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Aquinas On War

Decent Essays
a. In the text “Aquinas on Law, Morality, and Politics (Aquinas, 164)”, Aquinas discusses the topic of war and killing. A question is asked that states “Is it always sinful to wage war?” and this question is met with 3 objection statements. The object statements say that it is sinful to declare war because those who live for war activities will die by participating in war activities and because of that they will be punished. Three other reasons as to why it is sinful to declare war is because war goes against the divine precept, it goes against the concept of peace, and war-like activities are not allowed in the church. Aquinas counters these objects by stating that there are 3 different kinds of criteria that are needed in order for a war…show more content…
He believed that serious crimes, such as capital punishment and self-defense, were inexcusable and there were no circumstances in which they were justified. Aquinas talks about the just war theory in another aspect by saying that “Evil must not be done for the sake of good.” He talks about evil in the sense of the option to damage, impede or destroy a human good. Every choice that you make must rational feelings behind it. When part of a person’s reality is damaged, impeded, or destroyed, it gives itself a reason not to make a particular choice based on a person’s personal fulfillment. The reasoning behind a person’s choice could be put to the side, and the choice could be made if the person would, beforehand, explain the reason they decided to choose that action and this would mean that in choosing this action, some greater good would come out of this choice or that the basic human good would not be damaged, impeded, or destroyed. Finnis says, however, that it is impossible for the human goods to be proportionate to each other (Finnis…show more content…
Fully explain Finnis’ position on moral absolutes. Show how he thinks this is consistent with Thomistic and Christian tradition.

a. Finnis believed in the concept of moral absolutes and this concept basically means that there are things that are intrinsically evil. Human beings have the option to elect actions that may be intrinsically evil, however, we cannot choose those actions, even if they have good consequences. Finnis’ believes that we can see the topic of moral absolutes in free will, which is a part of Thomistic tradition. Finnis discusses this in his book in Chapter 3, which talks about free will (Finnis, 58).

b. He believes that everyone has the option to make a decision about something. He says that free will is the ability in human beings to act otherwise and there is a connection between being able to act otherwise and the notion that some acts are never ok to do. Moral absolutes can also be found in Christian tradition with St. Augustine. St. Augustine discussed the topic of lying and lying, as most people know, is considered to be intrinsically evil. However, he believes that there are some instances in which lying is necessary because, sometimes, it brings about good
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