St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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

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OF JUDGMENT (SIX ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de iudicio. Et circa hoc quaeruntur sex. In due sequence we must consider judgment, under which head there are six points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum iudicium sit actus iustitiae. (1) Whether judgment is an act of justice?
Secundo, utrum sit licitum iudicare. (2) Whether it is lawful to judge?
Tertio, utrum per suspiciones sit iudicandum. (3) Whether judgment should be based on suspicions?
Quarto, utrum dubia sint in meliorem partem interpretanda. (4) Whether doubts should be interpreted favorably?
Quinto, utrum iudicium semper sit secundum leges scriptas proferendum. (5) Whether judgment should always be given according to the written law?
Sexto, utrum iudicium per usurpationem pervertatur. (6) Whether judgment is perverted by being usurped?

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Whether judgment is an act of justice?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod iudicium non sit actus iustitiae. Dicit enim philosophus, in I Ethic., quod unusquisque bene iudicat quae cognoscit, et sic iudicium ad vim cognoscitivam pertinere videtur. Vis autem cognoscitiva per prudentiam perficitur. Ergo iudicium magis pertinet ad prudentiam quam ad iustitiam, quae est in voluntate, ut dictum est. Objection 1: It would seem that judgment is not an act of justice. The Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 3) that "everyone judges well of what he knows," so that judgment would seem to belong to the cognitive faculty. Now the cognitive faculty is perfected by prudence. Therefore judgment belongs to prudence rather than to justice, which is in the will, as stated above (Question [58], Article [4]).
Praeterea, apostolus dicit, I ad Cor. II, spiritualis iudicat omnia. Sed homo maxime efficitur spiritualis per virtutem caritatis, quae diffunditur in cordibus nostris per spiritum sanctum, qui datus est nobis, ut dicitur Rom. V. Ergo iudicium magis pertinet ad caritatem quam ad iustitiam. Objection 2: Further, the Apostle says (1 Cor. 2:15): "The spiritual man judgeth all things." Now man is made spiritual chiefly by the virtue of charity, which "is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us" (Rm. 5:5). Therefore judgment belongs to charity rather than to justice.
Praeterea, ad unamquamque virtutem pertinet rectum iudicium circa propriam materiam, quia virtuosus in singulis est regula et mensura, secundum philosophum, in libro Ethic. Non ergo iudicium magis pertinet ad iustitiam quam ad alias virtutes morales. Objection 3: Further, it belongs to every virtue to judge aright of its proper matter, because "the virtuous man is the rule and measure in everything," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 4). Therefore judgment does not belong to justice any more than to the other moral virtues.
Praeterea, iudicium videtur ad solos iudices pertinere. Actus autem iustitiae invenitur in omnibus iustis. Cum igitur non soli iudices sint iusti, videtur quod iudicium non sit actus proprius iustitiae. Objection 4: Further, judgment would seem to belong only to judges. But the act of justice is to be found in every just man. Since then judges are not the only just men, it seems that judgment is not the proper act of justice.
Sed contra est quod in Psalm. dicitur, quoadusque iustitia convertatur in iudicium. On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 93:15): "Until justice be turned into judgment."
Respondeo dicendum quod iudicium proprie nominat actum iudicis inquantum est iudex. Iudex autem dicitur quasi ius dicens. Ius autem est obiectum iustitiae, ut supra habitum est. Et ideo iudicium importat, secundum primam nominis impositionem, definitionem vel determinationem iusti sive iuris. Quod autem aliquis bene definiat aliquid in operibus virtuosis proprie procedit ex habitu virtutis, sicut castus recte determinat ea quae pertinent ad castitatem. Et ideo iudicium, quod importat rectam determinationem eius quod est iustum, proprie pertinet ad iustitiam. Propter quod philosophus dicit, in V Ethic., quod homines ad iudicem confugiunt sicut ad quandam iustitiam animatam. I answer that, Judgment properly denotes the act of a judge as such. Now a judge [judex] is so called because he asserts the right [jus dicens] and right is the object of justice, as stated above (Question [57], Article [1]). Consequently the original meaning of the word "judgment" is a statement or decision of the just or right. Now to decide rightly about virtuous deeds proceeds, properly speaking, from the virtuous habit; thus a chaste person decides rightly about matters relating to chastity. Therefore judgment, which denotes a right decision about what is just, belongs properly to justice. For this reason the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 4) that "men have recourse to a judge as to one who is the personification of justice."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nomen iudicii, quod secundum primam impositionem significat rectam determinationem iustorum, ampliatum est ad significandum rectam determinationem in quibuscumque rebus, tam in speculativis quam in practicis. In omnibus tamen ad rectum iudicium duo requiruntur. Quorum unum est ipsa virtus proferens iudicium. Et sic iudicium est actus rationis, dicere enim vel definire aliquid rationis est. Aliud autem est dispositio iudicantis, ex qua habet idoneitatem ad recte iudicandum. Et sic in his quae ad iustitiam pertinent iudicium procedit ex iustitia, sicut et in his quae ad fortitudinem pertinent ex fortitudine. Sic ergo iudicium est quidam actus iustitiae sicut inclinantis ad recte iudicandum, prudentiae autem sicut iudicium proferentis. Unde et synesis, ad prudentiam pertinens, dicitur bene iudicativa, ut supra habitum est. Reply to Objection 1: The word "judgment," from its original meaning of a right decision about what is just, has been extended to signify a right decision in any matter whether speculative or practical. Now a right judgment in any matter requires two things. The first is the virtue itself that pronounces judgment: and in this way, judgment is an act of reason, because it belongs to the reason to pronounce or define. The other is the disposition of the one who judges, on which depends his aptness for judging aright. In this way, in matters of justice, judgment proceeds from justice, even as in matters of fortitude, it proceeds from fortitude. Accordingly judgment is an act of justice in so far as justice inclines one to judge aright, and of prudence in so far as prudence pronounces judgment: wherefore {synesis} (judging well according to common law) which belongs to prudence is said to "judge rightly," as stated above (Question [51], Article [3]).
Ad secundum dicendum quod homo spiritualis ex habitu caritatis habet inclinationem ad recte iudicandum de omnibus secundum regulas divinas, ex quibus iudicium per donum sapientiae pronuntiat, sicut iustus per virtutem prudentiae pronuntiat iudicium ex regulis iuris. Reply to Objection 2: The spiritual man, by reason of the habit of charity, has an inclination to judge aright of all things according to the Divine rules; and it is in conformity with these that he pronounces judgment through the gift of wisdom: even as the just man pronounces judgment through the virtue of prudence conformably with the ruling of the law.
Ad tertium dicendum quod aliae virtutes ordinant hominem in seipso, sed iustitia ordinat hominem ad alium, ut ex dictis patet. Homo autem est dominus eorum quae ad ipsum pertinent, non autem est dominus eorum quae ad alium pertinent. Et ideo in his quae sunt secundum alias virtutes non requiritur nisi iudicium virtuosi, extenso tamen nomine iudicii, ut dictum est. Sed in his quae pertinent ad iustitiam requiritur ulterius iudicium alicuius superioris, qui utrumque valeat arguere, et ponere manum suam in ambobus. Et propter hoc iudicium specialius pertinet ad iustitiam quam ad aliquam aliam virtutem. Reply to Objection 3: The other virtues regulate man in himself, whereas justice regulates man in his dealings with others, as shown above (Question [58], Article [2]). Now man is master in things concerning himself, but not in matters relating to others. Consequently where the other virtues are in question, there is no need for judgment other than that of a virtuous man, taking judgment in its broader sense, as explained above (ad 1). But in matters of justice, there is further need for the judgment of a superior, who is "able to reprove both, and to put his hand between both" [*Job 9:33]. Hence judgment belongs more specifically to justice than to any other virtue.
Ad quartum dicendum quod iustitia in principe quidem est sicut virtus architectonica, quasi imperans et praecipiens quod iustum est, in subditis autem est tanquam virtus executiva et ministrans. Et ideo iudicium, quod importat definitionem iusti, pertinet ad iustitiam secundum quod est principaliori modo in praesidente. Reply to Objection 4: Justice is in the sovereign as a master-virtue [*Cf. Question [58], Article [6]], commanding and prescribing what is just; while it is in the subjects as an executive and administrative virtue. Hence judgment, which denotes a decision of what is just, belongs to justice, considered as existing chiefly in one who has authority.

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Article: 2  [ << | >> ]

Whether it is lawful to judge?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit licitum iudicare. Non enim infligitur poena nisi pro illicito. Sed iudicantibus imminet poena, quam non iudicantes effugiunt, secundum illud Matth. VII, nolite iudicare, ut non iudicemini. Ergo iudicare est illicitum. Objection 1: It would seem unlawful to judge. For nothing is punished except what is unlawful. Now those who judge are threatened with punishment, which those who judge not will escape, according to Mt. 7:1, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." Therefore it is unlawful to judge.
Praeterea, Rom. XIV dicitur, tu quis es, qui iudicas alienum servum? Suo domino stat aut cadit. Dominus autem omnium Deus est. Ergo nulli homini licet iudicare. Objection 2: Further, it is written (Rm. 14:4): "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant. To his own lord he standeth or falleth." Now God is the Lord of all. Therefore to no man is it lawful to judge.
Praeterea, nullus homo est sine peccato, secundum illud I Ioan. I, si dixerimus quia peccatum non habemus, nosipsos seducimus. Sed peccanti non licet iudicare, secundum illud Rom. II, inexcusabilis es, o homo omnis qui iudicas, in quo enim alterum iudicas, teipsum condemnas; eadem enim agis quae iudicas. Ergo nulli est licitum iudicare. Objection 3: Further, no man is sinless, according to 1 Jn. 1:8, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves." Now it is unlawful for a sinner to judge, according to Rm. 2:1, "Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art, that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself, for thou dost the same things which thou judgest." Therefore to no man is it lawful to judge.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Deut. XVI, iudices et magistros constitues in omnibus portis tuis, ut iudicent populum iusto iudicio. On the contrary, It is written (Dt. 16:18): "Thou shalt appoint judges and magistrates in all thy gates... that they may judge the people with just judgment."
Respondeo dicendum quod iudicium intantum est licitum inquantum est iustitiae actus. Sicut autem ex praedictis patet, ad hoc quod iudicium sit actus iustitiae tria requiruntur, primo quidem, ut procedat ex inclinatione iustitiae; secundo, quod procedat ex auctoritate praesidentis; tertio, quod proferatur secundum rectam rationem prudentiae. Quodcumque autem horum defuerit, est iudicium vitiosum et illicitum. Uno quidem modo, quando est contra rectitudinem iustitiae, et sic dicitur iudicium perversum vel iniustum. Alio modo, quando homo iudicat in his in quibus non habet auctoritatem, et sic dicitur iudicium usurpatum. Tertio modo, quando deest certitudo rationis, puta cum aliquis de his iudicat quae sunt dubia vel occulta per aliquas leves coniecturas, et sic dicitur iudicium suspiciosum vel temerarium. I answer that, Judgment is lawful in so far as it is an act of justice. Now it follows from what has been stated above (Article [1], ad 1,3) that three conditions are requisite for a judgment to be an act of justice: first, that it proceed from the inclination of justice; secondly, that it come from one who is in authority; thirdly, that it be pronounced according to the right ruling of prudence. If any one of these be lacking, the judgment will be faulty and unlawful. First, when it is contrary to the rectitude of justice, and then it is called "perverted" or "unjust": secondly, when a man judges about matters wherein he has no authority, and this is called judgment "by usurpation": thirdly, when the reason lacks certainty, as when a man, without any solid motive, forms a judgment on some doubtful or hidden matter, and then it is called judgment by "suspicion" or "rash" judgment.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod dominus ibi prohibet iudicium temerarium, quod est de intentione cordis vel de aliis incertis, ut Augustinus dicit, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte. Vel prohibet ibi iudicium de rebus divinis, de quibus, cum sint supra nos, non debemus iudicare, sed simpliciter ea credere, ut Hilarius dicit, super Matth. Vel prohibet iudicium quod non sit ex benevolentia, sed ex animi amaritudine, ut Chrysostomus dicit. Reply to Objection 1: In these words our Lord forbids rash judgment which is about the inward intention, or other uncertain things, as Augustine states (De Serm. Dom. in Monte ii, 18). Or else He forbids judgment about Divine things, which we ought not to judge, but simply believe, since they are above us, as Hilary declares in his commentary on Mt. 5. Or again according to Chrysostom [*Hom. xvii in Matth. in the Opus Imperfectum falsely ascribed to St. John of the Cross], He forbids the judgment which proceeds not from benevolence but from bitterness of heart.
Ad secundum dicendum quod iudex constituitur ut minister Dei. Unde dicitur Deut. I, quod iustum est iudicate; et postea subdit, quia Dei est iudicium. Reply to Objection 2: A judge is appointed as God's servant; wherefore it is written (Dt. 1:16): "Judge that which is just," and further on (Dt. 1:17), "because it is the judgment of God."
Ad tertium dicendum quod illi qui sunt in gravibus peccatis non debent iudicare eos qui sunt in eisdem peccatis vel minoribus, ut Chrysostomus dicit, super illud Matth. VII, nolite iudicare. Et praecipue est hoc intelligendum quando illa peccata sunt publica, quia ex hoc generatur scandalum in cordibus aliorum. Si autem non sunt publica, sed occulta, et necessitas iudicandi immineat propter officium, potest cum humilitate et timore vel arguere vel iudicare. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, si invenerimus nos in eodem vitio esse, congemiscamus, et ad pariter conandum invitemus. Nec tamen propter hoc homo sic seipsum condemnat ut novum condemnationis meritum sibi acquirat, sed quia, condemnans alium, ostendit se similiter condemnabilem esse, propter idem peccatum vel simile. Reply to Objection 3: Those who stand guilty of grievous sins should not judge those who are guilty of the same or lesser sins, as Chrysostom [*Hom. xxiv] says on the words of Mt. 7:1, "Judge not." Above all does this hold when such sins are public, because there would be an occasion of scandal arising in the hearts of others. If however they are not public but hidden, and there be an urgent necessity for the judge to pronounce judgment, because it is his duty, he can reprove or judge with humility and fear. Hence Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte ii, 19): "If we find that we are guilty of the same sin as another man, we should groan together with him, and invite him to strive against it together with us." And yet it is not through acting thus that a man condemns himself so as to deserve to be condemned once again, but when, in condemning another, he shows himself to be equally deserving of condemnation on account of another or a like sin.

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Article: 3  [ << | >> ]

Whether it is unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod iudicium ex suspicione procedens non sit illicitum. Suspicio enim videtur esse opinio incerta de aliquo malo, unde et philosophus, in VI Ethic., ponit quod suspicio se habet et ad verum et ad falsum. Sed de singularibus contingentibus non potest haberi opinio nisi incerta. Cum igitur iudicium humanum sit circa humanos actus, qui sunt in singularibus et contingentibus, videtur quod nullum iudicium esset licitum, si ex suspicione iudicare non liceret. Objection 1: It would seem that it is not unlawful to form a judgment from suspicions. For suspicion is seemingly an uncertain opinion about an evil, wherefore the Philosopher states (Ethic. vi, 3) that suspicion is about both the true and the false. Now it is impossible to have any but an uncertain opinion about contingent singulars. Since then human judgment is about human acts, which are about singular and contingent matters, it seems that no judgment would be lawful, if it were not lawful to judge from suspicions.
Praeterea, per iudicium illicitum fit aliqua iniuria proximo. Sed suspicio mala in sola opinione hominis consistit, et sic non videtur ad iniuriam alterius pertinere. Ergo suspicionis iudicium non est illicitum. Objection 2: Further, a man does his neighbor an injury by judging him unlawfully. But an evil suspicion consists in nothing more than a man's opinion, and consequently does not seem to pertain to the injury of another man. Therefore judgment based on suspicion is not unlawful.
Praeterea, si sit illicitum, oportet quod ad iniustitiam reducatur, quia iudicium est actus iustitiae, ut dictum est. Sed iniustitia ex suo genere semper est peccatum mortale, ut supra habitum est. Ergo suspicionis iudicium semper esset peccatum mortale, si esset illicitum. Sed hoc est falsum, quia suspiciones vitare non possumus, ut dicit Glossa Augustini super illud I ad Cor. IV, nolite ante tempus iudicare. Ergo iudicium suspiciosum non videtur esse illicitum. Objection 3: Further, if it is unlawful, it must needs be reducible to an injustice, since judgment is an act of justice, as stated above (Article [1]). Now an injustice is always a mortal sin according to its genus, as stated above (Question [59], Article [4]). Therefore a judgment based on suspicion would always be a mortal sin, if it were unlawful. But this is false, because "we cannot avoid suspicions," according to a gloss of Augustine (Tract. xc in Joan.) on 1 Cor. 4:5, "Judge not before the time." Therefore a judgment based on suspicion would seem not to be unlawful.
Sed contra est quod Chrysostomus, super illud Matth. VII, nolite iudicare etc., dicit, dominus hoc mandato non prohibet Christianos ex benevolentia alios corripere, sed ne per iactantiam iustitiae suae Christiani Christianos despiciant, ex solis plerumque suspicionibus odientes ceteros et condemnantes. On the contrary, Chrysostom [*Hom. xvii in Matth. in the Opus Imperfectum falsely ascribed to St. John of the Cross] in comment on the words of Mt. 7:1, "Judge not," etc., says: "By this commandment our Lord does not forbid Christians to reprove others from kindly motives, but that Christian should despise Christian by boasting his own righteousness, by hating and condemning others for the most part on mere suspicion."
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Tullius dicit, suspicio importat opinionem mali quando ex levibus indiciis procedit. Et contingit ex tribus. Uno quidem modo, ex hoc quod aliquis in seipso malus est, et ex hoc ipso, quasi conscius suae malitiae, faciliter de aliis malum opinatur, secundum illud Eccle. X, in via stultus ambulans, cum ipse sit insipiens, omnes stultos aestimat. Alio modo provenit ex hoc quod aliquis male afficitur ad alterum. Cum enim aliquis contemnit vel odit aliquem, aut irascitur vel invidet ei, ex levibus signis opinatur mala de ipso, quia unusquisque faciliter credit quod appetit. Tertio modo provenit ex longa experientia, unde philosophus dicit, in II Rhet., quod senes sunt maxime suspiciosi, quia multoties experti sunt aliorum defectus. Primae autem duae suspicionis causae manifeste pertinent ad perversitatem affectus. Tertia vero causa diminuit rationem suspicionis, inquantum experientia ad certitudinem proficit, quae est contra rationem suspicionis. Et ideo suspicio vitium quoddam importat, et quanto magis procedit suspicio, tanto magis est vitiosum. I answer that, As Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii), suspicion denotes evil thinking based on slight indications, and this is due to three causes. First, from a man being evil in himself, and from this very fact, as though conscious of his own wickedness, he is prone to think evil of others, according to Eccles. 10:3, "The fool when he walketh in the way, whereas he himself is a fool, esteemeth all men fools." Secondly, this is due to a man being ill-disposed towards another: for when a man hates or despises another, or is angry with or envious of him, he is led by slight indications to think evil of him, because everyone easily believes what he desires. Thirdly, this is due to long experience: wherefore the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 13) that "old people are very suspicious, for they have often experienced the faults of others." The first two causes of suspicion evidently connote perversity of the affections, while the third diminishes the nature of suspicion, in as much as experience leads to certainty which is contrary to the nature of suspicion. Consequently suspicion denotes a certain amount of vice, and the further it goes, the more vicious it is.
Est autem triplex gradus suspicionis. Primus quidem gradus est ut homo ex levibus indiciis de bonitate alicuius dubitare incipiat. Et hoc est veniale et leve peccatum, pertinet enim ad tentationem humanam, sine qua vita ista non ducitur, ut habetur in Glossa super illud I ad Cor. IV, nolite ante tempus iudicare. Secundus gradus est cum aliquis pro certo malitiam alterius aestimat ex levibus indiciis. Et hoc, si sit de aliquo gravi, est peccatum mortale, inquantum non est sine contemptu proximi, unde Glossa ibidem subdit, etsi ergo suspiciones vitare non possumus, quia homines sumus, iudicia tamen, idest definitivas firmasque sententias, continere debemus. Tertius gradus est cum aliquis iudex ex suspicione procedit ad aliquem condemnandum. Et hoc directe ad iniustitiam pertinet. Unde est peccatum mortale. Now there are three degrees of suspicion. The first degree is when a man begins to doubt of another's goodness from slight indications. This is a venial and a light sin; for "it belongs to human temptation without which no man can go through this life," according to a gloss on 1 Cor. 4:5, "Judge not before the time." The second degree is when a man, from slight indications, esteems another man's wickedness as certain. This is a mortal sin, if it be about a grave matter, since it cannot be without contempt of one's neighbor. Hence the same gloss goes on to say: "If then we cannot avoid suspicions, because we are human, we must nevertheless restrain our judgment, and refrain from forming a definite and fixed opinion." The third degree is when a judge goes so far as to condemn a man on suspicion: this pertains directly to injustice, and consequently is a mortal sin.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in humanis actibus invenitur aliqua certitudo, non quidem sicut in demonstrativis, sed secundum quod convenit tali materiae, puta cum aliquid per idoneos testes probatur. Reply to Objection 1: Some kind of certainty is found in human acts, not indeed the certainty of a demonstration, but such as is befitting the matter in point, for instance when a thing is proved by suitable witnesses.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ex hoc ipso quod aliquis malam opinionem habet de alio sine causa sufficienti, indebite contemnit ipsum. Et ideo iniuriatur ei. Reply to Objection 2: From the very fact that a man thinks evil of another without sufficient cause, he despises him unduly, and therefore does him an injury.
Ad tertium dicendum quod quia iustitia et iniustitia est circa exteriores operationes, ut dictum est, tunc iudicium suspiciosum directe ad iniustitiam pertinet quando ad actum exteriorem procedit. Et tunc est peccatum mortale, ut dictum est. Iudicium autem interius pertinet ad iustitiam secundum quod comparatur ad exterius iudicium ut actus interior ad exteriorem, sicut concupiscentia ad fornicationem, et ira ad homicidium. Reply to Objection 3: Since justice and injustice are about external operations, as stated above (Question [58], Articles [8],10,11; Question [59], Article [1], ad 3), the judgment of suspicion pertains directly to injustice when it is betrayed by external action, and then it is a mortal sin, as stated above. The internal judgment pertains to justice, in so far as it is related to the external judgment, even as the internal to the external act, for instance as desire is related to fornication, or anger to murder.

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Article: 4  [ << | >> ]

Whether doubts should be interpreted for the best?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod dubia non sint in meliorem partem interpretanda. Iudicium enim magis esse debet de eo quod ut in pluribus accidit. Sed in pluribus accidit quod aliqui male agant, quia stultorum infinitus est numerus, ut dicitur Eccle. I; proni enim sunt sensus hominis ad malum ab adolescentia sua, ut dicitur Gen. VIII. Ergo dubia magis debemus interpretari in malum quam in bonum. Objection 1: It would seem that doubts should not be interpreted for the best. Because we should judge from what happens for the most part. But it happens for the most part that evil is done, since "the number of fools is infinite" (Eccles. 1:15), "for the imagination and thought of man's heart are prone to evil from his youth" (Gn. 8:21). Therefore doubts should be interpreted for the worst rather than for the best.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit quod ille pie et iuste vivit qui rerum integer est aestimator, in neutram partem declinando. Sed ille qui interpretatur in melius quod dubium est declinat in alteram partem. Ergo hoc non est faciendum. Objection 2: Further, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 27) that "he leads a godly and just life who is sound in his estimate of things, and turns neither to this side nor to that." Now he who interprets a doubtful point for the best, turns to one side. Therefore this should not be done.
Praeterea, homo debet diligere proximum sicut seipsum. Sed circa seipsum homo debet dubia interpretari in peiorem partem, secundum illud Iob IX, verebar omnia opera mea. Ergo videtur quod ea quae sunt dubia circa proximos sint in peiorem partem interpretanda. Objection 3: Further, man should love his neighbor as himself. Now with regard to himself, a man should interpret doubtful matters for the worst, according to Job 9:28, "I feared all my works." Therefore it seems that doubtful matters affecting one's neighbor should be interpreted for the worst.
Sed contra est quod Rom. XIV, super illud, qui non manducat manducantem non iudicet, dicit Glossa, dubia in meliorem partem sunt interpretanda. On the contrary, A gloss on Rm. 14:3, "He that eateth not, let him not judge him that eateth," says: "Doubts should be interpreted in the best sense."
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, ex hoc ipso quod aliquis habet malam opinionem de alio absque sufficienti causa, iniuriatur ei et contemnit ipsum. Nullus autem debet alium contemnere, vel nocumentum quodcumque inferre, absque causa cogente. Et ideo ubi non apparent manifesta indicia de malitia alicuius, debemus eum ut bonum habere, in meliorem partem interpretando quod dubium est. I answer that, As stated above (Article [3], ad 2), things from the very fact that a man thinks ill of another without sufficient cause, he injures and despises him. Now no man ought to despise or in any way injure another man without urgent cause: and, consequently, unless we have evident indications of a person's wickedness, we ought to deem him good, by interpreting for the best whatever is doubtful about him.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod potest contingere quod ille qui in meliorem partem interpretatur, frequentius fallitur. Sed melius est quod aliquis frequenter fallatur habens bonam opinionem de aliquo malo homine, quam quod rarius fallatur habens malam opinionem de aliquo bono, quia ex hoc fit iniuria alicui, non autem ex primo. Reply to Objection 1: He who interprets doubtful matters for the best, may happen to be deceived more often than not; yet it is better to err frequently through thinking well of a wicked man, than to err less frequently through having an evil opinion of a good man, because in the latter case an injury is inflicted, but not in the former.
Ad secundum dicendum quod aliud est iudicare de rebus, et aliud de hominibus. In iudicio enim quo de rebus iudicamus non attenditur bonum vel malum ex parte ipsius rei de qua iudicamus, cui nihil nocet qualitercumque iudicemus de ipsa, sed attenditur ibi solum bonum iudicantis si vere iudicet, vel malum si falso; quia verum est bonum intellectus, falsum autem est malum ipsius, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Et ideo unusquisque debet niti ad hoc quod de rebus iudicet secundum quod sunt. Sed in iudicio quo iudicamus de hominibus praecipue attenditur bonum et malum ex parte eius de quo iudicatur, qui in hoc ipso honorabilis habetur quod bonus iudicatur, et contemptibilis si iudicetur malus. Et ideo ad hoc potius tendere debemus in tali iudicio quod hominem iudicemus bonum, nisi manifesta ratio in contrarium appareat. Ipsi autem homini iudicanti, falsum iudicium quo bene iudicat de alio non pertinet ad malum intellectus ipsius, sicut nec ad eius perfectionem pertinet secundum se cognoscere veritatem singularium contingentium, sed magis pertinet ad bonum affectum. Reply to Objection 2: It is one thing to judge of things and another to judge of men. For when we judge of things, there is no question of the good or evil of the thing about which we are judging, since it will take no harm no matter what kind of judgment we form about it; but there is question of the good of the person who judges, if he judge truly, and of his evil if he judge falsely because "the true is the good of the intellect, and the false is its evil," as stated in Ethic. vi, 2, wherefore everyone should strive to make his judgment accord with things as they are. On the other hand when we judge of men, the good and evil in our judgment is considered chiefly on the part of the person about whom judgment is being formed; for he is deemed worthy of honor from the very fact that he is judged to be good, and deserving of contempt if he is judged to be evil. For this reason we ought, in this kind of judgment, to aim at judging a man good, unless there is evident proof of the contrary. And though we may judge falsely, our judgment in thinking well of another pertains to our good feeling and not to the evil of the intellect, even as neither does it pertain to the intellect's perfection to know the truth of contingent singulars in themselves.
Ad tertium dicendum quod interpretari aliquid in deteriorem vel meliorem partem contingit dupliciter. Uno modo, per quandam suppositionem. Et sic, cum debemus aliquibus malis adhibere remedium, sive nostris sive alienis, expedit ad hoc ut securius remedium apponatur, quod supponatur id quod deterius est, quia remedium quod est efficax contra maius malum, multo magis est efficax contra minus malum. Alio modo interpretamur aliquid in bonum vel malum definiendo sive determinando. Et sic in rerum iudicio debet aliquis niti ad hoc ut interpretetur unumquodque secundum quod est, in iudicio autem personarum, ut interpretetur in melius, sicut dictum est. Reply to Objection 3: One may interpret something for the worst or for the best in two ways. First, by a kind of supposition; and thus, when we have to apply a remedy to some evil, whether our own or another's, in order for the remedy to be applied with greater certainty of a cure, it is expedient to take the worst for granted, since if a remedy be efficacious against a worse evil, much more is it efficacious against a lesser evil. Secondly we may interpret something for the best or for the worst, by deciding or determining, and in this case when judging of things we should try to interpret each thing according as it is, and when judging of persons, to interpret things for the best as stated above.

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Whether we should always judge according to the written law?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit semper secundum leges scriptas iudicandum. Semper enim vitandum est iniustum iudicium. Sed quandoque leges scriptae iniustitiam continent, secundum illud Isaiae X, vae qui condunt leges iniquas, et scribentes iniustitias scripserunt. Ergo non semper est secundum leges scriptas iudicandum. Objection 1: It would seem that we ought not always to judge according to the written law. For we ought always to avoid judging unjustly. But written laws sometimes contain injustice, according to Is. 10:1, "Woe to them that make wicked laws, and when they write, write injustice." Therefore we ought not always to judge according to the written law.
Praeterea, iudicium oportet esse de singularibus eventibus. Sed nulla lex scripta potest omnes singulares eventus comprehendere, ut patet per philosophum, in V Ethic. Ergo videtur quod non semper sit secundum leges scriptas iudicandum. Objection 2: Further, judgment has to be formed about individual happenings. But no written law can cover each and every individual happening, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. v, 10). Therefore it seems that we are not always bound to judge according to the written law.
Praeterea, lex ad hoc scribitur ut sententia legislatoris manifestetur. Sed quandoque contingit quod si ipse lator legis praesens esset, aliter iudicaret. Ergo non est semper secundum legem scriptam iudicandum. Objection 3: Further, a law is written in order that the lawgiver's intention may be made clear. But it happens sometimes that even if the lawgiver himself were present he would judge otherwise. Therefore we ought not always to judge according to the written law.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de vera Relig., in istis temporalibus legibus, quanquam de his homines iudicent cum eas instituerint, tamen cum fuerint institutae et firmatae, non licebit iudicibus de ipsis iudicare, sed secundum ipsas. On the contrary, Augustine says (De Vera Relig. xxxi): "In these earthly laws, though men judge about them when they are making them, when once they are established and passed, the judges may judge no longer of them, but according to them."
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, iudicium nihil est aliud nisi quaedam definitio vel determinatio eius quod iustum est. Fit autem aliquid iustum dupliciter, uno modo, ex ipsa natura rei, quod dicitur ius naturale; alio modo, ex quodam condicto inter homines, quod dicitur ius positivum, ut supra habitum est. Leges autem scribuntur ad utriusque iuris declarationem, aliter tamen et aliter. Nam legis Scriptura ius quidem naturale continet, sed non instituit, non enim habet robur ex lege, sed ex natura. Ius autem positivum Scriptura legis et continet et instituit, dans ei auctoritatis robur. I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]), judgment is nothing else but a decision or determination of what is just. Now a thing becomes just in two ways: first by the very nature of the case, and this is called "natural right," secondly by some agreement between men, and this is called "positive right," as stated above (Question [57], Article [2]). Now laws are written for the purpose of manifesting both these rights, but in different ways. For the written law does indeed contain natural right, but it does not establish it, for the latter derives its force, not from the law but from nature: whereas the written law both contains positive right, and establishes it by giving it force of authority.
Et ideo necesse est quod iudicium fiat secundum legis Scripturam, alioquin iudicium deficeret vel a iusto naturali, vel a iusto positivo. Hence it is necessary to judge according to the written law, else judgment would fall short either of the natural or of the positive right.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod lex scripta, sicut non dat robur iuri naturali, ita nec potest eius robur minuere vel auferre, quia nec voluntas hominis potest immutare naturam. Et ideo si Scriptura legis contineat aliquid contra ius naturale, iniusta est, nec habet vim obligandi, ibi enim ius positivum locum habet ubi quantum ad ius naturale nihil differt utrum sic vel aliter fiat, sicut supra habitum est. Et ideo nec tales Scripturae leges dicuntur, sed potius legis corruptiones, ut supra dictum est. Et ideo secundum eas non est iudicandum. Reply to Objection 1: Just as the written law does not give force to the natural right, so neither can it diminish or annul its force, because neither can man's will change nature. Hence if the written law contains anything contrary to the natural right, it is unjust and has no binding force. For positive right has no place except where "it matters not," according to the natural right, "whether a thing be done in one way or in another"; as stated above (Question [57], Article [2], ad 2). Wherefore such documents are to be called, not laws, but rather corruptions of law, as stated above (FS, Question [95], Article [2]): and consequently judgment should not be delivered according to them.
Ad secundum dicendum quod sicut leges iniquae secundum se contrariantur iuri naturali, vel semper vel ut in pluribus; ita etiam leges quae sunt recte positae in aliquibus casibus deficiunt, in quibus si servarentur, esset contra ius naturale. Et ideo in talibus non est secundum litteram legis iudicandum, sed recurrendum ad aequitatem, quam intendit legislator. Unde iurisperitus dicit, nulla ratio iuris aut aequitatis benignitas patitur ut quae salubriter pro utilitate hominum introducuntur, ea nos duriore interpretatione contra ipsorum commodum producamus ad severitatem. Et in talibus etiam legislator aliter iudicaret, et, si considerasset, lege determinasset. Reply to Objection 2: Even as unjust laws by their very nature are, either always or for the most part, contrary to the natural right, so too laws that are rightly established, fail in some cases, when if they were observed they would be contrary to the natural right. Wherefore in such cases judgment should be delivered, not according to the letter of the law, but according to equity which the lawgiver has in view. Hence the jurist says [*Digest. i, 3; De leg. senatusque consult. 25]: "By no reason of law, or favor of equity, is it allowable for us to interpret harshly, and render burdensome, those useful measures which have been enacted for the welfare of man." In such cases even the lawgiver himself would decide otherwise; and if he had foreseen the case, he might have provided for it by law.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad tertium. This suffices for the Reply to the Third Objection.

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Whether judgment is rendered perverse by being usurped?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod iudicium per usurpationem non reddatur perversum. Iustitia enim est quaedam rectitudo in agendis. Sed nihil deperit veritati a quocumque dicatur, sed a quocumque est accipienda. Ergo etiam nihil deperit iustitiae, a quocumque iustum determinetur, quod pertinet ad rationem iudicii. Objection 1: It would seem that judgment is not rendered perverse by being usurped. For justice is rectitude in matters of action. Now truth is not impaired, no matter who tells it, but it may suffer from the person who ought to accept it. Therefore again justice loses nothing, no matter who declares what is just, and this is what is meant by judgment.
Praeterea, peccata punire ad iudicium pertinet. Sed aliqui laudabiliter leguntur peccata punisse qui tamen auctoritatem non habebant super illos quos puniebant, sicut Moyses occidendo Aegyptium, ut habetur Exod. II; et Phinees, filius Eleazari, Zambri, filium Salomi, ut legitur Num. XXV, et reputatum est ei ad iustitiam, ut dicitur in Psalm. Ergo usurpatio iudicii non pertinet ad iniustitiam. Objection 2: Further, it belongs to judgment to punish sins. Now it is related to the praise of some that they punished sins without having authority over those whom they punished; such as Moses in slaying the Egyptian (Ex. 2:12), and Phinees the son of Eleazar in slaying Zambri the son of Salu (Num. 25:7-14), and "it was reputed to him unto justice" (Ps. 105:31). Therefore usurpation of judgment pertains not to injustice.
Praeterea, potestas spiritualis distinguitur a temporali. Sed quandoque praelati habentes spiritualem potestatem intromittunt se de his quae pertinent ad potestatem saecularem. Ergo usurpatum iudicium non est illicitum. Objection 3: Further, spiritual power is distinct from temporal. Now prelates having spiritual power sometimes interfere in matters concerning the secular power. Therefore usurped judgment is not unlawful.
Praeterea, sicut ad recte iudicandum requiritur auctoritas, ita etiam et iustitia iudicantis et scientia, ut ex supradictis patet. Sed non dicitur iudicium esse iniustum si aliquis iudicet non habens habitum iustitiae, vel non habens scientiam iuris. Ergo neque etiam iudicium usurpatum, quod fit per defectum auctoritatis, semper erit iniustum. Objection 4: Further, even as the judge requires authority in order to judge aright, so also does he need justice and knowledge, as shown above (Article [1], ad 1,3; Article [2]). But a judgment is not described as unjust, if he who judges lacks the habit of justice or the knowledge of the law. Neither therefore is it always unjust to judge by usurpation, i.e. without authority.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Rom. XIV, tu quis es, qui iudicas alienum servum? On the contrary, It is written (Rm. 14:4): "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant?"
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum iudicium sit ferendum secundum leges scriptas, ut dictum est, ille qui iudicium fert legis dictum quodammodo interpretatur, applicando ipsum ad particulare negotium. Cum autem eiusdem auctoritatis sit legem interpretari et legem condere, sicut lex condi non potest nisi publica auctoritate, ita nec iudicium ferri potest nisi publica auctoritate, quae quidem se extendit ad eos qui communitati subduntur. Et ideo sicut iniustum esset ut aliquis constringeret alium ad legem servandam quae non esset publica auctoritate sancita, ita etiam iniustum est si aliquis aliquem compellat ferre iudicium quod publica auctoritate non fertur. I answer that, Since judgment should be pronounced according to the written law, as stated above (Article [5]), he that pronounces judgment, interprets, in a way, the letter of the law, by applying it to some particular case. Now since it belongs to the same authority to interpret and to make a law, just as a law cannot be made save by public authority, so neither can a judgment be pronounced except by public authority, which extends over those who are subject to the community. Wherefore even as it would be unjust for one man to force another to observe a law that was not approved by public authority, so too it is unjust, if a man compels another to submit to a judgment that is pronounced by other than the public authority.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod pronuntiatio veritatis non importat compulsionem ad hoc quod suscipiatur, sed liberum est unicuique eam recipere vel non recipere prout vult. Sed iudicium importat quandam impulsionem. Et ideo iniustum est quod aliquis iudicetur ab eo qui publicam auctoritatem non habet Reply to Objection 1: When the truth is declared there is no obligation to accept it, and each one is free to receive it or not, as he wishes. On the other hand judgment implies an obligation, wherefore it is unjust for anyone to be judged by one who has no public authority.
Ad secundum dicendum quod Moyses videtur Aegyptium occidisse quasi ex inspiratione divina auctoritatem adeptus, ut videtur per hoc quod dicitur Act. VII, quod, percusso Aegyptio, aestimabat Moyses intelligere fratres suos quoniam dominus per manum ipsius daret salutem Israel. Vel potest dici quod Moyses occidit Aegyptium defendendo eum qui iniuriam patiebatur cum moderamine inculpatae tutelae. Unde Ambrosius dicit, in libro de Offic., quod qui non repellit iniuriam a socio cum potest, tam est in vitio quam ille qui facit; et inducit exemplum Moysi. Vel potest dici, sicut dicit Augustinus, in quaestionibus Exod., quod sicut terra, ante utilia semina, herbarum inutilium fertilitate laudatur; sic illud Moysi factum vitiosum quidem fuit, sed magnae fertilitatis signum gerebat, inquantum scilicet erat signum virtutis eius qua populum liberaturus erat. Reply to Objection 2: Moses seems to have slain the Egyptian by authority received as it were, by divine inspiration; this seems to follow from Acts 7:24, 25, where it is said that "striking the Egyptian... he thought that his brethren understood that God by his hand would save Israel [Vulg.: 'them']." Or it may be replied that Moses slew the Egyptian in order to defend the man who was unjustly attacked, without himself exceeding the limits of a blameless defence. Wherefore Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 36) that "whoever does not ward off a blow from a fellow man when he can, is as much in fault as the striker"; and he quotes the example of Moses. Again we may reply with Augustine (Questions. Exod. qu. 2) [*Cf. Contra Faust. xxii, 70] that just as "the soil gives proof of its fertility by producing useless herbs before the useful seeds have grown, so this deed of Moses was sinful although it gave a sign of great fertility," in so far, to wit, as it was a sign of the power whereby he was to deliver his people.
De Phinee autem dicendum est quod ex inspiratione divina, zelo Dei commotus, hoc fecit. Vel quia, licet nondum esset summus sacerdos, erat tamen filius summi sacerdotis, et ad eum hoc iudicium pertinebat, sicut et ad alios iudices, quibus hoc erat praeceptum. With regard to Phinees the reply is that he did this out of zeal for God by Divine inspiration; or because though not as yet high-priest, he was nevertheless the high-priest's son, and this judgment was his concern as of the other judges, to whom this was commanded [*Ex. 22:20; Lev. 20; Dt. 13,17].
Ad tertium dicendum quod potestas saecularis subditur spirituali sicut corpus animae. Et ideo non est usurpatum iudicium si spiritualis praelatus se intromittat de temporalibus quantum ad ea in quibus subditur ei saecularis potestas, vel quae ei a saeculari potestate relinquuntur. Reply to Objection 3: The secular power is subject to the spiritual, even as the body is subject to the soul. Consequently the judgment is not usurped if the spiritual authority interferes in those temporal matters that are subject to the spiritual authority or which have been committed to the spiritual by the temporal authority.
Ad quartum dicendum quod habitus scientiae et iustitiae sunt perfectiones singularis personae, et ideo per eorum defectum non dicitur usurpatum iudicium, sicut per defectum publicae auctoritatis, ex qua iudicium vim coactivam habet. Reply to Objection 4: The habits of knowledge and justice are perfections of the individual, and consequently their absence does not make a judgment to be usurped, as in the absence of public authority which gives a judgment its coercive force.

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