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The speculations of Plato and Aristotle, especially have had a notable influence on Christian thought; they were adopted, in eclectic fashion, by the early Fathers, who combined many of the ancient philosophic ideas with revealed truth, by correcting some and amplifying others.

The synthesis was carried on by the earlier Scholastics, and took definitive form from the hand of St. Some of his predecessors, as well as some of his followers, disagree with him on a few minor points, most of which, however, are of a character too subtle to call for attention in this article. Thomas in outline as the approved teaching of our schools.

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Being and the good are, then, objectively the same, every being is good, every good is being.

Our concepts, being and good differ formally: the first simply denotes existence ; the second, existence as a perfection, or the power of contributing to the perfection of a being.

Their goodness then, is something distinct from, and added to, their proper essences or being.

What, in Plato's mind, is the nature of this participation we need not explain further than that he makes it consist in this, that the thing is a copy or imitation of the idea.

The Supreme Good imparts to the intellect the power to perceive, and gives intelligibility to the intelligible. God, the essential and supreme Good, can impart nothing that is not good.

This view leads to the inference that the origin of evil lies beyond the control of God.

The series of means and ends either stretches out indefinitely, or it must terminate in some desired object or objects which are ends in themselves.

Again we sometimes call a thing good because it possesses completely, or in a high degree, the perfections proper to its nature, as a good painting, good respiration.

The theory leans, therefore, to dualism, and its influence may be traced through the early Gnostic and Manichaean heresies, and, in a minor degree, in the doctrines of the Priscillanists and Albigenses.

Aristotle Starting from the Platonic definition, good is that which all desire, Aristotle, rejecting the Platonic doctrine of a transcendent world of ideas, holds that the good and being are identical; good is not something added to being, it is being.

The objective idea is not indwelling in the essences of those things which fall within the scope of our corresponding universal concept, but the thing borrows or derives something from the idea.

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