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Thomas (II-II:92:1) as "a vice opposed to religion by way of excess; not because in the worship of God it does more than true religion, but because it offers Divine worship to beings other than God or offers worship to God in an improper manner".
It is also significant that just when many scientists supposed that a belief in a future life had been finally proved an illusion, Spiritism, with its doctrines and practices, should have gained such a strong hold not only on the ignorant, but also, and in a much more serious sense, on leading representatives of science itself.
The theological virtue of religion stands midway between the two.
(II-II:92:1) This division is based upon the various ways in which religion may be vitiated by excess.
It is to this ignorance of the true God, coupled with an inordinate veneration for human excellence and the love of artistic representations appealing to the senses, that St. While these are dispositive causes, the consummative cause, he adds, was the influence of demons who offered themselves as objects of worship to erring men, giving answers through idols and doing things which to men seemed marvellous (II-II:94:4).
These causes explain the origin and spread of superstition in the pagan world.