It is impossible for man's happiness to consist in wealth. For wealth is twofold, as the Philosopher says (Aristotle, Polit. i, 3), viz. natural and artificial. Natural wealth is that which serves man as a remedy for his natural wants: such as food, drink, clothing, dwellings, and such like, while artificial wealth is that which is not a direct help to nature, as money, but is invented by the art of man, for the convenience of exchange, and as a measure of things salable. (ST Ia-IIa, q. 2, a. 1)There is no sin in desiring food or a house. This is in accordance with nature. However, Thomas goes on to say that even natural wealth is not the greatest good of human life - it is a means to an end.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Labels: Thomas Aquinas