The philosophy in the modern world dismisses the moral notion homework

Executive Summary The philosophy in the modern world dismisses the moral notion that there are actions that are inherently evil or good. The modern philosophy claims that there are no clear boundaries on actions, and there is no set nature, whether evil, good or otherwise.
We may expect to get resources to rebut the assertions found in the perennial philosophy by St Thomas Aquinas. Unfortunately, the moral species analysis within Aquinas seems to confound that which seems resolute.
Those who are pro-Thomas do not have a unanimous agreement on the very question of good and evil. More often there has been disagreement on the impact of intention regarding the moral judgment as well as the role of the exterior act.
An influential writing of Aquinas gives intention a central role while another eludes a return to the physical/exterior action and teleology.
A famous quote by Aquinas argues that all judgments of conscience are obligatory, and anybody acting against their conscience always sins.
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A famous quote by Aquinas argues that all judgments of conscience are obligatory, and anybody acting against their conscience always sins.
Socrates, a famous philosopher, said that the unexamined life is of no value. The questions that rings in our mind,
therefore, are, are all human beings naturally evil? This question has been bombarding the minds of philosophers and debaters for a long period.
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therefore, are, are all human beings naturally evil? This question has been bombarding the minds of philosophers and debaters for a long period.
It has often been referred to as the unanswerable question.
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It has often been referred to as the unanswerable question.
Determinists argue that all human beings are governed by science implying that there is little we can do about being intrinsically evil.
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Determinists argue that all human beings are governed by science implying that there is little we can do about being intrinsically evil.
When does an action become good or bad? St. Thomas Aquinas’ moral philosophy combines two disparate traditions: Christian theology and Aristotelian eudemonism.
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When does an action become good or bad? St. Thomas Aquinas’ moral philosophy combines two disparate traditions: Christian theology and Aristotelian eudemonism.
In one perspective, Aquinas follows the thinking of Aristotle that act is bad or good depending on its contribution to the human end.
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In one perspective, Aquinas follows the thinking of Aristotle that act is bad or good depending on its contribution to the human end.
The judgment as to whether an action is good or bad depends on whether it deters us from achieving a proper human end. That telos is the eudemonia or simply happiness.
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The judgment as to whether an action is good or bad depends on whether it deters us from achieving a proper human end. That telos is the eudemonia or simply happiness.
We understand happiness in terms of perfection, completion, or well being. However,
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We understand happiness in terms of perfection, completion, or well being. However,
achieving happiness requires a wide range of moral and intellectual virtues that allows human beings to comprehend happiness hence motivating people to seek it consistently and reliably.
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achieving happiness requires a wide range of moral and intellectual virtues that allows human beings to comprehend happiness hence motivating people to seek it consistently and reliably.
From the other perspective, Aquinas believes that it’s not possible to achieve final or complete happiness. According to his believe,
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From the other perspective, Aquinas believes that it’s not possible to achieve final or complete happiness. According to his believe,
final happiness is in the supernatural union with God or the beatitude. This end lies beyond what we can achieve by our human capacity.
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final happiness is in the supernatural union with God or the beatitude. This end lies beyond what we can achieve by our human capacity.
In this regard, we need God to change our nature and perfect it so we may suit to collaborate in divine happiness.
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In this regard, we need God to change our nature and perfect it so we may suit to collaborate in divine happiness.
Our propensity to sin was inherited from our fore parent by the name Adam. Our nature is, however not wholly corrupted,
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Our propensity to sin was inherited from our fore parent by the name Adam. Our nature is, however not wholly corrupted,
but it is diminished by the stain from sin. Argumentative evidence of this assertion is portrayed by the fact that our will often contradicts that of God.
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but it is diminished by the stain from sin. Argumentative evidence of this assertion is portrayed by the fact that our will often contradicts that of God.
To this end, we require God to reconcile us with the nature of good.
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To this end, we require God to reconcile us with the nature of good.
Chapter 1 Introduction Information Background There exists contradicting understanding on the issue of good and evil.
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Chapter 1 Introduction Information Background There exists contradicting understanding on the issue of good and evil.
Evil explained in metaphysical term implies not just the absence of good but the lack of it that properly belongs to someone.
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Evil explained in metaphysical term implies not just the absence of good but the lack of it that properly belongs to someone.
For instance, it is not bad if a person does not have the strength of a lion.
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For instance, it is not bad if a person does not have the strength of a lion.
Several people hold varied views on the nature of evil with some arguing that it is subjective, and others portending it is objective.
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Several people hold varied views on the nature of evil with some arguing that it is subjective, and others portending it is objective.
Is good or evil a subjective issue that people create in order to follow their misguided error?
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Is good or evil a subjective issue that people create in order to follow their misguided error?
Should humans be left to choose right or bad at will in a socially integrated society?
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Should humans be left to choose right or bad at will in a socially integrated society?
Humans who are afraid of darkness may imagine haunted illusion and seem to connect darkness with evil. The problem of evil generates a vast literature.
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Humans who are afraid of darkness may imagine haunted illusion and seem to connect darkness with evil. The problem of evil generates a vast literature.
However, Aquinas believes that evil is not an insurmountable problem but a part of the world today.
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However, Aquinas believes that evil is not an insurmountable problem but a part of the world today.
Given the contradicting opinion on good and evil,
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Given the contradicting opinion on good and evil,
this paper seeks to unearth the real issues on the ground regarding evil and good by examining the thoughts of Thomas Aquinas and other scholars (Steven, 2010).
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this paper seeks to unearth the real issues on the ground regarding evil and good by examining the thoughts of Thomas Aquinas and other scholars (Steven, 2010).
From the perspective of metaphysical, Aquinas alludes that the world has become a better place for having evil since evil is a greater good.
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From the perspective of metaphysical, Aquinas alludes that the world has become a better place for having evil since evil is a greater good.
The goodness of creation is seen through the existence of natural evil and God at times punishes with evil so as to maintain a just order in the universe.
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The goodness of creation is seen through the existence of natural evil and God at times punishes with evil so as to maintain a just order in the universe.
Evil, in metaphysical perspective, is a necessary good as it helps to bring the world to order and reconcile things and people through the administration of justice.
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Evil, in metaphysical perspective, is a necessary good as it helps to bring the world to order and reconcile things and people through the administration of justice.
A person found guilty of committing a felony is sentenced to death as a means of granting justice to the victim.
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A person found guilty of committing a felony is sentenced to death as a means of granting justice to the victim.
Fire consumes air, lion kill asses, and humans endure sufferings, and all this is good and natural. The morality projection,
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Fire consumes air, lion kill asses, and humans endure sufferings, and all this is good and natural. The morality projection,
however, to God is a modern theism and represents a philosophical shift towards metaphysical reasoning from a naturalistic perspective (Steven, 2010).
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however, to God is a modern theism and represents a philosophical shift towards metaphysical reasoning from a naturalistic perspective (Steven, 2010).
According to Aquinas, the goodness of God is beyond imaginable definition of the term good, and we can never hold God responsible for our moral standards.
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According to Aquinas, the goodness of God is beyond imaginable definition of the term good, and we can never hold God responsible for our moral standards.
The world could, however, been something else that what it is today but that would have been a different world and the world we have is that created by God.
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The world could, however, been something else that what it is today but that would have been a different world and the world we have is that created by God.
Thesis Statement According to Aquinas, goodness is seen as a transcendental quality meaning that it is exhibited in being.
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Thesis Statement According to Aquinas, goodness is seen as a transcendental quality meaning that it is exhibited in being.
The good is what everyone desires and our actions are always directed towards the end of realizing goodness.
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The good is what everyone desires and our actions are always directed towards the end of realizing goodness.
However, since every being has goodness does it mean that evil does not exist? Most pro-Thomists are in disagreement on the issue of evil and good.
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However, since every being has goodness does it mean that evil does not exist? Most pro-Thomists are in disagreement on the issue of evil and good.
Aquinas argues that the end result is whatever determines good or bad.
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Aquinas argues that the end result is whatever determines good or bad.
He goes further to argue that since everyone desires to have a better ending then everything that exists is good.
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He goes further to argue that since everyone desires to have a better ending then everything that exists is good.
Ball our actions are intentioned towards achieving a certain end and fulfillment.
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Ball our actions are intentioned towards achieving a certain end and fulfillment.
The actualization of our fulfillment is the happiness that is brought about by perfection. But are all things and being perfect?
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The actualization of our fulfillment is the happiness that is brought about by perfection. But are all things and being perfect?
This paper seeks to analyze the aspect of good and evil from the perspective of evil by analyzing Aquinas philosophy.
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This paper seeks to analyze the aspect of good and evil from the perspective of evil by analyzing Aquinas philosophy.
We tend to uncover whether everything exists is really good or whether there exists evil. Research Questions 1.
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We tend to uncover whether everything exists is really good or whether there exists evil. Research Questions 1.
What is the perception of Thomas Aquinas on the issue of good and evil?
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What is the perception of Thomas Aquinas on the issue of good and evil?
2. Is everything that existing good? 3. Do human actions bring happiness to the end result? 4. What brings perfection and fulfillment in our actions?
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2. Is everything that existing good? 3. Do human actions bring happiness to the end result? 4. What brings perfection and fulfillment in our actions?
Research Objectives 1. To analyze the view of Thomas Aquinas on good and evil.
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Research Objectives 1. To analyze the view of Thomas Aquinas on good and evil.
2. To determine whether everything existing is good. 3. To evaluate whether human actions bring happiness with the end result.
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2. To determine whether everything existing is good. 3. To evaluate whether human actions bring happiness with the end result.
4. To determine what brings perfection and fulfillment in human actions.
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4. To determine what brings perfection and fulfillment in human actions.
Significance of the Study The study is essential and useful particularly to students undertaking philosophy of religion and theology.
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Significance of the Study The study is essential and useful particularly to students undertaking philosophy of religion and theology.
Researchers in this field of study may consider this information relevant and helpful, as a secondary source of information.
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Researchers in this field of study may consider this information relevant and helpful, as a secondary source of information.
The analysis will form a reference point for researchers and academicians by adding the existing knowledge to this area.
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The analysis will form a reference point for researchers and academicians by adding the existing knowledge to this area.
The study will also form a substantial base for emerging philosophers and persons with an interest in theology.
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The study will also form a substantial base for emerging philosophers and persons with an interest in theology.
Chapter 2 Literature Review Introduction This chapter provides the review of the existing literature regarding the issue of good and evil as portrayed Aquinas and other philosophers.
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Chapter 2 Literature Review Introduction This chapter provides the review of the existing literature regarding the issue of good and evil as portrayed Aquinas and other philosophers.
The review of the literature enables the study to critically analyze the existing information and identify information gap. This is the deficiency the study will seek to close.
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The review of the literature enables the study to critically analyze the existing information and identify information gap. This is the deficiency the study will seek to close.
Good and Evil From a naturalistic perspective, evil maybe the unrealized potential or else the intentional denial of some potential regarded as proper to a given species.
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Good and Evil From a naturalistic perspective, evil maybe the unrealized potential or else the intentional denial of some potential regarded as proper to a given species.
The inability of a baby to walk is not bad as long as that baby is not of the mature age but if a person is fully developed and is handicapped in one way is bad since there is lack of what is good for humans.
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The inability of a baby to walk is not bad as long as that baby is not of the mature age but if a person is fully developed and is handicapped in one way is bad since there is lack of what is good for humans.
This is not the same with, say, lack of the potential to be a musician since its not a requirement in the actualization of the human potential.
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This is not the same with, say, lack of the potential to be a musician since its not a requirement in the actualization of the human potential.
Lacking what rightly a person should have is seen as bad.
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Lacking what rightly a person should have is seen as bad.
Moral evil comes about when a person intentionally or unintentionally fails to do something or does something that prevents a person from realizing their full human potential.
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Moral evil comes about when a person intentionally or unintentionally fails to do something or does something that prevents a person from realizing their full human potential.
This is caused by the lack comprehending of what is good or a defect in the will.
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This is caused by the lack comprehending of what is good or a defect in the will.
Our actions or inactions may contribute to what is morally evil. According to Aquinas, Human beings cannot desire evil as we only desire those things that exist (Steven,
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Our actions or inactions may contribute to what is morally evil. According to Aquinas, Human beings cannot desire evil as we only desire those things that exist (Steven, 2010). The things that exist are not bad but only our actions may make them good or bad.
Immorality arises when we knowing undertake something that exists, which is good, but bad for us given the meaning of us being human. If our intentions do not harm our trait as human whatsoever, then such an act is not bad.
The allusion here is to the end result of whatever we choose to pursue, and it only becomes evil when we harm the true aspect of being evil. Such acts are punishable by God and also liable to punishment under the law if they threaten destruction to the society common good (Steven, 2010).
Accusation of Panglossian optimists may be leveled against Aquinas while other may accuse him of maintaining tyrannical or punitive view of God. But, what can happen if we his perspective of evil to the catastrophically moral failures?
Would we understand Holocaust in the sense of lack only? The most outstanding example of deprivation of the goods that humans require to be human would be the concentration camps. This is an extreme example that presents not only the deprivation of material basics but also the dignity, community, law, trust, love and life itself.
If we argue that this was due to the presence of evil, are we not disregarding the human responsibility? According to the understanding of morality by Aquinas,
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If we argue that this was due to the presence of evil, are we not disregarding the human responsibility? According to the understanding of morality by Aquinas,
we are solely responsible for our actions and intentional activities.
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we are solely responsible for our actions and intentional activities.
There is no excuse as to the influence of evil that is manipulating our wills. Our doings and undoing should not be a prerogative for evil/. The law operates in the very same fundamental criterion.
Given the genocidal horrors that happened in the 20th century, there lies a doubtable assertion by Aquinas on evil as a lack to be deeply problematic. The genocides that happened in the 20th century are a clear manifestation of which Aquinas is refuting. People are rising against each in arms resulting in loss of lives and yet term this as a lack is quite unarguable.
Metaethics The metaethical view of Aquinas is formed on the basis of many Christian writers. His view to a certain extent agrees with those of previous writers or is an improvement of previous literature.
The work of Aquinas alludes to previous works of Christian writers like Augustine and Anselm. Augustine portends that “things that exist are good”. This statement expresses a metaphysical idea that existing things possess some degree of goodness (Steven, 2010).
There exist two categories of existing things that are the corruptible and incorruptible things. Anything that is incorruptible cannot be made worse while the corruptible things can be made worse. Incorruptible things don’t lose the goodness they possess.
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There exist two categories of existing things that are the corruptible and incorruptible things. Anything that is incorruptible cannot be made worse while the corruptible things can be made worse. Incorruptible things don’t lose the goodness they possess.
Corruptible presupposes that something had goodness and that’s why it has a provision of losing the goodness. According to Augustine,
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Corruptible presupposes that something had goodness and that’s why it has a provision of losing the goodness. According to Augustine,
things that lack goodness should be given a chance to exists.
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things that lack goodness should be given a chance to exists.
Anything that exists must be valuable and must have some level of goodness. Aquinas echoes the argument by Augustine by stating that there is no difference between being and goodness. The two terms accompany each other since the presupposition is that anything that exists has some goodness.
Being, in this case, implies something that exists or that what is actual. The underlying truth here is that if something is good then it must ultimately be actual (Steven, 2010).
Therefore, it is a mistake and a fallacy to talk of evil as being an actual “thing” given that “thing” implies quality or existing being. Evil is the deprivation and denial of the actual like sickness and blindness.
Aquinas argument is that something is evil if it’s deprived or denial of any good that ought to have been there.
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Aquinas argument is that something is evil if it’s deprived or denial of any good that ought to have been there.
But does something become bad by being deprived of something that ought to bring to them?
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But does something become bad by being deprived of something that ought to bring to them?
Does a person become bad, maybe, by losing sight which should rightly belong to them? Existing things are not all good and there is no perfection in being.There will be a higher chance that existing things will lack something good that rightly belongs to them.
Depriving of something good from an existing being does not necessarily mean the thing becomes bad. If something is denied all the goodness, then it seizes to be something and becomes nothing.
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Depriving of something good from an existing being does not necessarily mean the thing becomes bad. If something is denied all the goodness, then it seizes to be something and becomes nothing.
According to Augustine, if something is then it is good. The world is full of corruptible things, things that can be changed or deprived of some goodness,
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According to Augustine, if something is then it is good. The world is full of corruptible things, things that can be changed or deprived of some goodness,
but as long as the deprivation is not on all goodness then there is still some good.
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but as long as the deprivation is not on all goodness then there is still some good.
Existing things will, therefore, have some goodness otherwise they will be nothing. The meta-ethics of Aquinas also makes the analogy from the Aristotelian perspective of living things. According to the latter, living things may be described as composites of substantial form and matter a concept that Aquinas agrees with.
By substantial form implies a principle organizing matter to form discrete substance that is equipped with certain potentiality. The substantial form of things comprises of the nature of a thing, the metaphysical aspect.
Aquinas, further, argues that all things in their substantial form seek perfection. However, they cannot acquire that perfection without exercising the potentiality they have. To achieve the end result, there is a process that the substance has to undergo in exercising its full potentiality.
The end, perfection,
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The end, perfection, or completing is realized when a substance exercises its powers to achieve its full capacity or realize its full capability according to the potentiality of a specific substance form.
In completion or perfection, it should perform activities that its nature contributed by the substance form enables (Steven, 2010). In simple terms, substance realizes the perfection by exercising properly the species-defining powers.
Since Aquinas portends that goodness and existence possess the same referent and co-exist,
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Since Aquinas portends that goodness and existence possess the same referent and co-exist,
it is in order to say that the exercise of these powers or the potentiality also contributes to the goodness of a substance.
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it is in order to say that the exercise of these powers or the potentiality also contributes to the goodness of a substance.
The activity or state that constitutes the full actuality of a substance is the end of that substance, and the end is good.
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The activity or state that constitutes the full actuality of a substance is the end of that substance, and the end is good.
Therefore, this activity or state contributes to the goodness of a substance.
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Therefore, this activity or state contributes to the goodness of a substance.
Aquinas offers an objection to this view and argues that goodness may be more or less. However, being cannot be more or less hence being and goodness differs. There are those who are morally better compared to others.
Goodness is relative and varies from one being to the other. Some dogs are more developed and have better training than others.
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Goodness is relative and varies from one being to the other. Some dogs are more developed and have better training than others. Certain organs and features are functional better and are healthier than others.
Some horses ran faster than others. The goodness in the above cases is not identical, and it varies from one being to another in terms of quantity and quality.
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Some horses ran faster than others. The goodness in the above cases is not identical, and it varies from one being to another in terms of quantity and quality.
Being on the other side, is not varies in the case above.
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Being on the other side, is not varies in the case above.
It’s either something exist, or it does not exist. This now proves there is no correlation between being and good. However, to address this worry, Aquinas agrees that there exists a certain being that is nothing-or-all and refers to this as a substantial being as long as it exists or its actual.
We may conclude that everything that possesses substantial being also possesses substantial goodness. That is, insofar as something has being,
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We may conclude that everything that possesses substantial being also possesses substantial goodness. That is, insofar as something has being,
or it exists it is good. Members of a common society can enjoy varied degrees of maturity due to the fact that exercising of potentiality differs in stages.
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or it exists it is good. Members of a common society can enjoy varied degrees of maturity due to the fact that exercising of potentiality differs in stages.
A fully developed dog will differ from a puppy in various aspects. In this regard, there is what we call relative good and relative being. According to Aquinas relative being implies there is no full actualization of the potentiality a being has and, therefore, there is relative goodness (Steven, 2010).
A fully developed dog can perform various roles that a puppy can’t. It can bring forth young ones, can take care of the young ones, can feed young ones and many more.
As a being exercise more of its potentiality, it becomes more actual and improves the tendency to realize end results. By more actual, implies that the being is developing to be more perfect.
Since being relative, is a matter of degree than relative being corresponds to relative good. In the aspect of goodness,
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Since being relative, is a matter of degree than relative being corresponds to relative good. In the aspect of goodness,
we talk of more or less according to the level of actuality that a being has developed.
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we talk of more or less according to the level of actuality that a being has developed.
The preceding analysis provides us with background information that will help us analyze the nature of human goodness. Human Action The human goodness depends on undertaking activities that agree with our accord as human beings. This is what metaethics by Thomas Aquinas tells us. However, questions arise as to what actions distinguish our nature from other different kinds of acts. We seek to interrogate the kind of actions that makes human good. In our interrogation, we must go beyond the mere claim rationality determines whether an act is human action or not. To understand rationality, we must thoroughly interrogate the true meaning of rationality. Only then, we will be in a position to comprehend human actions and the end to which these actions are intended (Steven, 2010).
In his Summa Theologiae, Aquinas provides a comprehensive overview of this subject. He argues that reasoning constitutes of cognitive and appetitive powers.
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In his Summa Theologiae, Aquinas provides a comprehensive overview of this subject. He argues that reasoning constitutes of cognitive and appetitive powers.
The cognitive power comprises the intellect that enables us to comprehend and apprehend goodness.
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The cognitive power comprises the intellect that enables us to comprehend and apprehend goodness.
The appetitive power is the will. This is the native desire towards the understood goodness. That is,
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The appetitive power is the will. This is the native desire towards the understood goodness. That is, it is a responsive appetite to the estimation of intellect of what is a choice worthy or good.
The acts of will depend on the acts of intellect. The intellect necessitates the acts of will.
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The acts of will depend on the acts of intellect. The intellect necessitates the acts of will. There is no single occurrence of the good that can necessitate the movement of the will.
Most goods lack the required connection to happiness and thus we do not require them so as to be happy.
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Most goods lack the required connection to happiness and thus we do not require them so as to be happy.
Therefore, the will never inclines to them of the necessity. But what happens to those goods that possess necessary connection to happiness?
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Therefore, the will never inclines to them of the necessity. But what happens to those goods that possess necessary connection to happiness?
What about those virtues that guide us to God or the goodness of God? According to Aquinas, inclination to this goods by the will does not either happen.
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What about those virtues that guide us to God or the goodness of God? According to Aquinas, inclination to this goods by the will does not either happen.
In this world, we do not see God in his entire goodness and hence the connection between final happiness, God, and virtue always appear opaque (Steven, 2010).
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In this world, we do not see God in his entire goodness and hence the connection between final happiness, God, and virtue always appear opaque (Steven, 2010).
In this life, our intellectual limitation bars us from comprehending and apprehending the good. Instead, what we see is competing goods where we must make choices on what we want. There are those goods that will provide immediate satisfaction while others will take time to provide gratification.
Those that offer immediate gratification may fail to yield results, in the long run. Indeed, we ought to ignore some of the things that will grant us superficial feelings and pretty pleasures in the event of attending to more serious and enduring course.
Applying the parlance by Aquinas, the will must exercise the casualty by instructing the intellect to consider things that are good for other than others.
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Applying the parlance by Aquinas, the will must exercise the casualty by instructing the intellect to consider things that are good for other than others. This always happens when our focus and attention, through determination, to objects that are choice worthy.
Our character will always whatever we want and ultimately influences the ultimate choice. However,
Aquinas does not believe that our character wholly determine whatever thing we choose due to the fact that sometimes we choose contrary to established habits.
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Aquinas does not believe that our character wholly determine whatever thing we choose due to the fact that sometimes we choose contrary to established habits.
This is fortunate for us since it implies that even those who are inclined to evil can make good choices.
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This is fortunate for us since it implies that even those who are inclined to evil can make good choices.
This can be a turning point to correct their hardened character and inordinate inclinations (Steven, 2010).
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This can be a turning point to correct their hardened character and inordinate inclinations (Steven, 2010).
The above analysis may help us respond to our previous question: what are the actions that we designate as humans? Human actions are characterized by voluntary control. The choice made by human beings is a result of a reasoning process, unlike non-rational animals. Human actions, in this way, are not the deterministic causal forces products but rather the product of our own uninfluenced judgment whose exercise is a function of will and intellect, in discussing the values that make an action human we take into considerations the capacities in choosing and judging what is good. The ability to judge and deliberate enables us exercise the mastery of our actions.
We have seen that human actions are governed by reasoning and consideration of the good. Aquinas further thinks that the good we are talking of is an end, the object that makes us act.
The end and the good are the objects of the will. However there are two issues that emerge from the foregoing but maybe resolved rather quickly.
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The end and the good are the objects of the will. However there are two issues that emerge from the foregoing but maybe resolved rather quickly.
First humans don’t always act for the purpose of an end.
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First humans don’t always act for the purpose of an end.
Many actions that humans engage in are not necessarily the products of our voluntary judgment and deliberation. Cough and nervous twitches are examples of human actions that are not a product of voluntary judgment and deliberation.
Aquinas argues that these kinds of actions are not properly human actions since they are not a product of reasoning and deliberation for an action to be human then it ought to precede a thought out process and consideration.
Secondly, Aquinas is mistaken especially when he argues that the end of our action is good. The fact is that many things that we do are not good.
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Secondly, Aquinas is mistaken especially when he argues that the end of our action is good. The fact is that many things that we do are not good.
Aquinas, however, agrees that excessive passion and cognitive errors may distort moral values thus inclining us in choosing the wrong things.
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Aquinas, however, agrees that excessive passion and cognitive errors may distort moral values thus inclining us in choosing the wrong things.
Aquinas point is that we act on what we believe is good either wrongly or rightly. But is the end that we pursue,
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Aquinas point is that we act on what we believe is good either wrongly or rightly. But is the end that we pursue,
in fact, good? Aquinas does not wish to defend claims that our actions are for some good.
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in fact, good? Aquinas does not wish to defend claims that our actions are for some good.
However, following the view of Augustine, he believes that actions are destined for a final good. The desirable end with which every action is destined. There will be no other way to explain why people choose to do a certain thing if it’s not destined to bring forth some good.
Any action that is undertaken always precedes an intention to be realized. There must always be some intention with us when we choose to do a certain good. There must be always one priority thing we intend to achieve when we choose a certain action.
There must be an intrinsically desirable good or end, and it serves the final cause of the will.
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There must be an intrinsically desirable good or end, and it serves the final cause of the will.
The good acts as a catalyst for the action as we are motivated by what we intend to achieve at the end of our action.
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The good acts as a catalyst for the action as we are motivated by what we intend to achieve at the end of our action.
Rationality calls for reasoning and deliberation before making a decision to act. If a person desires to be a doctor, then they must choose to act by enrolling in studies in that field.
The action to study is motivated by the will or intention to become a doctor which is an end and is good.
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The action to study is motivated by the will or intention to become a doctor which is an end and is good.
The absence of an intrinsically desirable thing there would lack the motive to act.
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The absence of an intrinsically desirable thing there would lack the motive to act.
The desirable thing, in this case, is the end and it’s good. If the end is not good, then there will be no desire to act.
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The desirable thing, in this case, is the end and it’s good. If the end is not good, then there will be no desire to act.
Therefore, there must exist a final good or end that we desire and thus why we act.
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Therefore, there must exist a final good or end that we desire and thus why we act.
The final good is what we seek in all our actions. The final end brings about happiness as it is the realization of what we desire. To achieve this we always desire perfection.
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The final good is what we seek in all our actions. The final end brings about happiness as it is the realization of what we desire. To achieve this we always desire perfection.
Whatever we do is aimed at contributing to the goodness of life and making our life more comfortable. This leads to a life that is more fulfilling and complete than it would have been if we didn’t act.
The perfection of our acts is destined to give us happiness in the end. In this we can conclude that the final good of our end is happiness.
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The perfection of our acts is destined to give us happiness in the end. In this we can conclude that the final good of our end is happiness.
Aquinas does not, however, indicate what the composition of happiness is.
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Aquinas does not, however, indicate what the composition of happiness is.
What he wishes to portray is that there is something we desire which is the ultimate fulfillment.
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What he wishes to portray is that there is something we desire which is the ultimate fulfillment.
Everyone desires to achieve fulfillment in their perfection and it is this fulfillment that our final end consists.
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Everyone desires to achieve fulfillment in their perfection and it is this fulfillment that our final end consists.
There lies disagreement at to what actually brings fulfillment and that which is good. We all pursue different undertakings in life with the expectation of achieving fulfillment which in turn brings out happiness.
There lies the difference in the composition of the last end and different people may see this differently. Some people argue that the end consists of external goods like riches, wealth, and power.
Others think that the end consists of the body goods like physical pleasure and calmness.
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Others think that the end consists of the body goods like physical pleasure and calmness.
And still more others portend that the end consists of things of the soul like virtue, knowledge, and knowledge.
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And still more others portend that the end consists of things of the soul like virtue, knowledge, and knowledge.
As laudable as these maybe (in particular the latter category) they all have unique deficiencies. These deficiencies bar the above end results from actually providing a complete fulfillment which characterizes the final happiness.
The only place we can achieve complete happiness is through the indulgence of God. All the end results may not give us complete happiness because in a way or another they have deficiencies.
Since God is all perfect and all good, then we should achieve completeness through him.
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Since God is all perfect and all good, then we should achieve completeness through him.
Chapter 3 Methodology Introduction This chapter provides the methodology that has been used in undertaking the study.
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Chapter 3 Methodology Introduction This chapter provides the methodology that has been used in undertaking the study.
The approach in the research process determines the methods that are used in the research. There are two main methods in the research.
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The approach in the research process determines the methods that are used in the research. There are two main methods in the research.
These methods include the quantitative and qualitative respondent’s opinion. This kind of analysis is subjective in nature since it is dependent on the subjectivity of the respondent’s opinion.
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These methods include the quantitative and qualitative respondent’s opinion. This kind of analysis is subjective in nature since it is dependent on the subjectivity of the respondent’s opinion.
The qualitative method is a subjective method used in carrying out the research that is based on the researcher’s objective.
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The qualitative method is a subjective method used in carrying out the research that is based on the researcher’s objective.
In addition, qualitative research has widely been chosen for the research work that is exploratory in nature rather than explanatory.
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In addition, qualitative research has widely been chosen for the research work that is exploratory in nature rather than explanatory.
This research uses qualitative research methods in undertaking the analysis.
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This research uses qualitative research methods in undertaking the analysis.
Unit of Analysis The units of analysis in any research study are composed of the entity to which the phenomena or variables under examination and the problem of the research are referred. In this research, unit of analysis involves an evaluation of the variables under study. This study seeks to analyze the concept of good and evil as portrayed by Thomas Aquinas.
Credibility of the Study In the research, there exist two major measures of describing the credibility of the research. These include testing the acceptability and reliability of the study findings, which may take different forms. In testing the validity of the research findings, the research evaluates how well the research has answered the research questions. In addition, the methodology used in evaluating the study will be is essential to establishing the reliability of the findings, as well as the literature analyzed. The research evaluates and analyzes the reliability in regard to the research process.
Chapter 4 Findings and Discussions Introduction This chapter of the research provides the findings of the research as well as accommodates an analysis for the findings.
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Chapter 4 Findings and Discussions Introduction This chapter of the research provides the findings of the research as well as accommodates an analysis for the findings.
The undertaking of the research is aimed at meeting the research objectives and answering the research questions.
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The undertaking of the research is aimed at meeting the research objectives and answering the research questions.
The research methodology has been of prime importance in accomplishing the objectives of the research.
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The research methodology has been of prime importance in accomplishing the objectives of the research.
Findings and Discussions Majority would refute Aquinas argument and claim that indeed evil exists and it’s because of evil that evil things happen. We may tend to ask questions as to the whereabouts of God when all these happened.
However, if we incorporate the capacity of moral evil in the human will then we come to the conclusion that there was the lack that caused these evils. Where was a man when all this happened?
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However, if we incorporate the capacity of moral evil in the human will then we come to the conclusion that there was the lack that caused these evils. Where was a man when all this happened?
The perception of evil and good has been criticized and the argument leveled is that there exists evil. Looking at what is happening in the society today,
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The perception of evil and good has been criticized and the argument leveled is that there exists evil. Looking at what is happening in the society today,
it will be inconsiderate to say that evil does not exist.
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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christianpiatt/2012/07/ten-cliches-christians-should-never-use/ 83%
it will be inconsiderate to say that evil does not exist.
Of course, Aquinas argues that the issue of good is subjective because everyone doing a certain act is desirous of achieving an end result. The desired end result is fulfilling since it brings out happiness of achieving the pre-determined objective.
Looking at the issue of terrorism in the current world it may sound awkward to generalize that good is subjective and hence non-existence of evil. The objective of any terrorist is to kill and harm.
Once a terrorist realizes this objective they have a sense of fulfillment and are happy. Some even will boast of how they professionally undertook the killing and threaten with further attack.
When their mission succeeds, they are always happy. Other beings who are pro-life are always driven by anger and always devise way to curb terrorism. In this scenario, we can conclude that as far as goodness is relative there are generally accepted values and virtues of Good.
Our actions should always be focused not to cause harm. As we have seen, the goodness of a being is realized when that being exercises its species-defining powers. Every being has certain species-defining powers which help achieve goodness upon proper actualization of these powers.
According to Aquinas, the species-defining powers of human beings are the characteristic of reasoning. Human beings are assumed to be rational beings,
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 77%
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-ph-th/ 62%
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason 69%
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas 62%
http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/aristotle/ 62%
According to Aquinas, the species-defining powers of human beings are the characteristic of reasoning. Human beings are assumed to be rational beings,
and it’s this characteristic that distinguishes man from other members of the animal kingdom.
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/human_being 89%
http://www2.estrellamountain.edu/faculty/farabee/BIOBK/BioBookDiversity_7.html 67%
http://biology.tutorvista.com/organism/kingdom-protista.html 67%
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and it’s this characteristic that distinguishes man from other members of the animal kingdom.
The actualization of these powers is what defines a man. The choice we make in life depends on the power of reasoning and how better we are compared to others depends on pour reasoning capability.
Therefore, the proper exercising of reasoning brings about the good of human beings. Employing the powers of rationality is what makes human goodness.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 78%
Therefore, the proper exercising of reasoning brings about the good of human beings. Employing the powers of rationality is what makes human goodness.
The concept of human goodness calls for evaluation and analysis of human actions.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 78%
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/ 67%
The concept of human goodness calls for evaluation and analysis of human actions.
In the context of human beings, therefore, the difference between bad and good actions is on our reasoning capacity. Are all people rational in their thinking and doing?
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 65%
In the context of human beings, therefore, the difference between bad and good actions is on our reasoning capacity. Are all people rational in their thinking and doing? If this is so why do we have so many incidences of terrorists and “evil” in the society?
The rationality of all human beings may be questionable at different aspects if we clearly analyze the actions of human beings. As long as human beings are rational, there need to be values and virtues that should guide us in decision-making.
I argue that all human beings are not rational.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/anim-eth/ 83%
http://philosophy.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/quesethi.html 83%
I argue that all human beings are not rational. It is expected that a rational human being will not take a weapon and kill a fellow human being due to differences that are solvable without engaging in violence.
This brings about the virtues and principles that actually should guide the rationality of the human being. It is argued that the end result brings about happiness. Our actions are desired to achieve a certain end objective that brings about fulfillment.
A student’s objective of studying hard is to pass exams. When this end result is realized, there is a feeling of fulfillment and content which brings about happiness. The actualization of our end results depends on the proper utilization of our specific powers of reasoning.
Our actions are designed to bring forth happiness. The realization of this objective or the achieving of the end result may not bring absolute happiness. According to Aquinas, happiness is a result of perfection.
http://www.quoteopia.com/quotations.php?query=life 48%
Our actions are designed to bring forth happiness. The realization of this objective or the achieving of the end result may not bring absolute happiness. According to Aquinas, happiness is a result of perfection.
If we perfect what we are doing, then we are most likely to realize absolute happiness. However, all human beings lack perfection, and that’s why our human act may always have deficiency.
If all end results we cannot realize happiness which is a fruit of good, then the question is which is it that brings happiness? Aquinas says that the only thing that can give us compliment fulfillment and happiness is that which has perfection.
All the human acts and engagements lack perfection and hence we may not realize happiness in this perspective.
http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html 60%
http://www.positivedisintegration.com/positivepsychology.htm 60%
All the human acts and engagements lack perfection and hence we may not realize happiness in this perspective.
That which is perfectly good is that which can bring happiness and this is God.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 100%
http://www.catholictradition.org/Christ/happiness1.htm 67%
https://souldevice.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/the-end-of-man-happiness/ 78%
That which is perfectly good is that which can bring happiness and this is God.
Since God is perfectly good and has perfect goodness He is the one who can actually bring perfection in goodness.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 67%
http://www.unc.edu/~ujanel/CSLewis.htm 60%
http://www.str.org/articles/augustine-on-evil 60%
http://commonsenseatheism.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/McCloskey-God-and-Evil.pdf 73%
Since God is perfectly good and has perfect goodness He is the one who can actually bring perfection in goodness.
He is the one capable of fulfilling our heart desires and makes us realize perfection which we all seek to achieve.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 65%
He is the one capable of fulfilling our heart desires and makes us realize perfection which we all seek to achieve.
Human beings, therefore, achieve their last end and final good by loving and knowing God.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 93%
http://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/FS/FS005.html 64%
Human beings, therefore, achieve their last end and final good by loving and knowing God.
The state at which contains perfect happiness is what Aquinas calls beatific vision this is a supernatural union feeling of union with God which brings the enjoyment that surpasses the fulfillment and satisfaction brought about by those goods we tend to associate with final end.
http://www.msmary.edu/College_of_liberal_arts/department-of-theology/jmt/docs/JMT_3_1_VirtuesJan2014.pdf 48%
The state at which contains perfect happiness is what Aquinas calls beatific vision this is a supernatural union feeling of union with God which brings the enjoyment that surpasses the fulfillment and satisfaction brought about by those goods we tend to associate with final end.
In summing up our research objectives, we can affirm that, Aquinas believes that existing things are good and that lack does not result in pure evil. Everything created is good and human actions are good upon realizing the end. People achieve fulfillment when they achieve the pre-determined results in their action. This fulfillment brings about happiness. However, absolute happiness comes through perfection and its only God, who is perfect. Aquinas concludes that we should involve God in our actions if we are to realize complete happiness.
Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendation All things that exist are good, and there is no existing thing that can be all evil.
http://www.str.org/articles/augustine-on-evil 65%
Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendation All things that exist are good, and there is no existing thing that can be all evil.
All things were created by God and hence are good. Everything that God created is all good. Evil is a deprivation of whatever is good.
http://www.stnektariosmonastery.org/weeklymessagesarchive/We cannot blame God for the existence of evil (Parts 1 to 5).pdf 94%
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm 76%
http://www.ewtn.com/library/theology/trinity2.htm 82%
http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/OEBPS/14-chapter4.xhtml 88%
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/providence-divine/ 82%
All things were created by God and hence are good. Everything that God created is all good. Evil is a deprivation of whatever is good. Therefore, we cannot have pure evil since the presumption is that everything existing is good. If something is deprived of all its goodness,
than it seizes to be something and becomes nothing. Anything existing is therefore, regarded as good.
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Marcus_Aurelius 73%
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5827/5827-h/5827-h.htm 64%
than it seizes to be something and becomes nothing. Anything existing is therefore, regarded as good.
Human actions are intended to achieve a certain end which is good. The end is described as good as the desire of doing something is to achieve a pre-determined end.
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aq-moral/ 71%
http://www.uri.edu/students/szunjic/philos/human2.htm 65%
http://philosophy.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/quest6.html 65%
Human actions are intended to achieve a certain end which is good. The end is described as good as the desire of doing something is to achieve a pre-determined end.
The actions then lead to the end and the end result is good.
http://www.loyno.edu/~folse/Kant.html 75%
The actions then lead to the end and the end result is good.
Human actions are guided by the accord of humans. Anything done with the accord of human is expected to lead to a desired end which is good. Actualization in everything depends on the proper utilization of species’ powers to achieve the end results.
The species’ power in the human being is the power of reasoning. Everything that humans do is guided by the power of reasoning, a process of well-thought journey to achieve a certain end.
If the action is not guided by reasoning, then the end result may not be the desired result and hence not good.
http://www.academia.edu/1740967/Study_Questions_and_Answers_for_Aristotles_Nichomachean_Ethics 69%
http://www.uwplatt.edu/~drefcins/254AristotleNicEthics.html 75%
If the action is not guided by reasoning, then the end result may not be the desired result and hence not good.
Human beings are assumed to be rational. Rational beings indulge the process of reasoning in arriving at a certain result.
http://www.academia.edu/1740967/Study_Questions_and_Answers_for_Aristotles_Nichomachean_Ethics 50%
Human beings are assumed to be rational. Rational beings indulge the process of reasoning in arriving at a certain result.
Human acts can, therefore, be described as acts that are preceded by the power of reasoning. The end result is good, and hence the focus of every action is on the end result. For the end results to be fulfilling then, it must bring happiness. Actualization of our actions to bring end results should precede happiness. But according to Aquinas, happiness comes as a result of perfection. It is hard to merely achieve absolute happiness by realizing the end. Human beings and anything else does not possess perfection. Only God has perfection, and thus we should always indulge God in our dealings if we are to realize absolute happiness.
Theological study of good and evil is extensive, and several Christian writers have made contributions to this study. Our research has concentrated on the view of Aquinas although it has made some reference to other writers like Augustine and philosopher like Aristotle. The information contained herein has not looked into the wide perspective of the issue from different scholars and believers. The conclusion made, therefore, may contain some deficiency in the general understanding of the issue in question. This research recommends further studies to be undertaken to get perspective of other writers.

Author: Barry Holmes