Muhammad Ali Once Said, “Friendship Is The Hardest Thing

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Muhammad Ali once said, “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It 's not something you learn in school. But if you haven 't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven 't learned anything.” This is exactly what Thomas Aquinas aims to define through his philosophy. He establishes that although it may be the hardest thing in the world to explain, it is crucial for us to be able to explain what it means to have friendship. Through his ideas illustrated within Question 23 and Question 27, Thomas Aquinas would define the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus from Homer’s The Iliad as a charitable and virtuous friendship based off of the actions and intentions. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican Priest in the 13th …show more content…

In this context, charity is much more. It does not fit within our narrow definition, but rather charity is the ultimate source of what it means to be real and is the ultimate goal of human life. Because Aquinas was a theologian and a man of strong faith, he believed that all relationships were closely related to our view of love for God. Aquinas states that “charity is the friendship of man for God” (Aquinas Question 23, Article 1). Since he believed that to truly love God means to truly love our neighbor because our neighbor is the immediate image of God, Aquinas also believed that friendship is only charitable if “we love someone as to wish good to him” (Article 1). For if “we do not wish good to what we love, but wish its good for ourselves, it is love not of friendship, but of a kind of concupiscence” (Article 1). According to Aquinas’ logic, just as all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, similarly all true charity is friendship, but not all friendship is charity. Charity is something much larger than us and something which we must continually strive to acquire. Because of this, we strive for charitable, friendly love to become a virtue. It is human nature for us to practice anything we want to get better at—especially if we have a goal to reach. Since charitable friendship is the ultimate goal, we must make a habit out of loving. As we discussed in class, the only way to get better at something is to

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