Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Q109 A2: Whether among the demons there is precedence?

Yes. The demons are by natural order subject to others and hence their actions are subject to the action of those above them (and this is what the formal aspect is of precedence--that the action of the subject should be under the action of the one presiding), because the very natural disposition of the demons requires that there should be authority among them.

Daemonum quidam naturali ordine sub aliis constituuntur; unde et actiones eorum sub actionibus superiorum sunt (et hoc est quod rationem praelationis facit, ut scilicet actio subditi subdatur actioni praelati), quia ipsa naturalis dispositio Daemonum requirit quod sit in eis praelatio.

The concord of the demons, whereby some obey others, does not arise from mutual friendships, but from their common wickedness whereby they hate men, and fight against God's justice. For it belongs to wicked men to be joined to and subject to those whom they see to be stronger, in order to carry out their own wickedness.

Concordia Daemonum, qua quidam aliis obediunt, non est ex amicitia quam inter se habeant; sed ex communi nequitia, qua homines odiunt, et Dei iustitiae repugnant. Est enim proprium hominum impiorum, ut eis se adiungant et subiiciant, ad propriam nequitiam exequendam, quos potiores viribus vident.

That the inferior are subject to the superior, is not for the benefit of the superior, but rather to their detriment; because since to do evil belongs in a pre-eminent degree to unhappiness, it follows that to preside in evil is to be more unhappy.

Quod autem superioribus inferiores subdantur, non est ad bonum superiorum, sed magis ad malum eorum; quia cum mala facere maxime ad miseriam pertineat, praeesse in malis est esse magis miserum.

The demons are not equal in nature, and so among them there exists a natural precedence: which is not the case with men, who are naturally equal.

Daemones non sunt aequales secundum naturam, unde in eis est naturalis praelatio: quod in hominibus non contingit, qui natura sunt pares.