Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Q19 A9: Whether God wills evils?

No. God neither wills evil to be done, nor wills it not to be done, but wills to permit evil to be done because this is a good.

It is impossible that any evil, as such, should be sought for by the appetite, either natural, or animal, or by the intellectual appetite which is the will.

Now the evil that accompanies one good, is the privation of another good. Never therefore would evil be sought after, not even accidentally, unless the good that accompanies the evil were more desired than the good of which the evil is the privation.

God in no way wills the evil of sin, which is the privation of right order towards the divine good.

But in willing justice He wills punishment; and in willing the preservation of the natural order, He wills some things to be naturally corrupted.

Evil does not operate towards the perfection and beauty of the universe, except accidentally.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Q19 A8: Whether the will of God imposes necessity on the things willed?

No. The divine will imposes necessity on some things willed but not on all because God wills some things to be done necessarily, some contingently, to the right ordering of things, for the building up of the universe.

Therefore to some effects He has attached necessary causes, that cannot fail; but to others defectible and contingent causes, from which arise contingent effects.

Consequents have necessity from their antecedents according to the mode of the antecedents. Hence things effected by the divine will have that kind of necessity that God wills them to have, either absolute or conditional. Not all things, therefore, are absolute necessities.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Q19 A7: Whether the will of God is changeable?

No. The will of God is entirely unchangeable because both the substance of God (Q9 A1) and His knowledge (Q14 A15) are entirely unchangeable .

The will of God, as it is the first and universal cause, does not exclude intermediate causes that have power to produce certain effects. Since however all intermediate causes are inferior in power to the first cause, there are many things in the divine power, knowledge and will that are not included in the order of inferior causes.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Q19 A6: Whether the will of God is always fulfilled?

Yes. The will of God must needs always be fulfilled because something may fall outside the order of any particular active cause, but not outside the order of the universal cause (under which all particular causes are included: and if any particular cause fails of its effect, this is because of the hindrance of some other particular cause, which is included in the order of the universal cause).

Therefore an effect cannot possibly escape the order of the universal cause.

Since, then, the will of God is the universal cause of all things, it is impossible that the divine will should not produce its effect.

Hence that which seems to depart from the divine will in one order, returns into it in another order.

If not all good actually exists, can we therefore say that the will of God is not always fulfilled?

No. An act of the cognitive faculty is according as the thing known is in the knower, while an act of the appetite faculty is directed to things as they exist in themselves. But all that can have the nature of being and truth virtually exists in God, though it does not all exist in created things. Therefore God knows all truth; but does not will all good, except in so far as He wills Himself, in Whom all good virtually exists. (RO2)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Q19 A5: Whether any cause can be assigned to the divine will?

No. God wills this [A] to be as means to that [B]; but does not will this [A] on account of that [B] because, in Him, to will an end [B] is not the cause of His willing the means [A], yet He wills the ordering of the means [A] to the end [B] (as in God to understand the cause is not the cause of His understanding the effect, for He understands the effect in the cause).

Consider the analogy to human understanding and will:

If anyone in one act wills an end, and in another act the means to that end, his willing the end will be the cause of his willing the means. This cannot be the case if in one act he wills both end and means; for a thing cannot be its own cause. Yet it will be true to say that he wills to order to the end the means to the end.

Since the will follows from the intellect, there is cause of the will in the human person who wills, in the same way as there is a cause of the understanding, in the human person that understands.

But as God by one act understands all things in His essence, so by one act He wills all things in His goodness.

Note that this theological truth is a guarantee for rational scientific inquiry (RO3):

Since God wills effects to proceed from definite causes, for the preservation of order in the universe, it is not unreasonable to seek for causes secondary to the divine will. (It would, however, be unreasonable to do so, if such causes were considered as primary, and not as dependent on the will of God.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Q19 A4: Whether the will of God is the cause of things?

Yes. He acts by the will, and not, as some have supposed, by a necessity of His nature because the intellectual and voluntary agent must precede the agent that acts by nature.

Because the Divine Being is undetermined, and contains in Himself the full perfection of being, it cannot be that He acts by a necessity of His nature -- unless He were to cause something undetermined and indefinite in being: and that this is impossible has been already shown (Q7 A2).

He does not, therefore, act by a necessity of His nature, but determined effects proceed from His own infinite perfection according to the determination of His will and intellect.

Because the Divine Being is His own intellect, effects pre-exist in Him after the mode of intellect, and therefore proceed from Him after the same mode.

Consequently, they proceed from Him after the mode of will, for His inclination to put in act what His intellect has conceived appertains to the will.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Q19 A3: Whether whatever God wills He wills necessarily?

No. His willing things apart from Himself is not absolutely necessary because the goodness of God is perfect and can exist without other things inasmuch as no perfection can accrue to Him from them.

Yet it can be necessary by supposition, for supposing that He wills a thing, then He is unable not to will it, as His will cannot change.

God wills His own goodness necessarily, even as we will our own happiness necessarily.

But God wills things apart from Himself insofar as they are ordered to His own goodness as their end.

As the divine essence is necessary of itself, so is the divine will and the divine knowledge; but the divine knowledge has a necessary relation to the thing known; not the divine will to the thing willed. (The reason for this is that knowledge is of things as they exist in the knower; but the will is directed to things as they exist in themselves.)

Since then all other things have necessary existence inasmuch as they exist in God -- but no absolute necessity so as to be necessary in themselves, insofar as they exist in themselves -- it follows that God knows necessarily whatever He wills, but does not will necessarily whatever He wills.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Q19 A2: Whether God wills things apart from Himself?

Yes. God wills not only Himself but other things apart from Himself because if natural things, in so far as they are perfect, communicate their good to others, much more does it appertain to the divine will to communicate by likeness its own good to others as much as possible.

He wills both Himself to be, and other things to be; but He wills Himself as the end, and other things as ordained to that end (inasmuch as it befits the divine goodness that other things should be partakers therein).

The divine will is God's own existence essentially, yet they differ in aspect, according to the different ways of understanding them and expressing them (Q13, A4).

For when we say that God exists, no relation to any other object is implied, as we do imply when we say that God wills. Therefore, although He is not anything apart from Himself, yet He does will things apart from Himself.

As He understands things apart from Himself by understanding His own essence, so He wills things apart from Himself by willing His own goodness.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Q19 A1: Whether there is will in God?

Yes. There is will in God as there is intellect because will follows upon intellect.

In every intellectual being there is will, just as in every sensible being there is animal appetite.

And so there must be will in God, since there is intellect in Him.

And as His intellect is His own existence, so is His will.

Will in us belongs to the appetitive part, which, although named from appetite, has not for its only act the seeking what it does not possess, but also the loving and the delighting in what it does possess. In this respect will is said to be in God, as having always good which is its object, since His will is not distinct from His essence.

Although nothing apart from God is His end, yet He Himself is the end with respect to all things made by Him. And this by His essence, for by His essence He is good (Q6, A3): for the end has the aspect of good.

Q19: The will of God

We now begin to study the operations of God's will. Q19 has twelve articles:
  1. Is there will in God?
  2. Does God will things apart from Himself?
  3. Does God necessarily will whatever He wills?
  4. Is the will of God the cause of things?
  5. Can any cause be assigned to the divine will?
  6. Is the divine will always fulfilled?
  7. Is the will of God mutable?
  8. Does the will of God impose necessity on the things willed?
  9. Is there in God the will of evil?
  10. Does God have free will?
  11. Is the will of expression distinguished in God?
  12. Are five expressions of will rightly assigned to the divine will?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Q18 A4: Whether all things are life in God?

Yes. All things in God are the divine life itself because all things that have been made by Him are in Him as things understood.

Creatures are said to be in God in a twofold sense. In one way, insofar as they are held together and preserved by the divine power (even as we say that things that are in our power are in us). And creatures are thus said to be in God, even as they exist in their own natures.

In another sense things are said to be in God, as in Him who knows them, in which sense they are in God through their proper ideas, which in God are not distinct from the divine essence.

Hence things as they are in God are the divine essence. And since the divine essence is life and not movement, it follows that things existing in God in this manner are not movement, but life.

If form only, and not matter, belonged to natural things, then in all respects natural things would exist more truly in the divine mind, by the ideas of them, than in themselves. For which reason, in fact, Plato held that the "separate" man was the true man; and that man as he exists in matter, is man only by participation.

But since matter enters into the being of natural things, we must say that those things have simply being in the divine mind more truly than in themselves, because in that mind they have an uncreated being, but in themselves a created being: whereas this particular being, a man, or horse, for example, has this being more truly in its own nature than in the divine mind, because it belongs to human nature to be material, which, as existing in the divine mind, it is not.

Even so a house has nobler being in the architect's mind than in matter; yet a material house is called a house more truly than the one which exists in the mind; since the former is actual, the latter only potential.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Q18 A3: Whether life is properly attributed to God?

Yes. Life is in the highest degree properly in God because that being whose act of understanding is its very nature (and which, in what it naturally possesses, is not determined by another) must have life in the most perfect degree.

Such is God; and hence in Him principally is life.

From this Aristotle, after showing God to be intelligent, concludes (Metaph. xii, 51) that God has life most perfect and eternal, since His intellect is most perfect and always in act.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Q18 A2: Whether life is an operation?

No. "Living" is not an accidental but an essential predicate because the name is given from a certain external appearance, namely, self-movement, yet not precisely to signify this, but rather to signify a substance to which self-movement (and the application of itself to any kind of operation) belongs naturally.

"To live", accordingly, is nothing else than to exist in this or that nature. And "living" signifies this, though in the abstract, just as the word "running" denotes "to run" in the abstract.

From external appearances we come to the knowledge of the essence of things. And because we name a thing in accordance with our knowledge of it (Q13, A1), so from external properties names are often imposed to signify essences.

Hence such names are sometimes taken strictly to denote the essence itself, the signification of which is their principal object; but sometimes, and less strictly, such names are taken to denote the properties by reason of which such names are imposed.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Q18 A1: Whether to live belongs to all natural things?

No. We can gather to what things life belongs, and to what it does not, from such things as manifestly possess life because things are said to be alive that determine themselves to movement or operation of any kind (whereas those things that cannot by their nature do so, cannot be called living, unless by a similitude).

Every natural movement in respect to natural things has a certain similitude to the operations of life. Hence, if the whole corporeal universe were one animal, so that its movement came from an "intrinsic moving force" (as some in fact have mistakenly held), in that case movement would really be the life of all natural bodies.

Q18: The life of God

To understand belongs to living beings; therefore, in four articles, Q18 concludes the discussion of God's intellectual operations by considering the life of God:
  1. To whom does it belong to live?
  2. What is life?
  3. Is life properly attributed to God?
  4. Are all things in God life?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Q17 A4: Whether true and false are contraries?

Yes. True and false are opposed as contraries because contraries both assert something (unlike negation) and determine the subject (unlike negation and privation).

Falsity asserts something, for a thing is false, as Aristotle says (Metaph. iv, 27), inasmuch as something is said (or seems) to be something that it is not, or not to be what it really is.

For as truth implies an adequate apprehension of a thing, so falsity implies the contrary.

What is in things is the truth of the thing; but what is apprehended, is the truth of the intellect, wherein truth primarily resides.

Hence the false is that which is not as apprehended. To apprehend being, and not-being, implies contrariety.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Q17 A3: Whether falsity is in the intellect?

Yes, but falsity of the intellect is concerned essentially only with the judgment of the intellect because the intellect cannot be false in its knowledge of simple essences (since this is either true, or it understands nothing at all).

Falsity can exist in the intellect because the intellect is conscious of that knowledge, as it is conscious of truth -- whereas in sense falsity does not exist as known (Q17 A2).

As the sense is directly informed by the likeness of its proper object, so is the intellect by the likeness of the essence of a thing. Hence the intellect is not deceived about the essence of a thing, as neither the sense about its proper object (Q17 A2).

But in judgment (i.e., when affirming and denying), the intellect may be deceived, by attributing (to the thing of which it understands the essence) something which is not consequent upon it, or is opposed to it.

Because the essence of a thing is the proper object of the intellect, we are properly said to understand a thing when we reduce it to its essence, and judge of it thereby (as takes place in demonstrations in which there is no falsity).

The intellect is always right as regards first principles, since it is not deceived about them for the same reason that it is not deceived about what a thing is. For self-known principles are such as are known as soon as the terms are understood, from the fact that the predicate is contained in the definition of the subject.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Q17 A2: Whether there is falsity in the senses?

Yes, but falsity is not to be sought in the senses except as truth is in them because truth is not in them in such a way as that the senses know truth, but in so far as they apprehend sensible things truly.

This takes place through the senses apprehending things as they are, and hence it happens that falsity exists in the senses through their apprehending or judging things to be otherwise than they really are.

Falsity is said not to be proper to sense, since sense is not deceived as to its proper object.

Sense has no false knowledge about its proper objects, except accidentally and rarely, and then, because of the unsound organ it does not receive the sensible form rightly.

The affection of sense is its sensation itself. Hence, from the fact that sense reports as it is affected, it follows that we are not deceived in the judgment by which we judge that we experience sensation.

Since, however, sense is sometimes affected erroneously of that object, it follows that it sometimes reports erroneously of that object; and thus we are deceived by sense about the object, but not about the fact of sensation.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Q17 A1: Whether falsity exists in things?

Yes, but in things, neither truth nor falsity exists, except in relation to the intellect because "things are called false that are naturally apt to appear such as they are not, or what they are not" (Metaph. v, 34).

In things that depend on God, falseness cannot be found, insofar as they are compared with the divine intellect.

But in relation to our intellect, natural things which are compared thereto accidentally, can be called false; not simply, but relatively.

Things do not deceive by their own nature, but by accident. For they give occasion to falsity, by the likeness they bear to things which they actually are not.

Things are said to be false, not as compared with the divine intellect, in which case they would be false simply, but as compared with our intellect; and thus they are false only relatively.

Q17: Falsity and God

Q17 takes up the question of falsity and God in four articles:
  1. Does falsity exist in things?
  2. Does it exist in the sense?
  3. Does it exist in the intellect?
  4. The opposition of the true and the false

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Q16 A8: Whether truth is immutable?

No. The mutability of truth must be regarded from the point of view of the intellect because the truth of intellect consists in its conformity to the thing understood.

The truth of the divine intellect is immutable. But the truth of our intellect is mutable (not because it is itself the subject of change, but insofar as our intellect changes from truth to falsity, for thus forms may be called mutable). Whereas the truth of the divine intellect is that according to which natural things are said to be true, and this is altogether immutable.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Q16 A7: Whether created truth is eternal?

No. Nothing else but God is eternal because the truth of the divine intellect is God Himself.

Things are called true from the truth of the intellect. Hence, if no intellect were eternal, no truth would be eternal.

Because only the divine intellect is eternal, in it alone truth has eternity.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Q16 A6: Whether there is only one truth, according to which all things are true?

No. In one sense truth, whereby all things are true, is one, and in another sense it is not because truth resides primarily in the intellect, and secondarily in things, according as they are related to the divine intellect.

If therefore we speak of truth, as it exists in the intellect, according to its proper nature, then are there many truths in many created intellects (and even in one and the same intellect, according to the number of things known).

But if we speak of truth as it is in things, then all things are true by one primary truth, to which each one is assimilated according to its own entity. And thus, although the essences or forms of things are many, yet the truth of the divine intellect is one, in conformity to which all things are said to be true.

The soul does not judge of things according to any kind of truth, but according to the primary truth, inasmuch as it is reflected in the soul, as in a mirror, by reason of the first principles of the understanding. It follows, therefore, that the primary truth is greater than the soul.

And yet, even created truth, which resides in our intellect, is greater than the soul, not simply, but in a certain degree, in so far as it is its perfection (even as science may be said to be greater than the soul). Yet it is true that nothing subsisting is greater than the rational soul, except God.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Q16 A5: Whether God is truth?

Yes. God is truth itself -- the sovereign and first truth -- because His being is not only conformed to His intellect, but it is the very act of His intellect; and His act of understanding is the measure and cause of every other being and of every other intellect, and He Himself is His own existence and act of understanding.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Q16 A4: Whether good is logically prior to the true?

No. The true is prior to good because the true is more closely related to being than is good.

For the true regards being itself simply and immediately, while the nature of good follows being in so far as being is in some way perfect (for thus it is desirable).

Knowledge naturally precedes appetite. Hence, since the true regards knowledge, but the good regards the appetite, the true must be logically prior in idea to the good.

A thing is prior logically insofar as it is prior to the intellect. Now the intellect apprehends primarily being itself; secondly, it apprehends that it understands being; and thirdly, it apprehends that it desires being.

Hence the idea of being is first, that of truth second, and the idea of good third, though good is in things.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Q16 A3: Whether the true and being are convertible terms?

Yes. The true and being are convertible terms because everything, inasmuch as it has being, is knowable.

Being cannot be understood, unless being is intelligible. Yet being can be understood while its intelligibility is not understood. Similarly, being when understood is true, yet the true is not understood by understanding being.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Q16 A2: Whether truth resides only in the intellect composing and dividing?

Yes. Truth resides in the intellect composing and dividing (and not in the senses, nor in the intellect knowing "what a thing is") because it is then that the intellect judges that a thing corresponds to the form which it apprehends about that thing.

It is then that it first knows and expresses truth, i.e., as the thing known in the knower, which is implied by the word "truth".

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Q15 A3: Whether there are ideas of all things that God knows?

Yes. God has ideas of all things known by Him because ideas are principles of the knowledge of things and of their generation.

So far as the idea is the principle of the making of things, it may be called an "exemplar", and belongs to practical knowledge.

But so far as it is a principle of knowledge, it is properly called a "type", and may belong to speculative knowledge also.

Evil is known by God not through its own type, but through the type of good. Evil, therefore, has no idea in God, neither in so far as an idea is an "exemplar" nor as a "type".

God has no practical knowledge, except virtually, of things which neither are, nor will be, nor have been. Hence, with respect to these there is no idea in God insofar as idea signifies an "exemplar" but only insofar as it denotes a "type".

Genus can have no idea apart from the idea of species, in so far as idea denotes an "exemplar"; for genus cannot exist except in some species. The same is the case with those accidents that inseparably accompany their subject; for these come into being along with their subject. But accidents which supervene to the subject, have their special idea.

Divine providence extends not merely to species, but to individuals as will be shown later (Q22, A3).

Plato is said by some to have considered matter as not created; and therefore he postulated not an idea of matter but a concause with matter. Since, however, we hold matter to be created by God, though not apart from form, matter has its idea in God (but not apart from the idea of the composite: for matter in itself can neither exist, nor be known).

Friday, May 05, 2006

Q15 A2: Whether ideas are many?

Yes. God understands many particular types of things (and these are many ideas) because the divine essence is not called an idea insofar as it is that essence, but only insofar as it is the likeness or type of this or that thing.

Hence ideas are said to be many, inasmuch as many types are understood through the self-same essence.

Relations, whereby ideas are multiplied, are caused not by the things themselves, but by the divine intellect comparing its own essence with these things.

Relations multiplying ideas do not exist in created things, but in God. Yet they are not real relations, such as those whereby the Persons are distinguished, but relations understood by God.

It is not repugnant to the simplicity of the divine mind that it understand many things; though it would be repugnant to its simplicity were His understanding to be formed by a plurality of images.

Hence many ideas exist in the divine mind, as things understood by it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Q15 A1: Whether there are ideas?

Yes. It is necessary to suppose ideas (the forms of things, existing apart from the things themselves) in the divine mind because, since the world was not made by chance, but by God acting by His intellect (Q46, A1), there must exist in the divine mind a form to the likeness of which the world was made.

God does not understand things according to an idea existing outside Himself. Thus Aristotle (Metaph. ix) rejects the opinion of Plato, who held that ideas existed of themselves, and not in the intellect.

Although God knows Himself and all else by His own essence, yet His essence is the operative principle of all things, except of Himself. It has therefore the nature of an idea with respect to other things; though not with respect to Himself.

God is the similitude of all things according to His essence; therefore an idea in God is identical with His essence.

God's ideas

We continue our study of God's intellectual operations in which Q14 treated God's knowledge.

Now, in three articles, Q15 treats the ideas which exist in His knowledge:
  1. Are there ideas?
  2. Are they many, or one only?
  3. Are there ideas of all things known by God?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Q14 A16: Whether God has a speculative knowledge of things?

Yes. God has of Himself a speculative knowledge only because He Himself is not operable.

But of all other things He has both speculative and practical knowledge.

He has speculative knowledge as regards the mode; for whatever we know speculatively in things by defining and dividing, God knows all this much more perfectly.

Therefore, since the knowledge of God is in every way perfect, He must know what is operable by Him, formally as such, and not only insofar as they are speculative. Nevertheless this does not impair the nobility of His speculative knowledge, forasmuch as He sees all things other than Himself in Himself, and He knows Himself speculatively; and so in the speculative knowledge of Himself, he possesses both speculative and practical knowledge of all other things.

Now of things which He can make, but does not make at any time, He has not a practical knowledge, according as knowledge is called practical from the end. But He has a practical knowledge of what He makes in some period of time.

And, as regards evil things, although they are not operable by Him, yet they fall under His practical knowledge, like good things, inasmuch as He permits, or impedes, or directs them; as also sicknesses fall under the practical knowledge of the physician, inasmuch as he cures them by his art.

The knowledge of God is the cause, not indeed of Himself, but of other things. He is actually the cause of some, that is, of things that come to be in some period of time; and He is virtually the cause of others, that is, of things which He can make, and which nevertheless are never made.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Q14 A15: Whether the knowledge of God is variable?

No. God's knowledge must be altogether invariable because the knowledge of God is His substance (Q14, A4) and His substance is altogether immutable (Q9, A1).

The knowledge of God, however, would be variable if He knew enunciable things by way of enunciation, by composition and division, as occurs in our intellect. But He has instead knowledge of vision, according to which He is said to know those things which are in act in some period of time.

From the fact that He knows some things might be which are not, or that some things might not be which are, it does not follow that His knowledge is variable, but rather that He knows the variability of things.

If, however, anything existed which God did not previously know, and afterwards knew, then His knowledge would be variable. But this could not be; for whatever is, or can be in any period of time, is known by God in His eternity. Therefore from the fact that a thing exists in some period of time, it follows that it is known by God from eternity.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Q14 A14: Whether God knows enunciable things?

Yes. God knows all enunciations that can be formed because by understanding His essence, God knows the essences of all things, and also whatever can be accidental to them.

Now just as He knows material things immaterially, and composite things simply, so likewise He knows enunciable things not after the manner of enunciable things, as if in His intellect there were composition or division of enunciations.

Instead, He knows each thing by simple intelligence, by understanding the essence of each thing: as if we by the very fact that we understand what man is, were to understand all that can be predicated of man.

Enunciatory composition signifies some existence of a thing; and thus God by His existence, which is His essence, is the similitude of all those things which are signified by enunciation.