St. Thomas Aquinas is another great theologian of the Catholic Church who believed in Just War Theory. St. Aquinas explained three conditions under which war could be justified. First, there must be a Sovereign authority under which war is waged, and a private individual has no capacity to wage war. Aquinas argues that, those in authority are responsible for the general good of the city, kingdom or province under them, and they are allowed by law to use the sword to defend that good from internal disturbance from evildoers. In the same way, Aquinas argues that it is the responsibility of the authority to use the sword to defend the common good from external foes. Therefore, it is Aquina’s stand that those not in positions of power cannot declare war. This is because the defense of the public is the responsibility of the legal authority
Thomas Aquinas was an Italian philosopher who lived during the time of 1225-1274 AD. Aquinas was most known for his studies in faith and reason. Aquinas’ ethics relies on the idea that there is a God and that God is a perfect and loving being who is cares for his creation. But, Aquinas does not believe that God has a set of commands that distinguishes right from wrong for each individual to follow. A way to explain these rules is by the Divine Command Theory. To further explain, these rules are better defined as the moral status of an action determined by the will or commands of God. It seems that God created the distinction of right from wrong in order to aid human beings to act in a way that is morally correct according to his commands so that they could achieve perfect happiness. Aquinas’ tells us that perfect happiness is a perfect relationship with God. The Divine Command Theory is completely independent of whether or not anyone believes it and is applicable to anyone at any time. God has also wired all human beings in a certain way in which we have the ability to perform virtues in order to fulfill functions and acting in ways that are against virtues and functions would not be beneficial to the human as that is not how God has created us and commanded us to act. By understanding Thomas Aquinas’ ethical views, we are able to better understand the idea of the Divine Command Theory and why these two ideas go well together in discussing ethical decisions.
God and the problem of evil is treated by most philosophers as a paradox to be resolved by creating a theodicy. A theodicy is an attempt to explain or answer the question of how God could allow bad things to happen. So, is there an adequate theodicy? B.C. Johnson argues there is no adequate theodicy, and therefore that there is no perfectly moral God. However, Augustine argues that there is an adequate theodicy, and therefore human are incapable of choosing good without the assistance of God's divine grace. Both natural and moral evils are ultimately the result of the actions of free rational beings who sin. Augustine's theodicy attempts to protect God from responsibility for the existence of evil. The dialogue addresses these and related questions.
St. Augustine’s On Free Choice of the Will elaborates on the relationship between God, free will, and evil. During the very beginning of Book One, he asks the question, “isn’t God the cause of evil” (Cahn 357). From this question, it can be ascertained that he searches for a connection between God and evil (sins), which inferred in the writing to be connected though free will. He believes that God does not create evil, but rather that evil is simply the lack of good, since God is completely good and, therefore, cannot create evil. God not being the source of evil is then further elaborated through his explanation of a crime and how it is caused by inordinate desires and human abuse of good things (Cahn 360). By explaining
This paper examines St. Augustine’s view on evil. St. Augustine believed that God made a perfect world, but that God's creatures turned away from God of their own free will and that is how evil originated in the world. Augustine assumes that evil cannot be properly said to exist at all, he argues that the evil, together with that suffering which is created as punishment for sin, originates in the free nature of the will of all creatures. According to Augustine, God has allowed evil to exist in the world because it does not conflict with his righteousness. He did not create evil but is also not a victim of it. He simply allows it to exist.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that “freedom makes man a moral subject. When he acts deliberately, man is, so to speak, the father of his acts. Human acts, that is, acts that are freely chosen in consequence of a judgment of conscience, can be morally evaluated. They are either good or evil.” Likewise, the catechism states that “the morality of human acts depends on” three elements, which are “the object chosen, the end in view or the intention, and the circumstances of the action.” What it means is that classical theology affirms that to judge the goodness or evilness of an action, the three elements should be taken into account together because only with the unity of the three, essentially the object and the intention, the
In this essay I will be discussing how St. Augustine ultimately solves the problem of evil, in a way that at times does go hand in hand with his religious views, however, at times contradicts what he is saying. In “ Confessions” Augustine who although does not in any way question the existence of God questions why God, someone who is all powerful, and all good still allowing people to suffer the way in which they are.
St. Augustine provided comments on morality of war from the Christian point of view (railing against the love of violence that war can engender) as did several critics in the intellectual flourishing from the 9th to 12th centuries. Just war theorists remind warriors and politicians alike that the principles of justice following war should be universalizable and morally ordered and that winning should not provide a license for imposing unduly harsh or punitive measures or that state or commercial interests should not dictate the form of new peace. “The attraction for jus post bellum thinkers is to return to the initial justice of the war”. This means that war is considered as self-defense.
The first reason being, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged(Article 1). It is important to note that the sovereign is the leader or overseer of a certain project. Aquinas believes that the people themeselves can not wage a private war on a country, but if the sovereign say its okay, then they are allowed to wage a war. The second reason that Aquinas gave is that, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault(Article 1). Here, Aquinas attempts to explain that war is just as long as you have a cause to attack someone,and that they did something wrong to you or others around you. It’s the famous line “and eye for an eye.” An example of this reason would be, if someone were to get hit , it would be okay for them to go back and hit the person back. Although this may be bad like in school accoriding to Aquinas it is completely legal to attack someone if they attacked you. The third reason he gives is that, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil(Article 1). Intending to demosntrate that it is okay to wage war, Aquinas says that it is always okay to wage war as long as the person you have rightful intentions.
After reading Article 1, Aquinas for Armchair Theologians by Timothy M. Renick most can automatically acquire that Thomas Aquinas was a very influential thinker amongst others when explaining his theological views. His religious views may have differed from others during his time, however, it did influence and encourage others on the different topics of God vs. Satan, and why God has not all the answers, and powers when making sure every human being should not face evil. Aquinas believed that Christians needed to view their basic beliefs in another way to make sense of their own faith when questioning all that God did for each individual. The real question to all this, which a lot of people even question today is “Why is their evil in the World?”
Thomas Aquinas. The three conditions for waging a justified war is that war must be waged by authority. Aquinas says that, “It is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress.” (Aquinas 484) This means that a country or individual in power must declare war because if anyone were to declare war it could be out of vanity and revenge. It would be for personal gain. Next, a war is justified by a just cause. This means that a war must have a substantial reason for it such as moral conflict or mistreatment of citizens. This is supported by quote,“When a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects.”(Aquinas 485) Lastly, a war is justified only when the outcome will benefit the people, or it is for good intentions. “Wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good.”(Aquinas 485)
When is it justifiable to engage in war? This question has plagued humanity for centuries and continues to do so. The theory of just war addresses three important questions when considering and dealing with war. These components are when is it justifiable to go to war, the right ways to conduct proceedings during war, and the justification of terminating war. The first part of the theory, originally written in Latin as jus ad bellum, is an important idea within Pope Urban II’s, “Speech at Clermont.” In the 11th century Pope Urban II gave this speech as a call for crusade with the hope of freeing Jerusalem from Muslim control. They eventually succeeded in this mission and took the city of Jerusalem. The “Speech at Clermont,” is now an important source for understanding the justifications of going to war within the medieval just war theory. Throughout the speech Pope Urban II justified the crusade by claiming it was the responsibility of the Christian people to regain the Holy Land, to protect their fellow Christians in the East, and their duty to stop the “disgraceful” and “demon worshipping” Muslim people.
It is said that “All who take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Aquinas 484). Does that then mean that all wars should be condemned along with all who participate in them? St. Thomas Aquinas’s just war theory argues that there are certain instances when a state should take up arms against another that threatens the peace and the safety of any group of people; however, not all acts of war can be justified. But, in 2013, when North Korea threatened to use nuclear equipped weapons against the United States, the US had to defend the safety and security of its people, even if it meant conflict with North Korea. Yet, the theory states that the battles and wars waged must not be of malicious intent, such as to humiliate, revenge, or simply
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states the terms that make war permissible. There must be an aggressor who is threatening grave and certain, there must be no way to avoid the enemies punishment, there must be a serious prospect of success, and you can not inflict more evil on your enemy than they were planning on doing to you. These rules follow what