Political Writings

By R. W. Dyson; Thomas Aquinas | Go to book overview

1
Government and politics

(a) Summa theologiae Ia 96: Concerning the dominion
which belonged to man in the state of innocence

articulus 3:1Whether men were equal in the state of innocence2

It seems that all men were equal in the state of innocence.

obiectio 1: For Gregory says: 'Where we do not sin, we are all equal.'3 But in the state of innocence there was no sin. Therefore all were equal.

obiectio 2: Moreover, similarity and equality are the basis of mutual love, according to Ecclesiasticus 13:19: 'Every beast loveth its like; so also every man him that is nearest to himself.' Now in that state there was among men abundant love, which is the bond of peace. Therefore all were equal in the state of innocence.

obiectio 3: Moreover, when the cause ceases, the effect ceases also. But the inequality which now exists among men seems to arise, on the side of God, from the fact that He rewards some and punishes others; and, on the side of nature, from the fact that some are born weak and disadvantaged by some defect of nature, whereas others are strong and perfect. But this would not have been so in the primitive state.

sed contra: It is said at Romans 13:1 that the things which come from God are ordered. But order seems to consist especially in disparity; for Augustine says: 'Order is the disposition of equal and unequal things in such a way as to give to each its proper place.'4 Therefore in the primitive

____________________
1
This quaestio has four articles, the first two of which are: 'Whether man in the state of innocence was lord of the animals'; and 'Whether man was lord of all other creatures'.
2
I.e. would all men have been equal had the Fall not occurred?
3
Moralia 21:15 (PL 76:203).
4
De civitate Dei 19:13.

-1-

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