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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • SECOND PART
    • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 1/4 - SECOND PART OF THE SECOND PART (SS) (QQ[1]-189)
      • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] Out. Para. 1/2 - VICES OPPOSED TO LIBERALITY (QQ[118]-122)
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Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] Out. Para. 1/2 - VICES OPPOSED TO LIBERALITY (QQ[118]-122)


OF THE VICES OPPOSED TO LIBERALITY, AND IN THE FIRST PLACE, OF
COVETOUSNESS (EIGHT ARTICLES)

We must now consider the vices opposed to liberality: and (1)
covetousness; (2) prodigality.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] Out. Para. 2/2

Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether covetousness is a sin?

(2) Whether it is a special sin?

(3) To which virtue it is opposed;

(4) Whether it is a mortal sin?

(5) Whether it is the most grievous of sins?

(6) Whether it is a sin of the flesh or a spiritual sin?

(7) Whether it is a capital vice?

(8) Of its daughters.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether covetousness is a sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that covetousness is not aa sin. For covetousness
[avaritia] denotes a certain greed for gold [aeris aviditas*], because,
to wit, it consists in a desire for money, under which all external goods
may be comprised. [*The Latin for covetousness "avaritia" is derived from
"aveo" to desire; but the Greek {philargyria} signifies literally "love
of money": and it is to this that St. Thomas is alluding (cf. A[2],
OBJ[2])]. Now it is not a sin to desire external goods: since man desires
them naturally, both because they are naturally subject to man, and
because by their means man's life is sustained (for which reason they are
spoken of as his substance). Therefore covetousness is not a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, every sin is against either God, or one's neighbor, or
oneself, as stated above (FS, Q[72], A[4]). But covetousness is not,
properly speaking, a sin against God: since it is opposed neither to
religion nor to the theological virtues, by which man is directed to God.
Nor again is it a sin against oneself, for this pertains properly to
gluttony and lust, of which the Apostle says (1 Cor. 6:18): "He that
committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." In like manner
neither is it apparently a sin against one's neighbor, since a man harms
no one by keeping what is his own. Therefore covetousness is not a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, things that occur naturally are not sins. Now
covetousness comes naturally to old age and every kind of defect,
according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 1). Therefore covetousness is
not a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (Heb. 13:5): "Let your manners be without
covetousness, contented with such things as you have."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, In whatever things good consists in a due measure, evil
must of necessity ensue through excess or deficiency of that measure. Now
in all things that are for an end, the good consists in a certain
measure: since whatever is directed to an end must needs be commensurate
with the end, as, for instance, medicine is commensurate with health, as
the Philosopher observes (Polit. i, 6). External goods come under the
head of things useful for an end, as stated above (Q[117], A[3]; FS, Q[2]
, A[1]). Hence it must needs be that man's good in their respect consists
in a certain measure, in other words, that man seeks, according to a
certain measure, to have external riches, in so far as they are necessary
for him to live in keeping with his condition of life. Wherefore it will
be a sin for him to exceed this measure, by wishing to acquire or keep
them immoderately. This is what is meant by covetousness, which is
defined as "immoderate love of possessing." It is therefore evident that
covetousness is a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: It is natural to man to desire external things as means to
an end: wherefore this desire is devoid of sin, in so far as it is held
in check by the rule taken from the nature of the end. But covetousness
exceeds this rule, and therefore is a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 2: Covetousness may signify immoderation about external things
in two ways. First, so as to regard immediately the acquisition and
keeping of such things, when, to wit, a man acquires or keeps them more
than is due. In this way it is a sin directly against one's neighbor,
since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man
lacking them, for temporal goods cannot be possessed by many at the same
time. Secondly, it may signify immoderation in the internal affection
which a man has for riches when, for instance, a man loves them, desires
them, or delights in them, immoderately. In this way by covetousness a
man sins against himself, because it causes disorder in his affections,
though not in his body as do the sins of the flesh.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 2/2

As a consequence, however, it is a sin against God, just as all mortal
sins, inasmuch as man contemns things eternal for the sake of temporal
things.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Natural inclinations should be regulated according to
reason, which is the governing power in human nature. Hence though old
people seek more greedily the aid of external things, just as everyone
that is in need seeks to have his need supplied, they are not excused
from sin if they exceed this due measure of reason with regard to riches.

(tm)Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether covetousness is a special sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that covetousness is not a special sin. For Augustine
says (De Lib. Arb. iii): "Covetousness, which in Greek is called
{philargyria}, applies not only to silver or money, but also to anything
that is desired immoderately." Now in every sin there is immoderate
desire of something, because sin consists in turning away from the
immutable good, and adhering to mutable goods, as state above (FS, Q[71],
A[6], OBJ[3]). Therefore covetousness is a general sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, according to Isidore (Etym. x), "the covetous [avarus]
man" is so called because he is "greedy for brass [avidus aeris]," i.e.
money: wherefore in Greek covetousness is called {philargyria}, i.e.
"love of silver." Now silver, which stands for money, signifies all
external goods the value of which can be measured by money, as stated
above (Q[117], A[2], ad 2). Therefore covetousness is a desire for any
external thing: and consequently seems to be a general sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a gloss on Rm. 7:7, "For I had not known concupiscence,"
says: "The law is good, since by forbidding concupiscence, it forbids all
evil." Now the law seems to forbid especially the concupiscence of
covetousness: hence it is written (Ex. 20:17): "Thou shalt not covet thy
neighbor's goods." Therefore the concupiscence of covetousness is all
evil, and so covetousness is a general sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Covetousness is numbered together with other special
sins (Rm. 1:29), where it is written: "Being filled with all iniquity,
malice, fornication, covetousness" [Douay: 'avarice'], etc.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Sins take their species from their objects, as stated
above (FS, Q[72], A[1]). Now the object of a sin is the good towards
which an inordinate appetite tends. Hence where there is a special aspect
of good inordinately desired, there is a special kind of sin. Now the
useful good differs in aspect from the delightful good. And riches, as
such, come under the head of useful good, since they are desired under
the aspect of being useful to man. Consequently covetousness is a special
sin, forasmuch as it is an immoderate love of having possessions, which
are comprised under the name of money, whence covetousness [avaritia] is
denominated.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

Since, however, the verb "to have," which seems to have been originally
employed in connection with possessions whereof we are absolute masters,
is applied to many other things (thus a man is said to have health, a
wife, clothes, and so forth, as stated in De Praedicamentis),
consequently the term "covetousness" has been amplified to denote all
immoderate desire for having anything whatever. Thus Gregory says in a
homily (xvi in Ev.) that "covetousness is a desire not only for money,
but also for knowledge and high places, when prominence is immoderately
sought after." In this way covetousness is not a special sin: and in
this sense Augustine speaks of covetousness in the passage quoted in the
First Objection. Wherefore this suffices for the Reply to the First
Objection.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: All those external things that are subject to the uses of
human life are comprised under the term "money," inasmuch as they have
the aspect of useful good. But there are certain external goods that can
be obtained by money, such as pleasures, honors, and so forth, which are
desirable under another aspect. Wherefore the desire for such things is
not properly called covetousness, in so far as it is a special vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: This gloss speaks of the inordinate concupiscence for
anything whatever. For it is easy to understand that if it is forbidden
to covet another's possessions it is also forbidden to covet those things
that can be obtained by means of those possessions.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether covetousness is opposed to liberality?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that covetousness is not opposed to liberality. For
Chrysostom, commenting on Mt. 5:6, "Blessed are they that hunger and
thirst after justice," says, (Hom. xv in Matth.) that there are two kinds
of justice, one general, and the other special, to which covetousness is
opposed: and the Philosopher says the same (Ethic. v, 2). Therefore
covetousness is not opposed to liberality.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the sin of covetousness consists in a man's exceeding
the measure in the things he possesses. But this measure is appointed by
justice. Therefore covetousness is directly opposed to justice and not to
liberality.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, liberality is a virtue that observes the mean between
two contrary vices, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. i, 7; iv, 1). But
covetousness has no contrary and opposite sin, according to the
Philosopher (Ethic. v, 1,2). Therefore covetousness is not opposed to
liberality.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (Eccles. 5:9): "A covetous man shall not
be satisfied with money, and he that loveth riches shall have no fruits
from them." Now not to be satisfied with money and to love it
inordinately are opposed to liberality, which observes the mean in the
desire of riches. Therefore covetousness is opposed to liberality.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Covetousness denotes immoderation with regard to riches
in two ways. First, immediately in respect of the acquisition and keeping
of riches. In this way a man obtains money beyond his due, by stealing or
retaining another's property. This is opposed to justice, and in this
sense covetousness is mentioned (Ezech. 22:27): "Her princes in the midst
of her are like wolves ravening the prey to shed blood . . . and to run
after gains through covetousness." Secondly, it denotes immoderation in
the interior affections for riches; for instance, when a man loves or
desires riches too much, or takes too much pleasure in them, even if he
be unwilling to steal. In this way covetousness is opposed to liberality,
which moderates these affections, as stated above (Q[117], A[2], ad 3,
A[3], ad 3, A[6]). In this sense covetousness is spoken of (2 Cor. 9:5):
"That they would . . . prepare this blessing before promised, to be
ready, so as a blessing, not as covetousness," where a gloss observes:
"Lest they should regret what they had given, and give but little."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Chrysostom and the Philosopher are speaking of covetousness
in the first sense: covetousness in the second sense is called
illiberality [*{aneleutheria}] by the Philosopher.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: It belongs properly to justice to appoint the measure in
the acquisition and keeping of riches from the point of view of legal
due, so that a man should neither take nor retain another's property. But
liberality appoints the measure of reason, principally in the interior
affections, and consequently in the exterior taking and keeping of money,
and in the spending of the same, in so far as these proceed from the
interior affection, looking at the matter from the point of view not of
the legal but of the moral debt, which latter depends on the rule of
reason.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Covetousness as opposed to justice has no opposite vice:
since it consists in having more than one ought according to justice, the
contrary of which is to have less than one ought, and this is not a sin
but a punishment. But covetousness as opposed to liberality has the vice
of prodigality opposed to it.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether covetousness is always a mortal sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that covetousness is always a mortal sin. For no one is
worthy of death save for a mortal sin. But men are worthy of death on account of covetousness. For the Apostle after saying (Rm. 1:29): "Being
filled with all iniquity . . . fornication, covetousness [Douay:
'avarice']," etc. adds (Rm. 1:32): "They who do such things are worthy of
death." Therefore covetousness is a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/2

OBJ 2: Further, the least degree of covetousness is to hold to one's own
inordinately. But this seemingly is a mortal sin: for Basil says (Serm.
super. Luc. xii, 18): "It is the hungry man's bread that thou keepest
back, the naked man's cloak that thou hoardest, the needy man's money
that thou possessest, hence thou despoilest as many as thou mightest
succor."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 2/2

Now it is a mortal sin to do an injustice to another, since it is
contrary to the love of our neighbor. Much more therefore is all
covetousness a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, no one is struck with spiritual blindness save through a
mortal sin, for this deprives a man of the light of grace. But, according
to Chrysostom [*Hom. xv in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St.
Chrysostom], "Lust for money brings darkness on the soul." Therefore
covetousness, which is lust for money, is a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, A gloss on 1 Cor. 3:12, "If any man build upon this
foundation," says (cf. St. Augustine, De Fide et Oper. xvi) that "he
builds wood, hay, stubble, who thinks in the things of the world, how he
may please the world," which pertains to the sin of covetousness. Now he
that builds wood, hay, stubble, sins not mortally but venially, for it is
said of him that "he shall be saved, yet so as by fire." Therefore
covetousness is some times a venial sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (A[3]) covetousness is twofold. In one
way it is opposed to justice, and thus it is a mortal sin in respect of
its genus. For in this sense covetousness consists in the unjust taking
or retaining of another's property, and this belongs to theft or robbery,
which are mortal sins, as stated above (Q[66], AA[6],8). Yet venial sin
may occur in this kind of covetousness by reason of imperfection of the
act, as stated above (Q[66], A[6], ad 3), when we were treating of theft.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

In another way covetousness may be take as opposed to liberality: in
which sense it denotes inordinate love of riches. Accordingly if the love
of riches becomes so great as to be preferred to charity, in such wise
that a man, through love of riches, fear not to act counter to the love
of God and his neighbor, covetousness will then be a mortal sin. If, on
the other hand, the inordinate nature of his love stops short of this, so
that although he love riches too much, yet he does not prefer the love of
them to the love of God, and is unwilling for the sake of riches to do
anything in opposition to God or his neighbor, then covetousness is a
venial sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Covetousness is numbered together with mortal sins, by
reason of the aspect under which it is a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Basil is speaking of a case wherein a man is bound by a
legal debt to give of his goods to the poor, either through fear of their
want or on account of his having too much.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Lust for riches, properly speaking, brings darkness on the
soul, when it puts out the light of charity, by preferring the love of
riches to the love of God.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether covetousness is the greatest of sins?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that covetousness is the greatest of sins. For it is
written (Ecclus. 10:9): "Nothing is more wicked than a covetous man," and
the text continues: "There is not a more wicked thing than to love
money: for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale." Tully also says
(De Offic. i, under the heading, 'True magnanimity is based chiefly on
two things'): "Nothing is so narrow or little minded as to love money."
But this pertains to covetousness. Therefore covetousness is the most
grievous of sins.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the more a sin is opposed to charity, the more grievous
it is. Now covetousness is most opposed to charity: for Augustine says
(QQ[83], qu. 36) that "greed is the bane of charity." Therefore
covetousness is the greatest of sins.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the gravity of a sin is indicated by its being
incurable: wherefore the sin against the Holy Ghost is said to be most
grievous, because it is irremissible. But covetousness is an incurable
sin: hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 1) that "old age and
helplessness of any kind make men illiberal." Therefore covetousness is
the most grievous of sins.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, the Apostle says (Eph. 5:5) that covetousness is "a
serving of idols." Now idolatry is reckoned among the most grievous sins.
Therefore covetousness is also.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Adultery is a more grievous sin than theft, according
to Prov. 6:30. But theft pertains to covetousness. Therefore covetousness
is not the most grievous of sins.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Every sin, from the very fact that it is an evil,
consists in the corruption or privation of some good: while, in so far as
it is voluntary, it consists in the desire of some good. Consequently the
order of sins may be considered in two ways. First, on the part of the
good that is despised or corrupted by sin, and then the greater the good
the graver the sin. From this point of view a sin that is against God is
most grievous; after this comes a sin that is committed against a man's
person, and after this comes a sin against external things, which are
deputed to man's use, and this seems to belong to covetousness. Secondly,
the degrees of sin may be considered on the part of the good to which the
human appetite is inordinately subjected; and then the lesser the good,
the more deformed is the sin: for it is more shameful to be subject to a
lower than to a higher good. Now the good of external things is the
lowest of human goods: since it is less than the good of the body, and
this is less than the good of the soul, which is less than the Divine
good. From this point of view the sin of covetousness, whereby the human
appetite is subjected even to external things, has in a way a greater
deformity. Since, however, corruption or privation of good is the formal
element in sin, while conversion to a mutable good is the material
element, the gravity of the sin is to be judged from the point of view of
the good corrupted, rather than from that of the good to which the
appetite is subjected. Hence we must assert that covetousness is not
simply the most grievous of sins.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: These authorities speak of covetousness on the part of the
good to which the appetite is subjected. Hence (Ecclus. 10:10) it is
given as a reason that the covetous man "setteth his own soul to sale";
because, to wit, he exposes his soul - that is, his life - to danger for
the sake of money. Hence the text continues: "Because while he liveth he
hath cast away" - that is, despised - "his bowels," in order to make
money. Tully also adds that it is the mark of a "narrow mind," namely,
that one be willing to be subject to money.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Augustine is taking greed generally, in reference to any
temporal good, not in its special acceptation for covetousness: because
greed for any temporal good is the bane of charity, inasmuch as a man
turns away from the Divine good through cleaving to a temporal good.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The sin against the Holy Ghost is incurable in one way,
covetousness in another. For the sin against the Holy Ghost is incurable
by reason of contempt: for instance, because a man contemns God's mercy,
or His justice, or some one of those things whereby man's sins are
healed: wherefore incurability of this kind points to the greater gravity
of the sin. on the other hand, covetousness is incurable on the part of a
human defect; a thing which human nature ever seeks to remedy, since the
more deficient one is the more one seeks relief from external things, and
consequently the more one gives way to covetousness. Hence incurability
of this kind is an indication not of the sin being more grievous, but of
its being somewhat more dangerous.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[5] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Covetousness is compared to idolatry on account of a
certain likeness that it bears to it: because the covetous man, like the
idolater, subjects himself to an external creature, though not in the
same way. For the idolater subjects himself to an external creature by
paying it Divine honor, whereas the covetous man subjects himself to an
external creature by desiring it immoderately for use, not for worship.
Hence it does not follow that covetousness is as grievous a sin as
idolatry.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether covetousness is a spiritual sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that covetousness is not a spiritual sin. For spiritual
sins seem to regard spiritual goods. But the matter of covetousness is
bodily goods, namely, external riches. Therefore covetousness is not a
spiritual sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, spiritual sin is condivided with sin of the flesh. Now
covetousness is seemingly a sin of the flesh, for it results from the
corruption of the flesh, as instanced in old people who, through
corruption of carnal nature, fall into covetousness. Therefore
covetousness is not a spiritual sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a sin of the flesh is one by which man's body is
disordered, according to the saying of the Apostle (1 Cor. 6:18), "He
that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." Now
covetousness disturbs man even in his body; wherefore Chrysostom (Hom.
xxix in Matth.) compares the covetous man to the man who was possessed by
the devil (Mk. 5) and was troubled in body. Therefore covetousness seems
not to be a spiritual sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. xxxi) numbers covetousness among
spiritual vices.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Sins are seated chiefly in the affections: and all the
affections or passions of the soul have their term in pleasure and
sorrow, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 5). Now some pleasures
are carnal and some spiritual. Carnal pleasures are those which are
consummated in the carnal senses - for instance, the pleasures of the
table and sexual pleasures: while spiritual pleasures are those which are
consummated in the mere apprehension of the soul. Accordingly, sins of
the flesh are those which are consummated in carnal pleasures, while
spiritual sins are consummated in pleasures of the spirit without
pleasure of the flesh. Such is covetousness: for the covetous man takes
pleasure in the consideration of himself as a possessor of riches.
Therefore covetousness is a spiritual sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Covetousness with regard to a bodily object seeks the
pleasure, not of the body but only of the soul, forasmuch as a man takes
pleasure in the fact that he possesses riches: wherefore it is not a sin
of the flesh. Nevertheless by reason of its object it is a mean between
purely spiritual sins, which seek spiritual pleasure in respect of
spiritual objects (thus pride is about excellence), and purely carnal
sins, which seek a purely bodily pleasure in respect of a bodily object.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Movement takes its species from the term "whereto" and not
from the term "wherefrom." Hence a vice of the flesh is so called from
its tending to a pleasure of the flesh, and not from its originating in
some defect of the flesh.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Chrysostom compares a covetous man to the man who was
possessed by the devil, not that the former is troubled in the flesh in
the same way as the latter, but by way of contrast, since while the
possessed man, of whom we read in Mk. 5, stripped himself, the covetous
man loads himself with an excess of riches.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether covetousness is a capital vice?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1
OBJ 1: It seems that covetousness is not a capital vice. For
covetousness is opposed to liberality as the mean, and to prodigality as
extreme. But neither is liberality a principal virtue, nor prodigality a
capital vice. Therefore covetousness also should not be reckoned a
capital vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, as stated above (FS, Q[84], AA[3],4), those vices are
called capital which have principal ends, to which the ends of other
vices are directed. But this does not apply to covetousness: since riches
have the aspect, not of an end, but rather of something directed to an
end, as stated in Ethic. i, 5. Therefore covetousness is not a capital
vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Gregory says (Moral. xv), that "covetousness arises
sometimes from pride, sometimes from fear. For there are those who, when
they think that they lack the needful for their expenses, allow the mind
to give way to covetousness. And there are others who, wishing to be
thought more of, are incited to greed for other people's property."
Therefore covetousness arises from other vices instead of being a capital
vice in respect of other vices.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. xxxi) reckons covetousness among the
capital vices.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated in the Second Objection, a capital vice is one
which under the aspect of end gives rise to other vices: because when an
end is very desirable, the result is that through desire thereof man sets
about doing many things either good or evil. Now the most desirable end
is happiness or felicity, which is the last end of human life, as stated
above (FS, Q[1], AA[4],7,8): wherefore the more a thing is furnished with
the conditions of happiness, the more desirable it is. Also one of the
conditions of happiness is that it be self-sufficing, else it would not
set man's appetite at rest, as the last end does. Now riches give great
promise of self-sufficiency, as Boethius says (De Consol. iii): the
reason of which, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 5), is that we
"use money in token of taking possession of something," and again it is
written (Eccles. 10:19): "All things obey money." Therefore covetousness,
which is desire for money, is a capital vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: Virtue is perfected in accordance with reason, but vice is
perfected in accordance with the inclination of the sensitive appetite.
Now reason and sensitive appetite do not belong chiefly to the same
genus, and consequently it does not follow that principal vice is opposed
to principal virtue. Wherefore, although liberality is not a principal
virtue, since it does not regard the principal good of the reason, yet
covetousness is a principal vice, because it regards money, which
occupies a principal place among sensible goods, for the reason given in
the Article.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

On the other hand, prodigality is not directed to an end that is
desirable principally, indeed it seems rather to result from a lack of
reason. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 1) that "a prodigal man is
a fool rather than a knave."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: It is true that money is directed to something else as its
end: yet in so far as it is useful for obtaining all sensible things, it
contains, in a way, all things virtually. Hence it has a certain likeness
to happiness, as stated in the Article.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Nothing prevents a capital vice from arising sometimes out
of other vices, as stated above (Q[36], A[4], ad 1; FS, Q[84], A[4]),
provided that itself be frequently the source of others.

(tm)Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether treachery, fraud, falsehood, perjury, restlessness, violence, and
insensibility to mercy are daughters of covetousness?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the daughters of covetousness are not as commonly
stated, namely, "treachery, fraud, falsehood, perjury, restlessness,
violence, and insensibility to mercy." For covetousness is opposed to
liberality, as stated above (A[3]). Now treachery, fraud, and falsehood
are opposed to prudence, perjury to religion, restlessness to hope, or to
charity which rests in the beloved object, violence to justice,
insensibility to mercy. Therefore these vices have no connection with
covetousness.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, treachery, fraud and falsehood seem to pertain to the
same thing, namely, the deceiving of one's neighbor. Therefore they
should not be reckoned as different daughters of covetousness.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Isidore (Comment. in Deut.) enumerates nine daughters of
covetousness; which are "lying, fraud, theft, perjury, greed of filthy
lucre, false witnessing, violence, inhumanity, rapacity." Therefore the
former reckoning of daughters is insufficient.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 1) mentions many kinds of
vices as belonging to covetousness which he calls illiberality, for he
speaks of those who are "sparing, tight-fisted, skinflints
[*{kyminopristes}], misers [*{kimbikes}], who do illiberal deeds," and of
those who "batten on whoredom, usurers, gamblers, despoilers of the dead,
and robbers." Therefore it seems that the aforesaid enumeration is
insufficient.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, tyrants use much violence against their subjects. But
the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 1) that "tyrants who destroy cities and
despoil sacred places are not to be called illiberal," i.e. covetous.
Therefore violence should not be reckoned a daughter of covetousness.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. xxxi) assigns to covetousness the
daughters mentioned above.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The daughters of covetousness are the vices which arise
therefrom, especially in respect of the desire of an end. Now since
covetousness is excessive love of possessing riches, it exceeds in two
things. For in the first place it exceeds in retaining, and in this
respect covetousness gives rise to "insensibility to mercy," because, to
wit, a man's heart is not softened by mercy to assist the needy with his
riches [*See Q[30], A[1]]. In the second place it belongs to covetousness
to exceed in receiving, and in this respect covetousness may be
considered in two ways. First as in the thought [affectu]. In this way it
gives rise to "restlessness," by hindering man with excessive anxiety and
care, for "a covetous man shall not be satisfied with money" (Eccles.
5:9). Secondly, it may be considered in the execution [effectu]. In this
way the covetous man, in acquiring other people's goods, sometimes
employs force, which pertains to "violence," sometimes deceit, and then
if he has recourse to words, it is "falsehood," if it be mere words,
"perjury" if he confirm his statement by oath; if he has recourse to
deeds, and the deceit affects things, we have "fraud"; if persons, then
we have "treachery," as in the case of Judas, who betrayed Christ through
covetousness.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: There is no need for the daughters of a capital sin to
belong to that same kind of vice: because a sin of one kind allows of
sins even of a different kind being directed to its end; seeing that it
is one thing for a sin to have daughters, and another for it to have
species.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: These three are distinguished as stated in the Article.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: These nine are reducible to the seven aforesaid. For lying
and false witnessing are comprised under falsehood, since false
witnessing is a special kind of lie, just as theft is a special kind of
fraud, wherefore it is comprised under fraud; and greed of filthy lucre
belongs to restlessness; rapacity is comprised under violence, since it
is a species thereof; and inhumanity is the same as insensibility to
mercy.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The vices mentioned by Aristotle are species rather than
daughters of illiberality or covetousness. For a man may be said to be
illiberal or covetous through a defect in giving. If he gives but little
he is said to be "sparing"; if nothing, he is "tightfisted": if he gives
with great reluctance, he is said to be {kyminopristes} [skinflint], a
cumin-seller, as it were, because he makes a great fuss about things of
little value. Sometimes a man is said to be illiberal or covetous,
through an excess in receiving, and this in two ways. In one way, through
making money by disgraceful means, whether in performing shameful and
servile works by means of illiberal practices, or by acquiring more
through sinful deeds, such as whoredom or the like, or by making a profit
where one ought to have given gratis, as in the case of usury, or by
laboring much to make little profit. In another way, in making money by
unjust means, whether by using violence on the living, as robbers do, or
by despoiling the dead, or by preying on one's friends, as gamblers do.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[118] A[8] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: Just as liberality is about moderate sums of money, so is
illiberality. Wherefore tyrants who take great things by violence, are
said to be, not illiberal, but unjust.





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