (Question [72], Article [5]), consists in turning away from our last end which is God, which aversion pertains to the deliberating reason, whose function it is also to direct towards the end. Therefore that which is contrary to the last end can happen not to be a mortal sin, only when the deliberating reason is unable to come to the rescue, which is the case in sudden movements. Now when anyone proceeds from passion to a sinful act, or to a deliberate consent, this does not happen suddenly: and so the deliberating reason can come to the rescue here, since it can drive the passion away, or at least prevent it from having its effect, as stated above: wherefore if it does not come to the rescue, there is a mortal sin; and it is thus, as we see, that many murders and adulteries are committed through passion.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod veniale dicitur tripliciter. Uno modo, ex causa, quia scilicet habet aliquam causam veniae, quae diminuit peccatum, et sic peccatum ex infirmitate et ignorantia dicitur veniale. Alio modo, ex eventu, sicut omne peccatum per poenitentiam fit veniale, idest veniam consecutum. Tertio modo dicitur veniale ex genere, sicut verbum otiosum. Et hoc solum veniale opponitur mortali, obiectio autem procedit de primo. Reply to Objection 1: A sin may be venial in three ways. First, through its cause, i.e. through having cause to be forgiven, which cause lessens the sin; thus a sin that is committed through weakness or ignorance is said to be venial. Secondly, through its issue; thus every sin, through repentance, becomes venial, i.e. receives pardon [veniam]. Thirdly, by its genus, e.g. an idle word. This is the only kind of venial sin that is opposed to mortal sin: whereas the objection regards the first kind.
Ad secundum dicendum quod passio est causa peccati ex parte conversionis. Quod autem sit mortale, est ex parte aversionis, quae per accidens sequitur ad conversionem, ut dictum est. Unde ratio non sequitur. Reply to Objection 2: Passion causes sin as regards the adherence to something. But that this be a mortal sin regards the aversion, which follows accidentally from the adherence, as stated above (Article [6], ad 1): hence the argument does not prove.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio non semper in suo actu totaliter a passione impeditur, unde remanet ei liberum arbitrium, ut possit averti vel converti ad Deum. Si autem totaliter tolleretur usus rationis, iam non esset peccatum nec mortale nec veniale. Reply to Objection 3: Passion does not always hinder the act of reason altogether: consequently the reason remains in possession of its free-will, so as to turn away from God, or turn to Him. If, however, the use of reason be taken away altogether, the sin is no longer either mortal or venial.

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