Utrum mundus semper fuerit
Whether the world has always existed
Decimoseptimo quaeritur utrum mundus semper fuerit.
The seventeenth point of inquiry is whether the world has always existed.
Et videtur quod sic. Quia proprium semper consequitur id cuius est proprium. Sed, sicut dicit Dionysius, proprium est divinae bonitatis ad communicationem sui ea quae sunt vocare; quod quidem fit creaturas producendo. Cum ergo divina bonitas semper fuerit, videtur quod semper creaturas in esse produxerit; et ita videtur quod semper fuerit mundus.
Obj. 1: And it would seem that it has. For a thing never fails in that which is proper to it. Now, according to Dionysius, it is proper to the divine goodness to communicate itself to the things that exist, and this was done by the creation. Since, then, the divine goodness always was it would seem that it has always brought creatures into being, and that consequently, the world has always existed.
Praeterea, Deus non denegavit alicui creaturae id cuius est capax secundum suam naturam. Sed aliquae creaturae sunt quarum natura est capax ut semper fuerit; sicut caelum. Ergo videtur quod hoc fuerit caelo collatum ut semper esset. Sed caelo existente oportet ponere alias creaturas esse, sicut probat Philosophus, in II de caelo et mundo. Ergo videtur quod mundus fuerit semper. Probatio mediae. Omne quod est incorruptibile, habet virtutem ut sit semper: quia si haberet virtutem ut esset aliquo tempore determinato tantum, non posset esse semper: et ita non esset incorruptibile. Caelum autem est incorruptibile. Ergo habet naturam quod sit semper.
Obj. 2: God does not refuse a creature that which it is capable of having according to its nature. Now, there are creatures the nature of which is capable of having been always, for instance, the heavens. Therefore, seemingly it was granted to the heavens to have been always. But given that the heavens existed we must allow that other creatures existed as the Philosopher proves. Therefore, it would appear that the world has always existed. The minor premise is proved as follows. That which is incorruptible is capable of having always been, since were it capable of being only for a certain fixed time, it would not exist for ever, and therefore, would not be incorruptible. Now, the heavens are incorruptible, and consequently, are capable of being always.
Sed dicendum, quod caelum non est simpliciter incorruptibile; decideret enim in nihilum, nisi per virtutem Dei contineretur in esse.
Obj. 3: It will be replied that the heavens are not absolutely incorruptible, since they would fall away into nothingness if God did not preserve them in being.
—Sed contra, non est reputandum aliquid esse possibile vel contingens, propter hoc quod eius destructio sequitur ex destructione consequentis; licet enim hominem esse animal sit necessarium, tamen destructio eius sequitur ad destructionem huius consequentis hominem esse substantiam. Non ergo videtur quod propter hoc possit dici caelum esse corruptibile, quia eius non esse sequitur ad aliquam positionem qua ponitur Deus suam continentiam subtrahere creaturis.
On the contrary, we must not conclude that a statement is possibly or contingently true from the fact that it would be false if the consequence were false: thus, it is necessarily true that man is an animal, and yet it would be false if the consequence were false, namely, that man is a substance. Consequently, we must not conclude that the heavens are corruptible from the fact that they would cease to exist on the supposition that God withdrew his sustaining power from creatures.
Praeterea, sicut Avicenna probat in sua Metaphysic., quilibet effectus, in comparatione ad suam causam est necessarius; quia si posita causa non necessario sequitur effectus, adhuc posita causa possibile erit effectum esse vel non esse; quod autem est in potentia, non reducitur in actum nisi per id quod est actu; unde oportebit quod praeter causam praedictam sit aliqua alia causa quae faciat effectum prodire in actum ex potentia qua possibile erat ipsum esse vel non esse posita causa. Ex quo potest accipi, quod posita causa sufficienti necesse est ipsum poni. Sed Deus est causa sufficiens mundi. Cum ergo Deus fuerit semper, et mundus fuit semper.
Obj. 4: As Avicenna proves, every effect in comparison with its cause is necessary, since, if given the cause the effect does not follow of necessity, even when the cause is present it will be possible for the effect to follow or not. Now, that which is possible does not become actual except through something actual, so that besides the aforesaid cause, we shall need another cause to make the effect emerge from the potency, whereby it was possible for it to be or not, to be on the presupposition of its cause. Therefore, it follows that given a sufficient cause the effect follows of necessity. Now, God is the sufficient cause of the world. Therefore, as God always was, so also was the world.
Praeterea, omne quod est ante tempus, est aeternum; aevum enim non est ante tempus, sed incepit simul cum tempore. Sed mundus fuit ante tempus, fuit enim creatus in primo instanti temporis, quod constat esse ante tempus; dicitur enim Genes. I, 1: in principio creavit Deus caelum et terram, id est in principio temporis. Ergo mundus fuit ab aeterno.
Obj. 5: Whatsoever preceded time has always been, for eviternity did not precede time, but began with time. Now, the world was before time, since it was created in the first instant of time, which clearly was before time, for it is written: in the beginning God created heaven and earth, where a Gloss notes, that is in the beginning of time (Gen 1:1). Therefore, the world existed from eternity.
Praeterea, idem manens idem, semper facit idem, nisi impediatur. Sed Deus semper idem manet, sicut in Ps. ci, 28, legitur: tu autem idem ipse es. Cum igitur in sua actione impediri non possit propter infinitatem suae potentiae, videtur quod semper idem faciat. Et ita, cum aliquando mundum produxerit, videtur quod etiam semper ab aeterno produxerit.
Obj. 6: That which remains unchanged always produces the same effect, unless it be hindered. Now God is always the same according to Psalm 101:28: thou art always the selfsame. Since, then, God cannot be hindered in his action on account of the infinity of his power, it would seem that he always produces the same effect, so that as he produced the world at some time, it would seem that he always produced it from eternity.
Praeterea, sicut homo necessario vult suam beatitudinem, ita Deus necessario vult suam bonitatem et quod ad eam pertinet. Sed ad bonitatem divinam pertinet productio creaturarum in esse. Ergo hoc Deus necessitate vult; et ita videtur quod ab aeterno producere creaturas voluerit, sicut voluit ab aeterno bonitatem suam esse.
Obj. 7: As man necessarily wills his own happiness so God necessarily wills his own goodness, and whatsoever pertains to it. Now, it belongs to God’s goodness to bring creatures into being. Therefore, God wills this of necessity, and seemingly willed to do so from eternity, even as from eternity he willed his own goodness.
Sed dicendum, quod ad bonitatem Dei pertinet quod creaturae producantur in esse, non autem quod producantur in esse ab aeterno.
Obj. 8: It may be said that it belongs to God’s goodness to bring creatures into being, but not to do so from eternity.
—Sed contra, maioris liberalitatis est aliquid citius dare quam tardius. Sed liberalitas divinae bonitatis est infinita. Ergo videtur quod ab aeterno esse creaturis dederit.
On the contrary, it is more bountiful to give quickly than tardily, and the bounty of God’s goodness is infinite. Therefore, seemingly he gave being to creatures from eternity.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit: illud dico te velle quod facis si potes. Sed Deus ab aeterno voluit mundum producere; alias fuisset mutatus, si accessisset ei nova voluntas mundi creandi. Cum ergo nulla impotentia ei conveniat, videtur quod ab aeterno mundum produxerit.
Obj. 9: Augustine says: in thee to be able is to will, and to will is to do. Now, God from eternity willed to create the world: otherwise, he would have changed, if the will to create came to him anew. Since, then, there is no inability in God, it would seem that he created the world from eternity.
Praeterea, si mundus non semper fuit; antequam mundus esset, aut erat possibile ipsum esse, aut non. Si non erat possibile, ergo impossibile erat ipsum esse, et necesse non esse; et sic nunquam fuisset in esse productus. Si autem possibile erat eum esse, ergo erat aliqua potentia respectu ipsius; et ita erat aliquod subiectum sive materia, cum potentia non nisi in subiecto esse possit. Sed si fuit materia fuit et forma; cum materia non possit omnino esse a forma denudata. Ergo fuit aliquod corpus compositum ex materia et forma, et ex consequenti fuit totum universum.
Obj. 10: If the world was not always, before it existed it was either possible for it to exist or it was impossible. If it was not possible, it was impossible and consequently, it was necessary for it not to be; and thus, it would never have been brought into being. And, if it was possible for it to be, there was some potency in respect thereof, and consequently, a subject or matter, since potency demands a subject. But, if there was matter there was also form, since matter cannot be entirely devoid of form. Therefore, there was a body composed of matter and form, and consequently, the entire universe.
Praeterea, omne quod fit actu postquam fuit possibile fieri, educitur de potentia in actum. Si ergo mundum fuit possibile fieri, antequam esset, oportet dicere mundum eductum esse de potentia in actum; et ita materiam praecessisse, et fuisse aeternam: ex quo sequitur idem quod prius.
Obj. 11: Whatsoever becomes actual after being potential, is brought from potency to actuality. Therefore, if before the world actually existed it was possible for it to exist, we must infer that the world was brought from potency to actuality, and consequently, that matter preceded and was eternal, so that we come to the same conclusion as before.
Praeterea, omne agens quod de novo incipit agere, movetur de potentia in actum. Sed hoc Deo non potest competere, cum ipse sit omnino immobilis. Ergo videtur quod ipse non incepit de novo agere, sed quod ab aeterno mundum produxerit.
Obj. 12: An agent that begins to act anew is moved from potency to actuality; and this cannot be said of God who is utterly immovable. Therefore, it would seem that he does not begin anew to act, but that he created the world from eternity.
Praeterea, agens per voluntatem, si incipit facere quod prius volebat, cum antea non fecisset, oportet ponere aliquid esse nunc inducens ipsum ad agendum, quod prius non inducebat; quod est quodammodo expergefaciens ipsum. Sed non potest dici quod aliquid aliud fuerit praeter Deum ante mundum, quod de novo eum induxerit ad agendum. Cum ergo ab aeterno voluerit mundum facere (alias voluntati eius aliquid accrevisset), videtur quod ab aeterno fecerit.
Obj. 13: If a voluntary agent begins to do what he already willed but has not done yet, we must suppose that something has occurred to induce him to do it now, which did not induce him before, but stirs him to action as it were. But, it cannot be said that before the world existed, there was something besides God to offer him a fresh inducement to act. Since, then, he purposed from eternity to create the world (otherwise, something new would have occurred to his will), it would seem that he made the world from eternity.
Praeterea, nihil movet voluntatem divinam ad agendum nisi bonitas eius. Sed bonitas divina semper eodem modo se habet. Ergo et voluntas Dei semper se habet ad productionem creaturarum; et ita ab aeterno creaturas produxit.
Obj. 14: Further, nothing besides God’s goodness moves the divine will to act. Now, the divine goodness is always the same. Therefore, God’s will also is always bent on the production of creatures, and thus, he produced them from eternity.
Praeterea, illud quod est semper in principio et in fine sui nunquam incipit nec desinit: quia unaquaeque res est post sui principium et ante sui finem. Sed tempus semper est in sui principio et in sui fine; nihil enim est temporis nisi instans, quod est finis praeteriti et principium futuri. Ergo tempus nunquam incipit nec desinit, sed semper est; et per consequens motus semper, et mobile semper, et totus mundus; tempus enim non est sine motu, nec motus sine mobili, nec mobile sine mundo.
Obj. 15: That which is always in its beginning and always in its end, never begins and never ceases, because a thing is after it has begun and before it has ceased. Now, time is always in its beginning and end, because time is nothing but an instant which is the end of the past and the beginning of the future. Therefore, time never begins nor ends but is always; and consequently, movement also and things that are subject to movement, in fact, the whole world, since there is no time without movement, nor movement without movables, nor movable things apart from the world.
Sed dicendum, quod primum instans temporis non est finis praeteriti, nec ultimum principium futuri.
Obj. 16: It will be said perhaps that the first instant of time is not the end of the past nor the last beginning of the future.
—Sed contra, nunc temporis semper consideratur ut fluens, et in hoc differt a nunc aeternitatis. Sed quod fluit, ab alio in aliud fluit. Ergo oportet omne nunc a priori nunc in posterius fluere. Ergo impossibile est esse aliquod primum vel ultimum nunc.
On the contrary, the now of time is always considered as flowing, wherein it differs from the now of eternity, and that which flows passes from one thing to another. Consequently, every now passes from a previous to a following now, and there cannot be a first or last now.
Praeterea, motus sequitur mobile, et tempus sequitur motum. Sed primum mobile, cum sit circulare, non habet principium neque finem: quia in circulo non est accipere principium et finem in actu. Ergo neque motus neque tempus habent principium; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 17: Movement follows that which can be moved, and time follows movement. Now, the first movable being circular has neither beginning nor end, for it is not possible to indicate the actual beginning or end of a circle. Therefore, neither time nor movement has a beginning, and the same conclusion follows as above.
Sed dicendum, quod licet ipsum corpus circulare non habeat principium magnitudinis, habet tamen principium durationis.
Obj. 18: It will be said that, although a circular body has no beginning of its magnitude, it has a beginning of its duration.
—Sed contra, duratio motus sequitur mensuram magnitudinis: quia, secundum Philosophum, quanta est magnitudo, tantum est et motus, et tantum tempus. Si ergo in magnitudine corporis circularis non est aliquod principium, nec in magnitudine motus et temporis erit principium, et per consequens nec in eorum duratione, cum eorum duratio, et praecipue temporis, sit eorum magnitudo.
On the contrary, duration of movement follows the measure of magnitude, because, according to the Philosopher, magnitude, motion, and time are mutually proportionate. Hence, if there be no beginning of the magnitude of a circular body neither will there be a beginning of the magnitude of movement or of time, and consequently, there will be no beginning of their duration, since their duration, especially that of time, is their magnitude.
Praeterea, Deus est causa rerum per scientiam suam. Scientia autem relative dicitur ad scibile. Cum igitur relativa sint simul natura, et scientia Dei sit aeterna, videtur quod res sint ab ipso ab aeterno productae.
Obj. 19: God is the cause of things by his knowledge, and knowledge connotes relation to the thing knowable. Since, then, relatives are by nature simultaneous, and God’s knowledge is eternal, it would seem that things were produced by him from eternity.
Praeterea, aut Deus praecedit mundum natura tantum, aut duratione. Si natura tantum, sicut causa effectum sibi coaevum, videtur quod cum Deus fuerit ab aeterno, et creaturae fuerint ab aeterno. Si autem praecedit mundum duratione, si ergo est accipere aliquam durationem priorem duratione mundi, quae se habet ad durationem mundi ut prius ad posterius. Sed duratio quae habet prius et posterius est tempus. Ergo ante mundum fuit tempus, et per consequens motus et mobile; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 20: God precedes the world either in the order of nature only, or by duration. If only in the order of nature, as a cause precedes its synchronous effect, it would seem that creatures must have existed, like God, from eternity. And if he precede the world in duration, there must have been a duration prior to that of the world, so as to constitute a before and after in duration, and this implies time. Therefore, the world was preceded by time, and consequently, by movement and movable things, and we come to the same conclusion as before.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit: Deum ab aeterno dominum non fuisse dicere nolo. Sed quandocumque fuit dominus, habuit creaturam sibi subiectam. Ergo non est dicendum, quod creatura non fuerit ab aeterno.
Obj. 21: Augustine says: I dare not assert that God was not Lord from eternity. Now, so long as he was Lord he had creatures for his subjects. Therefore, we must not assert that creatures are not from eternity.
Praeterea, Deus potuit mundum producere antequam produxerit; alias impotens fuisset. Scivit etiam ante producere; alias ignorans esset. Videtur etiam quod voluit, alias invidus fuisset. Ergo videtur quod non inceperit de novo producere creaturas.
Obj. 22: God was able to create the world before he created it, else he were impotent. Likewise, he knew that he could, else he were ignorant. And, apparently, he willed, else he were envious. Therefore, it would seem that he did not wait to begin creating creatures.
Praeterea, omne quod est finitum, est communicabile creaturae. Sed aeternitas est quoddam finitum; alias nihil posset esse ultra aeternitatem: dicitur enim Exod. XV, 18: dominus regnabit in aeternum et ultra. Ergo videtur quod creatura fuerit aeternitatis capax; et sic conveniens fuit divinae bonitati quod creaturam ab aeterno produxerit.
Obj. 23: Whatsoever is finite can be communicated to a creature. Now, eternity is something finite, otherwise nothing could extend beyond it, and yet it is written: the Lord shall reign for eternity and beyond (Exod 15:18). Therefore, one would infer that a creature is capable of being eternal, and that it was becoming to the divine goodness to produce creatures from eternity.
Praeterea, omne quod incipit, habet mensuram suae durationis. Sed tempus non potest habere aliquam mensuram suae durationis: non enim mensuratur aeternitate, quia sic semper fuisset: nec aevo, quia sic in perpetuum duraret; nec tempore, quia nihil est mensura sui ipsius. Ergo tempus non incipit esse, et ita nec mobile nec mundus.
Obj. 24: Whatsoever has a beginning has a measure of its duration. Now, time cannot have a measure of its duration, for it cannot be measured by eternity, since then it would have been always, nor by eviternity, since then it would last for ever, nor by time, since nothing is its own measure. Therefore, time had no beginning, and consequently, neither had movable things, nor the world.
Praeterea, si tempus incepit esse, aut incepit esse in tempore, aut in instanti. Sed non incepit esse in instanti, quia in instanti tempus nondum est; nec iterum in tempore, quia sic nihil temporis ante temporis terminum esset; nihil enim rei est antequam res esse incipiat. Ergo tempus non incepit esse: et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 25: If time had a beginning, this was either in time or in an instant. It did not begin in an instant, for in an instant there is not yet time, nor did it begin in time, for in that case no time would precede the terminus of time, since before a thing begins to exist it is nothing. Consequently, time had no beginning and the same conclusion follows as before.
Praeterea, Deus ab aeterno fuit causa rerum: alias oporteret dicere, quod prius fuit causa in potentia, et postea in actu; et sic esset aliquid prius quod reduceret ipsum de potentia in actum, quod est impossibile. Nihil autem est causa, nisi causatum habeat. Ergo mundus fuit a Deo ab aeterno creatus.
Obj. 26: God from eternity was the cause of things; otherwise, we should have to say that he was at first their potential, and afterwards, their actual cause, so that there would be something already in existence to reduce him from potency to act, and this is impossible. Now, nothing is a cause unless it has an effect. Therefore, the world was created by God from eternity.
Praeterea, verum et ens convertuntur. Sed multa sunt vera ab aeterno; sicut hominem non esse asinum, et mundum futurum esse, et multa similia. Ergo videtur quod multa sunt entia ab aeterno; et non solum Deus.
Obj. 27: Truth and being are convertible, and many truths are eternal, such as that man is not an ass, and that the world was to be, and many similar truths. Therefore, it would seem that many beings are from eternity, and not God alone.
Sed dicendum, quod omnia ista sunt vera veritate prima, quae Deus est.
Obj. 28: But it may be said that all these are true by the first truth, which is God.
—Sed contra, alia veritas est huius propositionis, mundum futurum esse, et huius, hominem non esse asinum: quia posito per impossibile quod una sit falsa, adhuc reliqua erit vera. Sed veritas prima non est alia et alia. Ergo non sunt vera veritate prima.
On the contrary, the truth of this proposition, "the world will exist," differs from the truth of this proposition, "man is not an ass," because granted, though it is impossible, that the one is false, the other remains true. But, the first truth cannot alter. Therefore, these propositions are not true by the first truth.