Questions 3-4 (Godís Simplicity
and Perfection) [not in our reading]
God does not have a body because he
is the Unmoved Mover, Pure Actuality, and the most Perfect Being since all
bodies must be moved by other things, have potentiality, and exist in
various states of perfection(1st). Likewise, God is not
material but spiritual because he is Pure Actuality, the first and
essential good, and the First Agent, First Efficient Cause (2nd).
God does not possess divinity as a quality (as if divinity were something
higher than himself); rather, he is divinity, transcending
universals and individuals (3rd). God has no cause for his
existence because he is his own essence; therefore, God is his own
existence and essence (4th). Similarly, God is not part of a
genus (5th) and has no accidentals (6th). He is
absolutely simple since all composite parts have a cause and he has no
cause (7th). God is not the material cause (i.e. the elements)
nor the formal cause (i.e. the essence or plan itself) of the universe (8th).
God is the most perfect being, the
most actual and most efficient cause (1st); he contains the
whole perfection of being (2nd), and he has absolute being,
while we by analogy have only contingent beingóhe must of necessity
exist, while we exist only by his decision and permission (3rd).
Question 5 (Goodness)
[not in our reading]
Goodness and being are the same,
only differing in idea (1st). Being proceeds goodness in idea
since goodness is a judgment of what being is (2nd). All
being is good as being (i.e. no matter how bad something is
morally, it still possesses the good quality of existence, of being
created) (3rd). Goodness is the final cause of all being.
Beauty and goodness are the same in form; they differ in logic (4th).
The virtuous, the useful, and pleasant represent three reasons for doing
Question 6 (Godís Goodness)
All things ďdesireĒ God either
consciously, without knowledge, or as directed by another intelligence (1st).
Only God is good in his own essence (3rd), so all other things
are good because of Godís goodness (4th).
Question 7 (Godís Infinity)
Material existence has form and is
therefore finite (1st); God is infinite. Only God is absolutely
infinite, while relative infinites can exist in created existence (2nd),
though there is no actual infinite magnitude (3rd) or infinite
Question 8 (Godís Omnipresence)
God is present in all things as a
continual agent of their existence. Nothing is distant from God for God
acts immediately in all things (1st). God is everywhere because
he has given being to all things (2nd) and because he is the
efficient and operating cause of all things. He is especially present in
rational creatures and in the saints by grace (3rd).
Question 9 (Godís Immutability)
God is altogether immutable
(without change) since he is both Unmoved Mover and perfectly
simpleócomplexity and conditional movement both require change.
Therefore, the biblical language describing God is often metaphoric (1st).
Only God is immutable; all creatures are mutable to some degree (2nd).
Question 10 (Godís Eternity)
Eternity is without beginning and
end and is a simultaneous whole (1st). Godís eternity
apprehends all in a simultaneous now (2nd); only God is eternal
(3rd) since eternity is a simultaneous whole. We are
time-bound, having beginning and end in a sequential existence (4th).
Angels have aeviternity, sequential existence that is nonetheless
without beginning or end (5th).
(Relative Infinity not Actual)
Time-Bound (or Aeviternity)
Questions [Questions 6-10]
does each difference between God and his creation make you feel?
is it important that this difference is true?
Question 11 (Godís
in our reading]
ďOneĒ as a
quality (or descriptor) does not add to being (1st). God is one
by virtue of his simplicity and his perfection of being. The unity of the
creation also points to this unity of Godís (3rd). The
Trinity possesses absolute unity (4th).
Question 12 (The
Beatific Vision) [not in our reading]
ultimate beatitude is being able to finally see God (1st). A
perspiciuity of intellect and divine glory infused in our resurrection
bodies will make this vision possible (3rd). Otherwise, it is
impossible for any created intellect to see the essence of God by its
own natural power (4th). We are raised up by what is above us
to see God (5th). The one who has more charity will be more
beautiful and see God more perfectly (6th). We will
ďcomprehendĒ Godís essence not in the sense of partaking of it but
in the sense of attaining to it (7th). Yet we cannot see all
existence in God for this is only possible for God in his absolute power
(8th). Godís divine help makes it possible for us to see
him (11th). Our
mortal reason can only go as far as sensible things lead us, so it can
never ďseeĒ the essence of God (12th) [see pg 121]
Question 13 (Godís
Names can be given
God as far as we understand God (1st). Names signify his
relatedness to his creation, but they do not signify his absolute
substance (2nd). God is one, but our own concepts of God are
multiple (4th). Godís names are analogical with created
things (5th). [cf. pg. 127] Metaphoric names are not essential
names. The names for God that imply a relationship to creatures represent
a change in the human side of these relationships (7th). The
name ďGodĒ itself is incommunicable in reality though often
communicable in opinion (9th). ďHE WHO ISĒ (Yhwh) is the
most univocal of names, expressing his simple and eternally present
existence (11th). These ideas about God are not false, only
does each category suggest about the uses and limits of our names for
God? (cf. pg 128, n. 100)
(Godís Knowledge) [not in our reading]
God has perfect
knowledgeóintelligence, scientia, wisdom, prudence (1st).
God is intellect in his substance, and since God perfectly understands
himself (5th), he also understands all things at every level
being that he is all powerful (6th). The knowledge of God is
the cause of all things, being prior to all natural things (8th).
God knows all that can be done even if not in actual existence (9th).
God knows evil things because they are the privation of the good (10th).
God knows singular things (11th), relatively infinite things
(12th), and all future contingencies (13th). The
[Platonic] Ideas exist in the Divine Mind (Q15ó1st and 2nd).
Question 16 (Truth)
Truth is the equation
of thought and thing (i.e. what exist in reality) (1st). Truth
and being are the same in the sense that what is true is actual (3rd).
Goodness is logically prior to the true since truth is a kind of goodness
(4th). God is Truth Himself (5th), and truth is
eternal (7th) and immutable only in the Divine Intellect (8th).
Question 17 (Falsity)
Something is false
when it falls short of its intent; God cannot fall short, so only
voluntary agents can withdraw from what is ordained (1st). The
senses can give false information when they are unsound (2nd),
while the intellect falls short when its information is imperfect, not
when the principles known are correct (3rd).
Questions [Questions 16-17]
do we know if something is true or false?
to Aquinas, how are the true, the beautiful, the good, and being
related? Do you agree?
Question 19 (Godís
in our reading]
There is will in God
because there is intellect; God along ďdesiresĒ the good (1st).
The eternally active God always wills all to be (2nd). While
some things God wills of absolute necessity, other things he wills for
their own good, though he never wills what cannot be (3rd).
Godís will is subject to his nature (4th). God wills the end
what the causesí outcome; God wills all aspects of the actions (5th).
Godís will is always finally fulfilled either by order or the punishment
of sin 9i.e. antecedent vs. consequent will) (6th) . Godís
will is not changeable though it works a change in us (7th).
God wills some things necessarily and some things contingently (8th).
God doesnít will evil but we does will that evil can be chosen by free
moral agents (9th). God doesnít have the ďpassionĒ of
anger (being that he is immutable) (11th).
Question 20 (Godís
Love exists in God as
an act of intellectual appeal (i.e. it is not a mutable stance that wavers
with emotion) (1st). God loves all things since he wills them
to be and wills their good (2nd). God loves some things more
than others since he wills some things to be greater than others (3rd)
Question 21 (Godís
Justice and Mercy)
There are two kinds
of justice: commutative (mutual giving and receiving) and distributive (a
ruler giving what is due to each rank). Godís justice is distributive (1st).
Godís justice is truth because in the same way that truth is to the
mind, so art is to the art itself, so justice is to the law it accords (2nd).
Godís mercy goes not against his justice but by doing something beyond
itóremission of a fault through forgiveness (3rd).
Justice presupposes mercy because mercy is infinite; therefore, justice
and mercy exist in all Godís works. All involve the nature of the
creation as God designed it to be (4th).
Question 22 (Godís
Since God by his
intellect is the cause of all things, the type (plan, model) must exist in
him first. God wills the good, especially the last end of everything (1st).
The Universal Cause allows for things contrary to a particular nature. God
can allow for certain defects in particulars as part of his universal plan
(cf. pg 172 Augustine) (2nd). Godís providence includes
governing through intermediaries (3rd). Godís will is never
frustrated; he allows some things in his plan to be contingent while other
things are absolutely necessary (4th).
God predestines all
people, giving some to eternal life (1st). God also permits
some to fall away to damnation; they reprobate themselves, but God removes
his grace (3rd). There is no distinction between what flows
from grace and what flows out of free will because free will is a
secondary cause used by the primary cause of Godís predestination (5th).
Only God knows the number of those predestined for eternal happiness (7th).
God ordains that some prayers (i.e. those of the saints) be secondary
causes in his predestined plan to effect the salvation of others, though
only God is the primary cause of human salvation (8th).
Question 25 (Godís
Godís power is
purely active not potential (1st), and Godís infinite power
follows from his infinite essence (2nd). God can do all that is
actively possible and logically possible (3rd). God cannot do
that which is logically impossible (e.g. Make the past not to have been or
make a rock so big he canít lift it) (4th). God can make
things infinitely better than he has (i.e. This is not the best of all
Question 26 (Godís
All beauty exists in
God. Godís own self is full of delight and joy (cf. pg. 185).
Questions [Questions 20-26]
it correct to say that since God is immutable that his love is
intellectual will rather than emotional?
does Aquinas think Godís mercy must proceed his justice? What would
that imply about the universe?
does Aquinas try to solve the problem of predestination and free will?
Do you think he is successful?
saying that God cannot do the logically impossible put limits on God?
is it important that God in himself possess joy and delight?