Friday, April 14, 2006

Q13 A9: Whether this name "God" is communicable?

No. This name "God" is incommunicable in reality, but communicable in opinion, because this name "God" is communicable, not in its whole signification, but in some part of it by way of similitude.

But if any name were given to signify God not as to His nature but as to His "suppositum" (i.e., accordingly as He is considered as "this something") that name would be absolutely incommunicable (as, for instance, perhaps the Tetragrammaton among the Hebrew).

The singular, from the fact that it is singular, is divided off from all others. Hence every name imposed to signify any singular thing is incommunicable both in reality and idea; for the plurality of this individual thing cannot be; nor can it be conceived in idea. Hence no name signifying any individual thing is properly communicable to many, but only by way of similitude; as for instance a person can be called "Achilles" metaphorically, forasmuch as he may possess something of the properties of Achilles, such as strength.