Utrum ad legem humanam pertineat omnia vitia cohibere
Whether it belongs to the human law to repress all vices?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ad legem humanam pertineat omnia vitia cohibere. Dicit enim Isidorus, in libro Etymol., quod leges sunt factae ut earum metu coerceatur audacia. Non autem sufficienter coerceretur, nisi quaelibet mala cohiberentur per legem. Ergo lex humana debet quaelibet mala cohibere.
Objection 1: It would seem that it belongs to human law to repress all vices. For Isidore says (Etym. v, 20) that laws were made in order that, in fear thereof, man’s audacity might be held in check. But it would not be held in check sufficiently, unless all evils were repressed by law. Therefore human laws should repress all evils.
Praeterea, intentio legislatoris est cives facere virtuosos. Sed non potest esse aliquis virtuosus, nisi ab omnibus vitiis compescatur. Ergo ad legem humanam pertinet omnia vitia compescere.
Obj. 2: Further, the intention of the lawgiver is to make the citizens virtuous. But a man cannot be virtuous unless he forbear from all kinds of vice. Therefore it belongs to human law to repress all vices.
Praeterea, lex humana a lege naturali derivatur, ut supra dictum est. Sed omnia vitia repugnant legi naturae. Ergo lex humana omnia vitia debet cohibere.
Obj. 3: Further, human law is derived from the natural law, as stated above (Q. 95, A. 2). But all vices are contrary to the law of nature. Therefore human law should repress all vices.
Sed contra est quod dicitur in I de Lib. Arb., videtur mihi legem istam quae populo regendo scribitur, recte ista permittere, et divinam providentiam vindicare. Sed divina providentia non vindicat nisi vitia. Ergo recte lex humana permittit aliqua vitia, non cohibendo ipsa.
On the contrary, We read in De Lib. Arb. i, 5: It seems to me that the law which is written for the governing of the people rightly permits these things, and that Divine providence punishes them. But Divine providence punishes nothing but vices. Therefore human law rightly allows some vices, by not repressing them.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut iam dictum est, lex ponitur ut quaedam regula vel mensura humanorum actuum. Mensura autem debet esse homogenea mensurato, ut dicitur in X Metaphys., diversa enim diversis mensuris mensurantur. Unde oportet quod etiam leges imponantur hominibus secundum eorum conditionem, quia, ut Isidorus dicit. Lex debet esse possibilis et secundum naturam, et secundum consuetudinem patriae. Potestas autem sive facultas operandi ex interiori habitu seu dispositione procedit, non enim idem est possibile ei qui non habet habitum virtutis, et virtuoso; sicut etiam non est idem possibile puero et viro perfecto. Et propter hoc non ponitur eadem lex pueris quae ponitur adultis, multa enim pueris permittuntur quae in adultis lege puniuntur, vel etiam vituperantur. Et similiter multa sunt permittenda hominibus non perfectis virtute, quae non essent toleranda in hominibus virtuosis.
I answer that, As stated above (Q. 90, AA. 1, 2), law is framed as a rule or measure of human acts. Now a measure should be homogeneous with that which it measures, as stated in Metaph. x, text. 3, 4, since different things are measured by different measures. Wherefore laws imposed on men should also be in keeping with their condition, for, as Isidore says (Etym. v, 21), law should be possible both according to nature, and according to the customs of the country. Now power or faculty of action is due to an interior habit or disposition: since the same thing is not possible to one who has not a virtuous habit, as is possible to one who has. Thus the same is not possible to a child as to a full-grown man: for which reason the law for children is not the same as for adults, since many things are permitted to children, which in an adult are punished by law or at any rate are open to blame. In like manner many things are permissible to men not perfect in virtue, which would be intolerable in a virtuous man.
Lex autem humana ponitur multitudini hominum, in qua maior pars est hominum non perfectorum virtute. Et ideo lege humana non prohibentur omnia vitia, a quibus virtuosi abstinent; sed solum graviora, a quibus possibile est maiorem partem multitudinis abstinere; et praecipue quae sunt in nocumentum aliorum, sine quorum prohibitione societas humana conservari non posset, sicut prohibentur lege humana homicidia et furta et huiusmodi.
Now human law is framed for a multitude of human beings, the majority of whom are not perfect in virtue. Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained: thus human law prohibits murder, theft and such like.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod audacia pertinere videtur ad invasionem aliorum. Unde praecipue pertinet ad illa peccata quibus iniuria proximis irrogatur; quae lege humana prohibentur, ut dictum est.
Reply Obj. 1: Audacity seems to refer to the assailing of others. Consequently it belongs to those sins chiefly whereby one’s neighbor is injured: and these sins are forbidden by human law, as stated.
Ad secundum dicendum quod lex humana intendit homines inducere ad virtutem, non subito, sed gradatim. Et ideo non statim multitudini imperfectorum imponit ea quae sunt iam virtuosorum, ut scilicet ab omnibus malis abstineant. Alioquin imperfecti, huiusmodi praecepta ferre non valentes, in deteriora mala prorumperent, sicut dicitur Prov. XXX, qui nimis emungit, elicit sanguinem; et Matth. IX dicitur quod, si vinum novum, idest praecepta perfectae vitae, mittatur in utres veteres, idest in homines imperfectos, utres rumpuntur, et vinum effunditur, idest, praecepta contemnuntur, et homines ex contemptu ad peiora mala prorumpunt.
Reply Obj. 2: The purpose of human law is to lead men to virtue, not suddenly, but gradually. Wherefore it does not lay upon the multitude of imperfect men the burdens of those who are already virtuous, viz., that they should abstain from all evil. Otherwise these imperfect ones, being unable to bear such precepts, would break out into yet greater evils: thus it is written (Ps 30:33): He that violently bloweth his nose, bringeth out blood; and (Matt 9:17) that if new wine, i.e., precepts of a perfect life, is put into old bottles, i.e., into imperfect men, the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, i.e., the precepts are despised, and those men, from contempt, break into evils worse still.
Ad tertium dicendum quod lex naturalis est quaedam participatio legis aeternae in nobis, lex autem humana deficit a lege aeterna. Dicit enim Augustinus, in I de Lib. Arb., lex ista quae regendis civitatibus fertur, multa concedit atque impunita relinquit, quae per divinam providentiam vindicantur. Neque enim quia non omnia facit, ideo quae facit, improbanda sunt. Unde etiam lex humana non omnia potest prohibere quae prohibet lex naturae.
Reply Obj. 3: The natural law is a participation in us of the eternal law: while human law falls short of the eternal law. Now Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5): The law which is framed for the government of states, allows and leaves unpunished many things that are punished by Divine providence. Nor, if this law does not attempt to do everything, is this a reason why it should be blamed for what it does. Wherefore, too, human law does not prohibit everything that is forbidden by the natural law.
Utrum lex humana praecipiat actus omnium virtutum
Whether human law prescribes acts of all the virtues?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod lex humana non praecipiat actus omnium virtutum. Actibus enim virtutum opponuntur actus vitiosi. Sed lex humana non prohibet omnia vitia, ut dictum est. Ergo etiam non praecipit actus omnium virtutum.
Objection 1: It would seem that human law does not prescribe acts of all the virtues. For vicious acts are contrary to acts of virtue. But human law does not prohibit all vices, as stated above (A. 2). Therefore neither does it prescribe all acts of virtue.
Praeterea, actus virtutis a virtute procedit. Sed virtus est finis legis, et ita quod est ex virtute, sub praecepto legis cadere non potest. Ergo lex humana non praecipit actus omnium virtutum.
Obj. 2: Further, a virtuous act proceeds from a virtue. But virtue is the end of law; so that whatever is from a virtue, cannot come under a precept of law. Therefore human law does not prescribe all acts of virtue.
Praeterea, lex ordinatur ad bonum commune, ut dictum est. Sed quidam actus virtutum non ordinantur ad bonum commune, sed ad bonum privatum. Ergo lex non praecipit actus omnium virtutum.
Obj. 3: Further, law is ordained to the common good, as stated above (Q. 90, A. 2). But some acts of virtue are ordained, not to the common good, but to private good. Therefore the law does not prescribe all acts of virtue.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in V Ethic., quod praecipit lex fortis opera facere, et quae temperati, et quae mansueti; similiter autem secundum alias virtutes et malitias, haec quidem iubens, haec autem prohibens.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1) that the law prescribes the performance of the acts of a brave man . . . and the acts of the temperate man . . . and the acts of the meek man: and in like manner as regards the other virtues and vices, prescribing the former, forbidding the latter.
Respondeo dicendum quod species virtutum distinguuntur secundum obiecta, ut ex supradictis patet. Omnia autem obiecta virtutum referri possunt vel ad bonum privatum alicuius personae, vel ad bonum commune multitudinis, sicut ea quae sunt fortitudinis potest aliquis exequi vel propter conservationem civitatis, vel ad conservandum ius amici sui; et simile est in aliis. Lex autem, ut dictum est, ordinatur ad bonum commune. Et ideo nulla virtus est de cuius actibus lex praecipere non possit. Non tamen de omnibus actibus omnium virtutum lex humana praecipit, sed solum de illis qui sunt ordinabiles ad bonum commune, vel immediate, sicut cum aliqua directe propter bonum commune fiunt; vel mediate, sicut cum aliqua ordinantur a legislatore pertinentia ad bonam disciplinam, per quam cives informantur ut commune bonum iustitiae et pacis conservent.
I answer that, The species of virtues are distinguished by their objects, as explained above (Q. 54, A. 2; Q. 60, A. 1; Q. 62, A. 2). Now all the objects of virtues can be referred either to the private good of an individual, or to the common good of the multitude: thus matters of fortitude may be achieved either for the safety of the state, or for upholding the rights of a friend, and in like manner with the other virtues. But law, as stated above (Q. 90, A. 2) is ordained to the common good. Wherefore there is no virtue whose acts cannot be prescribed by the law. Nevertheless human law does not prescribe concerning all the acts of every virtue: but only in regard to those that are ordainable to the common good—either immediately, as when certain things are done directly for the common good—or mediately, as when a lawgiver prescribes certain things pertaining to good order, whereby the citizens are directed in the upholding of the common good of justice and peace.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod lex humana non prohibet omnes actus vitiosos, secundum obligationem praecepti, sicut nec praecipit omnes actus virtuosos. Prohibet tamen aliquos actus singulorum vitiorum, sicut etiam praecipit quosdam actus singularum virtutum.
Reply Obj. 1: Human law does not forbid all vicious acts, by the obligation of a precept, as neither does it prescribe all acts of virtue. But it forbids certain acts of each vice, just as it prescribes some acts of each virtue.
Ad secundum dicendum quod aliquis actus dicitur esse virtutis dupliciter. Uno modo, ex eo quod homo operatur virtuosa, sicut actus iustitiae est facere recta, et actus fortitudinis facere fortia. Et sic lex praecipit aliquos actus virtutum. Alio modo dicitur actus virtutis, quia aliquis operatur virtuosa eo modo quo virtuosus operatur. Et talis actus semper procedit a virtute, nec cadit sub praecepto legis, sed est finis ad quem legislator ducere intendit.
Reply Obj. 2: An act is said to be an act of virtue in two ways. In one way, from the fact that a man does something virtuous; thus the act of justice is to do what is right, and an act of fortitude is to do brave things: and in this way law prescribes certain acts of virtue. In another way an act of virtue is when a man does a virtuous thing in a way in which a virtuous man does it. Such an act always proceeds from virtue: and it does not come under a precept of law, but is the end at which every lawgiver aims.
Ad tertium dicendum quod non est aliqua virtus cuius actus non sint ordinabiles ad bonum commune, ut dictum est, vel mediate vel immediate.
Reply Obj. 3: There is no virtue whose act is not ordainable to the common good, as stated above, either mediately or immediately.
Utrum lex humana imponat homini necessitatem in foro conscientiae
Whether human law binds a man in conscience?
Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod lex humana non imponat homini necessitatem in foro conscientiae. Inferior enim potestas non potest imponere legem in iudicio superioris potestatis. Sed potestas hominis, quae fert legem humanam, est infra potestatem divinam. Ergo lex humana non potest imponere legem quantum ad iudicium divinum, quod est iudicium conscientiae.
Objection 1: It would seem that human law does not bind man in conscience. For an inferior power has no jurisdiction in a court of higher power. But the power of man, which frames human law, is beneath the Divine power. Therefore human law cannot impose its precept in a Divine court, such as is the court of conscience.
Praeterea, iudicium conscientiae maxime dependet ex divinis mandatis. Sed quandoque divina mandata evacuantur per leges humanas; secundum illud Matth. XV, irritum fecistis mandatum Dei propter traditiones vestras. Ergo lex humana non imponit necessitatem homini quantum ad conscientiam.
Obj. 2: Further, the judgment of conscience depends chiefly on the commandments of God. But sometimes God’s commandments are made void by human laws, according to Matt. 15:6: You have made void the commandment of God for your tradition. Therefore human law does not bind a man in conscience.
Praeterea, leges humanae frequenter ingerunt calumniam et iniuriam hominibus; secundum illud Isaiae X, vae qui condunt leges iniquas, et scribentes iniustitias scripserunt, ut opprimerent in iudicio pauperes, et vim facerent causae humilium populi mei. Sed licitum est unicuique oppressionem et violentiam evitare. Ergo leges humanae non imponunt necessitatem homini quantum ad conscientiam.
Obj. 3: Further, human laws often bring loss of character and injury on man, according to Isa. 10:1 et seqq.: Woe to them that make wicked laws, and when they write, write injustice; to oppress the poor in judgment, and do violence to the cause of the humble of My people. But it is lawful for anyone to avoid oppression and violence. Therefore human laws do not bind man in conscience.
Sed contra est quod dicitur I Petr. II, haec est gratia, si propter conscientiam sustineat quis tristitias, patiens iniuste.
On the contrary, It is written (1 Pet 2:19): This is thankworthy, if for the sake of conscience a man endure sorrows, suffering wrongfully.
Respondeo dicendum quod leges positae humanitus vel sunt iustae, vel iniustae. Si quidem iustae sint, habent vim obligandi in foro conscientiae a lege aeterna, a qua derivantur; secundum illud Prov. VIII, per me reges regnant, et legum conditores iusta decernunt. Dicuntur autem leges iustae et ex fine, quando scilicet ordinantur ad bonum commune; et ex auctore, quando scilicet lex lata non excedit potestatem ferentis; et ex forma, quando scilicet secundum aequalitatem proportionis imponuntur subditis onera in ordine ad bonum commune. Cum enim unus homo sit pars multitudinis, quilibet homo hoc ipsum quod est et quod habet, est multitudinis, sicut et quaelibet pars id quod est, est totius. Unde et natura aliquod detrimentum infert parti, ut salvet totum. Et secundum hoc, leges huiusmodi, onera proportionabiliter inferentes, iustae sunt, et obligant in foro conscientiae, et sunt leges legales.
I answer that, Laws framed by man are either just or unjust. If they be just, they have the power of binding in conscience, from the eternal law whence they are derived, according to Prov. 8:15: By Me kings reign, and lawgivers decree just things. Now laws are said to be just, both from the end, when, to wit, they are ordained to the common good—and from their author, that is to say, when the law that is made does not exceed the power of the lawgiver—and from their form, when, to wit, burdens are laid on the subjects, according to an equality of proportion and with a view to the common good. For, since one man is a part of the community, each man in all that he is and has, belongs to the community; just as a part, in all that it is, belongs to the whole; wherefore nature inflicts a loss on the part, in order to save the whole: so that on this account, such laws as these, which impose proportionate burdens, are just and binding in conscience, and are legal laws.
Iniustae autem sunt leges dupliciter. Uno modo, per contrarietatem ad bonum humanum, e contrario praedictis, vel ex fine, sicut cum aliquis praesidens leges imponit onerosas subditis non pertinentes ad utilitatem communem, sed magis ad propriam cupiditatem vel gloriam; vel etiam ex auctore, sicut cum aliquis legem fert ultra sibi commissam potestatem; vel etiam ex forma, puta cum inaequaliter onera multitudini dispensantur, etiam si ordinentur ad bonum commune. Et huiusmodi magis sunt violentiae quam leges, quia, sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro de Lib. Arb., lex esse non videtur, quae iusta non fuerit. Unde tales leges non obligant in foro conscientiae, nisi forte propter vitandum scandalum vel turbationem, propter quod etiam homo iuri suo debet cedere, secundum illud Matth. V, qui angariaverit te mille passus, vade cum eo alia duo; et qui abstulerit tibi tunicam, da ei et pallium.
On the other hand laws may be unjust in two ways: first, by being contrary to human good, through being opposed to the things mentioned above—either in respect of the end, as when an authority imposes on his subjects burdensome laws, conducive, not to the common good, but rather to his own cupidity or vainglory—or in respect of the author, as when a man makes a law that goes beyond the power committed to him—or in respect of the form, as when burdens are imposed unequally on the community, although with a view to the common good. The like are acts of violence rather than laws; because, as Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5), a law that is not just, seems to be no law at all. Wherefore such laws do not bind in conscience, except perhaps in order to avoid scandal or disturbance, for which cause a man should even yield his right, according to Matt. 5:40, 41: If a man . . . take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him; and whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him another two.
Alio modo leges possunt esse iniustae per contrarietatem ad bonum divinum, sicut leges tyrannorum inducentes ad idololatriam, vel ad quodcumque aliud quod sit contra legem divinam. Et tales leges nullo modo licet observare, quia sicut dicitur Act. V, obedire oportet Deo magis quam hominibus.
Second, laws may be unjust through being opposed to the Divine good: such are the laws of tyrants inducing to idolatry, or to anything else contrary to the Divine law: and laws of this kind must nowise be observed, because, as stated in Acts 5:29, we ought to obey God rather than man.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut apostolus dicit, ad Rom. XIII, omnis potestas humana a Deo est, et ideo qui potestati resistit, in his quae ad ordinem potestatis pertinent, Dei ordinationi resistit. Et secundum hoc efficitur reus quantum ad conscientiam.
Reply Obj. 1: As the Apostle says (Rom 13:1, 2), all human power is from God; therefore he that resisteth the power, in matters that are within its scope, resisteth the ordinance of God; so that he becomes guilty according to his conscience.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de legibus humanis quae ordinantur contra Dei mandatum. Et ad hoc ordo potestatis non se extendit. Unde in talibus legi humanae non est parendum.
Reply Obj. 2: This argument is true of laws that are contrary to the commandments of God, which is beyond the scope of (human) power. Wherefore in such matters human law should not be obeyed.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de lege quae infert gravamen iniustum subditis, ad quod etiam ordo potestatis divinitus concessus non se extendit. Unde nec in talibus homo obligatur ut obediat legi, si sine scandalo vel maiori detrimento resistere possit.
Reply Obj. 3: This argument is true of a law that inflicts unjust hurt on its subjects. The power that man holds from God does not extend to this: wherefore neither in such matters is man bound to obey the law, provided he avoid giving scandal or inflicting a more grievous hurt.
Utrum omnes legi subiiciantur
Whether all are subject to the law?
Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non omnes legi subiiciantur. Illi enim soli subiiciuntur legi, quibus lex ponitur. Sed apostolus dicit, I ad Tim. I, quod iusto non est lex posita. Ergo iusti non subiiciuntur legi humanae.
Objection 1: It would seem that not all are subject to the law. For those alone are subject to a law for whom a law is made. But the Apostle says (1 Tim 1:9): The law is not made for the just man. Therefore the just are not subject to the law.