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Thomas Aquinas Concept Of Friendship

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We usually take a relationship between equals to mean, the two individuals in the relationship correspond in terms of social status, financial status, family background, ethnicity, intelligence, virtuousness, ability or value, to equivalent measures. In this paper, I will focus specifically on the view of Thomas Aquinas on whether friendship has to be a relationship between equals.
In Aquinas’ notion of Friendship, firstly, we make friends because it helps in the development of a virtuous life. In this case, Aquinas endorses Aristotle’s view whereby “a happy person needs friends … He does not need them for purposes of utility or pleasure, as he has perfect enjoyment of his virtuous life. Friends are needed, rather, for good or virtuous activity. ” However, Aquinas’ idea of the virtuous life is one where the individual exercises Charity in making friends. Charity is a theological virtue, whereby we love God for his own sake. When forging friendship with others, an individual exercises virtuous operation of the virtue Charity. Thus, we make friends out of the motivation to do good to others as dictated by God’s will.
Secondly, Aquinas mentions
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In the bible, it was mentioned “no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. ” The particular friendship between God and Human is one that is not between equals. The former is a higher being that is considered to be all-powerful, all-knowing and omniscient. The latter is limited and inferior to God, since Man cannot matchup to God in terms of status, knowledge, intelligence, virtuousness and more. Yet, this relationship is considered friendship because Aquinas argues that it is founded upon mutual well-wishing and some form of communication (a form of reciprocity) between God and Man
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