Quarreling is a Sin

Started by TerrorDæmonum, July 28, 2022, 04:56:32 AM

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Quote from: Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 116
Article 1. Whether quarreling is opposed to the virtue of friendship or affability?

On the contrary, The Philosopher opposes quarreling to friendship (Ethic. iv, 6).

I answer that, Quarreling consists properly in words, when, namely, one person contradicts another's words. Now two things may be observed in this contradiction. For sometimes contradiction arises on account of the person who speaks, the contradictor refusing to consent with him from lack of that love which unites minds together, and this seems to pertain to discord, which is contrary to charity. Whereas at times contradiction arises by reason of the speaker being a person to whom someone does not fear to be disagreeable: whence arises quarreling, which is opposed to the aforesaid friendship or affability, to which it belongs to behave agreeably towards those among whom we dwell. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 6) that "those who are opposed to everything with the intent of being disagreeable, and care for nobody, are said to be peevish and quarrelsome."

Article 2. Whether quarreling is a more grievous sin than flattery?

On the contrary, The more a sin is inconsistent with the spiritual state, the more it appears to be grievous. Now quarreling seems to be more inconsistent with the spiritual state: for it is written (1 Timothy 3:2-3) that it "behooveth a bishop to be . . . not quarrelsome"; and (2 Timothy 3:24): "The servant of the Lord must not wrangle." Therefore quarreling seems to be a more grievous sin than flattery.

I answer that, We can speak of each of these sins in two ways. On one way we may consider the species of either sin, and thus the more a vice is at variance with the opposite virtue the more grievous it is. Now the virtue of friendship has a greater tendency to please than to displease: and so the quarrelsome man, who exceeds in giving displeasure sins more grievously than the adulator or flatterer, who exceeds in giving pleasure. On another way we may consider them as regards certain external motives, and thus flattery sometimes more grievous, for instance when one intends by deception to acquire undue honor or gain: while sometimes quarreling is more grievous; for instance, when one intends either to deny the truth, or to hold up the speaker to contempt.