Summa Th. I-II EN Qu.41 a.3
Objection: 1. It would seem that there is a natural fear. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 23) that "there is a natural fear, through the soul refusing to be severed from the body."
2. Further, fear arises from love, as stated above (Article , ad 1). But there is a natural love, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore there is also a natural fear.
3. Further, fear is opposed to hope, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 1). But there is a hope of nature, as is evident from Rm 4,18, where it is said of Abraham that "against hope" of nature, "he believed in hope" of grace. Therefore there is also a fear of nature.
On the contrary That which is natural is common to things animate and inanimate. But fear is not in things inanimate. Therefore there is no natural fear.
I answer that A movement is said to be natural, because nature inclines thereto. Now this happens in two ways. First, so that it is entirely accomplished by nature, without any operation of the apprehensive faculty: thus to have an upward movement is natural to fire, and to grow is the natural movement of animals and plants. Secondly, a movement is said to be natural, if nature inclines thereto, though it be accomplished by the apprehensive faculty alone: since, as stated above (Question , Article ), the movements of the cognitive and appetitive faculties are reducible to nature as to their first principle. In this way, even the acts of the apprehensive power, such as understanding, feeling, and remembering, as well as the movements of the animal appetite, are sometimes said to be natural.And in this sense we may say that there is a natural fear; and it is distinguished from non-natural fear, by reason of the diversity of its object. For, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), there is a fear of "corruptive evil," which nature shrinks from on account of its natural desire to exist; and such fear is said to be natural. Again, there is a fear of "painful evil," which is repugnant not to nature, but to the desire of the appetite; and such fear is not natural. In this sense we have stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ; Question , Article ) that love, desire, and pleasure are divisible into natural and non-natural.But in the first sense of the word "natural," we must observe that certain passions of the soul are sometimes said to be natural, as love, desire, and hope; whereas the others cannot be called natural. The reason of this is because love and hatred, desire and avoidance, imply a certain inclination to pursue what is good or to avoid what is evil; which inclination is to be found in the natural appetite also. Consequently there is a natural love; while we may also speak of desire and hope as being even in natural things devoid of knowledge. On the other hand the other passions of the soul denote certain movements, whereto the natural inclination is nowise sufficient. This is due either to the fact that perception or knowledge is essential to these passions (thus we have said, Question , Articles ,3; Question , Article , that apprehension necessary condition of pleasure and sorrow), wherefore things devoid of knowledge cannot be said to take pleasure or to be sorrowful: or else it is because such like movements are contrary to the very nature of natural inclination: for instance, despair flies from good on account of some difficulty; and fear shrinks from repelling a contrary evil; both of which are contrary to the inclination of nature. Wherefore such like passions are in no way ascribed to inanimate beings.
Thus the Replies to the Objections are evident.
Objection: 1. It would seem that six species of fear are unsuitably assigned by Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 15); namely, "laziness, shamefacedness, shame, amazement, stupor, and anxiety." Because, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), "fear regards a saddening evil." Therefore the species of fear should correspond to the species of sorrow. Now there are four species of sorrow, as stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore there should only be four species of fear corresponding to them.
2. Further, that which consists in an action of our own is in our power. But fear regards an evil that surpasses our power, as stated above (Article ). Therefore laziness, shamefacedness, and shame, which regard our own actions, should not be reckoned as species of fear.
3. Further, fear is of the future, as stated above (Articles , 2). But "shame regards a disgraceful deed already done," as Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xx.] says. Therefore shame is not a species of fear.
4. Further, fear is only of evil. But amazement and stupor regard great and unwonted things, whether good or evil. Therefore amazement and stupor are not species of fear.
5. Further, Philosophers have been led by amazement to seek the truth, as stated in the beginning of Metaphysics. But fear leads to flight rather than to search. Therefore amazement is not a species of fear.
On the contrary On the contrary suffices the authority of Damascene and Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius] (Cf. OBJ 1,3).
I answer that As stated above (Article ), fear regards a future evil which surpasses the power of him that fears, so that it is irresistible. Now man's evil, like his good, may be considered either in his action or in external things. In his action he has a twofold evil to fear. First, there is the toil that burdens his nature: and hence arises "laziness," as when a man shrinks from work for fear of too much toil. Secondly, there is the disgrace which damages him in the opinion of others. And thus, if disgrace is feared in a deed that is yet to be done, there is "shamefacedness"; if, however, it be a deed already done, there is "shame."On the other hand, the evil that consists in external things may surpass man's faculty of resistance in three ways. First by reason of its magnitude; when, that is to say, a man considers some great evil the outcome of which he is unable to gauge: and then there is "amazement." Secondly, by reason of its being unwonted; because, to wit, some unwonted evil arises before us, and on that account is great in our estimation: and then there is "stupor," which is caused by the representation of something unwonted. Thirdly, by reason of its being unforeseen: thus future misfortunes are feared, and fear of this kind is called "anxiety."
Reply to Objection: 1. Those species of sorrow given above are not derived from the diversity of objects, but from the diversity of effects, and for certain special reasons. Consequently there is no need for those species of sorrow to correspond with these species of fear, which are derived from the proper division of the object of fear itself.
2. A deed considered as being actually done, is in the power of the doer. But it is possible to take into consideration something connected with the deed, and surpassing the faculty of the doer, for which reason he shrinks from the deed. It is in this sense that laziness, shamefacedness, and shame are reckoned as species of fear.
3. The past deed may be the occasion of fear of future reproach or disgrace: and in this sense shame is a species of fear.
4. Not every amazement and stupor are species of fear, but that amazement which is caused by a great evil, and that stupor which arises from an unwonted evil. Or else we may say that, just as laziness shrinks from the toil of external work, so amazement and stupor shrink from the difficulty of considering a great and unwonted thing, whether good or evil: so that amazement and stupor stand in relation to the act of the intellect, as laziness does to external work.
5. He who is amazed shrinks at present from forming a judgment of that which amazes him, fearing to fall short of the truth, but inquires afterwards: whereas he who is overcome by stupor fears both to judge at present, and to inquire afterwards. Wherefore amazement is a beginning of philosophical research: whereas stupor is a hindrance thereto.
We must now consider the object of fear: under which head there are six points of inquiry:
(1) Whether good or evil is the object of fear?
(2) Whether evil of nature is the object of fear?
(3) Whether the evil of sin is an object of fear?
(4) Whether fear itself can be feared?
(5) Whether sudden things are especially feared?
(6) Whether those things are more feared against which there is no remedy?
Objection: 1. It would seem that good is the object of fear. For Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 83) that "we fear nothing save to lose what we love and possess, or not to obtain that which we hope for." But that which we love is good. Therefore fear regards good as its proper object.
2. Further, the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "power and to be above another is a thing to be feared." But this is a good thing. Therefore good is the object of fear.
3. Further, there can be no evil in God. But we are commanded to fear God, according to Ps 33,10: "Fear the Lord, all ye saints." Therefore even the good is an object of fear.
On the contrary Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 12) that fear is of future evil.
I answer that Fear is a movement of the appetitive power. Now it belongs to the appetitive power to pursue and to avoid, as stated in Ethic. vi, 2: and pursuit is of good, while avoidance is of evil. Consequently whatever movement of the appetitive power implies pursuit, has some good for its object: and whatever movement implies avoidance, has an evil for its object. Wherefore, since fear implies an avoidance, in the first place and of its very nature it regards evil as its proper object.It can, however, regard good also, in so far as referable to evil. This can be in two ways. In one way, inasmuch as an evil causes privation of good. Now a thing is evil from the very fact that it is a privation of some good. Wherefore, since evil is shunned because it is evil, it follows that it is shunned because it deprives one of the good that one pursues through love thereof. And in this sense Augustine says that there is no cause for fear, save loss of the good we love.In another way, good stands related to evil as its cause: in so far as some good can by its power bring harm to the good we love: and so, just as hope, as stated above (Question , Article ), regards two things, namely, the good to which it tends, and the thing through which there is a hope of obtaining the desired good; so also does fear regard two things, namely, the evil from which it shrinks, and that good which, by its power, can inflict that evil. In this way God is feared by man, inasmuch as He can inflict punishment, spiritual or corporal. In this way, too, we fear the power of man; especially when it has been thwarted, or when it is unjust, because then it is more likely to do us a harm.In like manner one fears "to be over another," i.e. to lean on another, so that it is in his power to do us a harm: thus a man fears another, who knows him to be guilty of a crime lest he reveal it to others.
This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
Objection: 1. It would seem that evil of nature is not an object of fear. For the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "fear makes us take counsel." But we do not take counsel about things which happen naturally, as stated in Ethic. iii, 3. Therefore evil of nature is not an object of fear.
2. Further, natural defects such as death and the like are always threatening man. If therefore such like evils were an object of fear, man would needs be always in fear.
3. Further, nature does not move to contraries. But evil of nature is an effect of nature. Therefore if a man shrinks from such like evils through fear thereof, this is not an effect of nature. Therefore natural fear is not of the evil of nature; and yet it seems that it should be.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 6) that "the most terrible of all things is death," which is an evil of nature.
I answer that As the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), fear is caused by the "imagination of a future evil which is either corruptive or painful." Now just as a painful evil is that which is contrary to the will, so a corruptive evil is that which is contrary to nature: and this is the evil of nature. Consequently evil of nature can be the object of fear.But it must be observed that evil of nature sometimes arises from a natural cause; and then it is called evil of nature, not merely from being a privation of the good of nature, but also from being an effect of nature; such are natural death and other like defects. But sometimes evil of nature arises from a non-natural cause; such as violent death inflicted by an assailant. In either case evil of nature is feared to a certain extent, and to a certain extent not. For since fear arises "from the imagination of future evil," as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), whatever removes the imagination of the future evil, removes fear also. Now it may happen in two ways that an evil may not appear as about to be. First, through being remote and far off: for, on account of the distance, such a thing is considered as though it were not to be. Hence we either do not fear it, or fear it but little; for, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), "we do not fear things that are very far off; since all know that they shall die, but as death is not near, they heed it not." Secondly, a future evil is considered as though it were not to be, on account of its being inevitable, wherefore we look upon it as already present. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "those who are already on the scaffold, are not afraid," seeing that they are on the very point of a death from which there is no escape; "but in order that a man be afraid, there must be some hope of escape for him."Consequently evil of nature is not feared if it be not apprehended as future: but if evil of nature, that is corruptive, be apprehended as near at hand, and yet with some hope of escape, then it will be feared.
Reply to Objection: 1. The evil of nature sometimes is not an effect of nature, as stated above. But in so far as it is an effect of nature, although it may be impossible to avoid it entirely, yet it may be possible to delay it. And with this hope one may take counsel about avoiding it.
2. Although evil of nature ever threatens, yet it does not always threaten from near at hand: and consequently it is not always feared.
3. Death and other defects of nature are the effects of the common nature; and yet the individual nature rebels against them as far as it can. Accordingly, from the inclination of the individual nature arise pain and sorrow for such like evils, when present; fear when threatening in the future.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the evil of sin can be an object of fear. For Augustine says on the canonical Epistle of John (Tract. ix), that "by chaste fear man fears to be severed from God." Now nothing but sin severs us from God; according to Is 59,2: "Your iniquities have divided between you and your God." Therefore the evil of sin can be an object of fear.
2. Further, Cicero says (Quaest. Tusc. iv, 4,6) that "we fear when they are yet to come, those things which give us pain when they are present." But it is possible for one to be pained or sorrowful on account of the evil of sin. Therefore one can also fear the evil of sin.
3. Further, hope is contrary to fear. But the good of virtue can be the object of hope, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. ix, 4): and the Apostle says (Ga 5,10): "I have confidence in you in the Lord, that you will not be of another mind." Therefore fear can regard evil of sin.
4. Further, shame is a kind of fear, as stated above (Question , Article ). But shame regards a disgraceful deed, which is an evil of sin. Therefore fear does so likewise.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "not all evils are feared, for instance that someone be unjust or slow."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ), as the object of hope is a future good difficult but possible to obtain, so the object of fear is a future evil, arduous and not to be easily avoided. From this we may gather that whatever is entirely subject to our power and will, is not an object of fear; and that nothing gives rise to fear save what is due to an external cause. Now human will is the proper cause of the evil of sin: and consequently evil of sin, properly speaking, is not an object of fear.But since the human will may be inclined to sin by an extrinsic cause; if this cause have a strong power of inclination, in that respect a man may fear the evil of sin, in so far as it arises from that extrinsic cause: as when he fears to dwell in the company of wicked men, lest he be led by them to sin. But, properly speaking, a man thus disposed, fears the being led astray rather than the sin considered in its proper nature, i.e. as a voluntary act; for considered in this light it is not an object of fear to him.
Reply to Objection: 1. Separation from God is a punishment resulting from sin: and every punishment is, in some way, due to an extrinsic cause.
2. Sorrow and fear agree in one point, since each regards evil: they differ, however, in two points. First, because sorrow is about present evil, whereas fear is future evil. Secondly, because sorrow, being in the concupiscible faculty, regards evil absolutely; wherefore it can be about any evil, great or small; whereas fear, being in the irascible part, regards evil with the addition of a certain arduousness or difficulty; which difficulty ceases in so far as a thing is subject to the will. Consequently not all things that give us pain when they are present, make us fear when they are yet to come, but only some things, namely, those that are difficult.
3. Hope is of good that is obtainable. Now one may obtain a good either of oneself, or through another: and so, hope may be of an act of virtue, which lies within our own power. On the other hand, fear is of an evil that does not lie in our own power: and consequently the evil which is feared is always from an extrinsic cause; while the good that is hoped for may be both from an intrinsic and from an extrinsic cause.
4. As stated above (Question , Article , ad 2,3), shame is not fear of the very act of sin, but of the disgrace or ignominy which arises therefrom, and which is due to an extrinsic cause.
Objection: 1. It would seem that fear cannot be feared. For whatever is feared, is prevented from being lost, through fear thereof: thus a man who fears to lose his health, keeps it, through fearing its loss. If therefore a man be afraid of fear, he will keep himself from fear by being afraid: which seems absurd.
2. Further, fear is a kind of flight. But nothing flies from itself. Therefore fear cannot be the object of fear.
3. Further, fear is about the future. But fear is present to him that fears. Therefore it cannot be the object of his fear.
On the contrary A man can love his own love, and can grieve at his own sorrow. Therefore, in like manner, he can fear his own fear.
I answer that As stated above (Article ), nothing can be an object of fear, save what is due to an extrinsic cause; but not that which ensues from our own will. Now fear partly arises from an extrinsic cause, and is partly subject to the will. It is due to an extrinsic cause, in so far as it is a passion resulting from the imagination of an imminent evil. In this sense it is possible for fear to be the object of fear, i.e. a man may fear lest he should be threatened by the necessity of fearing, through being assailed by some great evil. It is subject to the will, in so far as the lower appetite obeys reason; wherefore man is able to drive fear away. In this sense fear cannot be the object of fear, as Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 33). Lest, however, anyone make use of his arguments, in order to prove that fear cannot be at all be the object of fear, we must add a solution to the same.
Reply to Objection: 1. Not every fear is identically the same; there are various fears according to the various objects of fear. Nothing, then, prevents a man from keeping himself from fearing one thing, by fearing another, so that the fear which he has preserves him from the fear which he has not.
2. Since fear of an imminent evil is not identical with the fear of the fear of imminent evil; it does not follow that a thing flies from itself, or that it is the same flight in both cases.
3. On account of the various kinds of fear already alluded to (ad 2) a man's present fear may have a future fear for its object.
Objection: 1. It would seem that unwonted and sudden things are not especially feared. Because, as hope is about good things, so fear is about evil things. But experience conduces to the increase of hope in good things. Therefore it also adds to fear in evil things.
2. Further, the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "those are feared most, not who are quick-tempered, but who are gentle and cunning." Now it is clear that those who are quick-tempered are more subject to sudden emotions. Therefore sudden things are less to be feared.
3. Further, we think less about things that happen suddenly. But the more we think about a thing, the more we fear it; hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 8) that "some appear to be courageous through ignorance, but as soon as they discover that the case is different from what they expected, they run away." Therefore sudden things are feared less.
On the contrary Augustine says (Confess. ii, 6): "Fear is startled at things unwonted and sudden, which endanger things beloved, and takes forethought for their safety."
I answer that As stated about (Article ; Question , Article ), the object of fear is an imminent evil, which can be repelled, but with difficulty. Now this is due to one of two causes: to the greatness of the evil, or to the weakness of him that fears; while unwontedness and suddenness conduce to both of these causes. First, it helps an imminent evil to seem greater. Because all material things, whether good or evil, the more we consider them, the smaller they seem. Consequently, just as sorrow for a present evil is mitigated in course of time, as Cicero states (De Quaest. Tusc. iii, 30); so, too, fear of a future evil is diminished by thinking about it beforehand. Secondly, unwontedness and suddenness increase the weakness of him that fears, in so far as they deprive him of the remedies with which he might otherwise provide himself to forestall the coming evil, were it not for the evil taking him by surprise.
Reply to Objection: 1. The object of hope is a good that is possible to obtain. Consequently whatever increases a man's power, is of a nature to increase hope, and, for the same reason, to diminish fear, since fear is about an evil which cannot be easily repelled. Since, therefore, experience increases a man's power of action, therefore, as it increases hope, so does it diminish fear.
2. Those who are quick-tempered do not hide their anger; wherefore the harm they do others is not so sudden, as not to be foreseen. On the other hand, those who are gentle or cunning hide their anger; wherefore the harm which may be impending from them, cannot be foreseen, but takes one by surprise. For this reason the Philosopher says that such men are feared more than others.
3. Bodily good or evil, considered in itself, seems greater at first. The reason for this is that a thing is more obvious when seen in juxtaposition with its contrary. Hence, when a man passes unexpectedly from penury to wealth, he thinks more of his wealth on account of his previous poverty: while, on the other hand, the rich man who suddenly becomes poor, finds poverty all the more disagreeable. For this reason sudden evil is feared more, because it seems more to be evil. However, it may happen through some accident that the greatness of some evil is hidden; for instance if the foe hides himself in ambush: and then it is true that evil inspires greater fear through being much thought about.
Objection: 1. It would seem that those things are not more to be feared, for which there is no remedy. Because it is a condition of fear, that there be some hope of safety, as stated above (Article ). But an evil that cannot be remedied leaves no hope of escape. Therefore such things are not feared at all.
2. Further, there is no remedy for the evil of death: since, in the natural course of things, there is no return from death to life. And yet death is not the most feared of all things, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5). Therefore those things are not feared most, for which there is no remedy.
3. Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 6) that "a thing which lasts long is no better than that which lasts but one day: nor is that which lasts for ever any better than that which is not everlasting": and the same applies to evil. But things that cannot be remedied seem to differ from other things, merely in the point of their lasting long or for ever. Consequently they are not therefore any worse or more to be feared.
On the contrary the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "those things are most to be feared which when done wrong cannot be put right . . . or for which there is no help, or which are not easy."
I answer that The object of fear is evil: consequently whatever tends to increase evil, conduces to the increase of fear. Now evil is increased not only in its species of evil, but also in respect of circumstances, as stated above (Question , Article ). And of all the circumstances, longlastingness, or even everlastingness, seems to have the greatest bearing on the increase of evil. Because things that exist in time are measured, in a way, according to the duration of time: wherefore if it be an evil to suffer something for a certain length of time, we should reckon the evil doubled, if it be suffered for twice that length of time. And accordingly, to suffer the same thing for an infinite length of time, i.e. for ever, implies, so to speak, an infinite increase. Now those evils which, after they have come, cannot be remedied at all, or at least not easily, are considered as lasting for ever or for a long time: for which reason they inspire the greatest fear.
Reply to Objection: 1. Remedy for an evil is twofold. One, by which a future evil is warded off from coming. If such a remedy be removed, there is an end to hope and consequently to fear; wherefore we do not speak now of remedies of that kind. The other remedy is one by which an already present evil is removed: and of such a remedy we speak now.
2. Although death be an evil without remedy, yet, since it threatens not from near, it is not feared, as stated above (Article ).
3. The Philosopher is speaking there of things that are good in themselves, i.e. good specifically. And such like good is no better for lasting long or for ever: its goodness depends on its very nature.
We must now consider the cause of fear: under which head there are two points of inquiry:
(1) Whether love is the cause of fear?
(2) Whether defect is the cause of fear?
Objection: 1. It would seem that love is not the cause of fear. For that which leads to a thing is its cause. But "fear leads to the love of charity" as Augustine says on the canonical epistle of John (Tract. ix). Therefore fear is the cause of love, and not conversely.
2. Further, the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "those are feared most from whom we dread the advent of some evil." But the dread of evil being caused by someone, makes us hate rather than love him. Therefore fear is caused by hate rather than by love.
3. Further, it has been stated above (Question , Article ) that those things which occur by our own doing are not fearful. But that which we do from love, is done from our inmost heart. Therefore fear is not caused by love.
On the contrary Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 33): "There can be no doubt that there is no cause for fear save the loss of what we love, when we possess it, or the failure to obtain what we hope for." Therefore all fear is caused by our loving something: and consequently love is the cause of fear.
I answer that The objects of the soul's passions stand in relation thereto as the forms to things natural or artificial: because the passions of the soul take their species from their objects, as the aforesaid things do from their forms. Therefore, just as whatever is a cause of the form, is a cause of the thing constituted by that form, so whatever is a cause, in any way whatever, of the object, is a cause of the passion. Now a thing may be a cause of the object, either by way of efficient cause, or by way of material disposition. Thus the object of pleasure is good apprehended as suitable and conjoined: and its efficient cause is that which causes the conjunction, or the suitableness, or goodness, or apprehension of that good thing; while its cause by way of material disposition, is a habit or any sort of disposition by reason of which this conjoined good becomes suitable or is apprehended as such.Accordingly, as to the matter in question, the object of fear is something reckoned as an evil to come, near at hand and difficult to avoid. Therefore that which can inflict such an evil, is the efficient cause of the object of fear, and, consequently, of fear itself. While that which renders a man so disposed that thing is such an evil to him, is a cause of fear and of its object, by way of material disposition. And thus it is that love causes fear: since it is through his loving a certain good, that whatever deprives a man of that good is an evil to him, and that consequently he fears it as an evil.
Reply to Objection: 1. As stated above (Question , Article ), fear, of itself and in the first place, regards the evil from which it recoils as being contrary to some loved good: and thus fear, of itself, is born of love. But, in the second place, it regards the cause from which that evil ensues: so that sometimes, accidentally, fear gives rise to love; in so far as, for instance, through fear of God's punishments, man keeps His commandments, and thus begins to hope, while hope leads to love, as stated above (Question , Article ).
2. He, from whom evil is expected, is indeed hated at first; but afterwards, when once we begin to hope for good from him, we begin to love him. But the good, the contrary evil of which is feared, was loved from the beginning.
3. This argument is true of that which is the efficient cause of the evil to be feared: whereas love causes fear by way of material disposition, as stated above.
Objection: 1. It would seem that defect is not a cause of fear. Because those who are in power are very much feared. But defect is contrary to power. Therefore defect is not a cause of fear.
2. Further, the defect of those who are already being executed is extreme. But such like do not fear as stated in Rhet. ii, 5. Therefore defect is not a cause of fear.
3. Further, contests arise from strength not from defect. But "those who contend fear those who contend with them" (Rhet. ii, 5). Therefore defect is not a cause of fear.
On the contrary Contraries ensue from contrary causes. But "wealth, strength, a multitude of friends, and power drive fear away" (Rhet. ii, 5). Therefore fear is caused by lack of these.
I answer that As stated above (Article ), fear may be set down to a twofold cause: one is by way of a material disposition, on the part of him that fears; the other is by way of efficient cause, on the part of the person feared. As to the first then, some defect is, of itself, the cause of fear: for it is owing to some lack of power that one is unable easily to repulse a threatening evil. And yet, in order to cause fear, this defect must be according to a measure. For the defect which causes fear of a future evil, is less than the defect caused by evil present, which is the object of sorrow. And still greater would be the defect, if perception of the evil, or love of the good whose contrary is feared, were entirely absent.But as to the second, power and strength are, of themselves, the cause of fear: because it is owing to the fact that the cause apprehended as harmful is powerful, that its effect cannot be repulsed. It may happen, however, in this respect, that some defect causes fear accidentally, in so far as owing to some defect someone wishes to hurt another; for instance, by reason of injustice, either because that other has already done him a harm, or because he fears to be harmed by him.
Reply to Objection: 1. This argument is true of the cause of fear, on the part of the efficient cause.
2. Those who are already being executed, are actually suffering from a present evil; wherefore their defect exceeds the measure of fear.
3. Those who contend with one another are afraid, not on account of the power which enables them to contend: but on account of the lack of power, owing to which they are not confident of victory.
Summa Th. I-II EN Qu.41 a.3