Quaestio 2Question 2De Deo, an Deus sitThe Existence of GodQuia igitur principalis intentio huius sacrae doctrinae est Dei cognitionem tradere, et non solum secundum quod in se est, sed etiam secundum quod est principium rerum et finis earum, et specialiter rationalis creaturae, ut ex dictis est manifestum; ad huius doctrinae expositionem intendentes, primo tractabimus de Deo; secundo, de motu rationalis creaturae in Deum; tertio, de Christo, qui, secundum quod homo, via est nobis tendendi in Deum.Because the chief aim of sacred doctrine is to teach the knowledge of God, not only as He is in Himself, but also as He is the beginning of things and their last end, and especially of rational creatures, as is clear from what has been already said, therefore, in our endeavor to expound this science, we shall treat: (1) Of God; (2) Of the rational creature’s advance towards God; (3) Of Christ, Who as man, is our way to God.Consideratio autem de Deo tripartita erit. Primo namque considerabimus ea quae ad essentiam divinam pertinent; secundo, ea quae pertinent ad distinctionem personarum; tertio, ea quae pertinent ad processum creaturarum ab ipso.In treating of God there will be a threefold division, for we shall consider: (1) Whatever concerns the Divine Essence; (2) Whatever concerns the distinctions of Persons; (3) Whatever concerns the procession of creatures from Him.Circa essentiam vero divinam, primo considerandum est an Deus sit; secundo, quomodo sit, vel potius quomodo non sit; tertio considerandum erit de his quae ad operationem ipsius pertinent, scilicet de scientia et de voluntate et potentia.Concerning the Divine Essence, we must consider: (1) Whether God exists? (2) The manner of His existence, or, rather, what is not the manner of His existence; (3) Whatever concerns His operations—namely, His knowledge, will, power.Circa primum quaeruntur tria.Concerning the first, there are three points of inquiry:Primo, utrum Deum esse sit per se notum.(1) Whether the proposition God exists is self-evident?Secundo, utrum sit demonstrabile.(2) Whether it is demonstrable?Tertio, an Deus sit.(3) Whether God exists?Articulus 1Article 1Utrum Deum esse sit per se notumWhether the existence of God is self-evident?Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deum esse sit per se notum. Illa enim nobis dicuntur per se nota, quorum cognitio nobis naturaliter inest, sicut patet de primis principiis. Sed, sicut dicit Damascenus in principio libri sui, omnibus cognitio existendi Deum naturaliter est inserta. Ergo Deum esse est per se notum.Objection 1: It seems that the existence of God is self-evident. Now those things are said to be self-evident to us the knowledge of which is naturally implanted in us, as we can see in regard to first principles. But as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i, 1,3), the knowledge of God is naturally implanted in all. Therefore the existence of God is self-evident.Praeterea, illa dicuntur esse per se nota, quae statim, cognitis terminis, cognoscuntur, quod Philosophus attribuit primis demonstrationis principiis, in I Poster., scito enim quid est totum et quid pars, statim scitur quod omne totum maius est sua parte. Sed intellecto quid significet hoc nomen Deus, statim habetur quod Deus est. Significatur enim hoc nomine id quo maius significari non potest, maius autem est quod est in re et intellectu, quam quod est in intellectu tantum, unde cum, intellecto hoc nomine Deus, statim sit in intellectu, sequitur etiam quod sit in re. Ergo Deum esse est per se notum.Obj. 2: Further, those things are said to be self-evident which are known as soon as the terms are known, which the Philosopher (1 Poster. iii) says is true of the first principles of demonstration. Thus, when the nature of a whole and of a part is known, it is at once recognized that every whole is greater than its part. But as soon as the signification of the word God is understood, it is at once seen that God exists. For by this word is signified that thing than which nothing greater can be conceived. But that which exists actually and mentally is greater than that which exists only mentally. Therefore, since as soon as the word God is understood it exists mentally, it also follows that it exists actually. Therefore the proposition God exists is self-evident.Praeterea, veritatem esse est per se notum, quia qui negat veritatem esse, concedit veritatem esse, si enim veritas non est, verum est veritatem non esse. Si autem est aliquid verum, oportet quod veritas sit. Deus autem est ipsa veritas, Ioann. XIV, ego sum via, veritas et vita. Ergo Deum esse est per se notum.Obj. 3: Further, the existence of truth is self-evident. For whoever denies the existence of truth grants that truth does not exist: and, if truth does not exist, then the proposition Truth does not exist is true: and if there is anything true, there must be truth. But God is truth itself: I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Therefore God exists is self-evident.Sed contra, nullus potest cogitare oppositum eius quod est per se notum, ut patet per Philosophum, in IV Metaphys. et I Poster., circa prima demonstrationis principia. Cogitari autem potest oppositum eius quod est Deum esse, secundum illud Psalmi LII, dixit insipiens in corde suo, non est Deus. Ergo Deum esse non est per se notum.On the contrary, No one can mentally admit the opposite of what is self-evident; as the Philosopher (Metaph. iv, lect. vi) states concerning the first principles of demonstration. But the opposite of the proposition God is can be mentally admitted: The fool said in his heart, There is no God (Ps 52:1). Therefore, that God exists is not self-evident.Respondeo dicendum quod contingit aliquid esse per se notum dupliciter, uno modo, secundum se et non quoad nos; alio modo, secundum se et quoad nos. Ex hoc enim aliqua propositio est per se nota, quod praedicatum includitur in ratione subiecti, ut homo est animal, nam animal est de ratione hominis. Si igitur notum sit omnibus de praedicato et de subiecto quid sit, propositio illa erit omnibus per se nota, sicut patet in primis demonstrationum principiis, quorum termini sunt quaedam communia quae nullus ignorat, ut ens et non ens, totum et pars, et similia. Si autem apud aliquos notum non sit de praedicato et subiecto quid sit, propositio quidem quantum in se est, erit per se nota, non tamen apud illos qui praedicatum et subiectum propositionis ignorant. Et ideo contingit, ut dicit Boetius in libro de hebdomadibus, quod quaedam sunt communes animi conceptiones et per se notae, apud sapientes tantum, ut incorporalia in loco non esse.I answer that, A thing can be self-evident in either of two ways: on the one hand, self-evident in itself, though not to us; on the other, self-evident in itself, and to us. A proposition is self-evident because the predicate is included in the essence of the subject, as Man is an animal, for animal is contained in the essence of man. If, therefore the essence of the predicate and subject be known to all, the proposition will be self-evident to all; as is clear with regard to the first principles of demonstration, the terms of which are common things that no one is ignorant of, such as being and non-being, whole and part, and such like. If, however, there are some to whom the essence of the predicate and subject is unknown, the proposition will be self-evident in itself, but not to those who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition. Therefore, it happens, as Boethius says (Hebdom.), there are some mental concepts self-evident only to the learned, as that incorporeal substances are not in space.Dico ergo quod haec propositio, Deus est, quantum in se est, per se nota est, quia praedicatum est idem cum subiecto; Deus enim est suum esse, ut infra patebit. Sed quia nos non scimus de Deo quid est, non est nobis per se nota, sed indiget demonstrari per ea quae sunt magis nota quoad nos, et minus nota quoad naturam, scilicet per effectus.Therefore I say that this proposition, God exists, of itself is self-evident, for the predicate is the same as the subject, because God is His own existence as will be hereafter shown (Q. 3, Art. 4). Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature—namely, by effects.Ad primum ergo dicendum quod cognoscere Deum esse in aliquo communi, sub quadam confusione, est nobis naturaliter insertum, inquantum scilicet Deus est hominis beatitudo, homo enim naturaliter desiderat beatitudinem, et quod naturaliter desideratur ab homine, naturaliter cognoscitur ab eodem. Sed hoc non est simpliciter cognoscere Deum esse; sicut cognoscere venientem, non est cognoscere Petrum, quamvis sit Petrus veniens, multi enim perfectum hominis bonum, quod est beatitudo, existimant divitias; quidam vero voluptates; quidam autem aliquid aliud.Reply Obj. 1: To know that God exists in a general and confused way is implanted in us by nature, inasmuch as God is man’s beatitude. For man naturally desires happiness, and what is naturally desired by man must be naturally known to him. This, however, is not to know absolutely that God exists; just as to know that someone is approaching is not the same as to know that Peter is approaching, even though it is Peter who is approaching; for many there are who imagine that man’s perfect good which is happiness, consists in riches, and others in pleasures, and others in something else.Ad secundum dicendum quod forte ille qui audit hoc nomen Deus, non intelligit significari aliquid quo maius cogitari non possit, cum quidam crediderint Deum esse corpus. Dato etiam quod quilibet intelligat hoc nomine Deus significari hoc quod dicitur, scilicet illud quo maius cogitari non potest; non tamen propter hoc sequitur quod intelligat id quod significatur per nomen, esse in rerum natura; sed in apprehensione intellectus tantum. Nec potest argui quod sit in re, nisi daretur quod sit in re aliquid quo maius cogitari non potest, quod non est datum a ponentibus Deum non esse.Reply Obj. 2: Perhaps not everyone who hears this word God understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought, seeing that some have believed God to be a body. Yet, granted that everyone understands that by this word God is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought, nevertheless, it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually, but only that it exists mentally. Nor can it be argued that it actually exists, unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought; and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not exist.Ad tertium dicendum quod veritatem esse in communi, est per se notum, sed primam veritatem esse, hoc non est per se notum quoad nos.Reply Obj. 3: The existence of truth in general is self-evident but the existence of a Primal Truth is not self-evident to us.Articulus 2Article 2Utrum Deum esse sit demonstrabileWhether it can be demonstrated that God exists?Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deum esse non sit demonstrabile. Deum enim esse est articulus fidei. Sed ea quae sunt fidei, non sunt demonstrabilia, quia demonstratio facit scire, fides autem de non apparentibus est, ut patet per Apostolum, ad Hebr. XI. Ergo Deum esse non est demonstrabile.Objection 1: It seems that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated. For it is an article of faith that God exists. But what is of faith cannot be demonstrated, because a demonstration produces scientific knowledge; whereas faith is of the unseen (Heb 11:1). Therefore it cannot be demonstrated that God exists.Praeterea, medium demonstrationis est quod quid est. Sed de Deo non possumus scire quid est, sed solum quid non est, ut dicit Damascenus. Ergo non possumus demonstrare Deum esse.Obj. 2: Further, the essence is the middle term of demonstration. But we cannot know in what God’s essence consists, but solely in what it does not consist; as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i, 4). Therefore we cannot demonstrate that God exists.Praeterea, si demonstraretur Deum esse, hoc non esset nisi ex effectibus eius. Sed effectus eius non sunt proportionati ei, cum ipse sit infinitus, et effectus finiti; finiti autem ad infinitum non est proportio. Cum ergo causa non possit demonstrari per effectum sibi non proportionatum, videtur quod Deum esse non possit demonstrari.Obj. 3: Further, if the existence of God were demonstrated, this could only be from His effects. But His effects are not proportionate to Him, since He is infinite and His effects are finite; and between the finite and infinite there is no proportion. Therefore, since a cause cannot be demonstrated by an effect not proportionate to it, it seems that the existence of God cannot be demonstrated.Sed contra est quod Apostolus dicit, ad Rom. I, invisibilia Dei per ea quae facta sunt, intellecta, conspiciuntur. Sed hoc non esset, nisi per ea quae facta sunt, posset demonstrari Deum esse, primum enim quod oportet intelligi de aliquo, est an sit.On the contrary, The Apostle says: The invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made (Rom 1:20). But this would not be unless the existence of God could be demonstrated through the things that are made; for the first thing we must know of anything is whether it exists.Respondeo dicendum quod duplex est demonstratio. Una quae est per causam, et dicitur propter quid, et haec est per priora simpliciter. Alia est per effectum, et dicitur demonstratio quia, et haec est per ea quae sunt priora quoad nos, cum enim effectus aliquis nobis est manifestior quam sua causa, per effectum procedimus ad cognitionem causae. Ex quolibet autem effectu potest demonstrari propriam causam eius esse (si tamen eius effectus sint magis noti quoad nos), quia, cum effectus dependeant a causa, posito effectu necesse est causam praeexistere. Unde Deum esse, secundum quod non est per se notum quoad nos, demonstrabile est per effectus nobis notos.I answer that, Demonstration can be made in two ways: One is through the cause, and is called a priori, and this is to argue from what is prior absolutely. The other is through the effect, and is called a demonstration a posteriori; this is to argue from what is prior relatively only to us. When an effect is better known to us than its cause, from the effect we proceed to the knowledge of the cause. And from every effect the existence of its proper cause can be demonstrated, so long as its effects are better known to us; because since every effect depends upon its cause, if the effect exists, the cause must pre-exist. Hence the existence of God, in so far as it is not self-evident to us, can be demonstrated from those of His effects which are known to us.Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Deum esse, et alia huiusmodi quae per rationem naturalem nota possunt esse de Deo, ut dicitur Rom. I, non sunt articuli fidei, sed praeambula ad articulos, sic enim fides praesupponit cognitionem naturalem, sicut gratia naturam, et ut perfectio perfectibile. Nihil tamen prohibet illud quod secundum se demonstrabile est et scibile, ab aliquo accipi ut credibile, qui demonstrationem non capit.Reply Obj. 1: The existence of God and other like truths about God, which can be known by natural reason, are not articles of faith, but are preambles to the articles; for faith presupposes natural knowledge, even as grace presupposes nature, and perfection supposes something that can be perfected. Nevertheless, there is nothing to prevent a man, who cannot grasp a proof, accepting, as a matter of faith, something which in itself is capable of being scientifically known and demonstrated.Ad secundum dicendum quod cum demonstratur causa per effectum, necesse est uti effectu loco definitionis causae, ad probandum causam esse, et hoc maxime contingit in Deo. Quia ad probandum aliquid esse, necesse est accipere pro medio quid significet nomen non autem quod quid est, quia quaestio quid est, sequitur ad quaestionem an est. Nomina autem Dei imponuntur ab effectibus, ut postea ostendetur, unde, demonstrando Deum esse per effectum, accipere possumus pro medio quid significet hoc nomen Deus.Reply Obj. 2: When the existence of a cause is demonstrated from an effect, this effect takes the place of the definition of the cause in proof of the cause’s existence. This is especially the case in regard to God, because, in order to prove the existence of anything, it is necessary to accept as a middle term the meaning of the word, and not its essence, for the question of its essence follows on the question of its existence. Now the names given to God are derived from His effects; consequently, in demonstrating the existence of God from His effects, we may take for the middle term the meaning of the word God.Ad tertium dicendum quod per effectus non proportionatos causae, non potest perfecta cognitio de causa haberi, sed tamen ex quocumque effectu potest manifeste nobis demonstrari causam esse, ut dictum est. Et sic ex effectibus Dei potest demonstrari Deum esse, licet per eos non perfecte possimus eum cognoscere secundum suam essentiam.Reply Obj. 3: From effects not proportionate to the cause no perfect knowledge of that cause can be obtained. Yet from every effect the existence of the cause can be clearly demonstrated, and so we can demonstrate the existence of God from His effects; though from them we cannot perfectly know God as He is in His essence.Articulus 3Article 3Utrum Deus sitWhether God exists?Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deus non sit. Quia si unum contrariorum fuerit infinitum, totaliter destruetur aliud. Sed hoc intelligitur in hoc nomine Deus, scilicet quod sit quoddam bonum infinitum. Si ergo Deus esset, nullum malum inveniretur. Invenitur autem malum in mundo. Ergo Deus non est.Objection 1: It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word God means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.Praeterea, quod potest compleri per pauciora principia, non fit per plura. Sed videtur quod omnia quae apparent in mundo, possunt compleri per alia principia, supposito quod Deus non sit, quia ea quae sunt naturalia, reducuntur in principium quod est natura; ea vero quae sunt a proposito, reducuntur in principium quod est ratio humana vel voluntas. Nulla igitur necessitas est ponere Deum esse.Obj. 2: Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God’s existence.Sed contra est quod dicitur Exodi III, ex persona Dei, ego sum qui sum.On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: I am Who am. (Ex 3:14)Respondeo dicendum quod Deum esse quinque viis probari potest.I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.