Thursday, May 20, 2010

1a 2ae q31 a5: Whether bodily and sensible pleasures are greater than spiritual and intellectual pleasures? No.

Non est dubium quod multo sunt maiores delectationes intelligibiles quam sensibiles, quia multo magis delectatur homo de hoc quod cognoscit aliquid intelligendo, quam de hoc quod cognoscit aliquid sentiendo; quia intellectualis cognitio et perfectior est, et etiam magis cognoscitur (quia intellectus magis reflectitur supra actum suum quam sensus).

Without doubt intellectual pleasures are much greater than sensible pleasures, because man takes much more delight in knowing something, by understanding it, than in knowing something by perceiving it with his sense; because intellectual knowledge is more perfect, and it is even better known (since the intellect reflects on its own act more than sense does).

Est etiam cognitio intellectiva magis dilecta; nullus enim est qui non magis vellet carere visu corporali quam visu intellectuali, eo modo quo bestiae vel stulti carent, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de Civ. Dei.

Moreover intellectual cognition is more beloved; for there is no one who would not forfeit his bodily vision rather than his intellectual vision, in the way that beasts or fools are deprived thereof, as Augustine says in De Civ. Dei (cf. De Trin. xiv, 14 [PL 42: 1051]).

Ideo plures sequuntur delectationes corporales, quia bona sensibilia sunt magis et pluribus nota. Et etiam quia homines indigent delectationibus ut medicinis contra multiplices dolores et tristitias; et cum plures hominum non possint attingere ad delectationes spirituales, quae sunt propriae virtuosorum, consequens et quod declinent ad corporales.

The reason why more seek bodily pleasures is because sensory goods are known better and more generally. And, again, because men need delights as remedies for many kinds of sorrow and sadness; and since the majority cannot attain spiritual delights, which are proper to the virtuous, hence it is that they turn aside to seek those of the body.