How should I respond to these Aqunias quotes?


#1

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I q. 92 a. 1
"Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male
seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex;
while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or
from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence,
such as that of a south wind, which is moist."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q.70 a.3
"The reliability of a person’s evidence is weakened, sometimes indeed on
account of some fault of his…; sometimes, without any fault on his
part, and this owing either to a defect in the reason, as in the case of
children, imbeciles and women, or to personal feeling…"


#2

[quote=axolotl]St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I q. 92 a. 1
"Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male
seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex;
while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or
from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence,
such as that of a south wind, which is moist."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q.70 a.3
"The reliability of a person’s evidence is weakened, sometimes indeed on
account of some fault of his…; sometimes, without any fault on his
part, and this owing either to a defect in the reason, as in the case of
children, imbeciles and women, or to personal feeling…"
[/quote]

This is the product of one who can easily see the flaws in others, but fails to look in the mirror. Aquinas was not a writer of scripture. Don’t take everything he wrote so seriously. Just dismiss this as flawed opinion.

David


#3

[quote=axolotl]St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I q. 92 a. 1
"Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male
seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex;
while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or
from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence,
such as that of a south wind, which is moist."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q.70 a.3
"The reliability of a person’s evidence is weakened, sometimes indeed on
account of some fault of his…; sometimes, without any fault on his
part, and this owing either to a defect in the reason, as in the case of
children, imbeciles and women, or to personal feeling…"
[/quote]

Always start by going to the source and looking for context. Especially with regard to Aquinas.

You would do well to read the whole thing.

newadvent.org/summa/109201.htm
Reply to Objection 1. As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence; such as that of a south wind, which is moist, as the Philosopher observes (De Gener. Animal. iv, 2). On the other hand, as regards human nature in general, woman is not misbegotten, but is included in nature’s intention as directed to the work of generation. Now the general intention of nature depends on God, Who is the universal Author of nature. Therefore, in producing nature, God formed not only the male but also the female.

As a matter of science they only knew about sperm in his day. Not the egg. They assumed sperm was male and so they had to come up with some way of explaining where the woman came from. Aquinas is speaking of nature. Later however he says with regard to human nature she is not misbegotten. That is key.

There is a better article than the one below on the net but I can’t find it offhand but it will provide some further info.

church-in-history.org/pages/booklets/women-souls-1.htm
A word must be said about the most widely used English version of the Summa Theologiae [29] which translates per respectum ad naturam particularem femina est aliquid deficiens et occasionatum thus: As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten’.

Those unaware of the meaning of *natura particularis *might take this to mean that the individual nature of woman defective. As we have seen, the individual nature is the power of the male semen and while a female may not be what this semen intended to produce she is what Nature intends should be produced and as such is not defective.

Misbegotten' is an unhappy translation of *occasionatum. *In a more recent translation, it is given as *manque. *But since Aquinas had to hand William of Moerbeke's translation *orbatum, *which does mean *manque *and chose instead to use *occasionatum, *one wishesunintentionally pro­duced’ had been used, for that is precisely what *occasionatum *means.


#4

Clarification, Aquinas is guilty of bad science based on lack of information. The Bible is not a science book and so it does not correct the false science. For instance Jesus leaves the people believing that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds. Thousands if not millions of orchid seeds will fit inside the area of a mustard seed.

Blessings


#5

Dear axolot,

quote: axolot, quoting St. Thomas Aquinas:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I q. 92 a. 1
"Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male
seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex;
while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or
from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence,
such as that of a south wind, which is moist."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q.70 a.3
"The reliability of a person’s evidence is weakened, sometimes indeed on
account of some fault of his…; sometimes, without any fault on his
part, and this owing either to a defect in the reason, as in the case of
children, imbeciles and women, or to personal feeling…"

You have asked:
How should I respond to these Aquinas quotes?

I assume you are anticipating that these quotes will be
employed to discredit either Aquinas or the Church
itself. It’s wise on your part to anticipate such
criticism.

Thomas Aquinas is a Father of the Church. His
scientific knowledge could not exceed that of his
own period in history. [Think of how future generations
will have a good laugh at our expense when they take
a look at some of the scientific “theories” that are treated as
"dogma" in our time [evolution springs to mind.:)]

From our perspective, what Aquinas wrote was just
plain dumb. [did you know that his fellow students
called him “the dumb ox”?] I think that Thomas
Aquinas laughed heartily when he got to heaven and
understood his “error” in this instance.

Aquinas was not and is not considered "infallible."
So don’t worry about “defending” him. The man
was a genius, and if his views, which are reflected
in the quotes that you provided, are “indefensible” in
light of modern scientific knowledge, it’s like looking
at a mountain of gold pieces…some opponent is
bound to point out the penny that got mixed in with
the gold.:slight_smile:

Best wishes to you, axalot,

reen12


#6

reen12,

I think that calling Aquinas words dumb is easy with the lense of today’s science. In his day they did not have a good explanation for why some babies came out male and some female. He attempted to come up with an explanation as best he could or perhaps used the prevailing explanation. Was Jesus “dumb” (excuse me Lord, I’m asking a question) for calling the mustard seed the smallest of all seeds? I can tell you that on the farm I saw mustard seeds and they weren’t the smallest.

Blessings


#7

Hi, thessalonian,

quote:** thessalonian**

I think that calling Aquinas words dumb is easy with the lense of today’s science. In his day they did not have a good explanation for why some babies came out male and some female. He attempted to come up with an explanation as best he could or perhaps used the prevailing explanation. Was Jesus “dumb” (excuse me Lord, I’m asking a question) for calling the mustard seed the smallest of all seeds? I can tell you that on the farm I saw mustard seeds and they weren’t the smallest.

Blessings

It’s always good to see a post from you.
Actually, I thought my point *was *that it’s easy to
try to dismiss someone on the basis of a lack of
knowledge at a particular point in time. That’s
why I indictated that some of our own "theories"
will be considered “just plain dumb” by the less
than gracious members of future generations.

I don’t know who you deal with on a week to week
basis, but some of those I deal with would have
a field day with those two quotes.

So, yes, it is not at all gracious of me to use the
term, but I do think it’s accurate, and further think
that not acknowledging it’s essential "dumbness"
would impede, needlessly, reaching out to those
throughly “modern” individuals, who treat science
as religion.

It’s like trying to “defend” the “indefensible.”

Did you note the closing of my post?

quote: reen12

The man was a genius, and if his views, which are reflected
in the quotes that you provided, are “indefensible” in
light of modern scientific knowledge, it’s like looking
at a mountain of gold pieces…some opponent is
bound to point out the penny that got mixed in with
the gold.

So, the idea is, not to stress the* necessarily* ill-informed view, but to acknowledge the genius, and to Catholics, the holiness of the man.

Having said that, your point is well-taken, which in no way surprises me.:slight_smile: You have a good heart, I think, thessalonian.
You’ve really seen a mustard seed? I am a city-girl.
30 years ago, when my husband planted some green peas,
I looked out into the backyard each morning, expecting to
find a little stalk and a small green pea, and another little
stalk, and a small green pea :o I wasn’t acquainted with
the notion of “pods.” :confused:

God bless you,
Maureen


#8

Point take and it was understood. I just needed a bit of clarification. Seems we were essentially making the same point.

Thx for the kind remarks.

Yep I’ve seen lotsa mustard plants and seeds. It’s a scourage in Northern minnesota.

Blessings


#9

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