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Ethical Views of Augustine and Aquinas

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Ethical Views of Augustine and Aquinas

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Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas both lived in completely diverse times, cultures and societies. However, the two philosophers showed extraordinarily solid suppositions in respect to matters pertaining morals. Their respective works has endured the tests of times and can now be viewed as canonical in their own respective rights.

Augustine's perspectives radiated from a predominantly scriptural perspective of human nature which was supplemented especially with different teachings of Greek thought. It was amid this period that the idea of original sin was presented and was characterized within particular parameters as humans having decided to tumble from an original adoring and "good" nature. According to Weithman (1959), such a fall could just be turned around through encountering God's grace – and this was not easily achievable exclusively through expressions and activities of human will. After encountering God's grace and mercy an individual would then be considered to have been set once more on the way to the perfection or flawlessness which originally was designed in human nature, and would be accomplished at last after life.

While he concurred for the most part with these ideas of human nature, Aquinas hypothesized and proposed new and one of a kind attributes which were in respect to the idea of perfection encapsulated in human nature. Outright perfection itself was entirely of God himself, yet Aquinas created the potential for people to have the capacity to achieve lower levels of perfection. This could be produced by the evacuation of mortal sin as well as the improvement of a particular culture which encapsulated the God’s love and also one's neighbor. The idea of free will was seen as progressively critical. However, it was likewise noteworthy that there was a decrease in the need for the grace of God as far as man strived for perfection (Weithman, 1959).

Apart from overriding idea of original sin, both philosophers were in charge of the advancement of ideas which identified with an individual's capacity to know the good as well to do the good. The way of the good involved God himself and was characterized in respect to a particular state that individuals could try achieving it through the accompanying of particular teachings.

Augustine stated that human capacity to know was a result of having the chief good and additionally the vital feelings of affection and experience that were the consequence of this possession. Inside one’s life there may be different things being experienced, however genuine happiness can only be achieved through possession of the greatest good. This possession of the highest good must be total and not simply evident or brief as this implies it can't be lost against the will of a single person. Assuming all these are genuine, then the body and soul of the being, which characterizes their nature as well as their knowing of the good, will have been made evident to God. The process of doing “good” is accomplished through particular count of righteousness which comprises of a flawless affection for God. This would be accomplished particularly by taking after ideas of fortitude prudence, justice and temperance.  

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