St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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

 

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OF THE CAUSE OF SIN, IN RESPECT OF ONE SIN BEING THE CAUSE OF ANOTHER (FOUR ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de causa peccati secundum quod unum peccatum est causa alterius. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor.    We must now consider the cause of sin, in so far as one sin can be the cause of another. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum cupiditas sit radix omnium peccatorum.     (1) Whether covetousness is the root of all sins?
Secundo, utrum superbia sit initium omnis peccati.     (2) Whether pride is the beginning of every sin?
Tertio, utrum praeter superbiam et avaritiam, debeant dici capitalia vitia aliqua specialia peccata.     (3) Whether other special sins should be called capital vices, besides pride and covetousness?
Quarto, quot et quae sint capitalia vitia.     (4) How many capital vices there are, and which are they?

 

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Whether covetousness is the root of all sins?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod cupiditas non sit radix omnium peccatorum. Cupiditas enim, quae est immoderatus appetitus divitiarum, opponitur virtuti liberalitatis. Sed liberalitas non est radix omnium virtutum. Ergo cupiditas non est radix omnium peccatorum.   Objection 1: It would seem that covetousness is not the root of all sins. For covetousness, which is immoderate desire for riches, is opposed to the virtue of liberality. But liberality is not the root of all virtues. Therefore covetousness is not the root of all sins.
Praeterea, appetitus eorum quae sunt ad finem, procedit ex appetitu finis. Sed divitiae, quarum appetitus est cupiditas, non appetuntur nisi ut utiles ad aliquem finem, sicut dicitur in I Ethic. Ergo cupiditas non est radix omnis peccati, sed procedit ex alia priori radice.   Objection 2: Further, the desire for the means proceeds from desire for the end. Now riches, the desire for which is called covetousness, are not desired except as being useful for some end, as stated in Ethic. i, 5. Therefore covetousness is not the root of all sins, but proceeds from some deeper root.
Praeterea, frequenter invenitur quod avaritia, quae cupiditas nominatur, oritur ex aliis peccatis, puta cum quis appetit pecuniam propter ambitionem, vel ut satisfaciat gulae. Non ergo est radix omnium peccatorum.   Objection 3: Further, it often happens that avarice, which is another name for covetousness, arises from other sins; as when a man desires money through ambition, or in order to sate his gluttony. Therefore it is not the root of all sins.
Sed contra est quod dicit apostolus, I ad Tim. ult., radix omnium malorum est cupiditas.   On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Tim. 6:10): "The desire of money is the root of all evil."
Respondeo dicendum quod secundum quosdam cupiditas multipliciter dicitur. Uno modo, prout est appetitus inordinatus divitiarum. Et sic est speciale peccatum. Alio modo, secundum quod significat inordinatum appetitum cuiuscumque boni temporalis. Et sic est genus omnis peccati, nam in omni peccato est inordinata conversio ad commutabile bonum, ut dictum est. Tertio modo sumitur prout significat quandam inclinationem naturae corruptae ad bona corruptibilia inordinate appetenda. Et sic dicunt cupiditatem esse radicem omnium peccatorum, ad similitudinem radicis arboris, quae ex terra trahit alimentum, sic enim ex amore rerum temporalium omne peccatum procedit.   I answer that, According to some, covetousness may be understood in different ways. First, as denoting inordinate desire for riches: and thus it is a special sin. Secondly, as denoting inordinate desire for any temporal good: and thus it is a genus comprising all sins, because every sin includes an inordinate turning to a mutable good, as stated above (Question [72], Article [2]). Thirdly, as denoting an inclination of a corrupt nature to desire corruptible goods inordinately: and they say that in this sense covetousness is the root of all sins, comparing it to the root of a tree, which draws its sustenance from earth, just as every sin grows out of the love of temporal things.
Et haec quidem quamvis vera sint, non tamen videntur esse secundum intentionem apostoli, qui dixit cupiditatem esse radicem omnium peccatorum. Manifeste enim ibi loquitur contra eos qui, cum velint divites fieri, incidunt in tentationes et in laqueum Diaboli, eo quod radix omnium malorum est cupiditas, unde manifestum est quod loquitur de cupiditate secundum quod est appetitus inordinatus divitiarum. Et secundum hoc, dicendum est quod cupiditas, secundum quod est speciale peccatum, dicitur radix omnium peccatorum, ad similitudinem radicis arboris, quae alimentum praestat toti arbori. Videmus enim quod per divitias homo acquirit facultatem perpetrandi quodcumque peccatum, et adimplendi desiderium cuiuscumque peccati, eo quod ad habenda quaecumque temporalia bona, potest homo per pecuniam iuvari; secundum quod dicitur Eccle. X, pecuniae obediunt omnia. Et secundum hoc, patet quod cupiditas divitiarum est radix omnium peccatorum.    Now, though all this is true, it does not seem to explain the mind of the Apostle when he states that covetousness is the root of all sins. For in that passage he clearly speaks against those who, because they "will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil . . . for covetousness is the root of all evils." Hence it is evident that he is speaking of covetousness as denoting the inordinate desire for riches. Accordingly, we must say that covetousness, as denoting a special sin, is called the root of all sins, in likeness to the root of a tree, in furnishing sustenance to the whole tree. For we see that by riches man acquires the means of committing any sin whatever, and of sating his desire for any sin whatever, since money helps man to obtain all manner of temporal goods, according to Eccles. 10:19: "All things obey money": so that in this desire for riches is the root of all sins.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non ab eodem oritur virtus et peccatum. Oritur enim peccatum ex appetitu commutabilis boni, et ideo appetitus illius boni quod iuvat ad consequenda omnia temporalia bona, radix peccatorum dicitur. Virtus autem oritur ex appetitu incommutabilis boni, et ideo caritas, quae est amor Dei, ponitur radix virtutum; secundum illud Ephes. III, in caritate radicati et fundati.   Reply to Objection 1: Virtue and sin do not arise from the same source. For sin arises from the desire of mutable good; and consequently the desire of that good which helps one to obtain all temporal goods, is called the root of all sins. But virtue arises from the desire for the immutable God; and consequently charity, which is the love of God, is called the root of the virtues, according to Eph. 3:17: "Rooted and founded in charity."
Ad secundum dicendum quod appetitus pecuniarum dicitur esse radix peccatorum, non quia divitiae propter se quaerantur, tanquam ultimus finis, sed quia multum quaeruntur ut utiles ad omnem temporalem finem. Et quia universale bonum est appetibilius quam aliquod particulare bonum, ideo magis movent appetitum quam quaedam bona singularia, quae simul cum multis aliis per pecuniam haberi possunt.   Reply to Objection 2: The desire of money is said to be the root of sins, not as though riches were sought for their own sake, as being the last end; but because they are much sought after as useful for any temporal end. And since a universal good is more desirable than a particular good, they move the appetite more than any individual goods, which along with many others can be procured by means of money.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut in rebus naturalibus non quaeritur quid semper fiat, sed quid in pluribus accidit, eo quod natura corruptibilium rerum impediri potest, ut non semper eodem modo operetur; ita etiam in moralibus consideratur quod ut in pluribus est, non autem quod est semper, eo quod voluntas non ex necessitate operatur. Non igitur dicitur avaritia radix omnis mali, quin interdum aliquod aliud malum sit radix eius, sed quia ex ipsa frequentius alia mala oriuntur, ratione praedicta.   Reply to Objection 3: Just as in natural things we do not ask what always happens, but what happens most frequently, for the reason that the nature of corruptible things can be hindered, so as not always to act in the same way; so also in moral matters, we consider what happens in the majority of cases, not what happens invariably, for the reason that the will does not act of necessity. So when we say that covetousness is the root of all evils, we do not assert that no other evil can be its root, but that other evils more frequently arise therefrom, for the reason given.

 

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Whether pride is the beginning of every sin?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod superbia non sit initium omnis peccati. Radix enim est quoddam principium arboris, et ita videtur idem esse radix peccati et initium peccati. Sed cupiditas est radix omnis peccati, ut dictum est. Ergo ipsa etiam est initium omnis peccati, non autem superbia.   Objection 1: It would seem that pride is not the beginning of every sin. For the root is a beginning of a tree, so that the beginning of a sin seems to be the same as the root of sin. Now covetousness is the root of every sin, as stated above (Article [1]). Therefore it is also the beginning of every sin, and not pride.
Praeterea, Eccli. X dicitur, initium superbiae hominis apostatare a Deo. Sed apostasia a Deo est quoddam peccatum. Ergo aliquod peccatum est initium superbiae, et ipsa non est initium omnis peccati.   Objection 2: Further, it is written (Ecclus. 10:14): "The beginning of the pride of man is apostasy [Douay: 'to fall off'] from God." But apostasy from God is a sin. Therefore another sin is the beginning of pride, so that the latter is not the beginning of every sin.
Praeterea, illud videtur esse initium omnis peccati, quod facit omnia peccata. Sed hoc est inordinatus amor sui, qui facit civitatem Babylonis, ut Augustinus dicit, in XIV de Civ. Dei. Ergo amor sui est initium omnis peccati, non autem superbia.   Objection 3: Further, the beginning of every sin would seem to be that which causes all sins. Now this is inordinate self-love, which, according to Augustine (De Civ. Dei xiv), "builds up the city of Babylon." Therefore self-love and not pride, is the beginning of every sin.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Eccli. X, initium omnis peccati superbia.   On the contrary, It is written (Ecclus. 10:15): "Pride is the beginning of all sin."
Respondeo dicendum quod quidam dicunt superbiam dici tripliciter. Uno modo, secundum quod superbia significat inordinatum appetitum propriae excellentiae. Et sic est speciale peccatum. Alio modo, secundum quod importat quendam actualem contemptum Dei, quantum ad hunc effectum qui est non subdi eius praecepto. Et sic dicunt quod est generale peccatum. Tertio modo, secundum quod importat quandam inclinationem ad huiusmodi contemptum, ex corruptione naturae. Et sic dicunt quod est initium omnis peccati. Et differt a cupiditate, quia cupiditas respicit peccatum ex parte conversionis ad bonum commutabile, ex quo peccatum quodammodo nutritur et fovetur, et propter hoc cupiditas dicitur radix, sed superbia respicit peccatum ex parte aversionis a Deo, cuius praecepto homo subdi recusat; et ideo vocatur initium, quia ex parte aversionis incipit ratio mali.   I answer that, Some say pride is to be taken in three ways. First, as denoting inordinate desire to excel; and thus it is a special sin. Secondly, as denoting actual contempt of God, to the effect of not being subject to His commandment; and thus, they say, it is a generic sin. Thirdly, as denoting an inclination to this contempt, owing to the corruption of nature; and in this sense they say that it is the beginning of every sin, and that it differs from covetousness, because covetousness regards sin as turning towards the mutable good by which sin is, as it were, nourished and fostered, for which reason covetousness is called the "root"; whereas pride regards sin as turning away from God, to Whose commandment man refuses to be subject, for which reason it is called the "beginning," because the beginning of evil consists in turning away from God.
Et haec quidem quamvis vera sint, tamen non sunt secundum intentionem sapientis, qui dixit, initium omnis peccati est superbia. Manifeste enim loquitur de superbia secundum quod est inordinatus appetitus propriae excellentiae, ut patet per hoc quod subdit, sedes ducum superborum destruxit Deus. Et de hac materia fere loquitur in toto capitulo. Et ideo dicendum est quod superbia, etiam secundum quod est speciale peccatum, est initium omnis peccati. Considerandum est enim quod in actibus voluntariis, cuiusmodi sunt peccata, duplex ordo invenitur, scilicet intentionis, et executionis. In primo quidem ordine, habet rationem principii finis, ut supra multoties dictum est. Finis autem in omnibus bonis temporalibus acquirendis, est ut homo per illa quandam perfectionem et excellentiam habeat. Et ideo ex hac parte superbia, quae est appetitus excellentiae, ponitur initium omnis peccati. Sed ex parte executionis, est primum id quod praebet opportunitatem adimplendi omnia desideria peccati, quod habet rationem radicis, scilicet divitiae. Et ideo ex hac parte avaritia ponitur esse radix omnium malorum, ut dictum est.    Now though all this is true, nevertheless it does not explain the mind of the wise man who said (Ecclus. 10:15): "Pride is the beginning of all sin." For it is evident that he is speaking of pride as denoting inordinate desire to excel, as is clear from what follows (verse 17): "God hath overturned the thrones of proud princes"; indeed this is the point of nearly the whole chapter. We must therefore say that pride, even as denoting a special sin, is the beginning of every sin. For we must take note that, in voluntary actions, such as sins, there is a twofold order, of intention, and of execution. In the former order, the principle is the end, as we have stated many times before (Question [1], Article [1], ad 1; Question [18], Article [7], ad 2; Question [15], Article [1], ad 2; Question [25], Article [2]). Now man's end in acquiring all temporal goods is that, through their means, he may have some perfection and excellence. Therefore, from this point of view, pride, which is the desire to excel, is said to be the "beginning" of every sin. On the other hand, in the order of execution, the first place belongs to that which by furnishing the opportunity of fulfilling all desires of sin, has the character of a root, and such are riches; so that, from this point of view, covetousness is said to be the "root" of all evils, as stated above (Article [1]).
Et per hoc patet responsio ad primum.    This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.
Ad secundum dicendum quod apostatare a Deo dicitur esse initium superbiae ex parte aversionis, ex hoc enim quod homo non vult subdi Deo, sequitur quod inordinate velit propriam excellentiam in rebus temporalibus. Et sic apostasia a Deo non sumitur ibi quasi speciale peccatum, sed magis ut quaedam conditio generalis omnis peccati, quae est aversio ab incommutabili bono. Vel potest dici quod apostatare a Deo dicitur esse initium superbiae, quia est prima superbiae species. Ad superbiam enim pertinet cuicumque superiori nolle subiici, et praecipue nolle subdi Deo; ex quo contingit quod homo supra seipsum indebite extollatur, quantum ad alias superbiae species.   Reply to Objection 2: Apostasy from God is stated to be the beginning of pride, in so far as it denotes a turning away from God, because from the fact that man wishes not to be subject to God, it follows that he desires inordinately his own excellence in temporal things. Wherefore, in the passage quoted, apostasy from God does not denote the special sin, but rather that general condition of every sin, consisting in its turning away from God. It may also be said that apostasy from God is said to be the beginning of pride, because it is the first species of pride. For it is characteristic of pride to be unwilling to be subject to any superior, and especially to God; the result being that a man is unduly lifted up, in respect of the other species of pride.
Ad tertium dicendum quod in hoc homo se amat, quod sui excellentiam vult, idem enim est se amare quod sibi velle bonum. Unde ad idem pertinet quod ponatur initium omnis peccati superbia, vel amor proprius.   Reply to Objection 3: In desiring to excel, man loves himself, for to love oneself is the same as to desire some good for oneself. Consequently it amounts to the same whether we reckon pride or self-love as the beginning of every evil.

 

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Question: 84  [<< | >>]
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Whether any other special sins, besides pride and avarice, should be called capital?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod praeter superbiam et avaritiam, non sint quaedam alia peccata specialia quae dicantur capitalia. Ita enim se videtur habere caput ad animalia, sicut radix ad plantas, ut dicitur in II de anima, nam radices sunt ori similes. Si igitur cupiditas dicitur radix omnium malorum, videtur quod ipsa sola debeat dici vitium capitale, et nullum aliud peccatum.   Objection 1: It would seem that no other special sins, besides pride and avarice, should be called capital. Because "the head seems to be to an animal, what the root is to a plant," as stated in De Anima ii, text. 38: for the roots are like a mouth. If therefore covetousness is called the "root of all evils," it seems that it alone, and no other sin, should be called a capital vice.
Praeterea, caput habet quendam ordinem ad alia membra, inquantum a capite diffunditur quodammodo sensus et motus. Sed peccatum dicitur per privationem ordinis. Ergo peccatum non habet rationem capitis. Et ita non debent poni aliqua capitalia peccata.   Objection 2: Further, the head bears a certain relation of order to the other members, in so far as sensation and movement follow from the head. But sin implies privation of order. Therefore sin has not the character of head: so that no sins should be called capital.
Praeterea, capitalia crimina dicuntur quae capite plectuntur. Sed tali poena puniuntur quaedam peccata in singulis generibus. Ergo vitia capitalia non sunt aliqua determinata secundum speciem.   Objection 3: Further, capital crimes are those which receive capital punishment. But every kind of sin comprises some that are punished thus. Therefore the capital sins are not certain specific sins.
Praeterea, capitalia crimina dicuntur quae capite plectuntur. Sed tali poena puniuntur quaedam peccata in singulis generibus. Ergo vitia capitalia non sunt aliqua determinata secundum speciem.   On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 17) enumerates certain special vices under the name of capital.
Respondeo dicendum quod capitale a capite dicitur. Caput autem proprie quidem est quoddam membrum animalis, quod est principium et directivum totius animalis. Unde metaphorice omne principium caput vocatur, et etiam homines qui alios dirigunt et gubernant, capita aliorum dicuntur. Dicitur ergo vitium capitale uno modo a capite proprie dicto, et secundum hoc, peccatum capitale dicitur peccatum quod capitis poena punitur. Sed sic nunc non intendimus de capitalibus peccatis, sed secundum quod alio modo dicitur peccatum capitale a capite prout metaphorice significat principium vel directivum aliorum. Et sic dicitur vitium capitale ex quo alia vitia oriuntur, et praecipue secundum originem causae finalis, quae est formalis origo, ut supra dictum est. Et ideo vitium capitale non solum est principium aliorum, sed etiam est directivum et quodammodo ductivum aliorum, semper enim ars vel habitus ad quem pertinet finis, principatur et imperat circa ea quae sunt ad finem. Unde Gregorius, XXXI Moral., huiusmodi vitia capitalia ducibus exercituum comparat.   I answer that, The word capital is derived from "caput" [a head]. Now the head, properly speaking, is that part of an animal's body, which is the principle and director of the whole animal. Hence, metaphorically speaking, every principle is called a head, and even men who direct and govern others are called heads. Accordingly a capital vice is so called, in the first place, from "head" taken in the proper sense, and thus the name "capital" is given to a sin for which capital punishment is inflicted. It is not in this sense that we are now speaking of capital sins, but in another sense, in which the term "capital" is derived from head, taken metaphorically for a principle or director of others. In this way a capital vice is one from which other vices arise, chiefly by being their final cause, which origin is formal, as stated above (Question [72], Article [6]). Wherefore a capital vice is not only the principle of others, but is also their director and, in a way, their leader: because the art or habit, to which the end belongs, is always the principle and the commander in matters concerning the means. Hence Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 17) compares these capital vices to the "leaders of an army."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod capitale dicitur denominative a capite, quod quidem est per quandam derivationem vel participationem capitis, sicut habens aliquam proprietatem capitis, non sicut simpliciter caput. Et ideo capitalia vitia dicuntur non solum illa quae habent rationem primae originis, sicut avaritia, quae dicitur radix, et superbia, quae dicitur initium, sed etiam illa quae habent rationem originis propinquae respectu plurium peccatorum.   Reply to Objection 1: The term "capital" is taken from "caput" and applied to something connected with, or partaking of the head, as having some property thereof, but not as being the head taken literally. And therefore the capital vices are not only those which have the character of primary origin, as covetousness which is called the "root," and pride which is called the beginning, but also those which have the character of proximate origin in respect of several sins.
Ad secundum dicendum quod peccatum caret ordine ex parte aversionis, ex hac enim parte habet rationem mali; malum autem, secundum Augustinum, in libro de natura boni, est privatio modi, speciei et ordinis. Sed ex parte conversionis, respicit quoddam bonum. Et ideo ex hac parte potest habere ordinem.   Reply to Objection 2: Sin lacks order in so far as it turns away from God, for in this respect it is an evil, and evil, according to Augustine (De Natura Boni iv), is "the privation of mode, species and order." But in so far as sin implies a turning to something, it regards some good: wherefore, in this respect, there can be order in sin.
Ad tertium dicendum quod illa ratio procedit de capitali peccato secundum quod dicitur a reatu poenae. Sic autem hic non loquimur.   Reply to Objection 3: This objection considers capital sin as so called from the punishment it deserves, in which sense we are not taking it here.

 

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Question: 84  [<< | >>]
Article: 4  [<< | >>]

Whether the seven capital vices are suitably reckoned?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit dicendum septem esse vitia capitalia, quae sunt inanis gloria, invidia, ira, tristitia, avaritia, gula, luxuria. Peccata enim virtutibus opponuntur. Virtutes autem principales sunt quatuor, ut supra dictum est. Ergo et vitia principalia, sive capitalia, non sunt nisi quatuor.   Objection 1: It would seem that we ought not to reckon seven capital vices, viz. vainglory, envy, anger, sloth, covetousness, gluttony, lust. For sins are opposed to virtues. But there are four principal virtues, as stated above (Question [61], Article [2]). Therefore there are only four principal or capital vices.
Praeterea, passiones animae sunt quaedam causae peccati, ut supra dictum est. Sed passiones animae principales sunt quatuor. De quarum duabus nulla fit mentio inter praedicta peccata, scilicet de spe et timore. Enumerantur autem aliqua vitia ad quae pertinet delectatio et tristitia, nam delectatio pertinet ad gulam et luxuriam, tristitia vero ad acediam et invidiam. Ergo inconvenienter enumerantur principalia peccata.   Objection 2: Further, the passions of the soul are causes of sin, as stated above (Question [77]). But there are four principal passions of the soul; two of which, viz. hope and fear, are not mentioned among the above sins, whereas certain vices are mentioned to which pleasure and sadness belong, since pleasure belongs to gluttony and lust, and sadness to sloth and envy. Therefore the principal sins are unfittingly enumerated.
Praeterea, ira non est principalis passio. Non ergo debuit poni inter principalia vitia.   Objection 3: Further, anger is not a principal passion. Therefore it should not be placed among the principal vices.
Praeterea, sicut cupiditas, sive avaritia, est radix peccati, ita superbia est peccati initium, ut supra dictum est. Sed avaritia ponitur unum de septem vitiis capitalibus. Ergo superbia inter vitia capitalia enumeranda esset.   Objection 4: Further, just as covetousness or avarice is the root of sin, so is pride the beginning of sin, as stated above (Article [2]). But avarice is reckoned to be one of the capital vices. Therefore pride also should be placed among the capital vices.
Praeterea, quaedam peccata committuntur quae ex nullo horum causari possunt, sicut cum aliquis errat ex ignorantia; vel cum aliquis ex aliqua bona intentione committit aliquod peccatum, puta cum aliquis furatur ut det eleemosynam. Ergo insufficienter capitalia vitia enumerantur.   Objection 5: Further, some sins are committed which cannot be caused through any of these: as, for instance, when one sins through ignorance, or when one commits a sin with a good intention, e.g. steals in order to give an alms. Therefore the capital vices are insufficiently enumerated.
Sed in contrarium est auctoritas Gregorii sic enumerantis, XXXI Moralium.   On the contrary, stands the authority of Gregory who enumerates them in this way (Moral. xxxi, 17).
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, vitia capitalia dicuntur ex quibus alia oriuntur, praecipue secundum rationem causae finalis. Huiusmodi autem origo potest attendi dupliciter. Uno quidem modo, secundum conditionem peccantis, qui sic dispositus est ut maxime afficiatur ad unum finem, ex quo ut plurimum in alia peccata procedat. Sed iste modus originis sub arte cadere non potest, eo quod infinitae sunt particulares hominum dispositiones. Alio modo, secundum naturalem habitudinem ipsorum finium ad invicem. Et secundum hoc, ut in pluribus unum vitium ex alio oritur. Unde iste modus originis sub arte cadere potest.   I answer that, As stated above (Article [3]), the capital vices are those which give rise to others, especially by way of final cause. Now this kind of origin may take place in two ways. First, on account of the condition of the sinner, who is disposed so as to have a strong inclination for one particular end, the result being that he frequently goes forward to other sins. But this kind of origin does not come under the consideration of art, because man's particular dispositions are infinite in number. Secondly, on account of a natural relationship of the ends to one another: and it is in this way that most frequently one vice arises from another, so that this kind of origin can come under the consideration of art.
Secundum hoc ergo, illa vitia capitalia dicuntur, quorum fines habent quasdam primarias rationes movendi appetitum, et secundum harum rationum distinctionem, distinguuntur capitalia vitia. Movet autem aliquid appetitum dupliciter. Uno modo, directe et per se, et hoc modo bonum movet appetitum ad prosequendum, malum autem, secundum eandem rationem, ad fugiendum. Alio modo, indirecte et quasi per aliud, sicut aliquis aliquod malum prosequitur propter aliquod bonum adiunctum, vel aliquod bonum fugit propter aliquod malum adiunctum.    Accordingly therefore, those vices are called capital, whose ends have certain fundamental reasons for moving the appetite; and it is in respect of these fundamental reasons that the capital vices are differentiated. Now a thing moves the appetite in two ways. First, directly and of its very nature: thus good moves the appetite to seek it, while evil, for the same reason, moves the appetite to avoid it. Secondly, indirectly and on account of something else, as it were: thus one seeks an evil on account of some attendant good, or avoids a good on account of some attendant evil.
Bonum autem hominis est triplex. Est enim primo quoddam bonum animae, quod scilicet ex sola apprehensione rationem appetibilitatis habet, scilicet excellentia laudis vel honoris, et hoc bonum inordinate prosequitur inanis gloria. Aliud est bonum corporis, et hoc vel pertinet ad conservationem individui, sicut cibus et potus, et hoc bonum inordinate prosequitur gula; aut ad conservationem speciei, sicut coitus, et ad hoc ordinatur luxuria. Tertium bonum est exterius, scilicet divitiae, et ad hoc ordinatur avaritia. Et eadem quatuor vitia inordinate fugiunt mala contraria.    Again, man's good is threefold. For, in the first place, there is a certain good of the soul, which derives its aspect of appetibility, merely through being apprehended, viz. the excellence of honor and praise, and this good is sought inordinately by "vainglory." Secondly, there is the good of the body, and this regards either the preservation of the individual, e.g. meat and drink, which good is pursued inordinately by "gluttony," or the preservation of the species, e.g. sexual intercourse, which good is sought inordinately by "lust." Thirdly, there is external good, viz. riches, to which "covetousness" is referred. These same four vices avoid inordinately the contrary evils.
Vel aliter, bonum praecipue movet appetitum ex hoc quod participat aliquid de proprietate felicitatis, quam naturaliter omnes appetunt. De cuius ratione est quidem primo quaedam perfectio, nam felicitas est perfectum bonum, ad quod pertinet excellentia vel claritas, quam appetit superbia vel inanis gloria. Secundo de ratione eius est sufficientia, quam appetit avaritia in divitiis eam promittentibus. Tertio est de conditione eius delectatio, sine qua felicitas esse non potest, ut dicitur in I et X Ethic., et hanc appetunt gula et luxuria.    Or again, good moves the appetite chiefly through possessing some property of happiness, which all men seek naturally. Now in the first place happiness implies perfection, since happiness is a perfect good, to which belongs excellence or renown, which is desired by "pride" or "vainglory." Secondly, it implies satiety, which "covetousness" seeks in riches that give promise thereof. Thirdly, it implies pleasure, without which happiness is impossible, as stated in Ethic. i, 7; x, 6,7,[8] and this "gluttony" and "lust" pursue.
Quod autem aliquis bonum fugiat propter aliquod malum coniunctum, hoc contingit dupliciter. Quia aut hoc est respectu boni proprii, et sic est acedia, quae tristatur de bono spirituali, propter laborem corporalem adiunctum. Aut est de bono alieno, et hoc, si sit sine insurrectione, pertinet ad invidiam, quae tristatur de bono alieno, inquantum est impeditivum propriae excellentiae; aut est cum quadam insurrectione ad vindictam, et sic est ira. Et ad eadem etiam vitia pertinet prosecutio mali oppositi.    On the other hand, avoidance of good on account of an attendant evil occurs in two ways. For this happens either in respect of one's own good, and thus we have "sloth," which is sadness about one's spiritual good, on account of the attendant bodily labor: or else it happens in respect of another's good, and this, if it be without recrimination, belongs to "envy," which is sadness about another's good as being a hindrance to one's own excellence, while if it be with recrimination with a view to vengeance, it is "anger." Again, these same vices seek the contrary evils.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non est eadem ratio originis in virtutibus et vitiis, nam virtutes causantur per ordinem appetitus ad rationem, vel etiam ad bonum incommutabile, quod est Deus; vitia autem oriuntur ex appetitu boni commutabilis. Unde non oportet quod principalia vitia opponantur principalibus virtutibus.   Reply to Objection 1: Virtue and vice do not originate in the same way: since virtue is caused by the subordination of the appetite to reason, or to the immutable good, which is God, whereas vice arises from the appetite for mutable good. Wherefore there is no need for the principal vices to be contrary to the principal virtues.
Ad secundum dicendum quod timor et spes sunt passiones irascibilis. Omnes autem passiones irascibilis oriuntur ex passionibus concupiscibilis, quae etiam omnes ordinantur quodammodo ad delectationem et tristitiam. Et ideo delectatio et tristitia principaliter connumerantur in peccatis capitalibus, tanquam principalissimae passiones, ut supra habitum est.   Reply to Objection 2: Fear and hope are irascible passions. Now all the passions of the irascible part arise from passions of the concupiscible part; and these are all, in a way, directed to pleasure or sorrow. Hence pleasure and sorrow have a prominent place among the capital sins, as being the most important of the passions, as stated above (Question [25], Article [4]).
Ad tertium dicendum quod ira, licet non sit principalis passio, quia tamen habet specialem rationem appetitivi motus, prout aliquis impugnat bonum alterius sub ratione honesti, idest iusti vindicativi; ideo distinguitur ab aliis capitalibus vitiis.   Reply to Objection 3: Although anger is not a principal passion, yet it has a distinct place among the capital vices, because it implies a special kind of movement in the appetite, in so far as recrimination against another's good has the aspect of a virtuous good, i.e. of the right to vengeance.
Ad quartum dicendum quod superbia dicitur esse initium omnis peccati secundum rationem finis, ut dictum est. Et secundum eandem rationem accipitur principalitas vitiorum capitalium. Et ideo superbia, quasi universale vitium, non connumeratur, sed magis ponitur velut regina quaedam omnium vitiorum, sicut Gregorius dicit. Avaritia autem dicitur radix secundum aliam rationem, sicut supra dictum est.   Reply to Objection 4: Pride is said to be the beginning of every sin, in the order of the end, as stated above (Article [2]): and it is in the same order that we are to consider the capital sin as being principal. Wherefore pride, like a universal vice, is not counted along with the others, but is reckoned as the "queen of them all," as Gregory states (Moral. xxxi, 27). But covetousness is said to be the root from another point of view, as stated above (Articles [1],2).
Ad quintum dicendum quod ista vitia dicuntur capitalia, quia ex eis ut frequentius alia oriuntur. Unde nihil prohibet aliqua peccata interdum ex aliis causis oriri. Potest tamen dici quod omnia peccata quae ex ignorantia proveniunt, possunt reduci ad acediam, ad quam pertinet negligentia qua aliquis recusat bona spiritualia acquirere propter laborem, ignorantia enim quae potest esse causa peccati, ex negligentia provenit, ut supra dictum est. Quod autem aliquis committat aliquod peccatum ex bona intentione, videtur ad ignorantiam pertinere, inquantum scilicet ignorat quod non sunt facienda mala ut veniant bona.   Reply to Objection 5: These vices are called capital because others, most frequently, arise from them: so that nothing prevents some sins from arising out of other causes. Nevertheless we might say that all the sins which are due to ignorance, can be reduced to sloth, to which pertains the negligence of a man who declines to acquire spiritual goods on account of the attendant labor; for the ignorance that can cause sin, is due to negligence, as stated above (Question [76], Article [2]). That a man commit a sin with a good intention, seems to point to ignorance, in so far as he knows not that evil should not be done that good may come of it.


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