Human knowledge arises as a result of of the
intellectual analysis of substance
accessible to sensory perception.
Does the Creator exist?
It appears that the Creator does not exist; because if one of two
infinite, the other would be
altogether destroyed. But the word "the
Creator" means that the Creator is infinite goodness. If, therefore,
the Creator existed, there would be no
evil discoverable; but there is evil in
the world. Therefore the Creator does not exist.
Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by
a few principles has been produced by many. But it appears that everything we
see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing the
Creator did not exist.
For all natural things can be reduced to one
principle which is nature; and all
voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will.
Therefore there is no need to suppose the Creator's existence.
On the contrary, it
is said in the individual of the Creator: "I
am who I am." (Exodus 3:14)
answer that, the existence of the Creator
can be proved in five ways.
The first and more
manifest way is the argument from motion.
It is certain, and
evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now
whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can put itself
in motion. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from
potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to
actuality, except by something in a state of actuality.
Thus that which
is actually hot, as fire, makes wood,
which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it.
Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and
potentiality in the same regard, but only in different aspects.
what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is
simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same
regard and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved. Therefore,
whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is
put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in
motion by another, and that by another again.
But this cannot go on to
infinity, because then there
would be no first motion, and, consequently, no other motion; seeing that
subsequent motions move only
inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first motion; as the
staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at
a first motion,
put in motion by no other;
and this everyone
understands to be the Creator.
The second way
is from the nature of the efficient cause.
In the reality of sense we
find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is
it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of
itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible.
efficient causes it is not possible to go on to
infinity, because in all
efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate
cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the
intermediate cause be several, or only one.
Now to take away the cause
is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among
efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if
in efficient causes it is possible to go on to
infinity, there will be no
first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any
intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false.
Therefore it is necessary to admit a
first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of the Creator.
The third way is taken from
possibility and necessity,
and runs thus.
We find in nature things that are possible to be and not
to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently,
they are possible to be and not to be.
But it is impossible for these
always to exist, for that which is possible not to
be at some time is not.
Therefore, if everything is possible not to
be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence.
this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that
which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing.
Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been
impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would
be in existence -- which is absurd.
Therefore, not all things are
necessary, but there must exist some thing the existence of which is necessary
as every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not.
Now it is impossible to go on to
infinity in necessary things
which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in
regard to efficient causes.
Therefore we cannot but postulate the
existence of something having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it
from another, but rather causing in others their necessity.
men speak of as the Creator.
The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things.
Among beings there are some more and some less good, true,
noble and the like. But
"more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they
resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is
said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest;
so that there is something which is truest, something best, something
noblest and, consequently,
something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth
are greatest in being.
Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all
in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot
Therefore there must also be some things which is to all beings
the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we
speak of as the Creator.
The fifth way is taken from the governance of the universe.
We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act
for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in
the same way.
Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but
designedly, do they achieve their end.
whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed
by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to
its mark by the archer.
Therefore some intelligent being
exists by whom all natural things are
directed to their end; and this being we
speak of as the Creator.
Reply to Objection 1.
Augustine says (Enchiridion xi):
"Since the Creator is the highest good, the Creator would not allow any evil to
exist in His works, unless His
omnipotence and goodness were such as to
bring good even out of evils."
This is part of the
infinite goodness of the
Creator, that He should allow
evil to exist, and out of it produce good.
Reply to Objection 2.
Since nature works for a determinate
end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must
needs be traced back to the Creator, as to its first cause.
whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause
other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things
that are changeable and capable of
defect must be traced back to an
immovable and self-necessary first principle.
Whether all things are life in the Creator?
It appears that not all things are life
in the Creator. For it is said (Acts 17:28), "In the Creator we live, and move,
But not all things in the Creator are in motion. Therefore not
all things are life in the Creator.
all things are in the Creator as their first model. But things modelled ought
to conform to the model.
then, not all things have life in themselves, it appears that not all things
are life in the Creator.
Augustine says (De Vera Relig.
29), a living substance is better
than a substance that does not live.
If, therefore, things which in
themselves have not life, are life in the Creator, it appears that things exist
more truly in the Creator than themselves.
But this appears to be
false; since in themselves they exist actually, but in the Creator potentially.
Further, just as good things and things made
in time are known by the Creator, so are bad things, and things that the
Creator can make, but never will be made.
If, therefore, all things are
life in the Creator, inasmuch as known by the Creator, it appears that even bad
things and things that will never be made are life in the Creator, as known by
the Creator, and this appears inadmissible.
contrary, (Jn. 1:3,4), it is said,
"What was made in the Creator was life."
But all things were made,
except the Creator.
Therefore all things are life in the Creator.
To live in the Creator is to understand.
In the Creator intellect, the thing understood, and the act of
understanding, are one and the same.
Hence whatever is in the Creator
as understood is the very living or life of the Creator.
things that have been made by the Creator are in the Creator as things
it follows that all things in the Creator are the divine life
Reply to Objection 1.
Creatures are said to be
in the Creator in a twofold sense.
In one way, they are held together
and preserved by the divine power. And creatures are thus said to be in the
Creator, even as they exist in their own natures.
In this sense we must
understand the words of the Apostle when he says, "In the Creator we live,
move, and be"; since our being, living, and moving are themselves
caused by the Creator.
In another sense things are said to be in the
Creator, as in the Creator who desire them, in which sense they are in the
Creator through their proper ideas, which in the Creator are not distinct from
the divine essence.
Hence things as they are in the Creator are the
divine essence. And
since the divine essence
is life and not motion, it follows that things existing in the Creator in this
manner are not motion, but life.
Reply to Objection 2.
thing modeled must be like the model according to the
form, not the mode of being.
For sometimes the form
has being of another category
in the model from that which it has in the thing modeled.
form of a house has in the mind
of the architect immaterial and intelligible being; but in the house that
exists outside his mind, material and sensible being.
Hence the ideas
of things, though not existing in themselves, are life in the divine mind, as
having a divine existence in that mind.
Reply to Objection
If form only, and not
matter, belonged to natural things, then in all regards 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
But since matter enters into the being of
natural things a natural thing has 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.
So a house has
nobler being in the
architect's mind than in matter; yet a material house is a house more truly
than the one which exists in the mind; since the former is actual, the
latter only potential.
Reply to Objection 4.
things are in the Creator's knowledge, as being comprised under that knowledge,
yet they are not in the Creator as created by the Creator, or preserved by the
Creator, or as having their type in the Creator.
They are known by the
Creator through the types of good things.
Hence it cannot be said
that bad things are life in the Creator.
Those things that are not in
time may be spoken of as of as
life in the Creator in so far as life means understanding only,
inasmuch as they are understood by the Creator; but not in so far as life
implies a principle of
Secundae of the Summa Theologiae
Thomas Aquinas seven conditions that must coincide
to make a war just became the traditional doctrine of the Catholic
Church:victory must be assured;
fought for must itself be just;
the purpose of the warring power must
remain just while hostilities go on;
war must be truly the last resort,
all peaceful means having been exhausted;
the methods employed during
the war to vanquish the foe
must themselves be just;
the peace concluded at the end of the war must
be just and of such nature as to prevent a new war;
the benefits the war
can reasonably be expected to bring for humanity must be greater than the evils
created by the war.
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