Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION CXVI.: OF THE SPIRIT OF CONTRADICTION. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
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QUESTION CXVI.: OF THE SPIRIT OF CONTRADICTION. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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OF THE SPIRIT OF CONTRADICTION.
Article II.—Is the spirit of contradiction a more grievous sin than flattery?
R. In point of species, a vice is more grievous the more it is opposed to the opposite virtue. But the virtue of friendly behaviour tends rather to give pleasure than to give annoyance; and therefore he who is possessed with the spirit of contradiction, going to excess in annoyance, sins more grievously than the complaisant man, or flatterer, who goes to excess in giving pleasure. In point of exterior motives, sometimes flattery is the graver sin, and sometimes the spirit of contradiction.
§ 2. In human acts that is not always the more grievous sin which is the fouler and more unseemly. For the comeliness of man is of reason; and therefore carnal sins, whereby the flesh carries the day over reason, are fouler and more unseemly, although spiritual sins are more grievous, because they proceed from greater contempt. In like manner, sins that are committed by stealth and treachery look worse, because they appear to have their origin in weakness and a certain falseness of reason; and yet sins openly committed come sometimes of greater contempt. And therefore flattery, as being conjoined with treachery, seems to be the more ill-looking; but the spirit of contradiction, as proceeding from greater contempt, seems to be the graver sin.
§ 3. Shame has regard to the unsightliness of sin: hence a man is not always more ashamed of the more grievous sin, but of that which looks uglier. Hence a man is more ashamed of flattery than of the spirit of contradiction, though the spirit of contradiction is the more grievous.