Political Writings

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

5
Property relations

(a) Summa theologiae IIa IIae 66: On theft and robbery
Here there are nine things to consider:
1. Whether it is natural for man to possess external things
2. Whether it is lawful for anyone to possess something as his own
3. Whether the nature of theft lies in taking someone else's property secretly
4. Whether theft and robbery are sins of different species
5. Whether all theft is sinful
6. Whether theft is a mortal sin
7. Whether it is lawful to steal by reason of necessity
8. Whether all robbery is a mortal sin
9. Whether theft is a more grievous sin than robbery

articulus 1: Whether it is natural for man to possess external things

It seems that it is not natural for man to possess external things.

obiectio 1: For no man should claim for himself that which belongs to God. But dominion over all creatures belongs to God, according to Psalm 24:1: 'The earth is the Lord's', etc. Therefore it is not natural for man to possess external things.

obiectio 2: Moreover, Basil, expounding the words of the rich man at Luke 12:18, 'I will gather all my fruits and my goods', says: 'Tell me: Which things are yours? Whence did you call them forth when you brought them to life?'1 But whatever a man possesses naturally he can properly call his. Therefore man does not naturally possess external goods.

____________________
1
Homilia 6, on Luke 12:18 (PG 31:276).

-205-

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Political Writings
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • Introduction xvii
  • A Brief Chronology of St Thomas's Life xxxvii
  • Bibliography xxxviii
  • 1 - Government and Politics 1
  • 2 - Obedience 57
  • 3 - Law 76
  • 4 - Right, Justice and Judgment1 158
  • 5 - Property Relations 205
  • 6 - War, Sedition and Killing 239
  • 7 - Religion and Politics 267
  • Biographical Glossary 279
  • Index 297
  • Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought *
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