Monday, November 02, 2009

1a 2ae q6 a4: Whether violence can be done to the will? No.

Voluntas non potest cogi ad agendum quia actus voluntatis nihil est aliud quam inclinatio quaedam procedens ab interiori principio cognoscente, sed quod est coactum vel violentum, est ab exteriori principio; unde contra rationem ipsius actus voluntatis est, quod sit coactus vel violentus.

The will cannot be compelled to act because the act of the will is nothing else than an inclination proceeding from the interior principle of knowledge, whereas what is compelled or violent is from an exterior principle; consequently it is contrary to the formal aspect of the will's own act, that it should be subject to compulsion and violence.

Duplex est actus voluntatis, unus quidem qui est eius immediate, velut ab ipsa elicitus, scilicet velle; alius autem est actus voluntatis a voluntate imperatus, et mediante alia potentia exercitus, ut ambulare et loqui, qui a voluntate imperantur mediante potentia motiva.

The act of the will is twofold: one is its immediate act, as it were, elicited by it, namely, "to wish"; the other is an act of the will commanded by it, and put into execution by means of some other power, such as "to walk" and "to speak," which are commanded by the will to be executed by means of the motive power.

Quantum igitur ad actus a voluntate imperatos, voluntas violentiam pati potest, inquantum per violentiam exteriora membra impediri possunt ne imperium voluntatis exequantur. Sed quantum ad ipsum proprium actum voluntatis, non potest ei violentia inferri.

As regards the commanded acts of the will, then, the will can suffer violence, insofar as violence can prevent the exterior members from executing the will's command. But as to the will's own proper act, violence cannot be done to the will.

Deus, qui est potentior quam voluntas humana, potest voluntatem humanam movere; secundum illud Prov. XXI, "cor regis in manu Dei est, et quocumque voluerit, vertet illud". Sed si hoc esset per violentiam, iam non esset cum actu voluntatis, nec ipsa voluntas moveretur, sed aliquid contra voluntatem.

God Who is more powerful than the human will, can move the will of man, according to Proverbs 21:1: "The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord; whithersoever He will He shall turn it." But if this were by compulsion, it would no longer be by an act of the will, nor would the will itself be moved, but something else against the will.