Aquinas embraces the material, arguing that the material world is essential in order to understand the divine. Though the theories of both men are different, they both agreed that one could know God through reason, yet no one could understand God fully because God created man. SST. Augustine and SST. Aquinas on Human Nature SST. Augustine believed that human nature, which was created by God, was good. He also believed that humans are equally able to choose good or bad, but humans are constantly attracted to evil because of our sinful nature that we inherited from Adam (Free will, 2013).
SST. Augustine argued that the only way to escape this sinful nature was to accept the grace given by God, which we receive only by salvation and being good. SST. Aquinas’ theory on nature differs from SST. Augustine. He believed that human nature is the compilation of the mind, body, and soul. Our minds and bodies are subject to corruption, but our souls are immaterial and free from corruption. To exist, according to Aquinas, is to be good. However, our human nature or our good depends on goodness of our actions. SST. Augustine and SST.
Aquinas Knowing Good SST. Augustine believed that we are trapped by our sins and our fulfillment or happiness can only be found in God (Clark & opportune, 2003). For Augustine, knowing the good was not enough to motivate humans to be good. Humans due to their free will and sinful nature require divine intervention; knowing God. SST. Augustine believed that good was not found in worldly possessions and that we should not attach ourselves to such things (2003). Material possessions can be lost and God is the only good that cannot be lost. SST.
Aquinas was a follower of Aristotle, who also believed that good was pendent on whether it contributed or deterred us from our proper human end, which is dominance, or happiness. He also believed the people could know good by reasoning well (Lecture 3, SYS-305, GU, 2013). Knowing good required a range of intellectual and moral virtues that enable us to comprehend the nature of true happiness, and motivate us to search for it on a consistent basis. He also believed that good, was reaching a maximally fulfilling life and that we as humans are always in search of fulfillment (Wilkins, 201 1).
SST. Augustine & SST. Aquinas on DOing Good Both SST. Augustine and SST. Aquinas felt that doing good required God to be the main focus of man. For SST. Augustine, doing good required our love of God to be primary (Augustine, 2014). If we give God our primary love, then all other loves gain value. If we love God first, we will know what is right and good (Aquinas & Regis, 1997). Putting God first, put good in the proper order, which would then lead us to diamond. SST. Aquinas felt that our happiness or goodness is not be found in created things. SST.
Aquinas believed that doing DOD required God and that God alone was sufficient for our fulfillment, or happiness. True fulfillment in doing good would come from loving God and our neighbor (Clark & Progeny, 2003). Hope of our fulfillment, or of doing good, can only be found in receiving grace and leading us to a closer relationship and love of God (Aquinas & Peg’s, 1997). Critique of SST. Augustine and SST. Aquinas Though SST. Augustine and SST. Aquinas have different views about material possessions in the world, SST. Aquinas has the view that is more rational.
His view is not as harsh as SST Augustine. SST. Augustine is strict on the belief that we are all broken people due to man’s sinful nature. Without saying so directly, he makes humans sound like awful beings that are no good. Whereas SST. Aquinas does believe that, we have a sinful nature, but that we all have the ability to have a fulfilling life and reach our ultimate goal of happiness in the end with God. Conclusion SST. Augustine and SST. Aquinas were both great minds of medieval times. They were pioneers in theology and Christianity.
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