St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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

 

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OF THE SUBJECT OF SIN (TEN ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de subiecto vitiorum, sive peccatorum. Et circa hoc quaeruntur decem.    We must now consider the subject of vice or sin: under which head there are ten points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum voluntas possit esse subiectum peccati.     (1) Whether the will can be the subject of sin?
Secundo, utrum voluntas sola sit peccati subiectum.     (2) Whether the will alone is the subject of sin?
Tertio, utrum sensualitas possit esse subiectum peccati.     (3) Whether the sensuality can be the subject of sin?
Quarto, utrum possit esse subiectum peccati mortalis.     (4) Whether it can be the subject of mortal sin?
Quinto, utrum ratio possit esse subiectum peccati.     (5) Whether the reason can be the subject of sin?
Sexto, utrum delectatio morosa, vel non morosa, sit in ratione inferiori sicut in subiecto.     (6) Whether morose delectation or non-morose delectation be subjected in the higher reason?
Septimo, utrum peccatum consensus in actum sit in superiori ratione sicut in subiecto.     (7) Whether the sin of consent in the act of sin is subjected in the higher reason?
Octavo, utrum ratio inferior possit esse subiectum peccati mortalis.     (8) Whether the lower reason can be the subject of mortal sin?
Nono, utrum ratio superior possit esse subiectum peccati venialis.     (9) Whether the higher reason can be the subject of venial sin?
Decimo, utrum in ratione superiori possit esse peccatum veniale circa proprium obiectum.     (10) Whether there can be in the higher reason a venial sin directed to its proper object?

 

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Whether the will is a subject of sin?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod voluntas non possit esse subiectum peccati. Dicit enim Dionysius, in IV cap. de Div. Nom., quod malum est praeter voluntatem et intentionem. Sed peccatum habet rationem mali. Ergo peccatum non potest esse in voluntate.   Objection 1: It would seem that the will cannot be a subject of sin. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "evil is outside the will and the intention." But sin has the character of evil. Therefore sin cannot be in the will.
Praeterea, voluntas est boni, vel apparentis boni. Ex hoc autem quod voluntas vult bonum, non peccat, hoc autem quod vult apparens bonum quod non est vere bonum, magis pertinere videtur ad defectum virtutis apprehensivae quam ad defectum voluntatis. Ergo peccatum nullo modo est in voluntate.   Objection 2: Further, the will is directed either to the good or to what seems good. Now from the fact that will wishes the good, it does not sin: and that it wishes what seems good but is not truly good, points to a defect in the apprehensive power rather than in the will. Therefore sin is nowise in the will.
Praeterea, non potest esse idem subiectum peccati, et causa efficiens, quia causa efficiens et materialis non incidunt in idem, ut dicitur in II Physic. Sed voluntas est causa efficiens peccati, prima enim causa peccandi est voluntas, ut Augustinus dicit, in libro de duabus animabus. Ergo non est subiectum peccati.   Objection 3: Further, the same thing cannot be both subject and efficient cause of sin: because "the efficient and the material cause do not coincide" (Phys. 2, text. 70). Now the will is the efficient cause of sin: because the first cause of sinning is the will, as Augustine states (De Duabus Anim. x, 10,11). Therefore it is not the subject of sin.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro Retract., quod voluntas est qua peccatur, et recte vivitur.   On the contrary, Augustine says (Retract. i, 9) that "it is by the will that we sin, and live righteously."
Respondeo dicendum quod peccatum quidam actus est, sicut supra dictum est. Actuum autem quidam transeunt in exteriorem materiam, ut urere et secare, et huiusmodi actus habent pro materia et subiecto id in quod transit actio; sicut philosophus dicit, in III Physic., quod motus est actus mobilis a movente. Quidam vero actus sunt non transeuntes in exteriorem materiam, sed manentes in agente, sicut appetere et cognoscere, et tales actus sunt omnes actus morales, sive sint actus virtutum, sive peccatorum. Unde oportet quod proprium subiectum actus peccati sit potentia quae est principium actus. Cum autem proprium sit actuum moralium quod sint voluntarii, ut supra habitum est; sequitur quod voluntas, quae est principium actuum voluntariorum, sive bonorum sive malorum, quae sunt peccata, sit principium peccatorum. Et ideo sequitur quod peccatum sit in voluntate sicut in subiecto.   I answer that, Sin is an act, as stated above (Question [71], Articles [1],6). Now some acts pass into external matter, e.g. "to cut" and "to burn": and such acts have for their matter and subject, the thing into which the action passes: thus the Philosopher states (Phys. iii, text. 18) that "movement is the act of the thing moved, caused by a mover." On the other hand, there are acts which do not pass into external matter, but remain in the agent, e.g. "to desire" and "to know": and such are all moral acts, whether virtuous or sinful. Consequently the proper subject of sin must needs be the power which is the principle of the act. Now since it is proper to moral acts that they are voluntary, as stated above (Question [1], Article [1]; Question [18], Article [6]), it follows that the will, which is the principle of voluntary acts, both of good acts, and of evil acts or sins, is the principle of sins. Therefore it follows that sin is in the will as its subject.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod malum dicitur esse praeter voluntatem, quia voluntas non tendit in ipsum sub ratione mali. Sed quia aliquod malum est apparens bonum, ideo voluntas aliquando appetit aliquod malum. Et secundum hoc peccatum est in voluntate.   Reply to Objection 1: Evil is said to be outside the will, because the will does not tend to it under the aspect of evil. But since some evil is an apparent good, the will sometimes desires an evil, and in this sense is in the will.
Ad secundum dicendum quod si defectus apprehensivae virtutis nullo modo subiaceret voluntati, non esset peccatum nec in voluntate nec in apprehensiva virtute, sicut patet in his qui habent ignorantiam invincibilem. Et ideo relinquitur quod etiam defectus apprehensivae virtutis subiacens voluntati, deputetur in peccatum.   Reply to Objection 2: If the defect in the apprehensive power were nowise subject to the will, there would be no sin, either in the will, or in the apprehensive power, as in the case of those whose ignorance is invincible. It remains therefore that when there is in the apprehensive power a defect that is subject to the will, this defect also is deemed a sin.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio illa procedit in causis efficientibus quarum actiones transeunt in materiam exteriorem, et quae non movent se, sed alia. Cuius contrarium est in voluntate. Unde ratio non sequitur.   Reply to Objection 3: This argument applies to those efficient causes whose actions pass into external matter, and which do not move themselves, but move other things; the contrary of which is to be observed in the will; hence the argument does not prove.

 

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Whether the will alone is the subject of sin?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sola voluntas sit subiectum peccati. Dicit enim Augustinus, in libro de duabus animabus, quod non nisi voluntate peccatur. Sed peccatum est sicut in subiecto in potentia qua peccatur. Ergo sola voluntas est subiectum peccati.   Objection 1: It would seem that the will alone is the subject of sin. For Augustine says (De Duabus Anim. x, 10) that "no one sins except by the will." Now the subject of sin is the power by which we sin. Therefore the will alone is the subject of sin.
Praeterea, peccatum est quoddam malum contra rationem. Sed bonum et malum ad rationem pertinens, est obiectum solius voluntatis. Ergo sola voluntas est subiectum peccati.   Objection 2: Further, sin is an evil contrary to reason. Now good and evil pertaining to reason are the object of the will alone. Therefore the will alone is the subject of sin.
Praeterea, omne peccatum est actus voluntarius, quia, ut dicit Augustinus, in libro de Lib. Arb., peccatum adeo est voluntarium, quod si non sit voluntarium, non est peccatum. Sed actus aliarum virium non sunt voluntarii nisi inquantum illae vires moventur a voluntate. Hoc autem non sufficit ad hoc quod sint subiectum peccati, quia secundum hoc etiam membra exteriora, quae moventur a voluntate, essent subiectum peccati; quod patet esse falsum. Ergo sola voluntas est subiectum peccati.   Objection 3: Further, every sin is a voluntary act, because, as Augustine states (De Lib. Arb. iii, 18) [*Cf. De Vera Relig. xiv.], "so true is it that every sin is voluntary, that unless it be voluntary, it is no sin at all." Now the acts of the other powers are not voluntary, except in so far as those powers are moved by the will; nor does this suffice for them to be the subject of sin, because then even the external members of the body, which are moved by the will, would be a subject of sin; which is clearly untrue. Therefore the will alone is the subject of sin.
Sed contra, peccatum virtuti contrariatur. Contraria autem sunt circa idem. Sed aliae etiam vires animae praeter voluntatem, sunt subiecta virtutum, ut supra dictum est. Ergo non sola voluntas est subiectum peccati.   On the contrary, Sin is contrary to virtue: and contraries are about one same thing. But the other powers of the soul, besides the will, are the subject of virtues, as stated above (Question [56]). Therefore the will is not the only subject of sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex praedictis patet, omne quod est principium voluntarii actus, est subiectum peccati. Actus autem voluntarii dicuntur non solum illi qui eliciuntur a voluntate, sed etiam illi qui a voluntate imperantur; ut supra dictum est, cum de voluntario ageretur. Unde non sola voluntas potest esse subiectum peccati, sed omnes illae potentiae quae possunt moveri ad suos actus, vel ab eis reprimi, per voluntatem. Et eaedem etiam potentiae sunt subiecta habituum moralium bonorum vel malorum, quia eiusdem est actus et habitus.   I answer that, As was shown above (Article [1]), whatever is the a principle of a voluntary act is a subject of sin. Now voluntary acts are not only those which are elicited by the will, but also those which are commanded by the will, as we stated above (Question [6], Article [4]) in treating of voluntariness. Therefore not only the will can be a subject of sin, but also all those powers which can be moved to their acts, or restrained from their acts, by the will; and these same powers are the subjects of good and evil moral habits, because act and habit belong to the same subject.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non peccatur nisi voluntate sicut primo movente, aliis autem potentiis peccatur sicut ab ea motis.   Reply to Objection 1: We do not sin except by the will as first mover; but we sin by the other powers as moved by the will.
Ad secundum dicendum quod bonum et malum pertinent ad voluntatem sicut per se obiecta ipsius, sed aliae potentiae habent aliquod determinatum bonum et malum, ratione cuius potest in eis esse et virtus et vitium et peccatum, secundum quod participant voluntate et ratione.   Reply to Objection 2: Good and evil pertain to the will as its proper objects; but the other powers have certain determinate goods and evils, by reason of which they can be the subject of virtue, vice, and sin, in so far as they partake of will and reason.
Ad tertium dicendum quod membra corporis non sunt principia actuum, sed solum organa, unde et comparantur ad animam moventem sicut servus, qui agitur et non agit. Potentiae autem appetitivae interiores comparantur ad rationem quasi liberae, quia agunt quodammodo et aguntur, ut patet per id quod dicitur I Polit. Et praeterea actus exteriorum membrorum sunt actiones in exteriorem materiam transeuntes, sicut patet de percussione in peccato homicidii. Et propter hoc non est similis ratio.   Reply to Objection 3: The members of the body are not principles but merely organs of action: wherefore they are compared to the soul which moves them, as a slave who is moved but moves no other. On the other hand, the internal appetitive powers are compared to reason as free agents, because they both act and are acted upon, as is made clear in Polit. i, 3. Moreover, the acts of the external members are actions that pass into external matter, as may be seen in the blow that is inflicted in the sin of murder. Consequently there is no comparison.

 

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Whether there can be sin in the sensuality?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod in sensualitate non possit esse peccatum. Peccatum enim est proprium homini, qui ex suis actibus laudatur vel vituperatur. Sed sensualitas est communis nobis et brutis. Ergo in sensualitate non potest esse peccatum.   Objection 1: It would seem that there cannot be sin in the sensuality. For sin is proper to man who is praised or blamed for his actions. Now sensuality is common to us and irrational animals. Therefore sin cannot be in the sensuality.
Praeterea, nullus peccat in eo quod vitare non potest; sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de Lib. Arb. Sed homo non potest vitare quin actus sensualitatis sit inordinatus, est enim sensualitas perpetuae corruptionis, quandiu in hac mortali vita vivimus; unde et per serpentem significatur, ut Augustinus dicit, XII de Trin. Ergo inordinatio motus sensualitatis non est peccatum.   Objection 2: Further, "no man sins in what he cannot avoid," as Augustine states (De Lib. Arb. iii, 18). But man cannot prevent the movement of the sensuality from being inordinate, since "the sensuality ever remains corrupt, so long as we abide in this mortal life; wherefore it is signified by the serpent," as Augustine declares (De Trin. xii, 12,13). Therefore the inordinate movement of the sensuality is not a sin.
Praeterea, illud quod homo ipse non facit, non imputatur ei ad peccatum. Sed hoc solum videmur nos ipsi facere, quod cum deliberatione rationis facimus; ut philosophus dicit, in IX Ethic. Ergo motus sensualitatis qui est sine deliberatione rationis, non imputatur homini ad peccatum.   Objection 3: Further, that which man himself does not do is not imputed to him as a sin. Now "that alone do we seem to do ourselves, which we do with the deliberation of reason," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 8). Therefore the movement of the sensuality, which is without the deliberation of reason, is not imputed to a man as a sin.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Rom. VII, non enim quod volo bonum, hoc ago; sed quod odi malum, illud facio, quod exponit Augustinus de malo concupiscentiae, quam constat esse motum quendam sensualitatis. Ergo in sensualitate est aliquod peccatum.   On the contrary, It is written (Rm. 7:19): "The good which I will I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do": which words Augustine explains (Contra Julian. iii, 26; De Verb. Apost. xii, 2,3), as referring to the evil of concupiscence, which is clearly a movement of the sensuality. Therefore there can be sin in the sensuality.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, peccatum potest inveniri in qualibet potentia cuius actus potest esse voluntarius et inordinatus, in quo consistit ratio peccati. Manifestum est autem quod actus sensualitatis potest esse voluntarius, inquantum sensualitas, idest appetitus sensitivus, nata est a voluntate moveri. Unde relinquitur quod in sensualitate possit esse peccatum.   I answer that, As stated above (Articles [2],3), sin may be found in any power whose act can be voluntary and inordinate, wherein consists the nature of sin. Now it is evident that the act of the sensuality, or sensitive appetite, is naturally inclined to be moved by the will. Wherefore it follows that sin can be in the sensuality.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod aliquae vires sensitivae partis, etsi sint communes nobis et brutis, tamen in nobis habent aliquam excellentiam ex hoc quod rationi iunguntur, sicut nos, prae aliis animalibus, habemus in parte sensitiva cogitativam et reminiscentiam, ut in primo dictum est. Et per hunc modum etiam appetitus sensitivus in nobis prae aliis animalibus habet quandam excellentiam, scilicet quod natus est obedire rationi. Et quantum ad hoc, potest esse principium actus voluntarii; et per consequens subiectum peccati.   Reply to Objection 1: Although some of the powers of the sensitive part are common to us and irrational animals, nevertheless, in us, they have a certain excellence through being united to the reason; thus we surpass other animals in the sensitive part for as much as we have the powers of cogitation and reminiscence, as stated in the FP, Question [78], Article [4]. In the same way our sensitive appetite surpasses that of other animals by reason of a certain excellence consisting in its natural aptitude to obey the reason; and in this respect it can be the principle of a voluntary action, and, consequently, the subject of sin.
Ad secundum dicendum quod perpetua corruptio sensualitatis est intelligenda quantum ad fomitem, qui nunquam totaliter tollitur in hac vita, transit enim peccatum originale reatu, et remanet actu. Sed talis corruptio fomitis non impedit quin homo rationabili voluntate possit reprimere singulos motus inordinatos sensualitatis, si praesentiat, puta divertendo cogitationem ad alia. Sed dum homo ad aliud cogitationem divertit, potest etiam circa illud aliquis inordinatus motus insurgere, sicut cum aliquis transfert cogitationem suam a delectabilibus carnis, volens concupiscentiae motus vitare, ad speculationem scientiae, insurgit quandoque aliquis motus inanis gloriae impraemeditatus. Et ideo non potest homo vitare omnes huiusmodi motus, propter corruptionem praedictam, sed hoc solum sufficit ad rationem peccati voluntarii, quod possit vitare singulos.   Reply to Objection 2: The continual corruption of the sensuality is to be understood as referring to the "fomes," which is never completely destroyed in this life, since, though the stain of original sin passes, its effect remains. However, this corruption of the "fomes" does not hinder man from using his rational will to check individual inordinate movements, if he be presentient to them, for instance by turning his thoughts to other things. Yet while he is turning his thoughts to something else, an inordinate movement may arise about this also: thus when a man, in order to avoid the movements of concupiscence, turns his thoughts away from carnal pleasures, to the considerations of science, sometimes an unpremeditated movement of vainglory will arise. Consequently, a man cannot avoid all such movements, on account of the aforesaid corruption: but it is enough, for the conditions of a voluntary sin, that he be able to avoid each single one.
Ad tertium dicendum quod illud quod homo facit sine deliberatione rationis, non perfecte ipse facit, quia nihil operatur ibi id quod est principale in homine. Unde non est perfecte actus humanus. Et per consequens non potest esse perfecte actus virtutis vel peccati, sed aliquid imperfectum in genere horum. Unde talis motus sensualitatis rationem praeveniens, est peccatum veniale, quod est quiddam imperfectum in genere peccati.   Reply to Objection 3: Man does not do perfectly himself what he does without the deliberation of reason, since the principal part of man does nothing therein: wherefore such is not perfectly a human act; and consequently it cannot be a perfect act of virtue or of sin, but is something imperfect of that kind. Therefore such movement of the sensuality as forestalls the reason, is a venial sin, which is something imperfect in the genus of sin.

 

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Whether mortal sin can be in the sensuality?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in sensualitate possit esse peccatum mortale. Actus enim ex obiecto cognoscitur. Sed circa obiecta sensualitatis contingit peccare mortaliter, sicut circa delectabilia carnis. Ergo actus sensualitatis potest esse peccatum mortale. Et ita in sensualitate peccatum mortale invenitur.   Objection 1: It would seem that mortal sin can be in the sensuality. Because an act is discerned by its object. Now it is possible to commit a mortal sin about the objects of the sensuality, e.g. about carnal pleasures. Therefore the act of the sensuality can be a mortal sin, so that mortal sin can be found in the sensuality.
Praeterea, peccatum mortale contrariatur virtuti. Sed virtus potest esse in sensualitate, temperantia enim et fortitudo sunt virtutes irrationabilium partium, ut philosophus dicit, in III Ethic. Ergo in sensualitate potest esse peccatum mortale, cum contraria sint nata fieri circa idem.   Objection 2: Further, mortal sin is opposed to virtue. But virtue can be in the sensuality; for temperance and fortitude are virtues of the irrational parts, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. iii, 10). Therefore, since it is natural to contraries to be about the same subject, sensuality can be the subject of mortal sin.
Praeterea, veniale peccatum est dispositio ad mortale. Sed dispositio et habitus sunt in eodem. Cum igitur veniale peccatum sit in sensualitate, ut dictum est; etiam mortale peccatum esse poterit in eadem.   Objection 3: Further, venial sin is a disposition to mortal sin. Now disposition and habit are in the same subject. Since therefore venial sin may be in the sensuality, as stated above (Article [3], ad 3), mortal sin can be there also.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro Retract., et habetur in Glossa Rom. VII, inordinatus concupiscentiae motus (qui est peccatum sensualitatis) potest etiam esse in his qui sunt in gratia, in quibus tamen peccatum mortale non invenitur. Ergo inordinatus motus sensualitatis non est peccatum mortale.   On the contrary, Augustine says (Retract. i, 23): "The inordinate movement of concupiscence, which is the sin of the sensuality, can even be in those who are in a state of grace," in whom, however, mortal sin is not to be found. Therefore the inordinate movement of the sensuality is not a mortal sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut inordinatio corrumpens principium vitae corporalis, causat corporalem mortem; ita etiam inordinatio corrumpens principium spiritualis vitae, quod est finis ultimus, causat mortem spiritualem peccati mortalis, ut supra dictum est. Ordinare autem aliquid in finem non est sensualitatis, sed solum rationis. Inordinatio autem a fine non est nisi eius cuius est ordinare in finem. Unde peccatum mortale non potest esse in sensualitate, sed solum in ratione.   I answer that, Just as a disorder which destroys the principle of the body's life causes the body's death, so too a disorder which destroys the principle of spiritual life, viz. the last end, causes spiritual death, which is mortal sin, as stated above (Question [72], Article [5]). Now it belongs to the reason alone, and not to the sensuality, to order anything to the end: and disorder in respect of the end can only belong to the power whose function it is to order others to the end. Wherefore mortal sin cannot be in the sensuality, but only in the reason.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod actus sensualitatis potest concurrere ad peccatum mortale, sed tamen actus peccati mortalis non habet quod sit peccatum mortale, ex eo quod est sensualitatis; sed ex eo quod est rationis, cuius est ordinare in finem. Et ideo peccatum mortale non attribuitur sensualitati, sed rationi.   Reply to Objection 1: The act of the sensuality can concur towards a mortal sin: yet the fact of its being a mortal sin is due, not to its being an act of the sensuality, but to its being an act of reason, to whom the ordering to the end belongs. Consequently mortal sin is imputed, not to the sensuality, but to reason.
Ad secundum dicendum quod etiam actus virtutis non perficitur per id quod est sensualitatis tantum, sed magis per id quod est rationis et voluntatis, cuius est eligere, nam actus virtutis moralis non est sine electione. Unde semper cum actu virtutis moralis, quae perficit vim appetitivam, est etiam actus prudentiae, quae perficit vim rationalem. Et idem est etiam de peccato mortali, sicut dictum est.   Reply to Objection 2: An act of virtue is perfected not only in that it is an act of the sensuality, but still more in the fact of its being an act of reason and will, whose function it is to choose: for the act of moral virtue is not without the exercise of choice: wherefore the act of moral virtue, which perfects the appetitive power, is always accompanied by an act of prudence, which perfects the rational power; and the same applies to mortal sin, as stated (ad 1).
Ad tertium dicendum quod dispositio tripliciter se habet ad id ad quod disponit. Quandoque enim est idem et in eodem, sicut scientia inchoata dicitur esse dispositio ad scientiam perfectam. Quandoque autem est in eodem, sed non idem, sicut calor est dispositio ad formam ignis. Quandoque vero nec idem nec in eodem, sicut in his quae habent ordinem ad invicem ut ex uno perveniatur in aliud, sicut bonitas imaginationis est dispositio ad scientiam, quae est in intellectu. Et hoc modo veniale peccatum, quod est in sensualitate, potest esse dispositio ad peccatum mortale, quod est in ratione.   Reply to Objection 3: A disposition may be related in three ways to that to which it disposes: for sometimes it is the same thing and is in the same subject; thus inchoate science is a disposition to perfect science: sometimes it is in the same subject, but is not the same thing; thus heat is a disposition to the form of fire: sometimes it is neither the same thing, nor in the same subject, as in those things which are subordinate to one another in such a way that we can arrive at one through the other, e.g. goodness of the imagination is a disposition to science which is in the intellect. In this way the venial sin that is in the sensuality, may be a disposition to mortal sin, which is in the reason.

 

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Article: 5  [<< | >>]

Whether sin can be in the reason?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum non possit esse in ratione. Cuiuslibet enim potentiae peccatum est aliquis defectus ipsius. Sed defectus rationis non est peccatum, sed magis excusat peccatum, excusatur enim aliquis a peccato propter ignorantiam. Ergo in ratione non potest esse peccatum.   Objection 1: It would seem that sin cannot be in the reason. For the sin of any power is a defect thereof. But the fault of the reason is not a sin, on the contrary, it excuses sin: for a man is excused from sin on account of ignorance. Therefore sin cannot be in the reason.
Praeterea, primum subiectum peccati est voluntas, ut dictum est. Sed ratio praecedit voluntatem, cum sit directiva ipsius. Ergo peccatum esse non potest in ratione.   Objection 2: Further, the primary object of sin is the will, as stated above (Article [1]). Now reason precedes the will, since it directs it. Therefore sin cannot be in the reason.
Praeterea, non potest esse peccatum nisi circa ea quae sunt in nobis. Sed perfectio et defectus rationis non est eorum quae sunt in nobis, quidam enim sunt naturaliter ratione deficientes, vel ratione solertes. Ergo in ratione non est peccatum.   Objection 3: Further, there can be no sin except about things which are under our control. Now perfection and defect of reason are not among those things which are under our control: since by nature some are mentally deficient, and some shrewd-minded. Therefore no sin is in the reason.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro XII de Trin., quod peccatum est in ratione inferiori et in ratione superiori.   On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 12) that sin is in the lower and in the higher reason.
Respondeo dicendum quod peccatum cuiuslibet potentiae consistit in actu ipsius, sicut ex dictis patet. Habet autem ratio duplicem actum, unum quidem secundum se, in comparatione ad proprium obiectum, quod est cognoscere aliquod verum; alius autem actus rationis est inquantum est directiva aliarum virium. Utroque igitur modo contingit esse peccatum in ratione. Et primo quidem, inquantum errat in cognitione veri, quod quidem tunc imputatur ei ad peccatum, quando habet ignorantiam vel errorem circa id quod potest et debet scire. Secundo, quando inordinatos actus inferiorum virium vel imperat, vel etiam post deliberationem non coercet.   I answer that, The sin of any power is an act of that power, as we have clearly shown (Articles [1],2,3). Now reason has a twofold act: one is its proper act in respect of its proper object, and this is the act of knowing the truth; the other is the act of reason as directing the other powers. Now in both of these ways there may be sin in the reason. First, in so far as it errs in the knowledge of truth, which error is imputed to the reason as a sin, when it is in ignorance or error about what it is able and ought to know: secondly, when it either commands the inordinate movements of the lower powers, or deliberately fails to check them.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de defectu rationis qui pertinet ad actum proprium respectu proprii obiecti, et hoc quando est defectus cognitionis eius quod quis non potest scire. Tunc enim talis defectus rationis non est peccatum, sed excusat a peccato, sicut patet in his quae per furiosos committuntur. Si vero sit defectus rationis circa id quod homo potest et debet scire, non omnino homo excusatur a peccato, sed ipse defectus imputatur ei ad peccatum. Defectus autem qui est solum in dirigendo alias vires, semper imputatur ei ad peccatum, quia huic defectui occurrere potest per proprium actum.   Reply to Objection 1: This argument considers the defect in the proper act of the reason in respect of its proper object, and with regard to the case when it is a defect of knowledge about something which one is unable to know: for then this defect of reason is not a sin, and excuses from sin, as is evident with regard to the actions of madmen. If, however, the defect of reason be about something which a man is able and ought to know, he is not altogether excused from sin, and the defect is imputed to him as a sin. The defect which belongs only to the act of directing the other powers, is always imputed to reason as a sin, because it can always obviate this defect by means of its proper act.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, cum de actibus voluntatis et rationis ageretur, voluntas quodammodo movet et praecedit rationem, et ratio quodammodo voluntatem, unde et motus voluntatis dici potest rationalis, et actus rationis potest dici voluntarius. Et secundum hoc in ratione invenitur peccatum, vel prout est defectus eius voluntarius, vel prout actus rationis est principium actus voluntatis.   Reply to Objection 2: As stated above (Question [17], Article [1]), when we were treating of the acts of the will and reason, the will moves and precedes the reason, in one way, and the reason moves and precedes the will in another: so that both the movement of the will can be called rational, and the act of the reason, voluntary. Accordingly sin is found in the reason, either through being a voluntary defect of the reason, or through the reason being the principle of the will's act.
Ad tertium patet responsio ex dictis.    The Reply to the Third Objection is evident from what has been said (ad 1).

 

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Whether the sin of morose delectation is in the reason?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum morosae delectationis non sit in ratione. Delectatio enim importat motum appetitivae virtutis, ut supra dictum est. Sed vis appetitiva distinguitur a ratione, quae est vis apprehensiva. Ergo delectatio morosa non est in ratione.   Objection 1: It would seem that the sin of morose delectation is not in the reason. For delectation denotes a movement of the appetitive power, as stated above (Question [31], Article [1]). But the appetitive power is distinct from the reason, which is an apprehensive power. Therefore morose delectation is not in the reason.
Praeterea, ex obiectis cognosci potest ad quam potentiam actus pertineat, per quem potentia ordinatur ad obiectum. Sed quandoque est delectatio morosa circa bona sensibilia, et non circa bona rationis. Ergo peccatum delectationis morosae non est in ratione.   Objection 2: Further, the object shows to which power an act belongs, since it is through the act that the power is directed to its object. Now a morose delectation is sometimes about sensible goods, and not about the goods of the reason. Therefore the sin of morose delectation is not in the reason.
Praeterea, morosum dicitur aliquid propter diuturnitatem temporis. Sed diuturnitas temporis non est ratio quod aliquis actus pertineat ad aliquam potentiam. Ergo delectatio morosa non pertinet ad rationem.   Objection 3: Further, a thing is said to be morose [*From the Latin 'mora'—delay] through taking a length of time. But length of time is no reason why an act should belong to a particular power. Therefore morose delectation does not belong to the reason.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, XII de Trin., quod consensus illecebrae si sola cogitationis delectatione contentus est, sic habendum existimo velut cibum vetitum mulier sola comederit. Per mulierem autem intelligitur ratio inferior, sicut ibidem ipse exponit. Ergo peccatum morosae delectationis est in ratione.   On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 12) that "if the consent to a sensual delectation goes no further than the mere thought of the pleasure, I deem this to be like as though the woman alone had partaken of the forbidden fruit." Now "the woman" denotes the lower reason, as he himself explains (De Trin. xii, 12). Therefore the sin of morose delectation is in the reason.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut iam dictum est, peccatum contingit esse in ratione quandoque quidem inquantum est directiva humanorum actuum. Manifestum est autem quod ratio non solum est directiva exteriorum actuum, sed etiam interiorum passionum. Et ideo quando deficit ratio in directione interiorum passionum, dicitur esse peccatum in ratione, sicut etiam quando deficit in directione exteriorum actuum. Deficit autem in directione passionum interiorum dupliciter. Uno modo, quando imperat illicitas passiones, sicut quando homo ex deliberatione provocat sibi motum irae vel concupiscentiae. Alio modo, quando non reprimit illicitum passionis motum, sicut cum aliquis, postquam deliberavit quod motus passionis insurgens est inordinatus, nihilominus circa ipsum immoratur, et ipsum non expellit. Et secundum hoc dicitur peccatum delectationis morosae esse in ratione.   I answer that, As stated (Article [5]), sin may be in the reason, not only in respect of reason's proper act, but sometimes in respect of its directing human actions. Now it is evident that reason directs not only external acts, but also internal passions. Consequently when the reason fails in directing the internal passions, sin is said to be in the reason, as also when it fails in directing external actions. Now it fails, in two ways, in directing internal passions: first, when it commands unlawful passions; for instance, when a man deliberately provokes himself to a movement of anger, or of lust: secondly, when it fails to check the unlawful movement of a passion; for instance, when a man, having deliberately considered that a rising movement of passion is inordinate, continues, notwithstanding, to dwell [immoratur] upon it, and fails to drive it away. And in this sense the sin of morose delectation is said to be in the reason.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod delectatio quidem est in vi appetitiva sicut in proximo principio, sed in ratione est sicut in primo motivo, secundum hoc quod supra dictum est, quod actiones quae non transeunt in exteriorem materiam, sunt sicut in subiecto in suis principiis.   Reply to Objection 1: Delectation is indeed in the appetitive power as its proximate principle; but it is in the reason as its first mover, in accordance with what has been stated above (Article [1]), viz. that actions which do not pass into external matter are subjected in their principles.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio actum proprium illicitum habet circa proprium obiectum, sed directionem habet circa omnia obiecta inferiorum virium quae per rationem dirigi possunt. Et secundum hoc etiam delectatio circa sensibilia obiecta pertinet ad rationem.   Reply to Objection 2: Reason has its proper elicited act about its proper object; but it exercises the direction of all the objects of those lower powers that can be directed by the reason: and accordingly delectation about sensible objects comes also under the direction of reason.
Ad tertium dicendum quod delectatio dicitur morosa non ex mora temporis; sed ex eo quod ratio deliberans circa eam immoratur, nec tamen eam repellit, tenens et volvens libenter quae statim ut attigerunt animum, respui debuerunt, ut Augustinus dicit, XII de Trin.   Reply to Objection 3: Delectation is said to be morose not from a delay of time, but because the reason in deliberating dwells [immoratur] thereon, and fails to drive it away, "deliberately holding and turning over what should have been cast aside as soon as it touched the mind," as Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 12).

 

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Whether the sin of consent to the act is in the higher reason?

Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum consensus in actum non sit in ratione superiori. Consentire enim est actus appetitivae virtutis, ut supra habitum est. Sed ratio est vis apprehensiva. Ergo peccatum consensus in actum non est in ratione superiori.   Objection 1: It would seem that the sin of consent to the act is not in the higher reason. For consent is an act of the appetitive power, as stated above (Question [15], Article [1]): whereas the reason is an apprehensive power. Therefore the sin of consent to the act is not in the higher reason.
Praeterea, ratio superior intendit rationibus aeternis inspiciendis et consulendis, ut Augustinus dicit, XII de Trin. Sed quandoque consentitur in actum non consultis rationibus aeternis, non enim semper homo cogitat de rebus divinis, quando consentit in aliquem actum. Ergo peccatum consensus in actum non semper est in ratione superiori.   Objection 2: Further, "the higher reason is intent on contemplating and consulting the eternal law," as Augustine states (De Trin. xii, 7). [*'Rationes aeternae,' cf. FP, Question [15], Articles [2],[3] where as in similar passages 'ratio' has been rendered by the English 'type,' because St. Thomas was speaking of the Divine 'idea' as the archetype of the creature. Hence the type or idea is a rule of conduct, and is identified with the eternal law, (cf. Article [8], Objection [1]; Article [9])]. But sometimes consent is given to an act, without consulting the eternal law: since man does not always think about Divine things, whenever he consents to an act. Therefore the sin of consent to the act is not always in the higher reason.
Praeterea, sicut per rationes aeternas potest homo regulare actus exteriores, ita etiam interiores delectationes, vel alias passiones. Sed consensus in delectationem absque hoc quod opere statuatur implendum, est rationis inferioris; ut dicit Augustinus, XII de Trin. Ergo etiam consensus in actum peccati debet interdum attribui rationi inferiori.   Objection 3: Further, just as man can regulate his external actions according to the eternal law, so can he regulate his internal pleasures or other passions. But "consent to a pleasure without deciding to fulfil it by deed, belongs to the lower reason," as Augustine states (De Trin. xii, 2). Therefore the consent to a sinful act should also be sometimes ascribed to the lower reason.
Praeterea, sicut ratio superior excedit inferiorem, ita ratio excedit vim imaginativam. Sed quandoque procedit homo in actum per apprehensionem virtutis imaginativae, absque omni deliberatione rationis, sicut cum aliquis ex impraemeditato movet manum aut pedem. Ergo etiam quandoque potest ratio inferior consentire in actum peccati, absque ratione superiori.   Objection 4: Further, just as the higher reason excels the lower, so does the reason excel the imagination. Now sometimes man proceeds to act through the apprehension of the power of imagination, without any deliberation of his reason, as when, without premeditation, he moves his hand, or foot. Therefore sometimes also the lower reason may consent to a sinful act, independently of the higher reason.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, XII de Trin., si in consensione male utendi rebus quae per sensum corporis sentiuntur, ita decernitur quodcumque peccatum, ut, si potestas sit, etiam corpore compleatur, intelligenda est mulier cibum illicitum viro dedisse, per quem superior ratio significatur. Ergo ad rationem superiorem pertinet consentire in actum peccati.   On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 12): "If the consent to the evil use of things that can be perceived by the bodily senses, so far approves of any sin, as to point, if possible, to its consummation by deed, we are to understand that the woman has offered the forbidden fruit to her husband."
Respondeo dicendum quod consensus importat iudicium quoddam de eo in quod consentitur, sicut enim ratio speculativa iudicat et sententiat de rebus intelligibilibus, ita ratio practica iudicat et sententiat de agendis. Est autem considerandum quod in omni iudicio ultima sententia pertinet ad supremum iudicatorium, sicut videmus in speculativis quod ultima sententia de aliqua propositione datur per resolutionem ad prima principia. Quandiu enim remanet aliquod principium altius, adhuc per ipsum potest examinari id de quo quaeritur, unde adhuc est suspensum iudicium, quasi nondum data finali sententia. Manifestum est autem quod actus humani regulari possunt ex regula rationis humanae, quae sumitur ex rebus creatis, quas naturaliter homo cognoscit; et ulterius ex regula legis divinae, ut supra dictum est. Unde cum regula legis divinae sit superior, consequens est ut ultima sententia, per quam iudicium finaliter terminatur, pertineat ad rationem superiorem, quae intendit rationibus aeternis. Cum autem de pluribus occurrit iudicandum, finale iudicium est de eo quod ultimo occurrit. In actibus autem humanis ultimo occurrit ipse actus; praeambulum autem est delectatio, quae inducit ad actum. Et ideo ad rationem superiorem proprie pertinet consensus in actum; ad rationem vero inferiorem, quae habet inferius iudicium, pertinet iudicium praeambulum, quod est de delectatione. Quamvis etiam et de delectatione superior ratio iudicare possit, quia quidquid iudicio subditur inferioris, subditur etiam iudicio superioris, sed non convertitur.   I answer that, Consent implies a judgment about the thing to which consent is given. For just as the speculative reason judges and delivers its sentence about intelligible matters, so the practical reason judges and pronounces sentence on matters of action. Now we must observe that in every case brought up for judgment, the final sentence belongs to the supreme court, even as we see that in speculative matters the final sentence touching any proposition is delivered by referring it to the first principles; since, so long as there remains a yet higher principle, the question can yet be submitted to it: wherefore the judgment is still in suspense, the final sentence not being as yet pronounced. But it is evident that human acts can be regulated by the rule of human reason, which rule is derived from the created things that man knows naturally; and further still, from the rule of the Divine law, as stated above (Question [19], Article [4]). Consequently, since the rule of the Divine law is the higher rule, it follows that the ultimate sentence, whereby the judgment is finally pronounced, belongs to the higher reason which is intent on the eternal types. Now when judgment has to be pronounced on several points, the final judgment deals with that which comes last; and, in human acts, the action itself comes last, and the delectation which is the inducement to the action is a preamble thereto. Therefore the consent to an action belongs properly to the higher reason, while the preliminary judgment which is about the delectation belongs to the lower reason, which delivers judgment in a lower court: although the higher reason can also judge of the delectation, since whatever is subject to the judgment of the lower court, is subject also to the judgment of the higher court, but not conversely.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod consentire est actus appetitivae virtutis non absolute, sed consequenter ad actum rationis deliberantis et iudicantis, ut supra dictum est, in hoc enim terminatur consensus, quod voluntas tendit in id quod est ratione iudicatum. Unde consensus potest attribui et voluntati et rationi.   Reply to Objection 1: Consent is an act of the appetitive power, not absolutely, but in consequence of an act of reason deliberating and judging, as stated above (Question [15], Article [3]). Because the fact that the consent is finally given to a thing is due to the fact that the will tends to that upon which the reason has already passed its judgment. Hence consent may be ascribed both to the will and to the reason.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ex hoc ipso quod ratio superior non dirigit actus humanos secundum legem divinam, impediens actum peccati, dicitur ipsa consentire; sive cogitet de lege aeterna, sive non. Cum enim cogitat de lege Dei, actu eam contemnit, cum vero non cogitat, eam negligit per modum omissionis cuiusdam. Unde omnibus modis consensus in actum peccati procedit ex superiori ratione, quia, ut Augustinus dicit, XII de Trin., non potest peccatum efficaciter perpetrandum mente decerni, nisi illa mentis intentio penes quam summa potestas est membra in opus movendi vel ab opere cohibendi, malae actioni cedat aut serviat.   Reply to Objection 2: The higher reason is said to consent, from the very fact that it fails to direct the human act according to the Divine law, whether or not it advert to the eternal law. For if it thinks of God's law, it holds it in actual contempt: and if not, it neglects it by a kind of omission. Therefore the consent to a sinful act always proceeds from the higher reason: because, as Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 12), "the mind cannot effectively decide on the commission of a sin, unless by its consent, whereby it wields its sovereign power of moving the members to action, or of restraining them from action, it become the servant or slave of the evil deed."
Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio superior, per considerationem legis aeternae, sicut potest dirigere vel cohibere actum exteriorem, ita etiam delectationem interiorem. Sed tamen antequam ad iudicium superioris rationis deveniatur, statim ut sensualitas proponit delectationem, inferior ratio, per rationes temporales deliberans, quandoque huiusmodi delectationem acceptat, et tunc consensus in delectationem pertinet ad inferiorem rationem. Si vero etiam consideratis rationibus aeternis, homo in eodem consensu perseveret, iam talis consensus ad superiorem rationem pertinebit.   Reply to Objection 3: The higher reason, by considering the eternal law, can direct or restrain the internal delectation, even as it can direct or restrain the external action: nevertheless, before the judgment of the higher reason is pronounced the lower reason, while deliberating the matter in reference to temporal principles, sometimes approves of this delectation: and then the consent to the delectation belongs to the lower reason. If, however, after considering the eternal law, man persists in giving the same consent, such consent will then belong to the higher reason.
Ad quartum dicendum quod apprehensio virtutis imaginativae est subita et sine deliberatione, et ideo potest aliquem actum causare antequam superior vel inferior ratio etiam habeat tempus deliberandi. Sed iudicium rationis inferioris est cum deliberatione, quae indiget tempore, in quo etiam ratio superior deliberare potest. Unde si non cohibeat ab actu peccati per suam deliberationem, ei imputatur.   Reply to Objection 4: The apprehension of the power of imagination is sudden and indeliberate: wherefore it can cause an act before the higher or lower reason has time to deliberate. But the judgment of the lower reason is deliberate, and so requires time, during which the higher reason can also deliberate; consequently, if by its deliberation it does not check the sinful act, this will deservedly by imputed to it.

 

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Whether consent to delectation is a mortal sin?

Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod consensus in delectationem non sit peccatum mortale. Consentire enim in delectationem pertinet ad rationem inferiorem, cuius non est intendere rationibus aeternis vel legi divinae, et per consequens nec ab eis averti. Sed omne peccatum mortale est per aversionem a lege divina; ut patet per definitionem Augustini, de peccato mortali datam, quae supra posita est. Ergo consensus in delectationem non est peccatum mortale.   Objection 1: It would seem that consent to delectation is not a mortal sin, for consent to delectation belongs to the lower reason, which does not consider the eternal types, i.e. the eternal law, and consequently does not turn away from them. Now every mortal sin consists in turning away from Augustine's definition of mortal sin, which was quoted above (Question [71], Article [6]). Therefore consent to delectation is not a mortal sin.
Praeterea, consentire in aliquid non est malum nisi quia illud est malum in quod consentitur. Sed propter quod unumquodque, et illud magis, vel saltem non minus. Non ergo illud in quod consentitur, potest esse minus malum quam consensus. Sed delectatio sine opere non est peccatum mortale, sed veniale tantum. Ergo nec consensus in delectationem est peccatum mortale.   Objection 2: Further, consent to a thing is not evil, unless the thing to which consent is given be evil. Now "the cause of anything being such is yet more so," or at any rate not less. Consequently the thing to which a man consents cannot be a lesser evil than his consent. But delectation without deed is not a mortal sin, but only a venial sin. Therefore neither is the consent to the delectation a mortal sin.
Praeterea, delectationes differunt in bonitate et malitia secundum differentiam operationum, ut dicit philosophus, in X Ethic. Sed alia operatio est interior cogitatio, et alia actus exterior, puta fornicationis. Ergo et delectatio consequens actum interioris cogitationis, tantum differt a delectatione fornicationis in bonitate vel malitia, quantum differt cogitatio interior ab actu exteriori. Et per consequens etiam eodem modo differt consentire in utrumque. Sed cogitatio interior non est peccatum mortale; nec etiam consensus in cogitationem. Ergo per consequens nec consensus in delectationem.   Objection 3: Further, delectations differ in goodness and malice, according to the difference of the deeds, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. x, 3,5). Now the inward thought is one thing, and the outward deed, e.g. fornication, is another. Therefore the delectation consequent to the act of inward thought, differs in goodness and malice from the pleasure of fornication, as much as the inward thought differs from the outward deed; and consequently there is a like difference of consent on either hand. But the inward thought is not a mortal sin, nor is the consent to that thought: and therefore neither is the consent to the delectation.
Praeterea, exterior actus fornicationis vel adulterii non est peccatum mortale ratione delectationis, quae etiam invenitur in actu matrimoniali; sed ratione inordinationis ipsius actus. Sed ille qui consentit in delectationem, non propter hoc consentit in deordinationem actus. Ergo non videtur mortaliter peccare.   Objection 4: Further, the external act of fornication or adultery is a mortal sin, not by reason of the delectation, since this is found also in the marriage act, but by reason of an inordinateness in the act itself. Now he that consents to the delectation does not, for this reason, consent to the inordinateness of the act. Therefore he seems not to sin mortally.
Praeterea, peccatum homicidii est gravius quam simplicis fornicationis. Sed consentire in delectationem quae consequitur cogitationem de homicidio, non est peccatum mortale. Ergo multo minus consentire in delectationem quae consequitur cogitationem de fornicatione, est peccatum mortale.   Objection 5: Further, the sin of murder is more grievous than simple fornication. Now it is not a mortal sin to consent to the delectation resulting from the thought of murder. Much less therefore is it a mortal sin to consent to the delectation resulting from the thought of fornication.
Praeterea, oratio dominica quotidie dicitur pro remissione venialium, ut Augustinus dicit. Sed consensum in delectationem Augustinus docet esse abolendum per orationem dominicam, dicit enim, in XII de Trin., quod hoc est longe minus peccatum quam si opere statuatur implendum, et ideo de talibus quoque cogitationibus venia petenda est, pectusque percutiendum, atque dicendum, dimitte nobis debita nostra. Ergo consensus in delectationem est peccatum veniale.   Objection 6: Further, the Lord's prayer is recited every day for the remission of venial sins, as Augustine asserts (Enchiridion lxxviii). Now Augustine teaches that consent to delectation may be driven away by means of the Lord's Prayer: for he says (De Trin. xii, 12) that "this sin is much less grievous than if it be decided to fulfil it by deed: wherefore we ought to ask pardon for such thoughts also, and we should strike our breasts and say: 'Forgive us our trespasses.'" Therefore consent to delectation is a venial sin.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus post pauca subdit, totus homo damnabitur, nisi haec quae, sine voluntate operandi, sed tamen cum voluntate animum talibus oblectandi, solius cogitationis sentiuntur esse peccata, per mediatoris gratiam remittantur. Sed nullus damnatur nisi pro peccato mortali. Ergo consensus in delectationem est peccatum mortale.   On the contrary, Augustine adds after a few words: "Man will be altogether lost unless, through the grace of the Mediator, he be forgiven those things which are deemed mere sins of thought, since without the will to do them, he desires nevertheless to enjoy them." But no man is lost except through mortal sin. Therefore consent to delectation is a mortal sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod circa hoc aliqui diversimode opinati sunt. Quidam enim dixerunt quod consensus in delectationem non est peccatum mortale, sed veniale tantum. Alii vero dixerunt quod est peccatum mortale, et haec opinio est communior et verisimilior. Est enim considerandum quod, cum omnis delectatio consequatur aliquam operationem, ut dicitur in X Ethic.; et iterum cum omnis delectatio habeat aliquod obiectum, delectatio quaelibet potest comparari ad duo, scilicet ad operationem quam consequitur, et ad obiectum in quo quis delectatur. Contingit autem quod aliqua operatio sit obiectum delectationis, sicut et aliqua alia res, quia ipsa operatio potest accipi ut bonum et finis, in quo quis delectatus requiescit. Et quandoque quidem ipsamet operatio quam consequitur delectatio, est obiectum delectationis, inquantum scilicet vis appetitiva, cuius est delectari, reflectitur in ipsam operationem sicut in quoddam bonum; puta cum aliquis cogitat, et delectatur de hoc ipso quod cogitat, inquantum sua cogitatio placet. Quandoque vero delectatio consequens unam operationem, puta cogitationem aliquam, habet pro obiecto aliam operationem quasi rem cogitatam, et tunc talis delectatio procedit ex inclinatione appetitus non quidem in cogitationem, sed in operationem cogitatam. Sic igitur aliquis de fornicatione cogitans, de duobus potest delectari, uno modo, de ipsa cogitatione; alio modo, de fornicatione cogitata. Delectatio autem de cogitatione ipsa sequitur inclinationem affectus in cogitationem ipsam. Cogitatio autem ipsa secundum se non est peccatum mortale, immo quandoque est veniale tantum, puta cum aliquis inutiliter cogitat; quandoque autem sine peccato omnino, puta cum aliquis utiliter de ea cogitat, sicut cum vult de ea praedicare vel disputare. Et ideo per consequens affectio et delectatio quae sic est de cogitatione fornicationis, non est de genere peccati mortalis; sed quandoque est peccatum veniale, quandoque nullum. Unde nec consensus in talem delectationem est peccatum mortale. Et secundum hoc prima opinio habet veritatem.   I answer that, There have been various opinions on this point, for some have held that consent to delectation is not a mortal sin, but only a venial sin, while others have held it to be a mortal sin, and this opinion is more common and more probable. For we must take note that since every delectation results from some action, as stated in Ethic. x, 4, and again, that since every delectation may be compared to two things, viz. to the operation from which it results, and to the object in which a person takes delight. Now it happens that an action, just as a thing, is an object of delectation, because the action itself can be considered as a good and an end, in which the person who delights in it, rests. Sometimes the action itself, which results in delectation, is the object of delectation, in so far as the appetitive power, to which it belongs to take delight in anything, is brought to bear on the action itself as a good: for instance, when a man thinks and delights in his thought, in so far as his thought pleases him; while at other times the delight consequent to an action, e.g. a thought, has for its object another action, as being the object of his thought; and then his thought proceeds from the inclination of the appetite, not indeed to the thought, but to the action thought of. Accordingly a man who is thinking of fornication, may delight in either of two things: first, in the thought itself, secondly, in the fornication thought of. Now the delectation in the thought itself results from the inclination of the appetite to the thought; and the thought itself is not in itself a mortal sin; sometimes indeed it is only a venial sin, as when a man thinks of such a thing for no purpose; and sometimes it is no sin at all, as when a man has a purpose in thinking of it; for instance, he may wish to preach or dispute about it. Consequently such affection or delectation in respect of the thought of fornication is not a mortal sin in virtue of its genus, but is sometimes a venial sin and sometimes no sin at all: wherefore neither is it a mortal sin to consent to such a thought. In this sense the first opinion is true.
Quod autem aliquis cogitans de fornicatione, delectetur de ipso actu cogitato, hoc contingit ex hoc quod affectio eius inclinata est in hunc actum. Unde quod aliquis consentiat in talem delectationem, hoc nihil aliud est quam quod ipse consentiat in hoc quod affectus suus sit inclinatus in fornicationem, nullus enim delectatur nisi in eo quod est conforme appetitui eius. Quod autem aliquis ex deliberatione eligat quod affectus suus conformetur his quae secundum se sunt peccata mortalia, est peccatum mortale. Unde talis consensus in delectationem peccati mortalis, est peccatum mortale; ut secunda opinio ponit.    But that a man in thinking of fornication takes pleasure in the act thought of, is due to his desire being inclined to this act. Wherefore the fact that a man consents to such a delectation, amounts to nothing less than a consent to the inclination of his appetite to fornication: for no man takes pleasure except in that which is in conformity with his appetite. Now it is a mortal sin, if a man deliberately chooses that his appetite be conformed to what is in itself a mortal sin. Wherefore such a consent to delectation in a mortal sin, is itself a mortal sin, as the second opinion maintains.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod consensus in delectationem potest esse non solum rationis inferioris, sed etiam superioris, ut dictum est. Et tamen ipsa etiam ratio inferior potest averti a rationibus aeternis. Quia etsi non intendit eis ut secundum eas regulans, quod est proprium superioris rationis; intendit tamen eis ut secundum eas regulata. Et hoc modo, ab eis se avertens, potest peccare mortaliter. Nam et actus inferiorum virium, et etiam exteriorum membrorum, possunt esse peccata mortalia, secundum quod deficit ordinatio superioris rationis regulantis eos secundum rationes aeternas.   Reply to Objection 1: Consent to delectation may be not only in the lower reason, but also in the higher reason, as stated above (Article [7]). Nevertheless the lower reason may turn away from the eternal types, for, though it is not intent on them, as regulating according to them, which is proper to the higher reason, yet, it is intent on them, as being regulated according to them: and by turning from them in this sense, it may sin mortally; since even the acts of the lower powers and of the external members may be mortal sins, in so far as the direction of the higher reason fails in directing them according to the eternal types.
Ad secundum dicendum quod consensus in peccatum quod est veniale ex genere, est veniale peccatum. Et secundum hoc potest concludi quod consensus in delectationem quae est de ipsa vana cogitatione fornicationis, est peccatum veniale. Sed delectatio quae est in ipso actu fornicationis, de genere suo est peccatum mortale. Sed quod ante consensum sit veniale peccatum tantum, hoc est per accidens, scilicet propter imperfectionem actus. Quae quidem imperfectio tollitur per consensum deliberatum supervenientem. Unde ex hoc adducitur in suam naturam, ut sit peccatum mortale.   Reply to Objection 2: Consent to a sin that is venial in its genus, is itself a venial sin, and accordingly one may conclude that the consent to take pleasure in a useless thought about fornication, is a venial sin. But delectation in the act itself of fornication is, in its genus, a mortal sin: and that it be a venial sin before the consent is given, is accidental, viz. on account of the incompleteness of the act: which incompleteness ceases when the deliberate consent has been given, so that therefore it has its complete nature and is a mortal sin.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de delectatione quae habet cogitationem pro obiecto.   Reply to Objection 3: This argument considers the delectation which has the thought for its object.
Ad quartum dicendum quod delectatio quae habet actum exteriorem pro obiecto, non potest esse absque complacentia exterioris actus secundum se; etiam si non statuatur implendum, propter prohibitionem alicuius superioris. Unde actus fit inordinatus, et per consequens delectatio erit inordinata.   Reply to Objection 4: The delectation which has an external act for its object, cannot be without complacency in the external act as such, even though there be no decision to fulfil it, on account of the prohibition of some higher authority: wherefore the act is inordinate, and consequently the delectation will be inordinate also.
Ad quintum dicendum quod etiam consensus in delectationem quae procedit ex complacentia ipsius actus homicidii cogitati, est peccatum mortale. Non autem consensus in delectationem quae procedit ex complacentia cogitationis de homicidio.   Reply to Objection 5: The consent to delectation, resulting from complacency in an act of murder thought of, is a mortal sin also: but not the consent to delectation resulting from complacency in the thought of murder.
Ad sextum dicendum quod oratio dominica non solum contra peccata venialia dicenda est, sed etiam contra mortalia.   Reply to Objection 6: The Lord's Prayer is to be said in order that we may be preserved not only from venial sin, but also from mortal sin.

 

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Whether there can be venial sin in the higher reason as directing the lower powers?

Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in superiori ratione non possit esse peccatum veniale, secundum quod est directiva inferiorum virium, idest secundum quod consentit in actum peccati. Dicit enim Augustinus, in XII de Trin., quod ratio superior inhaeret rationibus aeternis. Sed peccare mortaliter est per aversionem a rationibus aeternis. Ergo videtur quod in superiori ratione non possit esse peccatum nisi mortale.   Objection 1: It would seem that there cannot be venial sin in the higher reason as directing the lower powers, i.e. as consenting to a sinful act. For Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 7) that the "higher reason is intent on considering and consulting the eternal law." But mortal sin consists in turning away from the eternal law. Therefore it seems that there can be no other than mortal sin in the higher reason.
Praeterea, superior ratio se habet in vita spirituali tanquam principium; sicut et cor in vita corporali. Sed infirmitates cordis sunt mortales. Ergo peccata superioris rationis sunt mortalia.   Objection 2: Further, the higher reason is the principle of the spiritual life, as the heart is of the body's life. But the diseases of the heart are deadly. Therefore the sins of the higher reason are mortal.
Praeterea, peccatum veniale fit mortale, si fiat ex contemptu. Sed hoc non videtur esse sine contemptu, quod aliquis ex deliberatione peccet etiam venialiter. Cum ergo consensus rationis superioris semper sit cum deliberatione legis divinae, videtur quod non possit esse sine peccato mortali, propter contemptum divinae legis.   Objection 3: Further, a venial sin becomes a mortal sin if it be done out of contempt. But it would seem impossible to commit even a venial sin, deliberately, without contempt. Since then the consent of the higher reason is always accompanied by deliberate consideration of the eternal law, it seems that it cannot be without mortal sin, on account of the contempt of the Divine law.
Sed contra, consensus in actum peccati pertinet ad rationem superiorem, ut supra dictum est. Sed consensus in actum peccati venialis est peccatum veniale. Ergo in superiori ratione potest esse peccatum veniale.   On the contrary, Consent to a sinful act belongs to the higher reason, as stated above (Article [7]). But consent to an act of venial sin is itself a venial sin. Therefore a venial sin can be in the higher reason.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in XII de Trin., ratio superior inhaeret rationibus aeternis conspiciendis aut consulendis, conspiciendis quidem, secundum quod earum veritatem speculatur; consulendis autem, secundum quod per rationes aeternas de aliis iudicat et ordinat; ad quod pertinet quod, deliberando per rationes aeternas, consentit in aliquem actum, vel dissentit ab eo. Contingit autem quod inordinatio actus in quem consentit, non contrariatur rationibus aeternis, quia non est cum aversione a fine ultimo, sicut contrariatur actus peccati mortalis, sed est praeter eas, sicut actus peccati venialis. Unde quando ratio superior in actum peccati venialis consentit, non avertitur a rationibus aeternis. Unde non peccat mortaliter, sed venialiter.   I answer that, As Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 7), the higher reason "is intent on contemplating or consulting the eternal law"; it contemplates it by considering its truth; it consults it by judging and directing other things according to it: and to this pertains the fact that by deliberating through the eternal types, it consents to an act or dissents from it. Now it may happen that the inordinateness of the act to which it consents, is not contrary to the eternal law, in the same way as mortal sin is, because it does not imply aversion from the last end, but is beside that law, as an act of venial sin is. Therefore when the higher reason consents to the act of a venial sin, it does not turn away from the eternal law: wherefore it sins, not mortally, but venially.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad primum.    This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.
Ad secundum dicendum quod duplex est infirmitas cordis. Una quae est in ipsa substantia cordis, et immutat naturalem complexionem ipsius, et talis infirmitas semper est mortalis. Alia est autem infirmitas cordis propter aliquam inordinationem vel motus eius, vel alicuius eorum quae circumstant cor, et talis infirmitas non semper est mortalis. Et similiter in ratione superiori semper est peccatum mortale, quando tollitur ipsa ordinatio rationis superioris ad proprium obiectum, quod est rationes aeternae. Sed quando est inordinatio circa hoc, non est peccatum mortale, sed veniale.   Reply to Objection 2: Disease of the heart is twofold: one which is in the very substance of the heart, and affects its natural consistency, and such a disease is always mortal: the other is a disease of the heart consisting in some disorder either of the movement or of the parts surrounding the heart, and such a disease is not always mortal. In like manner there is mortal sin in the higher reason whenever the order itself of the higher reason to its proper object which is the eternal law, is destroyed; but when the disorder leaves this untouched, the sin is not mortal but venial.
Ad tertium dicendum quod deliberatus consensus in peccatum non semper pertinet ad contemptum legis divinae, sed solum quando peccatum legi divinae contrariatur.   Reply to Objection 3: Deliberate consent to a sin does not always amount to contempt of the Divine law, but only when the sin is contrary to the Divine law.

 

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Whether venial sin can be in the higher reason as such?

Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in superiori ratione non possit esse peccatum veniale secundum seipsam, idest secundum quod inspicit rationes aeternas. Actus enim potentiae non invenitur esse deficiens, nisi per hoc quod inordinate se habet circa suum obiectum. Sed obiectum superioris rationis sunt aeternae rationes, a quibus deordinari non est sine peccato mortali. Ergo in superiori ratione non potest esse peccatum veniale secundum seipsam.   Objection 1: It would seem that venial sin cannot be in the higher reason as such, i.e. as considering the eternal law. For the act of a power is not found to fail except that power be inordinately disposed with regard to its object. Now the object of the higher reason is the eternal law, in respect of which there can be no disorder without mortal sin. Therefore there can be no venial sin in the higher reason as such.
Praeterea, cum ratio sit vis deliberativa, actus rationis semper est cum deliberatione. Sed omnis inordinatus motus in his quae Dei sunt, si sit cum deliberatione, est peccatum mortale. Ergo in ratione superiori secundum seipsam, nunquam est peccatum veniale.   Objection 2: Further, since the reason is a deliberative power, there can be no act of reason without deliberation. Now every inordinate movement in things concerning God, if it be deliberate, is a mortal sin. Therefore venial sin is never in the higher reason as such.
Praeterea, contingit quandoque quod peccatum ex subreptione est peccatum veniale, peccatum autem ex deliberatione est peccatum mortale, per hoc quod ratio deliberans recurrit ad aliquod maius bonum, contra quod homo agens gravius peccat, sicut cum de actu delectabili inordinato ratio deliberat quod est contra legem Dei, gravius peccat consentiendo, quam si solum consideraret quod est contra virtutem moralem. Sed ratio superior non potest recurrere ad aliquod altius quam sit suum obiectum. Ergo si motus ex subreptione non sit peccatum mortale, neque etiam deliberatio superveniens faciet ipsum esse peccatum mortale, quod patet esse falsum. Non ergo in ratione superiori secundum seipsam, potest esse peccatum veniale.   Objection 3: Further, it happens sometimes that a sin which takes us unawares, is a venial sin. Now a deliberate sin is a mortal sin, through the reason, in deliberating, having recourse to some higher good, by acting against which, man sins more grievously; just as when the reason in deliberating about an inordinate pleasurable act, considers that it is contrary to the law of God, it sins more grievously in consenting, than if it only considered that it is contrary to moral virtue. But the higher reason cannot have recourse to any higher tribunal than its own object. Therefore if a movement that takes us unawares is not a mortal sin, neither will the subsequent deliberation make it a mortal sin; which is clearly false. Therefore there can be no venial sin in the higher reason as such.
Sed contra, motus subreptitius infidelitatis est peccatum veniale. Sed pertinet ad superiorem rationem secundum seipsam. Ergo in ratione superiori potest esse peccatum veniale secundum seipsam.   On the contrary, A sudden movement of unbelief is a venial sin. But it belongs to the higher reason as such. Therefore there can be a venial sin in the higher reason as such.
Respondeo dicendum quod ratio superior aliter fertur in suum obiectum, atque aliter in obiecta inferiorum virium quae per ipsam diriguntur. In obiecta enim inferiorum virium non fertur nisi inquantum de eis consulit rationes aeternas. Unde non fertur in ea nisi per modum deliberationis. Deliberatus autem consensus in his quae ex genere suo sunt mortalia, est mortale peccatum. Et ideo ratio superior semper mortaliter peccat, si actus inferiorum virium in quos consentit, sint peccata mortalia.   I answer that, The higher reason regards its own object otherwise than the objects of the lower powers that are directed by the higher reason. For it does not regard the objects of the lower powers, except in so far as it consults the eternal law about them, and so it does not regard them save by way of deliberation. Now deliberate consent to what is a mortal sin in its genus, is itself a mortal sin; and consequently the higher reason always sins mortally, if the acts of the lower powers to which it consents are mortal sins.
Sed circa proprium obiectum habet duos actus, scilicet simplicem intuitum; et deliberationem, secundum quod etiam de proprio obiecto consulit rationes aeternas. Secundum autem simplicem intuitum, potest aliquem inordinatum motum habere circa divina, puta cum quis patitur subitum infidelitatis motum. Et quamvis infidelitas secundum suum genus sit peccatum mortale, tamen subitus motus infidelitatis est peccatum veniale. Quia peccatum mortale non est nisi sit contra legem Dei, potest autem aliquid eorum quae pertinent ad fidem, subito rationi occurrere sub quadam alia ratione, antequam super hoc consulatur, vel consuli possit, ratio aeterna, idest lex Dei; puta cum quis resurrectionem mortuorum subito apprehendit ut impossibilem secundum naturam, et simul apprehendendo renititur, antequam tempus habeat deliberandi quod hoc est nobis traditum ut credendum secundum legem divinam. Si vero post hanc deliberationem motus infidelitatis maneat, est peccatum mortale. Et ideo circa proprium obiectum, etsi sit peccatum mortale ex genere, potest ratio superior peccare venialiter in subitis motibus; vel etiam mortaliter per deliberatum consensum. In his autem quae pertinent ad inferiores vires, semper peccat mortaliter in his quae sunt peccata mortalia ex suo genere, non autem in his quae secundum suum genus sunt venialia peccata.    With regard to its own object it has a twofold act, viz. simple "intuition," and "deliberation," in respect of which it again consults the eternal law about its own object. But in respect of simple intuition, it can have an inordinate movement about Divine things, as when a man suffers a sudden movement of unbelief. And although unbelief, in its genus, is a mortal sin, yet a sudden movement of unbelief is a venial sin, because there is no mortal sin unless it be contrary to the law of God. Now it is possible for one of the articles of faith to present itself to the reason suddenly under some other aspect, before the eternal law, i.e. the law of God, is consulted, or can be consulted, on the matter; as, for instance, when a man suddenly apprehends the resurrection of the dead as impossible naturally, and rejects it, as soon as he had thus apprehended it, before he has had time to deliberate and consider that this is proposed to our belief in accordance with the Divine law. If, however, the movement of unbelief remains after this deliberation, it is a mortal sin. Therefore, in sudden movements, the higher reason may sin venially in respect of its proper object, even if it be a mortal sin in its genus; or it may sin mortally in giving a deliberate consent; but in things pertaining to the lower powers, it always sins mortally, in things which are mortal sins in their genus, but not in those which are venial sins in their genus.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod peccatum quod est contra rationes aeternas, etsi sit peccatum mortale ex genere, potest tamen esse peccatum veniale propter imperfectionem actus subiti, ut dictum est.   Reply to Objection 1: A sin which is against the eternal law, though it be mortal in its genus, may nevertheless be venial, on account of the incompleteness of a sudden action, as stated.
Ad secundum dicendum quod in operativis ad rationem, ad quam pertinet deliberatio, pertinet etiam simplex intuitus eorum ex quibus deliberatio procedit, sicut etiam in speculativis ad rationem pertinet et syllogizare, et propositiones formare. Et ideo etiam ratio potest habere subitum motum.   Reply to Objection 2: In matters of action, the simple intuition of the principles from which deliberation proceeds, belongs to the reason, as well as the act of deliberation: even as in speculative matters it belongs to the reason both to syllogize and to form propositions: consequently the reason also can have a sudden movement.
Ad tertium dicendum quod una et eadem res potest diversas considerationes habere, quarum una est altera altior, sicut Deum esse potest considerari vel inquantum est cognoscibile ratione humana, vel inquantum creditur revelatione divina, quae est consideratio altior. Et ideo quamvis obiectum rationis superioris sit quiddam secundum naturam rei altissimum, tamen potest etiam reduci in quandam altiorem considerationem. Et hac ratione, quod in motu subito non erat peccatum mortale, per deliberationem reducentem in altiorem considerationem fit peccatum mortale, sicut supra expositum est.   Reply to Objection 3: One and the same thing may be the subject of different considerations, of which one is higher than the other; thus the existence of God may be considered, either as possible to be known by the human reason, or as delivered to us by Divine revelation, which is a higher consideration. And therefore, although the object of the higher reason is, in its nature, something sublime, yet it is reducible to some yet higher consideration: and in this way, that which in the sudden movement was not a mortal sin, becomes a mortal sin in virtue of the deliberation which brought it into the light of a higher consideration, as was explained above.

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