Universalità e individualità del male: note sul rapporto tra peccato originale e male morale
Thomas Aquinas has developed an answer to the problem of evil within the co-ordinates of the culture of his age, i. e. within the myth of the Genesis and within the Christian tradition integrated by some Aristotelian characters: what we would nowadays call "universal evil" was indicated as the "original sin", the evil actions committed by each individual were the " actual sin". Adam was in possession of the original justice (both natural good and concession of the divine grace), which corresponded to an harmonic articulation of all the human being's components under the aegis of reason, in man's path to the contemplation of God. The first sin was a sin of pride, a desire for one's own excellence, and it caused a misuse of the faculties originally ordered to the ultimate purpose. Formally loss of the original rectitude, the transmission of the sin has in concupiscence (i. e. in a disorder of the desires) its material element. Committed by the forefather of mankind, Adam's sin was not only a personal sin, but a sin of nature which branded each individual forever. Thus, in an unusual (for Thomas) strongly realistic vision, the sin of nature forces on mankind an unavoidable causality: man does not have the faculty, by his natural means, of completely avoiding evil. However, his responsibility is not compromised: man remains free, by following the guide of reason, of fighting against evil, even in the corrupted state of nature. Moral actions represent, for Thomas, the solution to the chasm between an intrinsically good nature and a human condition which has become fallible: by remaining faithful to one's own humanity (intended as image of the creator), by following the guide of reason and by recognising its normative universal character, each individual, within his human limits, is called to fight the battle against the initial inordinatio which determines his condition.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
IV (2002) 2
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Tiziana Suarez-Nani, "Universalità e individualità del male: note sul rapporto tra peccato originale e male morale", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, IV (2002) 2