Essay about Welfare as An Act of Charity

Essay about Welfare as An Act of Charity

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Aquinas’s view of charity indicates that charity cannot be legislated, however the use of Welfare in the modern society would seem to be a legislative action that provides charity to those in need. It would seem then, that charity as legislated through Welfare is improper according to Aquinas’s view on law. I assert, however that legislating charity through the modern Welfare system as it appears in the United States is proper because the purpose of Welfare is not charity as such and it does not fall within the definition of charity as provided by Aquinas, and therefore it does not conflict with Aquinas’s view of charity in relationship to law as outlined in the Treatise on Law.
In order to assess this claim of Welfare in relation to Aquinas’s view of charity I must first establish Aquinas’s view of charity and it’s relationship to law. Then I will indicate the purpose of Welfare and subsequently the relationship to the human and divine law. Then I will contrast this purpose with Aquinas’s view in order to prove that the purpose of Welfare in the United States system, though it may appear to be charity and therefore improper legislation is in fact proper due to the motivation behind the creation of the Welfare system.
Aquinas’s view of charity is that it is an action rooted in the will of a person. He explains that charity is the loving relationship between a man and God carried out. He further explicates that there are other people and states that charity should be extended to, but ultimately he explains that charity is the loving relationship between a man and God and the loving relationship between a man and God through others. He states in the Summa that, “it is necessary that the will also should be the efficient caus...


... middle of paper ...


...m the charity defined by St. Thomas Aquinas. Therefore, Welfare as it exists in the United States I not an improper form of legislation.



Works Cited

Aquinas, St. Thomas. "Summa Theologica." New Advent. Kevin Knight, 2008. Web. 7 Mar 2011. .

Aquinas, St. Thomas. Treatise on Law. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2000. Print.

"Charity." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. The Encyclopedia Britannica Company, 2011. Web. 7 Mar 2011. .

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (Welfare Reform Act). H.R. 3734. 1995. .

"Welfare." Cornell University Law School. Legal Information Institute, n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2011. .

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