Aquinas' Ethics

Aquinas' Ethics
By: Stan Kosilesky

Aquinas' Ethics are the ethics derived from Saint Thomas Aquinas. For Thomas Aquinas, philosophy is simply thinking about what one should and should not do. Aquinas ethics are based upon the opportunity of one's whole life full of opportunity or lack of opportunity. Aquinas ethics are all based upon the practical capabilities of human beings with which they use their intelligence along with reasonability i) to do good intent in our own life while also making other's lives better along with helping the environment, and ii) to have a good character and live a full life responsibly by responding to situations where people or nature are in need. Aquinas' ethics considers an important principle to a good choice is to be self-evident and undeduced. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have any knowledge of the situation, but to just think about it and don't take any immediate justifications. According to Aquinas' ethics, some of the basic human goods help us make ethical decisions. The basic human needs in Thomas Aquinas' eyes are: 1. Life, 2. Marriage, 3. Knowledge, 4. Living in fellowship with others, 5. Practical reasonableness itself, 6. Knowing and relating appropriately to the transcendent cause of all being, value, normativity and efficacious action. These six needs guide many humans in making ethical decisions because they are something we all strive to have and want. Aquinas' ethics call upon on one's conscience to make decisions that reflect in their actions. So to say, someone with a sound moral conscience will make and act in a very responsible way. In Aquinas' ethics it is important to have virtues. To have any virtues in its full and proper form one must have them all and of the leading and shaping role of the good of practical reasonableness or the intellectual and moral virtue. An important rule for Aquinas' ethics is the love of a neighbor as oneself. This requires one to live in political community with others. Saint Thomas Aquinas was a man of great faith was shaped by his faith to God and the Catholic Church. Therefore his morals and other beliefs follow a Christian way of morals.

Connection to Class
Saint Thomas Aquinas' ethics tie into class because it talks about how religion can shape the way people think. The virtues fit under the category of virtue ethics and the conscience along with the basic human needs go along with deontology. This all fits under what we study in class because we discuss about what helps us make tough choices. Thomas Aquinas broke it down into our conscience, basic human needs, and virtues. According to Aquinas' Ethics what we have to do good with our life while also putting good into others lives and as long as we take upon these situations when they arise, then we are leading good moral lives. This all fits, in general, under the category of deontology which we covered in class.

3 Questions
1) Do you listen to your conscience more when making hard decisions?
Emily Best: Answering this question for myself, I would say I definitely listen to my conscience more when making hard decisions simply because we have to think more about decisions that are difficult. If it is an easy choice to make, we may not even think twice about it, in which case we would not really rely on our conscience much at all. But when making a hard decision, we often way the pros and cons determining which would be the best choice, also known as using our conscience to decide what would be best.
2) Do you work towards obtaining the basic human needs when thinking morally?
3) Does a person need to be both self-evident and undeduced when making decisions?

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