Utrum mulier gravius peccaverit quam vir
Whether the woman sinned more gravely than the man?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod mulier gravius quam vir non peccaverit. Uterque enim elationis vitio peccavit. Sed elatio illa non fuit nisi in hoc quod Dei similitudinem perverse appetierunt. Ergo videtur quod uterque idem appetiit, et aequaliter peccaverunt.
Obj. 1: To the third we proceed as follows. It seems that the woman did not sin more gravely than the man. For both sinned by the vice of self-exaltation. But that self-exaltation was only in the fact that they perversely desired likeness to God. Therefore it seems that both desired the same thing and sinned equally.
Praeterea, infirmitas peccatum excusat. Sed mulier infirmior fuit viro, propter quod Diabolus, ut dictum est supra, eam primo aggressus est. Ergo videtur quod ipsa minus peccaverit.
Obj. 2: Furthermore, weakness excuses from sin. But the woman was weaker than the man, for which reason the devil, as said above, first approached her. Therefore it seems that she sinned less.
Praeterea, propter hoc peccatum daemonis gravius judicatur quam peccatum hominis, quod eminentiorem cognitionem de Deo habebat. Sed vir magis erat praeditus spirituali mente quam mulier, ut in littera dicitur. Ergo videtur quod ipse gravius peccaverit.
Obj. 3: Furthermore, the reason why the demon's sin is judged graver than man's sin is that it had more eminent knowledge about God. But man was more endowed with a spiritual mind than woman, as it says in the text. Therefore it seems that he sinned more gravely.
Praeterea, regimen mulieris ad virum pertinebat; unde et supra dictum est, quod per virum ad mulierem praeceptum delatum est. Ergo videtur quod etiam peccatum mulieris viro imputandum sit, et magis aggravandum.
Obj. 4: Furthermore, the governance of the woman pertained to the man. Hence it is also said above that the precept was given to the woman through the man. Therefore it seems that even the woman's sin should be imputed to the man and reckoned graver.
Praeterea, peccare ex consideratione misericordiae divinae, videtur esse peccatum praesumptionis, quae est species peccati in spiritum sanctum, quod est gravissimum. Cum ergo vir peccaverit cogitans de Dei misericordia, ut in littera dicitur, videtur quod ipse gravius peccaverit quam mulier.
Obj. 5: Furthermore, to sin due to consideration of the divine mercy seems to be the sin of presumption, which is a species of sin against the Holy Spirit, which is most grave. Therefore, since the man sinned by thinking of God's mercy, as it says in the text, it seems that he sinned more gravely than the woman.
Sed contra, peccatum a Diabolo pervenit in mulierem, et a muliere in virum. Sed Diabolus gravius peccavit quam mulier. Ergo et mulier gravius quam vir.
On the contrary, sin came from the devil to the woman and from the woman to the man. But the devil sinned more gravely than the woman. Therefore the woman also sinned more gravely than the man.
Praeterea, ad idem sunt ea quae in littera adducuntur.
Furthermore, the citations in the text make the same point.
Respondeo dicendum, quod, sicut supra dictum est, non est inconveniens quod duorum peccatorum unum sit altero gravius, diversis circumstantiis consideratis; illud tamen simpliciter gravius dicendum est quod in pluribus sive potioribus praeponderat: illud autem potissimum in quolibet peccato est quod ad peccatum movet, ut prius dictum est, et ideo secundum hoc maxime gravitas peccati attendenda est: et secundum hoc patet quod peccatum mulieris gravius est; mulier enim ex sola elatione mentis ad peccandum mota fuit, vir autem non ex sola elatione, sed simul cum hoc ex quadam amicabili benignitate ad uxorem, quod aliquo modo peccatum ejus mitigat.
I answer that, as was said above, when different circumstances are considered, it is not unfitting for one of two sins to be graver than the other. Still, that sin should be called "graver" simply speaking which is weightier in more respects or in more important respects. Now, what is most significant in any sin is that to which the sin moves, as was said before, and it is in this regard that we should most of all consider the gravity of a sin. And in this regard it is clear that the woman's sin is graver. For the woman was moved to sin only out of self-exaltation of the mind, whereas the man was moved not out of self-exaltation alone, but together with this, out of a kind of loving kindness toward his wife, which in a way mitigates his sin.
Item elatio quae movit mulierem, major fuit quam elatio quae movit virum. In muliere enim talis fuit elationis progressus ut ad verba serpentis tantum excellentiae appetitum conciperet ut judicium rationis perverteret, et crederet hoc possibile et verum quod Diabolus dicebat: et propter hoc dicitur esse seducta. In viro autem non tantum excrevit in principio amor propriae excellentiae ut judicium ejus perverteret, quasi crederet hoc esse futurum; sed quia illud vellet, si possibile foret; et ideo non dicitur fuisset seductus: sed tamen talis elatio ad experiendum ipsum incitavit; unde aliquam dubitationem elatio in eo fecit, quae in muliere firmam opinionem conceperat: et ideo etiam voluntas mulieris perfecta consecuta est in appetitum divinae similitudinis; sed viri imperfecta, scilicet sub conditione si possibile foret.
Again, the self-exaltation that moved the woman was greater than the self-exaltation that moved the man. For in the woman the process of self-exaltation was such that at the serpent's words she conceived such a great desire for excellence that it perverted the judgment of reason and she believed that what the devil said was possible and true. For this reason she is said to have been seduced. However, in the man, love for his own excellence did not grow so great in the beginning that it perverted his judgment, as if he believed that the given thing would happen, but instead that he would will it if it were possible. And thus he is not said to have been seduced. Rather, such self-exaltation incited him to make a test of it. Hence in him self-exaltation produced a certain doubtfulness, while in the woman it had conceived a firm opinion. And so in consequence the woman had a perfect will for the desire for the divine likeness, but the man's will was imperfect, namely, on the condition that it were possible.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod, sicut ex praedictis patet, licet id quodammodo uterque appetierit, non tamen aequaliter: quod enim creditur esse possibile, completum desiderium habet, id vero quod impossibile creditur esse, vel de cujus possibilitate dubitatur, habet desiderium conditionatum tantum: quia homo illud vellet si possibile foret. Quia ergo mens mulieris per elationem ad verba serpentis conceptam intantum excaecata est ut illud possibile crederet quod Diabolus promittebat, completum desiderium habuit; vir vero incompletum, quia hoc possibile non credidit.
Reply Obj. 1: As is clear from the aforementioned, granted that both desired this in a certain way, they did not desire it equally. For what is believed to be possible has a complete desire, whereas what is believed to be impossible or that about the possibility of which there is doubt has a conditional desire alone, that is, one would will it if it were possible. Therefore, because the woman's mind was so blinded through self-exaltation at the words of the serpent that she believed that what the devil promised was possible, she had a complete desire. But the man had an incomplete desire, because he did not believe it was possible.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod in muliere non erat tanta debilitas quin peccato resistere posset; unde quamvis debilitas mulieris sit aliqua circumstantia diminuens peccatum ipsius per comparationem ad virum non tamen simpliciter minus peccatum fecit.
Reply Obj. 2: There was not such great weakness in the woman that she could not resist sin. Hence, even though woman's weakness is a circumstance diminishing her sin in comparison with a man, she did not perform a lesser sin simply.
Et similiter dicendum ad tertium et quartum.
Reply Obj. 3 & 4: And we should reply likewise to the third and fourth objection.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod cogitare de Dei misericordia cum proposito poenitendi et resiliendi a peccato, non facit praesumptionis peccatum, sed magis peccatum alleviat; sed cogitare de Dei misericordia sine proposito poenitendi hoc praesumptionis est, et contemptus divinae justitiae: nec sic Adam de misericordia cogitavit.
Reply Obj. 5: To think about the mercy of God with the resolution of repenting and coming back from sin does not amount to the sin of presumption, but rather alleviates sin. But to think about the mercy of God without resolving to repent is a matter of presumption and contempt for the divine justice. But Adam did not think about mercy in this way.
Ignorance and Sin
Deinde quaeritur de ignorantia de qua fit mentio in littera; et quaeruntur duo:
Then the question of ignorance, mentioned in the text, is asked. And two questions are asked:
1 an ignorantia peccatum sit;
first, whether ignorance is a sin;
2 an peccatum excuset.
second, whether it excuses from sin.
Utrum ignorantia sit peccatum
Whether ignorance is a sin?
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ignorantia peccatum non sit. Omne enim peccatum, ut Augustinus dicit, est in voluntate. Ignorantia autem est intellectu. Ergo non est peccatum.
Obj. 1: To the first we proceed as follows. It seems that ignorance is not a sin. For every sin, as Augustine says, is within the will. But ignorance is in the intellect. Therefore it is not a sin.
Praeterea, omne peccatum est originale vel actuale. Sed ignorantia non est originale peccatum, sed magis concupiscentia, ut infra dicetur: nec etiam est actuale, quia non est dictum vel factum vel concupitum contra legem Dei. Ergo ignorantia non est peccatum.
Obj. 2: Furthermore, every sin is either original or actual. But ignorance is not original sin, but rather concupiscence is, as will be said below. Neither is it actual sin, since it is not a word, deed, or desire contrary to the law of God. Therefore ignorance is not a sin.
Praeterea, omne peccatum consistit in defectu alicujus actus, et non in defectu alicujus habitus: alias aliquis dormiendo peccaret. Ignorantia autem magis opponitur habitui quam actui. Ergo idem quod prius.
Obj. 3: Furthermore, every sin consists in the defect of an act, not in the defect of a habit. Otherwise someone would sin while sleeping. But ignorance is more opposed to habit than to act. Therefore the same follows as before.
Praeterea, ignorans in ignorantia sua continue manet. Si ergo ipsum ignorare peccatum esset, videtur quod continue peccaret; non enim apparet ratio quare magis nunc sit peccatum quam prius. Sed hoc videtur grave dicere. Ergo videtur quod ignorantia non sit peccatum.
Obj. 4: Furthermore, one who is ignorant remains continuously in his ignorance. Therefore, if it were a sin for him to be ignorant, it seems that he would be continuously sinning. For there is no apparent reason why it is more a sin now than before. But this seems to be a serious charge. Therefore it seems that ignorance is not a sin.
Praeterea, Augustinus, ubi supra, dicit, quod omne peccatum est voluntarium. Ignorantia autem non est voluntarium, cum ab hominibus naturaliter scientia desideretur, secundum philosophum. Ergo non est peccatum.
Obj. 5: Furthermore, Augustine says that every sin is voluntary. But ignorance is not something voluntary, since knowledge is naturally desired by men, according to the Philosopher. Therefore it is not a sin.
Sed contra est quod 1 Corinth. 14, 38, dicitur: qui ignorat, ignorabitur; et loquitur de ignorantia reprobationis. Sed nulli debetur reprobatio nisi pro peccato mortali. Ergo ignorantia est peccatum mortale.
On the contrary, it is said: if any man know not, he shall not be known (1 Cor 14:38), speaking about the not-knowing of reprobation. But reprobation is only due to anyone for mortal sin. Therefore ignorance is a mortal sin.
Praeterea, Isaiae 5, 13, dicitur: propterea captivus ductus est populus meus, quia non habuit scientiam. Sed poena non debetur nisi culpae. Ergo carere scientia, est culpa.
Furthermore, it is said: therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge (Isa 5:13). But punishment is only due to fault. Therefore to lack knowledge is a fault.
Respondeo, quod quidam dixerunt, nullam ignorantiam, quantum in se est, culpam esse, sed ratione alicujus annexi, vel praecedentis vel sequentis: praecedentis, ut causae, scilicet negligentiae addiscendi; sequentis, ut effectus, scilicet alicujus inordinati actus, qui ignorantiam sequitur.
I answer that some have said that ignorance is never a fault in and of itself, but can be a fault by reason of something connected to it, either preceding or following. Ignorance connected with something preceding as a cause is a fault, namely negligence of learning. Ignorance connected with something following as an effect is a fault, namely that of an inordinate act following on ignorance.
Sed quia de ratione culpae non est plus, nisi quod sit privatio alicujus quod debitum est haberi, in potestate ejus qui privatur, existens; ideo etiam ipsam ignorantiam secundum se possumus culpam dicere; si tamen ignorantia privative et non negative accipiatur: et dico ignorantiam privative acceptam quae est ejus quidem quod quis natus est addiscere, quidquid sit illud: non enim idem est quod omnes scire tenentur, cum ad plura scienda quidam magis aliis teneantur; unde aliqua ignorantia est peccatum uni quae non est peccatum alteri: unicuique enim peccatum est ignorantia eorum quae ad bonos mores et fidei veritatem pertinent; sed alicui in officio constituto est etiam peccatum ignorantia eorum quae ad suum officium pertinent. Nec est mirum, si hoc ipsum quod est scientia carere, peccatum est ei qui potest et tenetur habere; cum etiam carere aliquo corporali ad officium pertinente peccatum sit, ut tonsura, vel veste ad officium accommodata; et quod ista in se peccata sint, poena ostendit quae pro eis juste infligitur.
But because there is only more of the notion of fault when there is the privation of something that ought to be had and is in the power of the one who is deprived, we can call ignorance in itself a fault, if ignorance is taken in a privative and not a negative sense. And I say that ignorance, taken in a privative sense, is ignorance of what someone is meant to learn, whatever it may be. For not all are bound to know precisely the same things, since some are bound to know more than others. Hence a given ignorance is a sin for one that is not a sin for another. For ignorance of what pertains to good morals and the truth of the faith is a sin for everyone, but to someone holding a certain office, ignorance of what pertains to his office is also a sin. And it is no wonder that if this very thing — to lack of knowledge — is a sin for one who can and is bound to having it, since even lacking something corporeal pertaining to one's office, such as tonsure or attire appropriate to the office, is a sin. And the fact that these things are sins in themselves is shown by the punishment that is justly inflicted for them.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod esse in voluntate contingit dupliciter: vel sicut in subjecto; et hoc modo non omne peccatum in voluntate est; aliquod enim est in concupiscibili vel irascibili, et sic de aliis viribus; vel sicut in causa, ut scilicet ipsa voluntas sit domina ejus quod in ea esse dicitur, quasi in ejus potestate existens; et hoc modo omne peccatum in voluntate est, etiam ignorantia: ipsa enim voluntas imperat aliis viribus et intellectui; unde actus aliarum virium sunt in potestate voluntatis, et defectus earum, scilicet solum illi qui rationi obediunt.
Reply Obj. 1: There are two ways in which something can be in the will. Either something is in the will as in a subject. And in this way not every sin is in the will. For a sin can be in the concupiscible or the irascible part and so on for the other powers. Or something is in the will as in a cause, namely, in the way that the will is the master of what is said to be in it, as being in its power. And in this way every sin is in the will, even ignorance. For it is the will that commands the other powers and the intellect. Hence the acts of the other powers are in the power of the will, as well as their defects, that is, only those powers those that obey reason.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod ignorantia non est originale peccatum (non enim ignorantia imputatur puero in peccatum, antequam ad tempus deputatum venerit), sed est peccatum actuale eo modo quo omissio peccatum actuale dicitur; et eodem modo convenit peccati actualis descriptio ignorantiae sicut omissioni; quod qualiter sit, infra dicetur.
Reply Obj. 2: Ignorance is not original sin (for ignorance is not imputed to a child as a sin before he reaches the proper age). Rather, it is an actual sin in the way in which omission is called an "actual sin." And the description of actual sin befits ignorance in the same way as omission, though how this is the case will be explained below.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod quamvis scientia, cui opponitur ignorantia, non sit actus qui est operatio, sed habitus; tamen per operationem aliquam quae est in potestate voluntatis acquiritur; et ideo hoc ipsum quod est scientiam habere, voluntati subjectum est; et per consequens hoc quod est scientia carere; et inde est quod culpae rationem habet.
Reply Obj. 3: Even though knowledge, to which ignorance is opposed, is not an act that is an activity, but rather a habit, it is acquired through an activity that is in the power of the will. And thus the fact of having knowledge is subject to the will and, consequently, the fact of lacking knowledge. And so it is that it has the notion of fault.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod peccatum omissionis non habet rationem culpae nisi ex hoc quod opponitur praecepto affirmativo legis naturalis vel scriptae. Praeceptum autem affirmativum obligat semper, sed non ad semper; et ideo omnis omissio pro illo tempore est peccatum in actu in quo quis per praeceptum obligatur; et quoties illud tempus revertitur, toties peccatum multiplicatur.
Reply Obj. 4: A sin of omission only has the notion of a fault from the fact that it is opposed to an affirmative precept of the natural or written law. Now, an affirmative precept obliges always, but not at every moment. And thus every omission is actually a sin for the time in which someone is obliged by the precept. And the sin is multiplied as often as that time returns.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod quamvis omnis homo naturaliter scientiam desideret et scientiam velit, non tamen omnes volunt id per quod ad scientiam pervenitur; et sic quodammodo ignorantia voluntarium efficitur, non per se, sed per accidens, sicut et quodlibet malum.
Reply Obj. 5: Even though every man naturally desires knowledge and wills knowledge, not all will that through which knowledge is arrived at. And this is how in a certain way ignorance becomes something voluntary, not through itself, but incidentally, as any evil does.