summa contra gentiles english

And thus, whoever other than God is blessed, must be called blessed by participation. This is the principal object of the will, which is through itself the cause of willing. [13] This argument, however, is according to those who posit the eternity of the world. But we cannot in the same way say that God has what belongs to the creature. For, on the basis of his intention to heal, a doctor does not necessarily have to give to a sick person the medicine without which the sick person can nevertheless be healed. For thus, inasmuch as He wills the good of justice or of the order of the universe, which cannot exist without the punishment or corruption of some things, God is said to hate the things whose punishment or corruption He wills. Hence Genesis (6:7): “I repent that I have made man.” That this cannot be taken at the letter appears from what is said in 1 Samuel (15:29): “But the triumpher in Israel will not spare, and will not be moved to repentance.”, [17] And I say in some preceding affection since love and joy, which are properly in God, are the principles of the other affections, love in the manner of a moving principle and joy in the manner of an end. Hence, whoever has a knowledge of matter and of what designates matter, and also of form individuated in matter, must have a knowledge of the singular. [5] Again, since God wills Himself always, if He wills Himself and other things by different acts it will follow that there are at once two acts of will in Him. But, as we have shown, it is from God that all things have the nature of good. There is in Dionysius this remark [ De caelisti hierarchia IV, 1]: “The being of all things is the super-essential divinity.” From this remark they wished to infer that God is the formal being of all things, without considering that this interpretation could not square with the words themselves. Therefore, in God there is free choice. But in God there can be only natural knowledge, indeed, only essential knowledge; for, as was proved above, His knowledge is His essence. In the first place, it is difficult because the sacrilegious remarks of individual men who have erred are not so well known to us so that we may use what they say as the basis of proceeding to a refutation of their errors. The reason rather is because the object willed does not have a necessary order to the divine goodness, which is the proper object of the divine will; just as we call enunciables, not necessary, but possible when there is not a necessary order of the predicate to the subject. [2] Free choice is said in relation to the things that one wills, not of necessity, but of his own accord. For, in this sense, a whole would not be moved by itself, but a part, and one part would be moved by another. [11] Catholic teachers have likewise professed this truth. For we naturally seek to know the truth and flee from being deceived by the false. This was the second view proposed above. For it would be foolish to wish the sun to be overhead and yet that it should not be daylight. For, if it knew something through a species that is not itself, it would necessarily follow that its proportion to that species would be as the proportion of potency to act. But its relation to itself is necessary and natural, whereas its relation to other things is according to a certain befittingness, not indeed necessary and natural, nor violent and unnatural, but voluntary; for the voluntary need be neither natural nor violent. 13:9). Ibis is the order of the universe to which, as to the end, all particular goods are ordered. [2] Every thing in a genus has something within it by which the nature of the genus is determined to its species; for nothing is in a genus that is not in some species of that genus. If this be so, if we set aside a knowledge of the divine essence or quiddity, no means will be available whereby to demonstrate that God exists. [17] And I say in some preceding affection since love and joy, which are properly in God, are the principles of the other affections, love in the manner of a moving principle and joy in the manner of an end. Therefore, the nature of repentance likewise is repugnant to God, not only because it is a species of sadness, but also because it implies a change of will. [7] Moreover, an act is all the more perfect by as much as it has less of potency mixed with it.

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