instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The unnamed vice

I was poking about, trying to find hints for something constructive to say about Genesis 6:7 -- "So the LORD said: 'I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created... for I am sorry that I made them." -- when I came across this objection and reply to the Summa Theologica article, "Whether drunkenness is a sin":
Objection 1. It would seem that drunkenness is not a sin. For every sin has a corresponding contrary sin, thus timidity is opposed to daring, and presumption to pusillanimity. But no sin is opposed to drunkenness. Therefore drunkenness is not a sin.

Reply to Objection 1. As the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 11), insensibility which is opposed to temperance "is not very common," so that like its species which are opposed to the species of intemperance it has no name. Hence the vice opposed to drunkenness is unnamed; and yet if a man were knowingly to abstain from wine to the extent of molesting nature grievously, he would not be free from sin.
I mean, come on. Knowingly to abstain from wine to the extent of molesting nature grievously.

Would such a concept ever so much as cross the mind of a Carmelite? Doubtful. Is this what Legionnaires of Christ talk about amongst themselves? I don't think so. Do Sulpicians hash such matters over with Vincentians? Nuh-uh.

Now all I need is to come up with a name for this vice and a pretence for mentioning it at the next Dominican Third Order Chapter meeting. (Which is next Tuesday evening, by the way, if you're interested and within driving range of Silver Spring, MD.)