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Temporal Goods and Pride

Reinhold Niebuhr notes in The Nature and Destiny of Man (vol. 1, pg. 187):

"Thomas Aquinas derives sensuality from a more basic self-love: 'The proper and direct cause of sin is to be considered on the part of the adherence to a mutable good, in which respect every sinful act proceeds from inordinate desire for some temporal good. Now the fact that some one desires a temporal good inordinately is due to the fact that he loves himself inordinately'. Summa, Part I, Third Number, Question 77, Art. 4."

But Aquinas elsewhere (STh I II, q. 84, a. 2) equates self-love and pride:

"In desiring to excel, man loves himself, for to love oneself is the same as to desire some good for oneself. Consequently it amounts to the same whether we reckon pride or self-love as the beginning of every evil."

SUMMA THEOLOGICA: Things in which man's happiness consists (Prima Secundae Partis, Q. 2)

Reinhold Niebuhr (1996, c. 1941, 1964). The Nature and Destiny of Man: a Christian Interpretation, 2 vols. Louisville: Westminster Charles Knox.

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