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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
On the contrary, (Jn. 1:3,4), it is
said, "What was made in the Creator was life."
things were made, except the Creator.
all things are life in the
To live in
the Creator is to understand.
In the intellect, the thing
understood, and the act of understanding, are one and the same.
whatever is in the Creator as understood is the very living or life of the
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Thomas Aquinas,Prima Secundae of the Summa
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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