Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part I/Q4

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Q3 Q5
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Iª q. 4 pr. Post considerationem divinae simplicitatis, de perfectione ipsius Dei dicendum est. Et quia unumquodque, secundum quod perfectum est, sic dicitur bonum, primo agendum est de perfectione divina; secundo de eius bonitate. Circa primum quaeruntur tria. Primo, utrum Deus sit perfectus. Secundo, utrum Deus sit universaliter perfectus omnium in se perfectiones habens. Tertio, utrum creaturae similes Deo dici possint.
Iª q. 4 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod esse perfectum non conveniat Deo. Perfectum enim dicitur quasi totaliter factum. Sed Deo non convenit esse factum. Ergo nec esse perfectum.
Objection 1. It seems that perfection does not belong to God. For we say a thing is perfect if it is completely made. But it does not befit God to be made. Therefore He is not perfect.
Iª q. 4 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Deus est primum rerum principium. Sed principia rerum videntur esse imperfecta, semen enim est principium animalium et plantarum. Ergo Deus est imperfectus.
Objection 2. Further, God is the first beginning of things. But the beginnings of things seem to be imperfect, as seed is the beginning of animal and vegetable life. Therefore God is imperfect.
Iª q. 4 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, ostensum est supra quod essentia Dei est ipsum esse. Sed ipsum esse videtur esse imperfectissimum, cum sit communissimum, et recipiens omnium additiones. Ergo Deus est imperfectus.
Objection 3. Further, as shown above (3, 4), God's essence is existence. But existence seems most imperfect, since it is most universal and receptive of all modification. Therefore God is imperfect.
Iª q. 4 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Matt. V, estote perfecti, sicut et pater vester caelestis perfectus est.
On the contrary, It is written: "Be you perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
Iª q. 4 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut philosophus narrat in XII Metaphys., quidam antiqui philosophi, scilicet Pythagorici et Speusippus, non attribuerunt optimum et perfectissimum primo principio. Cuius ratio est, quia philosophi antiqui consideraverunt principium materiale tantum, primum autem principium materiale imperfectissimum est. Cum enim materia, inquantum huiusmodi, sit in potentia, oportet quod primum principium materiale sit maxime in potentia; et ita maxime imperfectum. Deus autem ponitur primum principium, non materiale, sed in genere causae efficientis, et hoc oportet esse perfectissimum. Sicut enim materia, inquantum huiusmodi, est in potentia; ita agens, inquantum huiusmodi, est in actu. Unde primum principium activum oportet maxime esse in actu, et per consequens maxime esse perfectum. Secundum hoc enim dicitur aliquid esse perfectum, secundum quod est actu, nam perfectum dicitur, cui nihil deest secundum modum suae perfectionis.
I answer that, As the Philosopher relates (Metaph. xii), some ancient philosophers, namely, the Pythagoreans and Leucippus, did not predicate "best" and "most perfect" of the first principle. The reason was that the ancient philosophers considered only a material principle; and a material principle is most imperfect. For since matter as such is merely potential, the first material principle must be simply potential, and thus most imperfect. Now God is the first principle, not material, but in the order of efficient cause, which must be most perfect. For just as matter, as such, is merely potential, an agent, as such, is in the state of actuality. Hence, the first active principle must needs be most actual, and therefore most perfect; for a thing is perfect in proportion to its state of actuality, because we call that perfect which lacks nothing of the mode of its perfection.
Iª q. 4 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut dicit Gregorius, balbutiendo ut possumus, excelsa Dei resonamus, quod enim factum non est, perfectum proprie dici non potest. Sed quia in his quae fiunt, tunc dicitur esse aliquid perfectum, cum de potentia educitur in actum; transumitur hoc nomen perfectum ad significandum omne illud cui non deest esse in actu, sive hoc habeat per modum factionis, sive non.
Reply to Objection 1. As Gregory says (Moral. v, 26,29): "Though our lips can only stammer, we yet chant the high things of God." For that which is not made is improperly called perfect. Nevertheless because created things are then called perfect, when from potentiality they are brought into actuality, this word "perfect" signifies whatever is not wanting in actuality, whether this be by way of perfection or not.
Iª q. 4 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod principium materiale, quod apud nos imperfectum invenitur, non potest esse simpliciter primum, sed praeceditur ab alio perfecto. Nam semen, licet sit principium animalis generati ex semine, tamen habet ante se animal vel plantam unde deciditur. Oportet enim ante id quod est in potentia, esse aliquid actu, cum ens in potentia non reducatur in actum, nisi per aliquod ens in actu.
Reply to Objection 2. The material principle which with us is found to be imperfect, cannot be absolutely primal; but must be preceded by something perfect. For seed, though it be the principle of animal life reproduced through seed, has previous to it, the animal or plant from which is came. Because, previous to that which is potential, must be that which is actual; since a potential being can only be reduced into act by some being already actual.
Iª q. 4 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ipsum esse est perfectissimum omnium, comparatur enim ad omnia ut actus. Nihil enim habet actualitatem, nisi inquantum est, unde ipsum esse est actualitas omnium rerum, et etiam ipsarum formarum. Unde non comparatur ad alia sicut recipiens ad receptum, sed magis sicut receptum ad recipiens. Cum enim dico esse hominis, vel equi, vel cuiuscumque alterius, ipsum esse consideratur ut formale et receptum, non autem ut illud cui competit esse.
Reply to Objection 3. Existence is the most perfect of all things, for it is compared to all things as that by which they are made actual; for nothing has actuality except so far as it exists. Hence existence is that which actuates all things, even their forms. Therefore it is not compared to other things as the receiver is to the received; but rather as the received to the receiver. When therefore I speak of the existence of man, or horse, or anything else, existence is considered a formal principle, and as something received; and not as that which exists.
Iª q. 4 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in Deo non sint perfectiones omnium rerum. Deus enim simplex est, ut ostensum est. Sed perfectiones rerum sunt multae et diversae. Ergo in Deo non sunt omnes perfectiones rerum.
Objection 1. It seems that the perfections of all things are not in God. For God is simple, as shown above (3, 7); whereas the perfections of things are many and diverse. Therefore the perfections of all things are not in God.
Iª q. 4 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, opposita non possunt esse in eodem. Sed perfectiones rerum sunt oppositae, unaquaeque enim species perficitur per suam differentiam specificam; differentiae autem quibus dividitur genus et constituuntur species, sunt oppositae. Cum ergo opposita non possint simul esse in eodem, videtur quod non omnes rerum perfectiones sint in Deo.
Objection 2. Further, opposites cannot coexist. Now the perfections of things are opposed to each other, for each thing is perfected by its specific difference. But the differences by which "genera" are divided, and "species" constituted, are opposed to each other. Therefore because opposites cannot coexist in the same subject, it seems that the perfections of all things are not in God.
Iª q. 4 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, vivens est perfectius quam ens, et sapiens quam vivens, ergo et vivere est perfectius quam esse, et sapere quam vivere. Sed essentia Dei est ipsum esse. Ergo non habet in se perfectionem vitae et sapientiae, et alias huiusmodi perfectiones.
Objection 3. Further, a living thing is more perfect than what merely exists; and an intelligent thing than what merely lives. Therefore life is more perfect than existence; and knowledge than life. But the essence of God is existence itself. Therefore He has not the perfections of life, and knowledge, and other similar perfections.
Iª q. 4 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicit Dionysius, cap. V de Div. Nom., quod Deus in uno existentia omnia praehabet.
On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. v) that "God in His one existence prepossesses all things."
Iª q. 4 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod in Deo sunt perfectiones omnium rerum. Unde et dicitur universaliter perfectus, quia non deest ei aliqua nobilitas quae inveniatur in aliquo genere, ut dicit Commentator in V Metaphys. Et hoc quidem ex duobus considerari potest. Primo quidem, per hoc quod quidquid perfectionis est in effectu, oportet inveniri in causa effectiva, vel secundum eandem rationem, si sit agens univocum, ut homo generat hominem; vel eminentiori modo, si sit, agens aequivocum, sicut in sole est similitudo eorum quae generantur per virtutem solis. Manifestum est enim quod effectus praeexistit virtute in causa agente, praeexistere autem in virtute causae agentis, non est praeexistere imperfectiori modo, sed perfectiori; licet praeexistere in potentia causae materialis, sit praeexistere imperfectiori modo, eo quod materia, inquantum huiusmodi, est imperfecta; agens vero, inquantum huiusmodi, est perfectum. Cum ergo Deus sit prima causa effectiva rerum, oportet omnium rerum perfectiones praeexistere in Deo secundum eminentiorem modum. Et hanc rationem tangit Dionysius, cap. V de Div. Nom., dicens de Deo quod non hoc quidem est, hoc autem non est, sed omnia est, ut omnium causa. Secundo vero, ex hoc quod supra ostensum est, quod Deus est ipsum esse per se subsistens, ex quo oportet quod totam perfectionem essendi in se contineat. Manifestum est enim quod, si aliquod calidum non habeat totam perfectionem calidi, hoc ideo est, quia calor non participatur secundum perfectam rationem, sed si calor esset per se subsistens, non posset ei aliquid deesse de virtute caloris. Unde, cum Deus sit ipsum esse subsistens, nihil de perfectione essendi potest ei deesse. Omnium autem perfectiones pertinent ad perfectionem essendi, secundum hoc enim aliqua perfecta sunt, quod aliquo modo esse habent. Unde sequitur quod nullius rei perfectio Deo desit. Et hanc etiam rationem tangit Dionysius, cap. V de Div. Nom., dicens quod Deus non quodammodo est existens, sed simpliciter et incircumscripte totum in seipso uniformiter esse praeaccipit, et postea subdit quod ipse est esse subsistentibus.
I answer that, All created perfections are in God. Hence He is spoken of as universally perfect, because He lacks not (says the Commentator, Metaph. v) any excellence which may be found in any genus. This may be seen from two considerations. First, because whatever perfection exists in an effect must be found in the effective cause: either in the same formality, if it is a univocal agent--as when man reproduces man; or in a more eminent degree, if it is an equivocal agent--thus in the sun is the likeness of whatever is generated by the sun's power. Now it is plain that the effect pre-exists virtually in the efficient cause: and although to pre-exist in the potentiality of a material cause is to pre-exist in a more imperfect way, since matter as such is imperfect, and an agent as such is perfect; still to pre-exist virtually in the efficient cause is to pre-exist not in a more imperfect, but in a more perfect way. Since therefore God is the first effective cause of things, the perfections of all things must pre-exist in God in a more eminent way. Dionysius implies the same line of argument by saying of God (Div. Nom. v): "It is not that He is this and not that, but that He is all, as the cause of all." Secondly, from what has been already proved, God is existence itself, of itself subsistent (3, 4). Consequently, He must contain within Himself the whole perfection of being. For it is clear that if some hot thing has not the whole perfection of heat, this is because heat is not participated in its full perfection; but if this heat were self-subsisting, nothing of the virtue of heat would be wanting to it. Since therefore God is subsisting being itself, nothing of the perfection of being can be wanting to Him. Now all created perfections are included in the perfection of being; for things are perfect, precisely so far as they have being after some fashion. It follows therefore that the perfection of no one thing is wanting to God. This line of argument, too, is implied by Dionysius (Div. Nom. v), when he says that, "God exists not in any single mode, but embraces all being within Himself, absolutely, without limitation, uniformly;" and afterwards he adds that, "He is the very existence to subsisting things."
Iª q. 4 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut sol, ut dicit Dionysius, cap. V de Div. Nom., sensibilium substantias et qualitates multas et differentes, ipse unus existens et uniformiter lucendo, in seipso uniformiter praeaccipit; ita multo magis in causa omnium necesse est praeexistere omnia secundum naturalem unionem. Et sic, quae sunt diversa et opposita in seipsis, in Deo praeexistunt ut unum, absque detrimento simplicitatis ipsius.
Reply to Objection 1. Even as the sun (as Dionysius remarks, (Div. Nom. v)), while remaining one and shining uniformly, contains within itself first and uniformly the substances of sensible things, and many and diverse qualities; "a fortiori" should all things in a kind of natural unity pre-exist in the cause of all things; and thus things diverse and in themselves opposed to each other, pre-exist in God as one, without injury to His simplicity.
Iª q. 4 a. 2 ad 2 Et per hoc patet solutio ad secundum.
This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.
Iª q. 4 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut in eodem capite idem Dionysius dicit, licet ipsum esse sit perfectius quam vita, et ipsa vita quam ipsa sapientia, si considerentur secundum quod distinguuntur ratione, tamen vivens est perfectius quam ens tantum, quia vivens etiam est ens; et sapiens est ens et vivens. Licet igitur ens non includat in se vivens et sapiens, quia non oportet quod illud quod participat esse, participet ipsum secundum omnem modum essendi, tamen ipsum esse Dei includit in se vitam et sapientiam; quia nulla de perfectionibus essendi potest deesse ei quod est ipsum esse subsistens.
Reply to Objection 3. The same Dionysius says (Div. Nom. v) that, although existence is more perfect than life, and life than wisdom, if they are considered as distinguished in idea; nevertheless, a living thing is more perfect than what merely exists, because living things also exist and intelligent things both exist and live. Although therefore existence does not include life and wisdom, because that which participates in existence need not participate in every mode of existence; nevertheless God's existence includes in itself life and wisdom, because nothing of the perfection of being can be wanting to Him who is subsisting being itself.
Iª q. 4 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod nulla creatura possit esse similis Deo. Dicitur enim in Psalmo, non est similis tui in diis, domine. Sed inter omnes creaturas, excellentiores sunt quae dicuntur dii participative. Multo ergo minus aliae creaturae possunt dici Deo similes.
Objection 1. It seems that no creature can be like God. For it is written (Psalm 85:8): "There is none among the gods like unto Thee, O Lord." But of all creatures the most excellent are those which are called participation gods. Therefore still less can other creatures be said to be like God.
Iª q. 4 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, similitudo est comparatio quaedam. Non est autem comparatio eorum quae sunt diversorum generum; ergo nec similitudo, non enim dicimus quod dulcedo sit similis albedini. Sed nulla creatura est eiusdem generis cum Deo, cum Deus non sit in genere, ut supra ostensum est. Ergo nulla creatura est similis Deo.
Objection 2. Further, likeness implies comparison. But there can be no comparison between things in a different "genus." Therefore neither can there be any likeness. Thus we do not say that sweetness is like whiteness. But no creature is in the same "genus" as God: since God is no "genus," as shown above (3, 5). Therefore no creature is like God.
Iª q. 4 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, similia dicuntur quae conveniunt in forma. Sed nihil convenit cum Deo in forma, nullius enim rei essentia est ipsum esse, nisi solius Dei. Ergo nulla creatura potest esse similis Deo.
Objection 3. Further, we speak of those things as like which agree in form. But nothing can agree with God in form; for, save in God alone, essence and existence differ. Therefore no creature can be like to God.
Iª q. 4 a. 3 arg. 4 Praeterea, in similibus est mutua similitudo, nam simile est simili simile. Si igitur aliqua creatura est similis Deo, et Deus erit similis alicui creaturae. Quod est contra id quod dicitur Isaiae XL, cui similem fecistis Deum?
Objection 4. Further, among like things there is mutual likeness; for like is like to like. If therefore any creature is like God, God will be like some creature, which is against what is said by Isaias: "To whom have you likened God?" (Isaiah 40:18).
Iª q. 4 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Gen. I, faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram; et I Ioann. III, cum apparuerit, similes ei erimus.
On the contrary, It is written: "Let us make man to our image and likeness" (Genesis 1:26), and: "When He shall appear we shall be like to Him" (1 John 3:2).
Iª q. 4 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, cum similitudo attendatur secundum convenientiam vel communicationem in forma, multiplex est similitudo, secundum multos modos communicandi in forma. Quaedam enim dicuntur similia, quae communicant in eadem forma secundum eandem rationem, et secundum eundem modum, et haec non solum dicuntur similia, sed aequalia in sua similitudine; sicut duo aequaliter alba, dicuntur similia in albedine. Et haec est perfectissima similitudo. Alio modo dicuntur similia, quae communicant in forma secundum eandem rationem, et non secundum eundem modum, sed secundum magis et minus; ut minus album dicitur simile magis albo. Et haec est similitudo imperfecta. Tertio modo dicuntur aliqua similia, quae communicant in eadem forma, sed non secundum eandem rationem; ut patet in agentibus non univocis. Cum enim omne agens agat sibi simile inquantum est agens, agit autem unumquodque secundum suam formam, necesse est quod in effectu sit similitudo formae agentis. Si ergo agens sit contentum in eadem specie cum suo effectu, erit similitudo inter faciens et factum in forma, secundum eandem rationem speciei; sicut homo generat hominem. Si autem agens non sit contentum in eadem specie, erit similitudo, sed non secundum eandem rationem speciei, sicut ea quae generantur ex virtute solis, accedunt quidem ad aliquam similitudinem solis, non tamen ut recipiant formam solis secundum similitudinem speciei, sed secundum similitudinem generis. Si igitur sit aliquod agens, quod non in genere contineatur, effectus eius adhuc magis accedent remote ad similitudinem formae agentis, non tamen ita quod participent similitudinem formae agentis secundum eandem rationem speciei aut generis, sed secundum aliqualem analogiam, sicut ipsum esse est commune omnibus. Et hoc modo illa quae sunt a Deo, assimilantur ei inquantum sunt entia, ut primo et universali principio totius esse.
I answer that, Since likeness is based upon agreement or communication in form, it varies according to the many modes of communication in form. Some things are said to be like, which communicate in the same form according to the same formality, and according to the same mode; and these are said to be not merely like, but equal in their likeness; as two things equally white are said to be alike in whiteness; and this is the most perfect likeness. In another way, we speak of things as alike which communicate in form according to the same formality, though not according to the same measure, but according to more or less, as something less white is said to be like another thing more white; and this is imperfect likeness. In a third way some things are said to be alike which communicate in the same form, but not according to the same formality; as we see in non-univocal agents. For since every agent reproduces itself so far as it is an agent, and everything acts according to the manner of its form, the effect must in some way resemble the form of the agent. If therefore the agent is contained in the same species as its effect, there will be a likeness in form between that which makes and that which is made, according to the same formality of the species; as man reproduces man. If, however, the agent and its effect are not contained in the same species, there will be a likeness, but not according to the formality of the same species; as things generated by the sun's heat may be in some sort spoken of as like the sun, not as though they received the form of the sun in its specific likeness, but in its generic likeness. Therefore if there is an agent not contained in any "genus," its effect will still more distantly reproduce the form of the agent, not, that is, so as to participate in the likeness of the agent's form according to the same specific or generic formality, but only according to some sort of analogy; as existence is common to all. In this way all created things, so far as they are beings, are like God as the first and universal principle of all being.
Iª q. 4 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut dicit Dionysius cap. IX de Div. Nom., cum sacra Scriptura dicit aliquid non esse simile Deo, non est contrarium assimilationi ad ipsum. Eadem enim sunt similia Deo, et dissimilia, similia quidem secundum quod imitantur ipsum, prout contingit eum imitari qui non perfecte imitabilis est dissimilia vero, secundum quod deficiunt a sua causa; non solum secundum intensionem et remissionem, sicut minus album deficit a magis albo; sed quia non est convenientia nec secundum speciem nec secundum genus.
Reply to Objection 1. As Dionysius says (Div. Nom. ix), when Holy Writ declares that nothing is like God, it does not mean to deny all likeness to Him. For, "the same things can be like and unlike to God: like, according as they imitate Him, as far as He, Who is not perfectly imitable, can be imitated; unlike according as they fall short of their cause," not merely in intensity and remission, as that which is less white falls short of that which is more white; but because they are not in agreement, specifically or generically.
Iª q. 4 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Deus non se habet ad creaturas sicut res diversorum generum, sed sicut id quod est extra omne genus, et principium omnium generum.
Reply to Objection 2. God is not related to creatures as though belonging to a different "genus," but as transcending every "genus," and as the principle of all "genera."
Iª q. 4 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod non dicitur esse similitudo creaturae ad Deum propter communicantiam in forma secundum eandem rationem generis et speciei, sed secundum analogiam tantum; prout scilicet Deus est ens per essentiam, et alia per participationem.
Reply to Objection 3. Likeness of creatures to God is not affirmed on account of agreement in form according to the formality of the same genus or species, but solely according to analogy, inasmuch as God is essential being, whereas other things are beings by participation.
Iª q. 4 a. 3 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, licet aliquo modo concedatur quod creatura sit similis Deo, nullo tamen modo concedendum est quod Deus sit similis creaturae, quia, ut dicit Dionysius cap. IX de Div. Nom., in his quae unius ordinis sunt, recipitur mutua similitudo, non autem in causa et causato, dicimus enim quod imago sit similis homini, et non e converso. Et similiter dici potest aliquo modo quod creatura sit similis Deo, non tamen quod Deus sit similis creaturae.
Reply to Objection 4. Although it may be admitted that creatures are in some sort like God, it must nowise be admitted that God is like creatures; because, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. ix): "A mutual likeness may be found between things of the same order, but not between a cause and that which is caused." For, we say that a statue is like a man, but not conversely; so also a creature can be spoken of as in some sort like God; but not that God is like a creature.
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