Posteriores vero philosophi, substantiales formas aliquatenus considerare coeperunt; non tamen pervenerunt ad cognitionem universalium, sed tota eorum intentio circa formas speciales versabatur: et ideo posuerunt quidam aliquas causas agentes, non tamen quae universaliter rebus esse conferrent, sed quae ad hanc vel ad illam formam, materiam permutarent; sicut intellectum et amicitiam et litem, quorum actionem ponebant in segregando et congregando; et ideo etiam secundum ipsos non omnia entia a causa efficiente procedebant, sed materia actioni causae agentis praesupponebatur.
The later philosophers, however, began to take some notice of substantial forms, yet they did not attain to the knowledge of universals, and they were wholly intent on the observation of specific forms. And therefore they posited certain agent causes, yet not such as give being to things in their universality, but which transmute matter to this or that form; for example, these causes they called “intelligence,” “friendship,” and “strife,” the action of which they held was present in separation and collection. Therefore, according to them, not all beings came from an efficient cause, but matter was presupposed to the action of any efficient cause.
Posteriores vero philosophi, ut Plato, Aristoteles et eorum sequaces, pervenerunt ad considerationem ipsius esse universalis; et ideo ipsi soli posuerunt aliquam universalem causam rerum, a qua omnia alia in esse prodirent, ut patet per Augustinum.
Later philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, and their followers, attained to the study of universal being itself; hence, they alone posited a universal cause of things, from which all others came into being, as Augustine states.
Cui quidem sententiae etiam Catholica fides consentit. Et hoc triplici ratione demonstrari potest:
To this view the Catholic Faith also adheres. And it may be demonstrated by the three arguments that follow.
quarum prima est haec. Oportet enim, si aliquid unum communiter in pluribus invenitur, quod ab aliqua una causa in illis causetur; non enim potest esse quod illud commune utrique ex se ipso conveniat, cum utrumque, secundum quod ipsum est, ab altero distinguatur; et diversitas causarum diversos effectus producit. Cum ergo esse inveniatur omnibus rebus commune, quae secundum illud quod sunt, ad invicem distinctae sunt, oportet quod de necessitate eis non ex se ipsis, sed ab aliqua una causa esse attribuatur. Et ista videtur ratio Platonis, qui voluit, quod ante omnem multitudinem esset aliqua unitas non solum in numeris, sed etiam in rerum naturis.
First, if in a number of things we find something one that is common to all, this thing must be the effect of some one cause; for it is not possible that to each one, by reason of its very self, this common something belongs, since each one by itself is different from the others, and a diversity of causes produces a diversity of effects. Seeing, then, that being is found to be common to all realities, which are by themselves distinct from one another, it follows of necessity that being is attributed to them not from their very selves but from some one cause. This seems to be Plato’s argument, since he required every multitude to be preceded by a unity not only as regards number but even in the natures of things.
Secunda ratio est, quia, cum aliquid invenitur a pluribus diversimode participatum oportet quod ab eo in quo perfectissime invenitur, attribuatur omnibus illis in quibus imperfectius invenitur. Nam ea quae positive secundum magis et minus dicuntur, hoc habent ex accessu remotiori vel propinquiori ad aliquid unum: si enim unicuique eorum ex se ipso illud conveniret, non esset ratio cur perfectius in uno quam in alio inveniretur; sicut videmus quod ignis, qui est in fine caliditatis, est caloris principium in omnibus calidis. Est autem ponere unum ens, quod est perfectissimum et verissimum ens: quod ex hoc probatur, quia est aliquid movens omnino immobile et perfectissimum, ut a philosophis est probatum. Oportet ergo quod omnia alia minus perfecta ab ipso esse recipiant. Et haec est probatio Philosophi.
The second argument is that whenever something is found to be participated in by several things in diverse ways, it must be derived by those in which it found imperfectly from that one in which it is found most perfectly. For things that are said positively according to more and less have this from an approach to something more remote or more proximate as regards something one; for if it were to belong to each of them from its very self, there would be no reason why it would be found to be more perfectly in one than in another. For example, fire, which is at the extreme of heat, is the cause of heat in all things hot. Now, there is one being most perfect and most true, which follows from the fact that there is a mover altogether immovable and most perfect, as philosophers have proved. Consequently, all other less perfect things must receive being from it. This is the proof of the Philosopher.
Tertia ratio est, quia illud quod est per alterum, reducitur sicut in causam ad illud quod est per se. Unde si esset unus calor per se existens, oporteret ipsum esse causam omnium calidorum, quae per modum participationis calorem habent. Est autem ponere aliquod ens quod est ipsum suum esse: quod ex hoc probatur, quia oportet esse aliquod primum ens quod sit actus purus, in quo nulla sit compositio. Unde oportet quod ab uno illo ente omnia alia sint, quaecumque non sunt suum esse, sed habent esse per modum participationis. Haec est ratio Avicennae.
The third argument is based on the principle that whatever is through another is to be traced back to that which is through itself. Therefore, if there were one heat existing through itself, it would be the cause of all hot things that have heat by way of participation. Now, there is a being that is its own being; this follows from the fact that there must be some first being that is pure act and in which there is no composition. Hence, from that one being all other things exist, whatever are not their own being but have being by way of participation. This is the argument of Avicenna.
Sic ergo ratione demonstratur et fide tenetur quod omnia sint a Deo creata.
Thus, reason demonstrates and faith holds that all things are created by God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod licet causa prima, quae Deus est, non intret essentiam rerum creatarum; tamen esse, quod rebus creatis inest, non potest intelligi nisi ut deductum ab esse divino; sicut nec proprius effectus potest intelligi nisi ut deductus a causa propria.
Reply Obj. 1: Although the first cause, which is God, does not enter into the essence of created realities, yet the being which is in created realities cannot be understood except as derived from the divine being, just as a proper effect cannot be understood save as derived from its proper cause.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod ex hoc ipso quod quidditati esse attribuitur, non solum esse, sed ipsa quidditas creari dicitur: quia antequam esse habeat, nihil est, nisi forte in intellectu creantis, ubi non est creatura, sed creatrix essentia.
Reply Obj. 2: From the very fact that being is ascribed to a quiddity, not only is the quiddity said to be but also to be created; for before it had being it was nothing, except perhaps in the intellect of the creator, where it is not a creature but the creative essence.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod ratio illa probat, quod materia prima per se non creatur; sed ex hoc non sequitur quod non creetur sub forma; sic enim habet esse in actu.
Reply Obj. 3: This argument proves that prime matter is not created through itself, but it does not follow that it is not created under a form; for it is thus that it has actual being.
Utrum sit unum tantum creationis principium
Whether there is but one principle of creation
Sexto quaeritur utrum sit unum tantum creationis principium.
The sixth point of inquiry is whether there is but one principle of creation.
Et videtur quod non. Dicit enim Dionysius: non est causa mali bonum. Aliquod autem malum est in mundo. Aut ergo est causatum ab aliqua causa quae non est bonum; aut nullo modo est causatum, sed est causa prima; et utrolibet modo oportet ponere plura creationis principia: nam constat primum principium creationis bonorum esse bonum.
Obj. 1: And it seems that there is not. For Dionysius says: the cause of evil is not a good. Now, there is some evil in the world. Either, then, it is produced by a cause that is not a good, or it is not caused at all but rather is a first cause. And in either case, we must posit more than one principle of creation, since it is clear that the first cause of good things must be a good.
Sed diceretur, quod bonum non est causa mali per se, sed per accidens.
Obj. 2: But someone may say that a good is not the cause of evil through itself but accidentally.
Sed contra, omnis effectus qui est alicuius causae per accidens, est alterius causae per se; cum omne per accidens ad per se reducatur. Si ergo malum est effectus boni per accidens, erit per se effectus alicuius alterius; et sic idem quod prius.
On the contrary, every effect that belongs to a cause accidentally belongs to some other cause through itself since everything accidental can be traced to something that is through itself. Hence, if evil be the effect of good accidentally, it will be through itself the effect of something else, so that the same conclusion follows as before.
Praeterea, effectus causae per accidens, accidit praeter intentionem causae, et non fit. Si ergo bonum est causa mali per accidens, sequeretur quod malum non sit factum. Sed nihil est non creatum nisi creationis principium, ut supra, art. praeced., ostensum est. Ergo malum est creationis principium.
Obj. 3: An effect that is produced accidentally happens outside the intention of the cause and does not come to be. If, then, a good be the cause of evil accidentally, it would follow that evil is not something made. Now, nothing is uncreated save a principle of creation, as we have shown above. Therefore, evil is a principle of creation.
Praeterea, nullum nocumentum accidit in effectu praeter intentionem agentis, nisi vel propter ignorantiam agentis qui non providet, vel propter impotentiam quam vitare non potest. Sed in Deo, qui est creator boni, non est neque impotentia neque ignorantia. Ergo malum, quod nocivum est, Dei effectibus non potest praeter intentionem provenire. Nam Augustinus dicit, quod ideo dicitur malum, quia nocet.
Obj. 4: No harm occurs in the effect outside the intention of the agent except either by reason of ignorance on the part of an agent who lacks foresight or by reason of a lack of power that one cannot avoid. But in God, who is the Creator of all good, there is neither a lack of power nor ignorance. Therefore, evil, which is harmful, cannot occur in God’s effects outside his intention. For Augustine says that a thing is called evil because it is harmful.
Praeterea, quod est per accidens est ut in paucioribus, ut habetur in II Physic. Malum autem est ut in pluribus, ut habetur in II Topic. Ergo malum non est ab aliqua causa per accidens.
Obj. 5: That which occurs accidentally happens in the minority of cases, as is said in Physics 2. But evil occurs in the majority of cases, as is said in Topics 2. Therefore, evil is not due to an accidental cause.
Praeterea, malum, secundum Augustinum, non habet causam efficientem sed deficientem. Sed causa per accidens est causa efficiens. Ergo bonum non est causa mali per accidens.
Obj. 6: According to Augustine, evil has not an efficient cause but a deficient one. But an accidental cause is efficient cause. Therefore, a good is not the accidental cause of evil.
Praeterea, quod non est, non habet causam; quia quod non est, neque causa neque causatum est. Sed malum nihil est, secundum Augustinum. Ergo malum non habet aliquam causam nec per se nec per accidens. Falsum est ergo quod dicebatur, quod bonum est causa mali per accidens.
Obj. 7: That which is not has no cause, since what is not is neither cause nor caused. But evil, according to Augustine, is a nothing. Consequently, evil has no cause, neither through itself nor accidentally. Therefore, it is false to say that a good is the accidental cause of evil.
Praeterea, secundum Philosophum, illud cui aliquid inest per prius, est causa omnium in quibus illud per posterius invenitur: sicut ignis est causa caloris in omnibus calidis. Sed malitia per prius fuit in Diabolo. Ergo ipse est causa malitiae in omnibus malis; et sic est unum principium omnium malorum, sicut et bonorum.
Obj. 8: According to the Philosopher, that in which a thing is present with priority is the cause of whatever contains that thing with posteriority; for example, fire is the cause of the heat in whatever is hot. Now, malice was in the devil with priority. Therefore, he is the cause of malice in all the wicked, and consequently, there is one principle of all the wicked as there is also of all the good.
Praeterea, secundum Dionysium, bonum contingit uno modo: sed malum omnifariam. Malum ergo propinquius est ad esse quam bonum. Si ergo bonum est natura aliqua indigens creatore, et malum etiam indigebit creatore; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 9: According to Dionysius, good occurs in one way but evil in many ways. Consequently, evil is nearer to being than good is. Therefore, if good is a nature needing some creator, evil also will need a creator, and so the same conclusion follows.
Praeterea, quod non est non potest esse genus nec species. Sed malum ponitur genus. Dicitur enim in praedicamentis, quod bonum et malum non sunt in genere, sed sunt genera aliorum. Ergo malum est ens: et sic indiget aliquo creante: unde cum non creetur a bono, videtur quod oporteat aliquod malum ponere creationis principium.
Obj. 10: That which is not can be neither genus nor species. Now, evil is taken to be a genus. For it is stated in the Categories that good and evil are not in a genus but are themselves the genera of other things. Evil, therefore, is a being and consequently needs a creator. Therefore, since it is not created by a good, we must apparently admit that there is an evil principle of creation.
Praeterea, utrumque contrariorum est natura aliqua positive: contraria enim sunt in eodem genere. Quod autem non est, non potest esse in genere. Sed bonum et malum sunt contraria. Ergo est natura aliqua; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 11: Each contrary is a positive nature, since contraries are in the same genus. Now, what is not cannot be in a genus. But good and evil are contrary to each other. Therefore, evil is a nature; and we come to the same conclusion.
Praeterea, differentiae constitutivae speciei significant naturam aliquam; unde uno modo natura est unumquodque informans specifica differentia, ut Boetius dicit. Sed malum est differentia constitutiva speciei alicuius: bonum enim et malum sunt differentiae habituum. Ergo malum est natura aliqua; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 12: The difference that makes a species signifies a nature; therefore, in one way nature is whatever informs with a specific difference, according to Boethius. Now, evil is a difference constituting some species, for good and evil are differences of habits. Therefore, evil is a nature, and the same conclusion follows.
Praeterea, Eccli. XXXIII, 15: contra malum bonum est, et contra vitam mors, sic et contra virum iustum peccator. Si ergo est unum creationis principium bonum, oportet esse aliud malum quod sit ei contrarium.
Obj. 13: Good is set against evil, and life against death: so also is the sinner against a just man (Sir 33:15). If, therefore, the good is one principle of creation, there must be set against it an evil principle.
Praeterea, intentio et remissio dicuntur per respectum ad aliquem terminum. Sed invenitur aliquid esse alio peius. Ergo oportet inveniri aliquid quod sit pessimum, in quo sit malorum terminus: et illud oportet esse principium omnium malorum, sicut summum bonum est principium bonorum.
Obj. 14: Intensification and remission are said in reference to some terminus. Now, one thing is found to be worse than another. Hence, one must find something worst, in which is the terminus of evils; and this must be the principle of all evil things, just as the supreme good is the principle of all good things.
Praeterea, Matth. VII, 18, dicitur: non potest arbor bona fructus malos facere. Aliquid autem invenitur esse malum in mundo. Ergo non potest esse fructus, id est effectus, causae bonae, quae per arborem bonam significatur; et sic oportet quod omnium malorum sit causa aliquod primum malum.
Obj. 15: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit (Matt 7:18). Now, evil is found to exist in the world. Therefore, it cannot be a fruit—that is, an effect—of a good cause, which is signified by the good tree. Consequently, some first evil must be the cause of all evils.
Praeterea, Genes. I, 2, dicitur quod in principio creationis rerum erant tenebrae super faciem abyssi. Sed a bono, quod habet naturam lucis, non potest esse creatio tenebrarum. Ergo creatio quae ibi describitur, non est a bono principio, sed a malo.
Obj. 16: We are told that when things were first created, darkness was on the face of the earth (Gen 1:2). But from the good, which has the nature of light, cannot come the creation of darkness. Consequently, the creation described there is not from a good principle but from an evil principle.
Praeterea, omne quod exit ab aliquo, attestatur ei a quo exit, in quantum est ei simile. Sed malum nullo modo attestatur Deo, nec habet in ipso aliquam similitudinem. Ergo non potest esse ab ipso, sed ab alio principio.
Obj. 17: Everything that comes from something bears witness to that from which it comes, as being like it. But evil bears witness to God in no way, nor is it in any way like him. Therefore, it cannot come from him but must be from another principle.
Praeterea, nihil exit ab aliquo, nisi quod est in ipso in potentia. Sed malum non est in Deo nec in actu nec in potentia. Ergo non est a Deo; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 18: Nothing comes from something unless it is in that thing potentially. But evil is not in God either actually or potentially. Therefore, it is not from God, and the same conclusion follows.
Praeterea, sicut generatio est motus naturalis, ita et corruptio. Sed corruptio terminatur ad privationem, sicut generatio ad formam. Ergo sicut forma inducitur ex intentione naturae, ita et privatio: et sic oportet quod malum, quod est privatio, habeat aliquam causam agentem per se, sicut et forma.
Obj. 19: Just as generation is a natural movement, so also is corruption. Now, the terminus of corruption is a privation, just as the terminus of generation is a form. Hence, just as the intention of nature is the induction of the form, so also does nature intend privation. Consequently, evil, being a privation, must have some cause acting through itself just as form does.
Praeterea, omne agens, agit ex praesuppositione primi agentis. Sed liberum arbitrium, cum peccat, non agit ex praesuppositione divinae actionis: nam aliquod peccatum est, sicut fornicatio vel adulterium, quod non potest a sua deformitate separari, quae non potest esse a Deo. Ergo oportet quod liberum arbitrium sit primum agens, vel quod reducatur ad aliquod aliud primum agens quam Deum.
Obj. 20: Every agent acts on the presupposition of the first agent. Now, a free decision, in sinning, does not act on the presupposition of the divine action; for there are some sins—like fornication and adultery, which are inseparable from their deformity—which cannot come from God. Therefore, the free decision must either be a first agent or be reducible to a first agent other than God.
Sed diceretur, quod substantia actus peccati est a Deo, non autem deformitas.
Obj. 21: It will be said perhaps that the substance, and not the deformity of the act, comes from God.
Sed contra est quod Commentator dicit: impossibile est unius agentis actionem terminari ad materiam, et alterius ad formam. Sed deformitas est quasi forma actus peccati. Ergo non potest esse deformitas peccati ab uno auctore, et substantia ab alio.
On the contrary, the Commentator says: it is impossible for the matter to result from the action of one agent while the form results from the action of another. Now, the deformity is, as it were, the form of the sinful act. Therefore, the deformity of a sin cannot be from one cause and its substance from another.