Tuesday, March 02, 2010

1a 2ae q18 a5: Whether a human action is good or evil in its species? Yes.

Bonum et malum diversificant speciem in actibus moralibus quia differentiae per se diversificant speciem.

Good and evil diversify the species in human actions because essential differences diversify species.

Etiam in rebus naturalibus, bonum et malum, quod est secundum naturam et contra naturam, diversificant speciem naturae: corpus enim mortuum et corpus vivum non sunt eiusdem speciei. Et similiter bonum, inquantum est secundum rationem, et malum, inquantum est praeter rationem, diversificant speciem moris.

Even in natural things, good and evil, inasmuch as something is according to nature, and something against nature, diversify the natural species: for a dead body and a living body are not of the same species. In like manner, good, inasmuch as it is in accord with a formal aspect, and evil, inasmuch as it is against a formal aspect, diversify the moral species.

In actibus autem humanis bonum et malum dicitur per comparationem ad rationem, quia, ut Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nom., "bonum hominis est secundum rationem esse, malum autem quod est praeter rationem".

In human actions, good and evil are predicated in reference to a formal aspect; because as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv), "the good of man is to be in accordance with a formal aspect," and evil is "to be against a formal aspect."

Unicuique enim rei est bonum quod convenit ei secundum suam formam; et malum quod est ei praeter ordinem suae formae.

For that is good for a thing which befits it in regard to its form; and evil, that which is against the order of its form.

Patet ergo quod differentia boni et mali, circa obiectum considerata, comparatur per se ad rationem, scilicet secundum quod obiectum est ei conveniens vel non conveniens.

It is therefore evident that the difference of good and evil, considered in reference to the object, is an essential difference in relation to its formal aspect; that is to say, according as the object is befitting or unbecoming to its formal aspect.

Dicuntur autem aliqui actus humani, vel morales, secundum quod sunt a ratione.

Now certain actions are called human, or moral, inasmuch as they are from the formal aspect.

Malum importat privationem non absolutam, sed consequentem talem potentiam. Dicitur enim malus actus secundum suam speciem, non ex eo quod nullum habeat obiectum, sed quia habet obiectum non conveniens rationi, sicut tollere aliena. Unde inquantum obiectum est aliquid positive, potest constituere speciem mali actus.

Evil implies privation, not absolute [privation], but affecting some potentiality. For an action is said to be evil according to its species, not because it has no object at all, but because it has an object not befitting the formal aspect, for instance, to appropriate another's property. Wherefore insofar as the object is something positive, it can constitute the species of an evil act.