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Essence and existence are inseperable from the Creator and are indeed identical with the Creator.

Human knowledge arises as a result of of the intellectual analysis of substance accessible to sensory perception.


Does the Creator exist?


Objection 1.

It appears that the Creator does not exist; because if one of two contraries be 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.

Objection 2.

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)


I 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.

For 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.

Now in 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.

Now if 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.

This all 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 things.

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.

Now 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.

As 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.

So also 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?

Objection 1.

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, and be."

But not all things in the Creator are in motion. Therefore not all things are life in the Creator.


Objection 2.

Further, all things are in the Creator as their first model. But things modelled ought to conform to the model.

Since, then, not all things have life in themselves, it appears that not all things are life in the Creator.


Objection 3.

Further, as 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.


Objection 4.

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.



On the 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 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.

Since all things that have been made by the Creator are in the Creator as things understood,
it follows that all things in the Creator are the divine life itself
.



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.

The 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.

Thus the 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 3.

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 participation.

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.

Although bad 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,
and inasmuch as they are understood by the Creator; but not in so far as life implies a principle of operation.

Thomas Aquinas,Prima Secundae of the Summa Theologiae


just war

Thomas Aquinas seven conditions that must coincide to make a war just became the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church:

victory must be assured;

the cause 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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