Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., aptitudo ad virtutem inest nobis a natura, licet complementum virtutis sit per assuetudinem vel per aliquam aliam causam. Unde patet quod virtutes perficiunt nos ad prosequendum debito modo inclinationes naturales, quae pertinent ad ius naturale. Et ideo ad quamlibet inclinationem naturalem determinatam ordinatur aliqua specialis virtus. Est autem quaedam specialis inclinatio naturae ad removendum nocumenta, unde et animalibus datur vis irascibilis separatim a vi concupiscibili. Repellit autem homo nocumenta per hoc quod se defendit contra iniurias, ne ei inferantur, vel iam illatas iniurias ulciscitur, non intentione nocendi, sed intentione removendi nocumenta. Hoc autem pertinet ad vindicationem, dicit enim Tullius, in sua rhetorica, quod vindicatio est per quam vis aut iniuria, et omnino quidquid obscurum est, idest ignominiosum, defendendo aut ulciscendo propulsatur. Unde vindicatio est specialis virtus.
I answer that, As the Philosopher states (Ethic. ii, 1), aptitude to virtue is in us by nature, but the complement of virtue is in us through habituation or some other cause. Hence it is evident that virtues perfect us so that we follow in due manner our natural inclinations, which belong to the natural right. Wherefore to every definite natural inclination there corresponds a special virtue. Now there is a special inclination of nature to remove harm, for which reason animals have the irascible power distinct from the concupiscible. Man resists harm by defending himself against wrongs, lest they be inflicted on him, or he avenges those which have already been inflicted on him, with the intention, not of harming, but of removing the harm done. And this belongs to vengeance, for Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that by vengeance we resist force, or wrong, and in general whatever is obscure (i.e., derogatory), either by self-defense or by avenging it. Therefore vengeance is a special virtue.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sicut recompensatio debiti legalis pertinet ad iustitiam commutativam, recompensatio autem debiti moralis quod nascitur ex particulari beneficio exhibito, pertinet ad virtutem gratiae; ita etiam punitio peccatorum, secundum quod pertinet ad publicam iustitiam, est actus commutativae iustitiae; secundum autem quod pertinet ad immunitatem alicuius personae singularis, a qua iniuria propulsatur, pertinet ad virtutem vindicationis.
Reply Obj. 1: Just as repayment of a legal debt belongs to commutative justice, and as repayment of a moral debt, arising from the bestowal of a particular favor, belongs to the virtue of gratitude, so too the punishment of sins, so far as it is the concern of public justice, is an act of commutative justice; while so far as it is concerned in defending the rights of the individual by whom a wrong is resisted, it belongs to the virtue of revenge.
Ad secundum dicendum quod fortitudo disponit ad vindictam removendo prohibens, scilicet timorem periculi imminentis. Zelus autem, secundum quod importat fervorem amoris, importat primam radicem vindicationis, prout aliquis vindicat iniurias Dei vel proximorum, quas ex caritate reputat quasi suas. Cuiuslibet autem virtutis actus ex radice caritatis procedit, quia, ut Gregorius dicit, in quadam homilia, nihil habet viriditatis ramus boni operis, si non procedat ex radice caritatis.
Reply Obj. 2: Fortitude disposes to vengeance by removing an obstacle thereto, namely, fear of an imminent danger. Zeal, as denoting the fervor of love, signifies the primary root of vengeance, insofar as a man avenges the wrong done to God and his neighbor, because charity makes him regard them as his own. Now every act of virtue proceeds from charity as its root, since, according to Gregory (Hom. xxvii in Ev.), there are no green leaves on the bough of good works, unless charity be the root.
Ad tertium dicendum quod vindicationi opponuntur duo vitia. Unum quidem per excessum, scilicet peccatum crudelitatis vel saevitiae, quae excedit mensuram in puniendo. Aliud autem est vitium quod consistit in defectu, sicut cum aliquis est nimis remissus in puniendo, unde dicitur Prov. XIII, qui parcit virgae, odit filium suum. Virtus autem vindicationis consistit ut homo secundum omnes circumstantias debitam mensuram in vindicando conservet.
Reply Obj. 3: Two vices are opposed to vengeance: one by way of excess, namely, the sin of cruelty or brutality, which exceeds the measure in punishing: while the other is a vice by way of deficiency and consists in being remiss in punishing, wherefore it is written (Prov 13:24): He that spareth the rod hateth his son. But the virtue of vengeance consists in observing the due measure of vengeance with regard to all the circumstances.
Utrum vindicatio debeat fieri per poenas apud homines consuetas
Whether vengeance should be wrought by means of punishments customary among men?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod vindicatio non debeat fieri per poenas apud homines consuetas. Occisio enim hominis est quaedam eradicatio eius. Sed dominus mandavit, Matth. XIII, quod zizania, per quae significantur filii nequam, non eradicarentur. Ergo peccatores non sunt occidendi.
Objection 1: It seems that vengeance should not be wrought by means of punishments customary among men. For to put a man to death is to uproot him. But our Lord forbade (Matt 13:29) the uprooting of the cockle, whereby the children of the wicked one are signified. Therefore sinners should not be put to death.
Praeterea, quicumque mortaliter peccant, eadem poena videntur digni. Si ergo aliqui mortaliter peccantes morte puniuntur, videtur quod omnes tales deberent morte puniri. Quod patet esse falsum.
Obj. 2: Further, all who sin mortally seem to be deserving of the same punishment. Therefore if some who sin mortally are punished with death, it seems that all such persons should be punished with death: and this is evidently false.
Praeterea, cum aliquis pro peccato punitur manifeste, ex hoc peccatum eius manifestatur. Quod videtur esse nocivum multitudini, quae ex exemplo peccati sumit occasionem peccandi. Ergo videtur quod non sit poena mortis pro aliquo peccato infligenda.
Obj. 3: Further, to punish a man publicly for his sin seems to publish his sin: and this would seem to have a harmful effect on the multitude, since the example of sin is taken by them as an occasion for sin. Therefore it seems that the punishment of death should not be inflicted for a sin.
Sed contra est quod in lege divina his huiusmodi poenae determinantur, ut ex supra dictis patet.
On the contrary, These punishments are fixed by the divine law as appears from what we have said above (I-II, Q. 105, A. 2).
Respondeo dicendum quod vindicatio intantum licita est et virtuosa inquantum tendit ad cohibitionem malorum. Cohibentur autem aliqui a peccando, qui affectum virtutis non habent, per hoc quod timent amittere aliqua quae plus amant quam illa quae peccando adipiscuntur, alias timor non compesceret peccatum. Et ideo per subtractionem omnium quae homo maxime diligit, est vindicta de peccatis sumenda. Haec sunt autem quae homo maxime diligit, vitam, incolumitatem corporis, libertatem sui, et bona exteriora, puta divitias, patriam et gloriam. Et ideo, ut Augustinus refert, XXI de Civ. Dei, octo genera poenarum in legibus esse scribit Tullius, scilicet mortem, per quam tollitur vita; verbera et talionem (ut scilicet oculum pro oculo perdat), per quae amittit corporis incolumitatem; servitutem et vincula, per quae perdit libertatem; exilium, per quod perdit patriam; damnum, per quod perdit divitias; ignominiam, per quam perdit gloriam.
I answer that, Vengeance is lawful and virtuous so far as it tends to the prevention of evil. Now some who are not influenced by motive of virtue are prevented from committing sin, through fear of losing those things which they love more than those they obtain by sinning, else fear would be no restraint to sin. Consequently vengeance for sin should be taken by depriving a man of what he loves most. Now the things which man loves most are life, bodily safety, his own freedom, and external goods such as riches, his country and his good name. Wherefore, according to Augustine’s reckoning (De Civ. Dei xxi), Tully writes that the laws recognize eight kinds of punishment: namely, death, whereby man is deprived of life; stripes, retaliation, or the loss of eye for eye, whereby man forfeits his bodily safety; slavery, and imprisonment, whereby he is deprived of freedom; exile whereby he is banished from his country; fines, whereby he is mulcted in his riches; ignominy, whereby he loses his good name.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod dominus prohibet eradicari zizania quando timetur ne simul cum eis eradicetur et triticum. Sed quandoque possunt eradicari mali per mortem non solum sine periculo, sed etiam cum magna utilitate bonorum. Et ideo in tali casu potest poena mortis peccatoribus infligi.
Reply Obj. 1: Our Lord forbids the uprooting of the cockle, when there is fear lest the wheat be uprooted together with it. But sometimes the wicked can be uprooted by death, not only without danger, but even with great profit, to the good. Wherefore in such a case the punishment of death may be inflicted on sinners.
Ad secundum dicendum quod omnes peccantes mortaliter digni sunt morte aeterna quantum ad futuram retributionem, quae est secundum veritatem divini iudicii. Sed poenae praesentis vitae sunt magis medicinales. Et ideo illis solis peccatis poena mortis infligitur quae in gravem perniciem aliorum cedunt.
Reply Obj. 2: All who sin mortally are deserving of eternal death, as regards future retribution, which is in accordance with the truth of the divine judgment. But the punishments of this life are more of a medicinal character; wherefore the punishment of death is inflicted on those sins alone which conduce to the grave undoing of others.
Ad tertium dicendum quod quando simul cum culpa innotescit et poena, vel mortis vel quaecumque alia quam homo horret, ex hoc ipso voluntas eius a peccando abstrahitur, quia plus terret poena quam alliciat exemplum culpae.
Reply Obj. 3: The very fact that the punishment, whether of death or of any kind that is fearsome to man, is made known at the same time as the sin, makes man’s will averse to sin: because the fear of punishment is greater than the enticement of the example of sin.
Utrum vindicta sit exercenda in eos qui involuntarie peccaverunt
Whether vengeance should be taken on those who have sinned involuntarily?
Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod vindicta sit exercenda in eos qui involuntarie peccaverunt. Voluntas enim unius non consequitur voluntatem alterius. Sed unus punitur pro alio, secundum illud Exod. XX, ego sum Deus Zelotes, visitans iniquitatem patrum in filios, in tertiam et quartam generationem. Unde et pro peccato Cham Chanaan, filius eius, maledictus est, ut habetur Gen. IX. Giezi etiam peccante, lepra transmittitur ad posteros, ut habetur IV Reg. V. Sanguis etiam Christi reddit poenae obnoxios successores Iudaeorum, qui dixerunt, sanguis eius super nos, et super filios nostros. Matth. XXVII, legitur etiam quod pro peccato Achar populus Israel traditus est in manus hostium, ut habetur Iosue VII. Et pro peccato filiorum Heli idem populus corruit in conspectu Philistinorum, ut habetur I Reg. IV. Ergo aliquis involuntarius est puniendus.
Objection 1: It seems that vengeance should be taken on those who have sinned involuntarily. For the will of one man does not follow from the will of another. Yet one man is punished for another, according to Ex. 20:5, I am . . . God . . . jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation. Thus for the sin of Cham, his son Chanaan was cursed (Gen 9:25) and for the sin of Giezi, his descendants were struck with leprosy (4 Kgs 5). Again the blood of Christ lays the descendants of the Jews under the ban of punishment, for they said (Matt 27:25): His blood be upon us and upon our children. Moreover we read (Josue 7) that the people of Israel were delivered into the hands of their enemies for the sin of Achan, and that the same people were overthrown by the Philistines on account of the sin of the sons of Heli (1 Kgs 4). Therefore a person is to be punished without having deserved it voluntarily.
Praeterea, illud solum est voluntarium quod est in potestate hominis. Sed quandoque poena infertur pro eo quod non est in eius potestate, sicut propter vitium leprae aliquis removetur ab administratione Ecclesiae; et propter paupertatem aut malitiam civium Ecclesia perdit cathedram episcopalem. Ergo non solum pro peccato voluntario vindicta infertur.
Obj. 2: Further, nothing is voluntary except what is in a man’s power. But sometimes a man is punished for what is not in his power; thus a man is removed from the administration of the Church on account of being infected with leprosy; and a Church ceases to be an episcopal see on account of the depravity or evil of the people. Therefore vengeance is taken not only for voluntary sins.
Praeterea, ignorantia causat involuntarium. Sed vindicta quandoque exercetur in aliquos ignorantes. Parvuli enim Sodomitarum, licet haberent ignorantiam invincibilem, cum parentibus perierunt, ut legitur Gen. XIX. Similiter etiam parvuli pro peccato Dathan et Abiron pariter cum eis absorpti sunt, ut habetur Num. XVI. Bruta etiam animalia, quae carent ratione, iussa sunt interfici pro peccato Amalecitarum, ut habetur I Reg. XV. Ergo vindicta quandoque exercetur in involuntarios.
Obj. 3: Further, ignorance makes an act involuntary. Now vengeance is sometimes taken on the ignorant. Thus the children of the people of Sodom, though they were in invincible ignorance, perished with their parents (Gen 19). Again, for the sin of Dathan and Abiron their children were swallowed up together with them (Num 16). Moreover, dumb animals, which are devoid of reason, were commanded to be slain on account of the sin of the Amalekites (1 Kgs 15). Therefore vengeance is sometimes taken on those who have deserved it involuntarily.
Praeterea, coactio maxime repugnat voluntario. Sed aliquis qui timore coactus aliquod peccatum committit, non propter hoc reatum poenae evadit. Ergo vindicta exercetur etiam in involuntarios.
Obj. 4: Further, compulsion is most opposed to voluntariness. But a man does not escape the debt of punishment through being compelled by fear to commit a sin. Therefore vengeance is sometimes taken on those who have deserved it involuntarily.
Praeterea, Ambrosius dicit, super Lucam, quod navicula in qua erat Iudas, turbatur, unde et Petrus, qui erat firmus meritis suis, turbatur alienis. Sed Petrus non volebat peccatum Iudae. Ergo quandoque involuntarius punitur.
Obj. 5: Further Ambrose says on Luke 5 that the ship in which Judas was, was in distress; wherefore Peter, who was calm in the security of his own merits, was in distress about those of others. But Peter did not will the sin of Judas. Therefore a person is sometimes punished without having voluntarily deserved it.
Sed contra est quod poena debetur peccato. Sed omne peccatum est voluntarium, ut dicit Augustinus. Ergo in solos voluntarios est exercenda vindicta.
On the contrary, Punishment is due to sin. But every sin is voluntary according to Augustine (De Lib. Arb. iii; Retract. i). Therefore vengeance should be taken only on those who have deserved it voluntarily.
Respondeo dicendum quod poena potest dupliciter considerari. Uno modo, secundum rationem poenae. Et secundum hoc, poena non debetur nisi peccato, quia per poenam reparatur aequalitas iustitiae, inquantum ille qui peccando nimis secutus est suam voluntatem, aliquid contra suam voluntatem patitur. Unde cum omne peccatum sit voluntarium, etiam originale, ut supra habitum est; consequens est quod nullus punitur hoc modo nisi pro eo quod voluntarie factum est. Alio modo potest considerari poena inquantum est medicina, non solum sanativa peccati praeteriti, sed etiam praeservativa a peccato futuro et promotiva in aliquod bonum. Et secundum hoc, aliquis interdum punitur sine culpa, non tamen sine causa.
I answer that, Punishment may be considered in two ways. First, under the aspect of punishment, and in this way punishment is not due save for sin, because by means of punishment the equality of justice is restored, insofar as he who by sinning has exceeded in following his own will suffers something that is contrary to this will. Wherefore, since every sin is voluntary, not excluding original sin, as stated above (I-II, Q. 81, A. 1), it follows that no one is punished in this way, except for something done voluntarily. Second, punishment may be considered as a medicine, not only healing the past sin, but also preserving from future sin, or conducing to some good, and in this way a person is sometimes punished without any fault of his own, yet not without cause.
Sciendum tamen quod nunquam medicina subtrahit maius bonum ut promoveat minus bonum, sicut medicina carnalis nunquam caecat oculum ut sanet calcaneum, quandoque tamen infert nocumentum in minoribus ut melioribus auxilium praestet. Et quia bona spiritualia sunt maxima bona, bona autem temporalia sunt minima; ideo quandoque punitur aliquis in temporalibus bonis absque culpa, cuiusmodi sunt plures poenae praesentis vitae divinitus inflictae ad humiliationem vel probationem, non autem punitur aliquis in spiritualibus bonis sine propria culpa, neque in praesenti neque in futuro; quia ibi poenae non sunt medicinae, sed consequuntur spiritualem damnationem.
It must, however, be observed that a medicine never removes a greater good in order to promote a lesser; thus the medicine of the body never blinds the eye, in order to repair the heel: yet sometimes it is harmful in lesser things that it may be helpful in things of greater consequence. And since spiritual goods are of the greatest consequence, while temporal goods are least important, sometimes a person is punished in his temporal goods without any fault of his own. Such are many of the punishments inflicted by God in this present life for our humiliation or probation. But no one is punished in spiritual goods without any fault on his part, neither in this nor in the future life, because in the latter punishment is not medicinal, but a result of spiritual condemnation.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod unus homo poena spirituali nunquam punitur pro peccato alterius, quia poena spiritualis pertinet ad animam, secundum quam quilibet est liber sui. Poena autem temporali quandoque unus punitur pro peccato alterius, triplici ratione. Primo quidem, quia unus homo temporaliter est res alterius, et ita in poenam eius etiam ipse punitur, sicut filii sunt secundum corpus quaedam res patris, et servi sunt quaedam res dominorum. Alio modo, inquantum peccatum unius derivatur in alterum. Vel per imitationem, sicut filii imitantur peccata parentum, et servi peccata dominorum, ut audacius peccent. Vel per modum meriti, sicut peccata subditorum merentur peccatorem praelatum, secundum illud Iob XXXIV, qui regnare facit hominem hypocritam, propter peccata populi; unde et pro peccato David populum numerantis, populus Israel punitus est, ut habetur II Reg. ult. Sive etiam per aliqualem consensum seu dissimulationem, sicut etiam interdum boni simul puniuntur temporaliter cum malis, quia eorum peccata non redarguerunt, ut Augustinus dicit, in I de Civ. Dei, tertio, ad commendandum unitatem humanae societatis, ex qua unus debet pro alio sollicitus esse ne peccet, et ad detestationem peccati, dum poena unius redundat in omnes, quasi omnes essent unum corpus, ut Augustinus dicit de peccato Achar. Quod autem dominus dicit, visitans peccata parentum in filios, in tertiam et quartam generationem, magis videtur ad misericordiam quam ad severitatem pertinere, dum non statim vindictam adhibet, sed expectat in posterum, ut vel saltem posteri corrigantur; sed, crescente malitia posteriorum, quasi necesse est ultionem inferri.
Reply Obj. 1: A man is never condemned to a spiritual punishment for another man’s sin, because spiritual punishment affects the soul, in respect of which each man is master of himself. But sometimes a man is condemned to punishment in temporal matters for the sin of another, and this for three reasons. First, because one man may be the temporal goods of another, and so he may be punished in punishment of the latter: thus children, as to the body, are a belonging of their father, and slaves are a possession of their master. Second, when one person’s sin is transmitted to another, either by imitation, as children copy the sins of their parents, and slaves the sins of their masters, so as to sin with greater daring; or by way of merit, as the sinful subjects merit a sinful superior, according to Job 34:30, Who maketh a man that is a hypocrite to reign for the sins of the people? Hence the people of Israel were punished for David’s sin in numbering the people (2 Kgs 24). This may also happen through some kind of consent or connivance: thus sometimes even the good are punished in temporal matters together with the wicked, for not having condemned their sins, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i, 9). Third, in order to mark the unity of human fellowship, whereby one man is bound to be solicitous for another, lest he sin; and in order to inculcate horror of sin, seeing that the punishment of one affects all, as though all were one body, as Augustine says in speaking of the sin of Achan (QQ. sup. Josue viii). The saying of the Lord, Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, seems to belong to mercy rather than to severity, since He does not take vengeance forthwith, but waits for some future time, in order that the descendants at least may mend their ways; yet should the wickedness of the descendants increase, it becomes almost necessary to take vengeance on them.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, iudicium humanum debet imitari divinum iudicium in manifestis Dei iudiciis, quibus homines spiritualiter damnat pro proprio peccato. Occulta vero Dei iudicia, quibus temporaliter aliquos punit absque culpa, non potest humanum iudicium imitari, quia homo non potest comprehendere horum iudiciorum rationes, ut sciat quid expediat unicuique. Et ideo nunquam secundum humanum iudicium aliquis debet puniri sine culpa poena flagelli, ut occidatur, vel mutiletur, vel verberetur. Poena autem damni punitur aliquis, etiam secundum humanum iudicium, etiam sine culpa, sed non sine causa. Et hoc tripliciter.
Reply Obj. 2: As Augustine states (QQ. sup. Josue viii), human judgment should conform to the divine judgment, when this is manifest, and God condemns men spiritually for their own sins. But human judgment cannot be conformed to God’s hidden judgments, whereby He punishes certain persons in temporal matters without any fault of theirs, since man is unable to grasp the reasons of these judgments so as to know what is expedient for each individual. Wherefore according to human judgment a man should never be condemned without fault of his own to an inflictive punishment, such as death, mutilation or flogging. But a man may be condemned, even according to human judgment, to a punishment of forfeiture, even without any fault on his part, but not without cause: and this in three ways.
Uno modo, ex hoc quod aliquis ineptus redditur, sine sua culpa, ad aliquod bonum habendum vel consequendum, sicut propter vitium leprae aliquis removetur ab administratione Ecclesiae, et propter bigamiam vel iudicium sanguinis aliquis impeditur a sacris ordinibus.
First, through a person becoming, without any fault of his, disqualified for having or acquiring a certain good: thus for being infected with leprosy a man is removed from the administration of the Church: and for bigamy, or through pronouncing a death sentence a man is hindered from receiving sacred orders.
Secundo, quia bonum in quo damnificatur non est proprium bonum, sed commune, sicut quod aliqua Ecclesia habeat episcopatum, pertinet ad bonum totius civitatis, non autem ad bonum clericorum tantum.
Second, because the particular good that he forfeits is not his own but common property: thus that an episcopal see be attached to a certain church belongs to the good of the whole city, and not only to the good of the clerics.
Tertio, quia bonum unius dependet ex bono alterius, sicut in crimine laesae maiestatis filius amittit haereditatem pro peccato parentis.
Third, because the good of one person may depend on the good of another: thus in the crime of high treason a son loses his inheritance through the sin of his parent.
Ad tertium dicendum quod parvuli divino iudicio simul puniuntur temporaliter cum parentibus, tum quia sunt res parentum, et in eis etiam parentes puniuntur. Tum etiam quia hoc in eorum bonum cedit, ne, si reservarentur, essent imitatores paternae malitiae, et sic graviores poenas mererentur. In bruta vero animalia, et quascumque alias irrationales creaturas, vindicta exercetur, quia per hoc puniuntur illi quorum sunt. Et iterum propter detestationem peccati.
Reply Obj. 3: By the judgment of God children are punished in temporal matters together with their parents, both because they are a possession of their parents, so that their parents are punished also in their person, and because this is for their good lest, should they be spared, they might imitate the sins of their parents, and thus deserve to be punished still more severely. Vengeance is wrought on dumb animals and any other irrational creatures, because in this way their owners are punished; and also in horror of sin.
Ad quartum dicendum quod coactio timoris non facit simpliciter involuntarium, sed habet voluntarium mixtum, ut supra habitum est.
Reply Obj. 4: An act done through compulsion of fear is not involuntary simply, but has an admixture of voluntariness, as stated above (I-II, Q. 6, AA. 5, 6).
Ad quintum dicendum quod hoc modo pro peccato Iudae ceteri apostoli turbabantur, sicut pro peccato unius punitur multitudo, ad unitatem commendandam, ut dictum est.
Reply Obj. 5: The other apostles were distressed about the sin of Judas, in the same way as the multitude is punished for the sin of one, in commendation of unity, as state above (Reply Obj. 1, 2).
Deinde considerandum est de veritate, et vitiis oppositis. Circa veritatem autem quaeruntur quatuor.
We must now consider truth and the vices opposed thereto. Concerning truth there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum veritas sit virtus.
(1) Whether truth is a virtue?