Thursday, March 25, 2010

1a 2ae q20 a4: Whether the external action adds any goodness or badness to that of the interior act? Yes.

Bonitas actus exterioris quam habet ex materia et circumstantiis, est alia a bonitate voluntatis quae est ex fine, non autem alia a bonitate voluntatis quam habet ex ipso actu volito, sed comparatur ad ipsam ut ratio et causa eius, quia si per actum exteriorem nihil additur de bonitate vel malitia, frustra qui habet bonam voluntatem vel malam, facit opus bonum, aut desistit a malo opere—quod est inconveniens.

The goodness which the external action takes from its matter and circumstances, is distinct from that which it derives from the end, but it is not distinct from that which it has from the very act willed, to which it stands in the relation of formal aspect and cause, because if by the external action no further goodness or malice be added, it is to no purpose that he who has a good or an evil will, does a good deed or refrains from an evil deed—which is unreasonable.