Question 18. The good and evil of human
acts, in general
Is every human action good, or are there evil actions?
Is the good or evil of a human action derived from its object?
Is it derived from a circumstance?
Is it derived from the end?
Is a human action good or evil in its species?
Does an action have the species of good or evil from its end?
Is the species derived from the end, contained under the species derived from the object,
as under its genus, or conversely?
Is any action indifferent in its species?
Can an individual action be indifferent?
Does a circumstance place a moral action in the species of good or evil?
Does every circumstance that makes an action better or worse, place the moral action in
the species of good or evil?
Article 1. Whether every human action is good, or are there
It would seem that every
, and that none is
says (Div. Nom. iv) that
acts not, save in virtue of the
. But no
is done in virtue of
. Therefore no action is
Further, nothing acts except in so far as it is in act. Now a thing is
according as it is in act, but according as its
is void of act; whereas in so far as its
is perfected by act, it is
, as stated in Metaph. ix, 9. Therefore nothing acts in so
far as it is
, but only according as it is
. Therefore every action is
, and none is
cannot be a
Nom. iv). But every action has some effect which is proper to it. Therefore no action is
every action is
On the contrary,
): "Every one that doth
, hateth the light."
Therefore some actions of
I answer that,
We must speak of
in actions as of
in things: because
such as everything is, such is the act that it produces. Now in things, each one has so much
as it has being: since
and being are convertible, as was stated in the I, 5, 1,3. But
has the whole plenitude of His Being in a certain unity: whereas every other thing has its proper
fulness of being in a certain multiplicity. Wherefore it happens with some things, that they have
being in some respect, and yet they are lacking in the fulness of being due to them. Thus the
requires a compound of
and body, having all the powers and
and movement: wherefore if any
be lacking in any of these, he is