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Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Man - Essay Example

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It puts forward several topics concerning western Christian theology such as the existence of God, the purpose of man and the sacraments and how man should get back to God. The Summa Theologica is comprised of three major parts each of which deal with a major subject of Christian theology, the first part known as Prima Pars delves of God's existence in relation with nature; the creation of the earth, angels and man's nature. The second part Prima Secundae tackles in general principles of morality such as individual beliefs and vices while the third part Secunda Secundae deals with man's work for God and the sacraments and the ways of God. The Summa Theologica is composed of varying questions each of which is centered around a unique subtopic with the questions phrased as curious statements handling different issues such as whether Christ should have lived a life of poverty while on earth. Analysis: The first parts of concern are structured as eight questions such as questioning if the happiness of man lies in wealth, scripture is quoted for example Ecclesiastes 10:19 states that whatever has the greatest hold over man's affections is ultimately the source of his happiness which is money therefore stating that man's happiness lies in wealth because it commands all things. Happiness is observed as a state of being made good by all things being perfect; money is portrayed as a guarantee for all of man's desires. St Thomas argues further by contradicting the notion that money is the source of man's happiness by stating that the good does not seek in spreading happiness but rather retaining it, Boethius argues by saying that wealth lies in giving rather than collecting as a miser which is hateful and applauds man's generosity. St Thomas is quick to disagree with the statement through his counter argument that shows how wealth is twofold consisting of the natural and artificial with the natural satisfying man's natural needs like food, dwellings and cars while the artificial wealth is that which is not related to nature such as money but exists as an invention of man for convenience in exchange and as a measure for salable things. He further argues that the happiness of man cannot be comprised of natural wealth as it is sought for to support man's nature and as such cannot be the last end rather is chosen as his last end. In addition, St Thomas argues that artificial wealth is sought to save humans from natural health while in its pursuit in a way that he procures natural wealth so as to obtain the necessities of life. The second question deals with the happiness in relation to the honor of man, the objection is made stating that all that belongs to God and people of honor and excellence is the source of happiness as it stands for perfection and good. Another objection is made which states that the greatest desire of man above happiness is to be honorable, of all man’s sufferings the loss of honor is the greatest and as such man's happiness co-exists with honor. St Thomas answers the objections by stating that is not possible for happiness to be comprised of honor, because honor is accorded to man on account for his excellence and as a recognition of his achievements. Therefore man's good deeds can provide him some level f happiness but cannot entirely be the source of his happiness. A question is put forward as to ...Show more
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Treaties of Happiness by St. Thomas: What is happiness? A simple and yet difficult question to answer, St Thomas Aquinas attempts to find the true meaning and definition of happiness in the Treatise of Happiness by exhaustively examining how it can be attained…
Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Man
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