Thursday, April 27, 2006

Q14 A10: Whether God knows evil things?

Yes. By the fact that God knows good things, He knows evil things also, because the essence of evil is that it is the privation of good.

God knows evil, not by privation existing in Himself, but by the opposite good: e.g., as by light, darkness is known.

The knowledge of God is not the cause of evil; but it is the cause of the good whereby evil is known.

Evil is not opposed to the divine essence, which is not corruptible by evil. Evil is opposed to the effects of God, which He knows by His essence. (And hence, by knowing these effects, He knows the opposite evils.)

Evil is not of itself knowable, inasmuch as the very nature of evil means the privation of good. Therefore evil can neither be defined nor known, except by good.