more from Thomas Aquinas

Single Idea 5508

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 3. Abortion]

Full Idea

In Aquinas's view the fertilized egg is not, either at the moment of conception or for quite a while afterwards, endowed with an immortal soul. In fact, technically speaking, it is not even human.

Gist of Idea

Aquinas says a fertilized egg is not human, and has no immortal soul


report of Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologicae [1265]) by R Martin / J Barresi - Introduction to 'Personal Identity' p.20

Book Reference

'Personal Identity', ed/tr. Martin,R /Barresi,J [Blackwells 2003], p.20

A Reaction

It is pointed at that therefore Aquinas does not give good support for modern Catholic views on abortion. There is certainly no reason why a human zygote should be ensouled from the start, as God may do this whenever He wishes.