PHI-305 Ethical Thinking on the Liberal Arts
Kyle Smith – Instructor
Augustine and Aquinas Views Compared
In this essay, I will discuss the views of Aquinas and Augustine in regards to their views on human nature and “The Good”. Both explored the essence of the soul and explored the knowledge of what it is to be good. They used reason and faith to be able to reconcile their beliefs back to God, but achieved this in different ways. In regards to faith and reason, Augustine believed that a person should use reason in order to bring light to their faith and develop that faith. He also believed that reasoning in order to become good, or right, with God, only pertained to those that were not Christians. Augustine believed that those that were Christians did not have to use reasoning, or philosophy, because their faith in God superseded the need for reasoning. Not saying that one should not reason at all but that a person’s faith should come before their reasoning. Especially if the reasoning went against what a person’s faith dictated. An example of this within society would be that rules set forth by the church in regards to faith, would be the absolute rather than an individual’s own reasoning in regards to what is good. In short, Augustine believed that through reasoning, a person could find the good within their nature and be redeemed to God. Aquinas believed that faith and reason could co-exist and that all of creation came from God. He believed that there are things that are true that reasoning cannot explain but can be found within one’s faith. Aquinas believed that our God given reasoning can help us to gain knowledge of the world and of ourselves, but only through our faith can we be redeemed to God. He believed that a person needed reasoning in order to have and act upon one’s faith. Our faith comes from our knowledge, which comes from our reasoning and ultimately leads us to goodness and truth. Aquinas also believed that,...
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