One topic of debate by many people especially in our country is the independence and separation of the state and the church. In line with this, I would like to share the philosophies of both Augustine and Aquinas because I think their way of thinking would somehow show how people value religion and faith among many other things we have in our world. Moreover, their philosophies would incite the significance of having the church to be above the state.
They both recognize that man is endowed with reason by God and that the occurrence of a state is natural in order to achieve man’s end which is happiness. Likewise, the existence of the church is a need in order to guide people towards eternal goodness and not let them be spoiled and consumed by the world’s vices. The path that man chooses to take in order to achieve his end is all driven by the reason endowed to him by God. Therefore, abiding by the reason given by god ultimately directs man to his end. Actions arising from reason will and should lead towards man’s happiness with God. Consequently, such actions will lead to the formation of laws which are ordained to the common good. The necessity of having a law will be to properly direct man’s acts in view of achieving his end.
I believe that the divine authority of the church is a powerful tool in guiding the people towards the will of God as this will give a great assurance that the state’s purpose follows that of the church. Such power should be utilized in order to guide people in their pursuit of happiness with God. The relationship of people in the society will solely be based on which path each will choose to take. This would be a strict adherence to the church but I think with the unity of the church and the state, an end goal is elaborately laid out for the people and it is in their part on how they could achieve that happiness if ever that happiness they seek is in God or in something else they believe in.
– Jeremiah N. Banzon