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Aristotle and Plato

             Thomas combined Aristotle's teachings with Christian doctrine. For example, Thomas argued that no conflict exists between reason and faith. Philosophy is based on reason, he declared, and theology comes from faith in divine revelation, yet both come from God. So Thomas believed that any differences between divine revelation and the conclusions of philosophy result from faulty reasoning. He also maintained that reason can support faith. Thomas accepted--on faith--the idea that God exists. However, he formulated five proofs of His existence to support such a belief. .
             According to Thomas, all people desire happiness, but they can satisfy this desire only through direct communion with God. He believed that God gives grace to help human beings overcome the influence of sin and achieve this communion. Thomas taught that the sacraments are important in communicating God's grace to people. .
             Thomas believed that governments have a moral responsibility to serve people and to help them lead virtuous lives. He declared that governments must not violate what he considered human rights--life, education, religion, and reproduction. Thomas also taught that--to be just--laws passed by human beings must not contradict divine law.".
             "Ethics and politics. For Aristotle, ethics and politics both study practical knowledge, that is, knowledge that enables people to act properly and live happily. Aristotle's works on this subject include the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics.".
             "Aristotle argued that the goal of human beings is happiness, and that we achieve happiness when we fulfill our function. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what our function is. The function of a thing is what it alone can do, or what it can do best. For example, the function of the eye is to see, and the function of a knife is to cut. Aristotle declared that a human being is "the rational animal" whose function is to reason.

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