Sunday, July 18, 2010

1a 2ae q42 a2: Whether an evil of nature is an object of fear? Yes.

De malo naturae potest esse timor quia sicut contristativum malum est quod contrariatur voluntati, ita corruptivum malum est quod contrariatur naturae: et hoc est malum naturae.

An evil of nature can be the object of fear because just as a painful evil is that which is contrary to the will, so a destructive evil is that which is contrary to nature: and this is the evil of nature.

Sed considerandum est quod malum naturae quandoque est a causa naturali, et tunc dicitur malum naturae, non solum quia privat naturae bonum, sed etiam quia est effectus naturae; sicut mors naturalis, et alii huiusmodi defectus.

But it must be observed that an evil of nature sometimes arises from a natural cause, and then it is called an evil of nature, not merely from being a privation of the good of nature, but also from being an effect of nature; such are natural death and other like defects.

Philosophus dicit, in III Ethic., quod inter omnia terribilissimum est mors, quae est malum naturae.

The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 6) that "the most terrible of all things is death," which is an evil of nature.

Aliquando vero malum naturae provenit ex causa non naturali, sicut mors quae violenter infertur a persecutore. Et utroque modo malum naturae quodammodo timetur, et quodammodo non timetur. Cum enim timor proveniat ex phantasia futuri mali, ut dicit philosophus, illud quod removet futuri mali phantasiam, excludit etiam timorem.

But sometimes an evil of nature arises from a non-natural cause, such as violent death inflicted by an assailant. In either case, an evil of nature is feared to a certain extent, and to a certain extent not. For since fear arises "from the imagination of future evil," as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), whatever removes the imagination of the future evil, removes fear also.

Quod autem non appareat aliquod malum ut futurum, potest ex duobus contingere. Uno quidem modo, ex hoc quod est remotum et distans: hoc enim, propter distantiam, imaginamur ut non futurum. Et ideo vel non timemus, vel parum timemus. Ut enim philosophus dicit, in II Rhetoric., "quae valde longe sunt non timentur; sciunt enim omnes, quod morientur, sed quia non prope est, nihil curant".

Now it may happen in two ways that an evil may not appear as about to be. First, through being remote and far off: for, on account of the distance, such a thing is considered as though it were not to be. Hence we either do not fear it, or fear it but little; for, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), "we do not fear things that are very far off; since all know that they shall die, but as death is not near, they heed it not."

Alio modo aestimatur aliquod malum quod est futurum, ut non futurum, propter necessitatem, quae facit ipsum aestimare ut praesens. Unde philosophus dicit, in II Rhetoric., quod "illi qui iam decapitantur non timent", videntes sibi necessitatem mortis imminere; sed "ad hoc quod aliquis timeat, oportet adesse aliquam spem salutis".

Secondly, a future evil is considered as though it were not to be, on account of its being inevitable, wherefore we look upon it as already present. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "those who are already on the scaffold, are not afraid," seeing that they are on the very point of a death from which there is no escape; "but in order that a man be afraid, there must be some hope of escape for him."

Sic igitur malum naturae non timetur, quia non apprehenditur ut futurum. Si vero malum naturae, quod est corruptivum, apprehendatur ut propinquum, et tamen cum aliqua spe evasionis, tunc timebitur.

Consequently, an evil of nature is not feared if it be not apprehended as future. But if an evil of nature that is destructive be apprehended as near at hand, and yet with some hope of escape, then it will be feared.