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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[158] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF ANGER (EIGHT ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF ANGER (EIGHT ARTICLES)

We must next consider the contrary vices: (1) Anger that is opposed to
meekness; (2) Cruelty that is opposed to clemency. Concerning anger there
are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether it is lawful to be angry?

(2) Whether anger is a sin?

(3) Whether it is a mortal sin?

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

(5) Of its species;

(6) Whether anger is a capital vice?

(7) Of its daughters;

(8) Whether it has a contrary vice?


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it is lawful to be angry?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that it cannot be lawful to be angry. For Jerome in
his exposition on Mt. 5:22, "Whosoever is angry with his brother," etc.
says: "Some codices add 'without cause.' However, in the genuine codices
the sentence is unqualified, and anger is forbidden altogether."
Therefore it is nowise lawful to be angry.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, according to Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv) "The soul's evil
is to be without reason." Now anger is always without reason: for the
Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 6) that "anger does not listen perfectly to
reason"; and Gregory says (Moral. v, 45) that "when anger sunders the
tranquil surface of the soul, it mangles and rends it by its riot"; and
Cassian says (De Inst. Caenob. viii, 6): "From whatever cause it arises,
the angry passion boils over and blinds the eye of the mind." Therefore
it is always evil to be angry.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, anger is "desire for vengeance" [*Aristotle, Rhet. ii,
2] according to a gloss on Lev. 19:17, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother
in thy heart." Now it would seem unlawful to desire vengeance, since this
should be left to God, according to Dt. 32:35, "Revenge is Mine."
Therefore it would seem that to be angry is always an evil.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, all that makes us depart from likeness to God is evil.
Now anger always makes us depart from likeness to God, since God judges
with tranquillity according to Wis. 12:18. Therefore to be angry is
always an evil.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Chrysostom [*Hom. xi in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely
ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says: "He that is angry without cause,
shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in
danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable,
crimes unchecked." Therefore to be angry is not always an evil.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Properly speaking anger is a passion of the sensitive
appetite, and gives its name to the irascible power, as stated above (FS,
Q[46], A[1]) when we were treating of the passions. Now with regard to
the passions of the soul, it is to be observed that evil may be found in
them in two ways. First by reason of the passion's very species, which is derived from the passion's object. Thus envy, in respect of its species,
denotes an evil, since it is displeasure at another's good, and such
displeasure is in itself contrary to reason: wherefore, as the
Philosopher remarks (Ethic. ii, 6), "the very mention of envy denotes
something evil." Now this does not apply to anger, which is the desire
for revenge, since revenge may be desired both well and ill. Secondly,
evil is found in a passion in respect of the passion's quantity, that is
in respect of its excess or deficiency; and thus evil may be found in
anger, when, to wit, one is angry, more or less than right reason
demands. But if one is angry in accordance with right reason, one's anger
is deserving of praise.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The Stoics designated anger and all the other passions as
emotions opposed to the order of reason; and accordingly they deemed
anger and all other passions to be evil, as stated above (FS, Q[24], A[2]
) when we were treating of the passions. It is in this sense that Jerome
considers anger; for he speaks of the anger whereby one is angry with
one's neighbor, with the intent of doing him a wrong. - But, according to
the Peripatetics, to whose opinion Augustine inclines (De Civ. Dei ix,
4), anger and the other passions of the soul are movements of the
sensitive appetite, whether they be moderated or not, according to
reason: and in this sense anger is not always evil.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Anger may stand in a twofold relation to reason. First,
antecedently; in this way it withdraws reason from its rectitude, and has
therefore the character of evil. Secondly, consequently, inasmuch as the
movement of the sensitive appetite is directed against vice and in
accordance with reason, this anger is good, and is called "zealous
anger." Wherefore Gregory says (Moral. v, 45): "We must beware lest, when
we use anger as an instrument of virtue, it overrule the mind, and go
before it as its mistress, instead of following in reason's train, ever
ready, as its handmaid, to obey." This latter anger, although it hinder
somewhat the judgment of reason in the execution of the act, does not
destroy the rectitude of reason. Hence Gregory says (Moral. v, 45) that
"zealous anger troubles the eye of reason, whereas sinful anger blinds
it." Nor is it incompatible with virtue that the deliberation of reason
be interrupted in the execution of what reason has deliberated: since art
also would be hindered in its act, if it were to deliberate about what
has to be done, while having to act.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: It is unlawful to desire vengeance considered as evil to
the man who is to be punished, but it is praiseworthy to desire vengeance
as a corrective of vice and for the good of justice; and to this the
sensitive appetite can tend, in so far as it is moved thereto by the
reason: and when revenge is taken in accordance with the order of
judgment, it is God's work, since he who has power to punish "is God's
minister," as stated in Rm. 13:4.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[1] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: We can and ought to be like to God in the desire for good;
but we cannot be altogether likened to Him in the mode of our desire,
since in God there is no sensitive appetite, as in us, the movement of
which has to obey reason. Wherefore Gregory says (Moral. v, 45) that
"anger is more firmly erect in withstanding vice, when it bows to the
command of reason."


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anger is a sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that anger is not a sin. For we demerit by sinning.
But "we do not demerit by the passions, even as neither do we incur blame
thereby," as stated in Ethic. ii, 5. Consequently no passion is a sin.
Now anger is a passion as stated above (FS, Q[46], A[1]) in the treatise
on the passions. Therefore anger is not a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, in every sin there is conversion to some mutable good.
But in anger there is conversion not to a mutable good, but to a person's
evil. Therefore anger is not a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, "No man sins in what he cannot avoid," as Augustine
asserts [*De Lib. Arb. iii, 18]. But man cannot avoid anger, for a gloss
on Ps. 4:5, "Be ye angry and sin not," says: "The movement of anger is
not in our power." Again, the Philosopher asserts (Ethic. vii, 6) that
"the angry man acts with displeasure." Now displeasure is contrary to the
will. Therefore anger is not a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, sin is contrary to nature, according to Damascene [*De
Fide Orth. ii, 4,30]. But it is not contrary to man's nature to be angry,
and it is the natural act of a power, namely the irascible; wherefore
Jerome says in a letter [*Ep. xii ad Anton. Monach.] that "to be angry is
the property of man." Therefore it is not a sin to be angry.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Apostle says (Eph. 4:31): "Let all indignation and
anger [*Vulg.: 'Anger and indignation'] . . . be put away from you."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Anger, as stated above (A[1]), is properly the name of a
passion. A passion of the sensitive appetite is good in so far as it is
regulated by reason, whereas it is evil if it set the order of reason
aside. Now the order of reason, in regard to anger, may be considered in
relation to two things. First, in relation to the appetible object to
which anger tends, and that is revenge. Wherefore if one desire revenge to be taken in accordance with the order of reason, the desire of anger
is praiseworthy, and is called "zealous anger" [*Cf. Greg., Moral. v,
45]. On the other hand, if one desire the taking of vengeance in any way
whatever contrary to the order of reason, for instance if he desire the
punishment of one who has not deserved it, or beyond his deserts, or
again contrary to the order prescribed by law, or not for the due end,
namely the maintaining of justice and the correction of defaults, then the desire of anger will be sinful, and this is called sinful anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

Secondly, the order of reason in regard to anger may be considered in
relation to the mode of being angry, namely that the movement of anger
should not be immoderately fierce, neither internally nor externally; and
if this condition be disregarded, anger will not lack sin, even though
just vengeance be desired.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Since passion may be either regulated or not regulated by
reason, it follows that a passion considered absolutely does not include
the notion of merit or demerit, of praise or blame. But as regulated by
reason, it may be something meritorious and deserving of praise; while on
the other hand, as not regulated by reason, it may be demeritorious and
blameworthy. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 5) that "it is he
who is angry in a certain way, that is praised or blamed."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The angry man desires the evil of another, not for its own
sake but for the sake of revenge, towards which his appetite turns as to
a mutable good.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Man is master of his actions through the judgment of his
reason, wherefore as to the movements that forestall that judgment, it is
not in man's power to prevent them as a whole, i.e. so that none of them
arise, although his reason is able to check each one, if it arise.
Accordingly it is stated that the movement of anger is not in man's
power, to the extent namely that no such movement arise. Yet since this
movement is somewhat in his power, it is not entirely sinless if it be
inordinate. The statement of the Philosopher that "the angry man acts
with displeasure," means that he is displeased, not with his being angry,
but with the injury which he deems done to himself: and through this
displeasure he is moved to seek vengeance.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[2] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The irascible power in man is naturally subject to his
reason, wherefore its act is natural to man, in so far as it is in accord
with reason, and in so far as it is against reason, it is contrary to
man's nature.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether all anger is a mortal sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that all anger is a mortal sin. For it is written
(Job 5:2): "Anger killeth the foolish man [*Vulg.: 'Anger indeed killeth
the foolish']," and he speaks of the spiritual killing, whence mortal sin
takes its name. Therefore all anger is a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, nothing save mortal sin is deserving of eternal
condemnation. Now anger deserves eternal condemnation; for our Lord said
(Mt. 5:22): "Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of
the judgment": and a gloss on this passage says that "the three things
mentioned there, namely judgment, council, and hell-fire, signify in a
pointed manner different abodes in the state of eternal damnation
corresponding to various sins." Therefore anger is a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, whatsoever is contrary to charity is a mortal sin. Now
anger is of itself contrary to charity, as Jerome declares in his
commentary on Mt. 5:22, "Whosoever is angry with his brother," etc. where
he says that this is contrary to the love of your neighbor. Therefore
anger is a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, A gloss on Ps. 4:5, "Be ye angry and sin not," says:
"Anger is venial if it does not proceed to action."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The movement of anger may be inordinate and sinful in two
ways, as stated above (A[2]). First, on the part of the appetible object,
as when one desires unjust revenge; and thus anger is a mortal sin in the
point of its genus, because it is contrary to charity and justice.
Nevertheless such like anger may happen to be a venial sin by reason of
the imperfection of the act. This imperfection is considered either in
relation to the subject desirous of vengeance, as when the movement of
anger forestalls the judgment of his reason; or in relation to the
desired object, as when one desires to be avenged in a trifling matter,
which should be deemed of no account, so that even if one proceeded to
action, it would not be a mortal sin, for instance by pulling a child
slightly by the hair, or by some other like action. Secondly, the
movement of anger may be inordinate in the mode of being angry, for
instance, if one be too fiercely angry inwardly, or if one exceed in the
outward signs of anger. In this way anger is not a mortal sin in the
point of its genus; yet it may happen to be a mortal sin, for instance if
through the fierceness of his anger a man fall away from the love of God
and his neighbor.
Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: It does not follow from the passage quoted that all anger
is a mortal sin, but that the foolish are killed spiritually by anger,
because, through not checking the movement of anger by their reason, they
fall into mortal sins, for instance by blaspheming God or by doing injury
to their neighbor.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Our Lord said this of anger, by way of addition to the
words of the Law: "Whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the
judgment" (Mt. 5:21). Consequently our Lord is speaking here of the
movement of anger wherein a man desires the killing or any grave injury
of his neighbor: and should the consent of reason be given to this
desire, without doubt it will be a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: In the case where anger is contrary to charity, it is a
mortal sin, but it is not always so, as appears from what we have said.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anger is the most grievous sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that anger is the most grievous sin. For Chrysostom
says [*Hom. xlviii in Joan.] that "nothing is more repulsive than the
look of an angry man, and nothing uglier than a ruthless* face, and most
of all than a cruel soul." [*'Severo'. The correct text is 'Si vero.' The
translation would then run thus . . . 'and nothing uglier.' And if his
'face is ugly, how much uglier is his soul!']. Therefore anger is the
most grievous sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the more hurtful a sin is, the worse it would seem to
be; since, according to Augustine (Enchiridion xii), "a thing is said to
be evil because it hurts." Now anger is most hurtful, because it deprives
man of his reason, whereby he is master of himself; for Chrysostom says
(Hom. xlviii in Joan.) that "anger differs in no way from madness; it is
a demon while it lasts, indeed more troublesome than one harassed by a
demon." Therefore anger is the most grievous sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, inward movements are judged according to their outward
effects. Now the effect of anger is murder, which is a most grievous sin.
Therefore anger is a most grievous sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Anger is compared to hatred as the mote to the beam;
for Augustine says in his Rule (Ep. ccxi): "Lest anger grow into hatred
and a mote become a beam." Therefore anger is not the most grievous sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (AA[1],2), the inordinateness of anger is
considered in a twofold respect, namely with regard to an undue object,
and with regard to an undue mode of being angry. As to the appetible
object which it desires, anger would seem to be the least of sins, for
anger desires the evil of punishment for some person, under the aspect of
a good that is vengeance. Hence on the part of the evil which it desires
the sin of anger agrees with those sins which desire the evil of our
neighbor, such as envy and hatred; but while hatred desires absolutely
another's evil as such, and the envious man desires another's evil
through desire of his own glory, the angry man desires another's evil
under the aspect of just revenge. Wherefore it is evident that hatred is
more grievous than envy, and envy than anger: since it is worse to desire
evil as an evil, than as a good; and to desire evil as an external good
such as honor or glory, than under the aspect of the rectitude of
justice. On the part of the good, under the aspect of which the angry man
desires an evil, anger concurs with the sin of concupiscence that tends
to a good. In this respect again, absolutely speaking. the sin of anger
is apparently less grievous than that of concupiscence, according as the
good of justice, which the angry man desires, is better than the
pleasurable or useful good which is desired by the subject of
concupiscence. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 4) that "the
incontinent in desire is more disgraceful than the incontinent in anger."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

On the other hand, as to the inordinateness which regards the mode of
being angry, anger would seem to have a certain pre-eminence on account
of the strength and quickness of its movement, according to Prov. 27:4,
"Anger hath no mercy, nor fury when it breaketh forth: and who can bear
the violence of one provoked?" Hence Gregory says (Moral. v, 45): "The
heart goaded by the pricks of anger is convulsed, the body trembles, the
tongue entangles itself, the face is inflamed, the eyes are enraged and
fail utterly to recognize those whom we know: the tongue makes sounds
indeed, but there is no sense in its utterance."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Chrysostom is alluding to the repulsiveness of the outward
gestures which result from the impetuousness of anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This argument considers the inordinate movement of anger,
that results from its impetuousness, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Murder results from hatred and envy no less than from
anger: yet anger is less grievous, inasmuch as it considers the aspect of
justice, as stated above.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1
Whether the Philosopher suitably assigns the species of anger?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the species of anger are unsuitably assigned
by the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 5) where he says that some angry persons
are "choleric," some "sullen," and some "ill-tempered" or "stern."
According to him, a person is said to be "sullen" whose anger "is
appeased with difficulty and endures a long time." But this apparently
pertains to the circumstance of time. Therefore it seems that anger can
be differentiated specifically in respect also of the other circumstances.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, he says (Ethic. iv, 5) that "ill-tempered" or "stern"
persons "are those whose anger is not appeased without revenge, or
punishment." Now this also pertains to the unquenchableness of anger.
Therefore seemingly the ill-tempered is the same as bitterness.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, our Lord mentions three degrees of anger, when He says
(Mt. 5:22): "Whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of
the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in
danger of the council, and whosoever shall say" to his brother, "Thou
fool." But these degrees are not referable to the aforesaid species.
Therefore it seems that the above division of anger is not fitting.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxi] says
"there are three species of irascibility," namely, "the anger which is
called wrath [*'Fellea,' i.e. like gall. But in FS, Q[46], A[8], St.
Thomas quoting the same authority has {Cholos} which we render 'wrath'],"
and "ill-will" which is a disease of the mind, and "rancour." Now these
three seem to coincide with the three aforesaid. For "wrath" he describes
as "having beginning and movement," and the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 5)
ascribes this to "choleric" persons: "ill-will" he describes as "an anger
that endures and grows old," and this the Philosopher ascribes to
"sullenness"; while he describes "rancour" as "reckoning the time for
vengeance," which tallies with the Philosopher's description of the
"ill-tempered." The same division is given by Damascene (De Fide Orth.
ii, 16). Therefore the aforesaid division assigned by the Philosopher is
not unfitting.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, The aforesaid distinction may be referred either to the
passion, or to the sin itself of anger. We have already stated when
treating of the passions (FS, Q[46], A[8]) how it is to be applied to the
passion of anger. And it would seem that this is chiefly what Gregory of
Nyssa and Damascene had in view. Here, however, we have to take the
distinction of these species in its application to the sin of anger, and
as set down by the Philosopher.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] Body Para. 2/2

For the inordinateness of anger may be considered in relation to two
things. First, in relation to the origin of anger, and this regards
"choleric" persons, who are angry too quickly and for any slight cause.
Secondly, in relation to the duration of anger, for that anger endures
too long; and this may happen in two ways. In one way, because the cause
of anger, to wit, the inflicted injury, remains too long in a man's
memory, the result being that it gives rise to a lasting displeasure,
wherefore he is "grievous" and "sullen" to himself. In another way, it
happens on the part of vengeance, which a man seeks with a stubborn
desire: this applies to "ill-tempered" or "stern" people, who do not put
aside their anger until they have inflicted punishment.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: It is not time, but a man's propensity to anger, or his
pertinacity in anger, that is the chief point of consideration in the
aforesaid species.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Both "sullen" and "ill-tempered" people have a
long-lasting anger, but for different reasons. For a "sullen" person has
an abiding anger on account of an abiding displeasure, which he holds
locked in his breast; and as he does not break forth into the outward
signs of anger, others cannot reason him out of it, nor does he of his
own accord lay aside his anger, except his displeasure wear away with
time and thus his anger cease. On the other hand, the anger of
"ill-tempered" persons is long-lasting on account of their intense desire
for revenge, so that it does not wear out with time, and can be quelled
only by revenge.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The degrees of anger mentioned by our Lord do not refer to
the different species of anger, but correspond to the course of the human
act [*Cf. FS, Q[46], A[8], OBJ[3]]. For the first degree is an inward
conception, and in reference to this He says: "Whosoever is angry with
his brother." The second degree is when the anger is manifested by
outward signs, even before it breaks out into effect; and in reference to
this He says: "Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca!" which is an
angry exclamation. The third degree is when the sin conceived inwardly
breaks out into effect. Now the effect of anger is another's hurt under
the aspect of revenge; and the least of hurts is that which is done by a
mere word; wherefore in reference to this He says: "Whosoever shall say
to his brother Thou fool!" Consequently it is clear that the second adds
to the first, and the third to both the others; so that, if the first is
a mortal sin, in the case referred to by our Lord, as stated above (A[3],
ad 2), much more so are the others. Wherefore some kind of condemnation
is assigned as corresponding to each one of them. In the first case
"judgment" is assigned, and this is the least severe, for as Augustine
says [*Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 9], "where judgment is to be delivered,
there is an opportunity for defense": in the second case "council" is
assigned, "whereby the judges deliberate together on the punishment to be
inflicted": to the third case is assigned "hell-fire," i.e. "decisive
condemnation."


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anger should be reckoned among the capital vices?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that anger should not be reckoned among the capital
sins. For anger is born of sorrow which is a capital vice known by the
name of sloth. Therefore anger should not be reckoned a capital vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, hatred is a graver sin than anger. Therefore it should
be reckoned a capital vice rather than anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a gloss on Prov. 29:22, "An angry [Douay: 'passionate']
man provoketh quarrels," says: "Anger is the door to all vices: if it be
closed, peace is ensured within to all the virtues; if it be opened, the
soul is armed for every crime." Now no capital vice is the origin of all
sins, but only of certain definite ones. Therefore anger should not be
reckoned among the capital vices.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45) places anger among the
capital vices.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (FS, Q[84], A[3],4), a capital vice is
defined as one from which many vices arise. Now there are two reasons for
which many vices can arise from anger. The first is on the part of its
object which has much of the aspect of desirability, in so far as revenge
is desired under the aspect of just or honest*, which is attractive by
its excellence, as stated above (A[4]). [*Honesty must be taken here in
its broad sense as synonymous with moral goodness, from the point of view
of decorum; Cf. Q[145], A[1]]. The second is on the part of its
impetuosity, whereby it precipitates the mind into all kinds of
inordinate action. Therefore it is evident that anger is a capital vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The sorrow whence anger arises is not, for the most part,
the vice of sloth, but the passion of sorrow, which results from an
injury inflicted.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: As stated above (Q[118], A[7]; Q[148], A[5]; Q[153], A[4];
FS, Q[84], A[4]), it belongs to the notion of a capital vice to have a
most desirable end, so that many sins are committed through the desire
thereof. Now anger, which desires evil under the aspect of good, has a
more desirable end than hatred has, since the latter desires evil under
the aspect of evil: wherefore anger is more a capital vice than hatred is.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Anger is stated to be the door to the vices accidentally,
that is by removing obstacles, to wit by hindering the judgment of
reason, whereby man is withdrawn from evil. It is, however, directly the
cause of certain special sins, which are called its daughters.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether six daughters are fittingly assigned to anger?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that six daughters are unfittingly assigned to
anger, namely "quarreling, swelling of the mind, contumely, clamor,
indignation and blasphemy." For blasphemy is reckoned by Isidore [*QQ. in
Deut., qu. xvi] to be a daughter of pride. Therefore it should not be
accounted a daughter of anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, hatred is born of anger, as Augustine says in his rule
(Ep. ccxi). Therefore it should be placed among the daughters of anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, "a swollen mind" would seem to be the same as pride. Now
pride is not the daughter of a vice, but "the mother of all vices," as
Gregory states (Moral. xxxi, 45). Therefore swelling of the mind should
not be reckoned among the daughters of anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 45) assigns these daughters to
anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, Anger may be considered in three ways. First, as
consisting in thought, and thus two vices arise from anger. one is on the
part of the person with whom a man is angry, and whom he deems unworthy
[indignum] of acting thus towards him, and this is called "indignation."
The other vice is on the part of the man himself, in so far as he devises
various means of vengeance, and with such like thoughts fills his mind,
according to Job 15:2, "Will a wise man . . . fill his stomach with
burning heat?" And thus we have "swelling of the mind."
Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] Body Para. 2/3

Secondly, anger may be considered, as expressed in words: and thus a
twofold disorder arises from anger. One is when a man manifests his anger
in his manner of speech, as stated above (A[5], ad 3) of the man who says
to his brother, "Raca": and this refers to "clamor," which denotes
disorderly and confused speech. The other disorder is when a man breaks
out into injurious words, and if these be against God, it is "blasphemy,"
if against one's neighbor, it is "contumely."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] Body Para. 3/3

Thirdly, anger may be considered as proceeding to deeds; and thus anger
gives rise to "quarrels," by which we are to understand all manner of
injuries inflicted on one's neighbor through anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The blasphemy into which a man breaks out deliberately
proceeds from pride, whereby a man lifts himself up against God: since,
according to Ecclus. 10:14, "the beginning of the pride of man is to fall
off from God," i.e. to fall away from reverence for Him is the first part
of pride [*Cf. Q[162], A[7], ad 2]; and this gives rise to blasphemy. But
the blasphemy into which a man breaks out through a disturbance of the
mind, proceeds from anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Although hatred sometimes arises from anger, it has a
previous cause, from which it arises more directly, namely displeasure,
even as, on the other hand, love is born of pleasure. Now through
displeasure, a man is moved sometimes to anger, sometimes to hatred.
Wherefore it was fitting to reckon that hatred arises from sloth rather
than from anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Swelling of the mind is not taken here as identical with
pride, but for a certain effort or daring attempt to take vengeance; and
daring is a vice opposed to fortitude.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether there is a vice opposed to anger resulting from lack of anger?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that there. is not a vice opposed to anger,
resulting from lack of anger. For no vice makes us like to God. Now by
being entirely without anger, a man becomes like to God, Who judges "with
tranquillity" (Wis. 12:18). Therefore seemingly it is not a vice to be
altogether without anger.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, it is not a vice to lack what is altogether useless.
But the movement of anger is useful for no purpose, as Seneca proves in
the book he wrote on anger (De Ira i, 9, seqq.). Therefore it seems that
lack of anger is not a vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, according to Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv), "man's evil is to
be without reason." Now the judgment of reason remains unimpaired, if all
movement of anger be done away. Therefore no lack of anger amounts to a
vice.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Chrysostom [*Hom. xi in Matth. in the Opus Imperfectum,
falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says: "He who is not angry,
whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed
of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but
even the good to do wrong."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Anger may be understood in two ways. In one way, as a
simple movement of the will, whereby one inflicts punishment, not through
passion, but in virtue of a judgment of the reason: and thus without
doubt lack of anger is a sin. This is the sense in which anger is taken
in the saying of Chrysostom, for he says (Hom. xi in Matth., in the Opus
Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom): "Anger, when it
has a cause, is not anger but judgment. For anger, properly speaking,
denotes a movement of passion": and when a man is angry with reason, his
anger is no longer from passion: wherefore he is said to judge, not to be
angry. In another way anger is taken for a movement of the sensitive
appetite, which is with passion resulting from a bodily transmutation.
This movement is a necessary sequel, in man, to the movement of his will,
since the lower appetite necessarily follows the movement of the higher
appetite, unless there be an obstacle. Hence the movement of anger in the
sensitive appetite cannot be lacking altogether, unless the movement of
the will be altogether lacking or weak. Consequently lack of the passion
of anger is also a vice, even as the lack of movement in the will
directed to punishment by the judgment of reason.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: He that is entirely without anger when he ought to be
angry, imitates God as to lack of passion, but not as to God's punishing
by judgment.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The passion of anger, like all other movements of the
sensitive appetite, is useful, as being conducive to the more prompt
execution [*Cf. FS, Q[24], A[3]] of reason's dictate: else, the sensitive
appetite in man would be to no purpose, whereas "nature does nothing
without purpose" [*Aristotle, De Coelo i, 4].

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[158] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: When a man acts inordinately, the judgment of his reason is
cause not only of the simple movement of the will but also of the passion
in the sensitive appetite, as stated above. Wherefore just as the removal
of the effect is a sign that the cause is removed, so the lack of anger
is a sign that the judgment of reason is lacking.





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