In this 3 page paper, the author overviews St. Thomas' thoughts on politics, power and law. The author also comments on who influenced Aquinas and why specific writings are compared to a gothic cathedral. Bibliography lists 2 sources.
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1997). Aquinas did not seem to be interested in the organization or use of power, only if it was the final definition of human happiness (Schall, 1997). Briefly
stated, Aquinas thought that legitimate political power must be used in conjunction with the discipline or reasons and virtue (Schall, 1997). Only when considering power win this context could one
determine if its use was good or bad (Schall, 1997). As for law, Aquinas discussed this at great length but he did so using three separate categories: divine law, civil
or human law and natural law (Schall, 1997). Laws can only have authority over people if they are right and just (The Radical Academy, 2004). Society, according to Aquinas,
was necessary for the perfection that man was destined to by his nature (The Radical Academy, 2004). This inherently makes man a political being (The Radical Academy, 2004). Society is
for the common good and society exists for man (The Radical Academy, 2004). Aquinas eventually brings the discussion back to the church, which was perceived as the final authority in
his time. All power and authority ultimately come from God but Aquinas did not believe in divine right, which was the general belief at the time (The Radical Academy, 2004).
God gives this power to the people as a whole, not to individuals (The Radical Academy, 2004). The people then give the right to make laws to the representatives they
choose (The Radical Academy, 2004). Thus, in summary, Aquinas believed that political power cannot arbitrarily make laws, they must have the consent of the people (The Radical Academy, 2004).
Aquinas was influenced greatly by Augustine but he both agreed and disagreed with Augustine. On the one hand, Aquinas opposed Augustines belief that society was not natural, it was the