lundi 3 février 2014

Romans 1:20 and Dawkins, Richard

1) Romans 1:20 and Dawkins, Richard, 2) Origen also made a Commentary on Romans, including of course 1:19 and 1:20

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition. : ROMANS - Chapter 1

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven, against all impiety and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice.

19 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it to them.

20 For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made: his eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

Ver. 18. For the wrath of God is revealed, &c. He begins to speak of the heathens, and of the wicked world, whose sins God punisheth from time to time with visible chastisements of plagues, famines, wars, &c. and that because they detain the truth of God in injustice, or in iniquity, that is, because they have not honoured God, even according to the knowledge which he has given them of him, especially their philosophers. (Witham)

Ver. 19-20. That which is known of God. Or may be easily known of God, is manifest in them. The light of reason demonstrates to them the existence of one God, the maker and preserver of all things. This is made known to them from the creation of the world, or from the creatures in the world: the Creator may be discovered by the creatures, and as St. Chrysostom here says, every Scythian, every barbarian, may come to the knowledge of God by the wonderful harmony[3] of all things, which proclaims the existence of God louder than any trumpet: but having known him, they did not glorify him; they acted contrary to their knowledge, abandoning themselves to idolatry, and the vain worship of many gods, and to all manner of vices and abominations against the light of reason. (Witham)

Richard Dawkins (in an obvious though indirect admission of the Five Ways, as I will explain):

Nobody has actually seen evolution take place over a long period but they have seen th after effects, and the after effects are massively supported. It is like a case in a court of law where nobody can actually stand up and say I saw the murder happen and yet you have got millions and millions of pieces of evidence which no reasonable person can possibly dispute.

The Genius of Charles Darwin (Episode 3): Richard Dawkins,
Channel 4 (UK), Monday 18th August 2008

Cited at 08:16 on:

CMIcreationstation : Why does the evidence always point to evolution? (Creation Magazine LIVE! 3-05)

Well, what have these two texts in common? Obviously the idea of visible evidence pointing to unobserved causes. And of doing so in so clear a manner as to leave the disputers no excuse for denial or ignorance.

Now, there is one thing about the Biblical text. Although it is not mentioned in the quote Haydock made from Witham, this clear evidence for God - or actually even more directly of God being angry with immorality - is supposed to be revealed from heaven. Now, let us look what St Thomas Aquinas has to say about this passage:

Corpus Thomisticum
Commentaria in Romanus caput 1, lectio 6

Deinde cum dicit quia quod notum est, manifestat propositum, ordine tamen retrogrado. Next, when saying "that which is known", he manifests the meaning, but in reverse order.
Primo enim consentit quod sapientes gentilium de Deo cognoverunt veritatem; secundo, ostendit quod in eis impietas et iniustitia fuerit, ibi ita ut sint inexcusabiles; tertio quod iram Dei incurrerunt, ibi qui cum iustitiam Dei.  For first he agrees that the wise of the geintiles knew the truth about God; next he shows that there was impiety and injustice in them, in that place "so that they were inexcusable"; thirdly that they incurred the wrath of God in that place* "who, having [known] the justice of God" [verse 32 - verses were not yet made for the Bible.]
Circa primum tria facit.  About the first thing he does three things.
Primo, quid de Deo cognoverunt; secundo, ostendit a quo huiusmodi cognitionem acceperunt, ibi Deus enim illis; tertio, ostendit per quem modum, ibi invisibilia enim.  First what they knew of God; then, he shows from whom they received suchlike knowledge, in that place "For God hath manifested it to them" (v. 19); thirdly, he shows in what manner, in that place "For the invisible things of him" (v. 20).
Dicit ergo primo: recte dico quod veritatem Dei detinuerunt, fuit enim in eis, quantum ad aliquid, vera Dei cognitio, quia quod notum est Dei, id est quod cognoscibile est de Deo ab homine per rationem, manifestum est in illis, id est manifestum est eis ex eo quod in illis est, id est ex lumine intrinseco.  Thus he first states: I am right to say that they have detained the truth of God, for there was in them, in respect to something, a true knowledge of God in them, "Because that which is known of God" (v. 19), that is what is knowable about God by man by reason, "is manifest in them" (v. 19), that is it is manifest to them from what is in them, that is from their interior light.
Sciendum est ergo quod aliquid circa Deum est omnino ignotum homini in hac vita, scilicet quid est Deus.  Thus one must know that something is totally unknown about God of man in this life, namely what God is.
Unde et Paulus invenit Athenis aram inscriptam: ignoto Deo.  For which reason Paul in Athens found an altar with the inscription: to the unknown God. (Acts 17:23).
Et hoc ideo quia cognitio hominis incipit ab his quae sunt ei connaturalia, scilicet sensibilibus creaturis, quae non sunt proportionata ad repraesentandam divinam essentiam.  And this because the knowledge of man begins from these things that are connatural to him, that is from creatures that can be sensed, which are not propoortioned to represent the Divine Essence.
Potest tamen homo, ex huiusmodi creaturis, Deum tripliciter cognoscere, ut Dionysius dicit in libro de divinis nominibus.  Nevertheless man can, from suchlike creatures, know God in three ways, as Denys says in the book On the Names of God.
Uno quidem modo per causalitatem.  One way is by causality.
Quia enim huiusmodi creaturae sunt defectibiles et mutabiles, necesse est eas reducere ad aliquod principium immobile et perfectum.  For because suchlike creatures are defective and mutable, it is necessary to reduce them to something immobile and perfect.
Et secundum hoc cognoscitur de Deo an est.  And according to this it if known of God "whether" [=that!] He is.
Secundo per viam excellentiae.  Next by the way of excellence.
Non enim reducuntur omnia in primum principium, sicut in propriam causam et univocam, prout homo hominem generat, sed sicut in causam communem et excedentem.  For all things are not reduced to their first principle as to their own and univocal cause, like when a man engenders a man, but as to their common cause exceeding them.
Et ex hoc cognoscitur quod est super omnia.  And from this it is known that He is above all.
Tertio per viam negationis.  Thirdly by the way of negation.
Quia si est causa excedens, nihil eorum quae sunt in creaturis potest ei competere, sicut etiam neque corpus caeleste proprie dicitur grave vel leve aut calidum aut frigidum.  Since of a cause exceeds [its effects], nothing of what is in the creatures can "compete with Him" / "be competently affirmed of Him", like neither a heavenly body is properly speaking either heavy or light or hot or cold.
Et secundum hoc dicimus Deum immobilem et infinitum et si quid aliud huiusmodi dicitur.  And according to this we call God immobile and infinite even if something else is called suchlike. [Acc. to this = namely not in the literal same sense.]
Huiusmodi autem cognitionem habuerunt per lumen rationis inditum.  But suchlike knowledge they had by the ingiven light of reason.
Ps. IV, 6: multi dicunt quis ostendit nobis bona? Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui domine. Ps. IV, 6: many say, Who sheweth us good things? The light of thy countenance O Lord, is signed upon us.
Deinde cum dicit Deus illis manifestavit, ostendit a quo auctore huiusmodi cognitio eis fuerit manifestata, et dicit quod Deus illis manifestavit, secundum illud Iob c. XXXV, 11: docet nos super iumenta terrae.  Then, as he says "For God hath manifested it unto them." (v. 19), he shows by what author(-ship, -ity) suchlike knowledge was manifested to them and say that God manifested it to them, according to that Job XXXV,11: "[Who] teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth".
Ubi considerandum est quod unus homo alteri manifestat explicando conceptum suum per aliqua signa exteriora, puta per vocem vel Scripturam, Deus autem dupliciter aliquid homini manifestat.  Where it is to be considered that one man manifests to another man explaining his meaning by some external signs, as by voice or Writing, but God in two manner manifests something to a man.
Uno modo, infundendo lumen interius, per quod homo cognoscit, Ps. XLII, 3: emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam.  One way, infusing light from within, by which man comes to know, Ps. XLII, 3: Send forth thy light and thy truth.
Alio modo, proponendo suae sapientiae signa exteriora, scilicet sensibiles creaturas.  In another way, by proposing of His Wisdom exterior signs, that is creatures that can be sensed.
Eccli. I, 10: effudit illam, scilicet sapientiam, super omnia opera sua.  Ecclesiasticus I, 10: "And he poured her" - that is wisdom - "out upon all his works."
Sic ergo Deus illis manifestavit vel interius infundendo lumen, vel exterius proponendo visibiles creaturas, in quibus, sicut in quodam libro, Dei cognitio legeretur.  Thus in such manner did God manifest to them either infusing light from within, or from without proposing visible creatures, in which, as in a kind of book, the knowledge of God is to be read.
Deinde cum dicit invisibilia enim ipsius a creatura mundi, etc., ostendit per quem modum huiusmodi cognitionem acceperunt.  Next when he says "For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world" etc. (v. 20), he shows by what manner they received suchlike knowledge.
Ubi, primo considerandum est quae sunt ista, quae de Deo cognoverunt.  Where, first we must consider what those things are, which they knew of God.
Et ponit tria.  And he posits there were three of them.
Primo quidem invisibilia ipsius, per quae intelligitur Dei essentia, quae, sicut dictum est a nobis videri non potest.  First of all "the invisible things of him" (v. 20), by which is understood the essence of God, which, as we have said, cannot be seen.
Io. I, 18: Deum nemo vidit unquam, scilicet per essentiam, vita mortali vivens.  John I, 18: "No man hath seen God at any time" namely by His essence, and living in the mortal life.
I Tim. c. I, 17: regi saeculorum immortali, invisibili.  I Tim. ch. I, 17: Now to the king of ages, immortal, invisible.
Dicit autem pluraliter invisibilia quia Dei essentia non est nobis cognita secundum illud quod est, scilicet prout in se est una.  But he says in the plural "the invisible things" since the essence of God is not known to us according to that which it is, namely as in itself it is one.
Sic erit nobis in patria cognita, et tunc erit dominus unus et nomen eius unum, ut dicitur Zac. ult.  Thus it will be known to us in the Fatherland, and in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name shall be one, as is said in "Last of Zachariah"**.
Est autem manifesta nobis per quasdam similitudines in creaturis repertas, quae id quod in Deo unum est, multipliciter participant, et secundum hoc intellectus noster considerat unitatem divinae essentiae sub ratione bonitatis, sapientiae, virtutis et huiusmodi, quae in Deo unum sunt.  But it [the unity of God] is manifest to us by certain likenesses to be found in creatures, which participate in many ways in that which in God is one, and according to this our intellect considers the unity of divine essense under the concept of goodness, of wisdom, of power, and suchlike, which in God are just one thing.
Haec ergo invisibilia Dei dixit, quia illud unum quod his nominibus, seu rationibus, in Deo respondet, non videtur a nobis.  So, he calls these things the invisible things of God, since that which in God corresponds to these names or concepts is not seen by us.
Hebr. XI, 3: ut ex invisibilibus invisibilia fierent.  Hebr. XI, 3: that from invisible things visible ! things might be made. [Quoted as "that from invisible things invisible things might be made".]***
Aliud autem quod de Deo cognoscitur est virtus ipsius, secundum quam res ab eo procedunt, sicut a principio; Ps. CXLVI, 5: magnus dominus et magna virtus eius.  Another thing which is made known about God is His power, according to which things proceed from Him as from their principle; Ps. CXLVI, 5: Great is our Lord, and great is his power.
Hanc autem virtutem philosophi perpetuam esse cognoverunt, unde dicitur sempiterna quoque virtus eius.  But this power the philosophers knew to be perpetual, wherefore it is also called His sempiternal (or everlasting) power.° (Still in v. 20)
Tertium cognitum est quod dicit et divinitas, ad quod pertinet quod cognoverunt Deum sicut ultimum finem, in quem omnia tendunt.  The third known thing is what he calls "and divinity" (v. 20), to which pertains that they knew God as the ultimate goal to which everything tends.
Divinum enim bonum dicitur bonum commune quod ab omnibus participatur; propter hoc potius dixit divinitatem, quae participationem significat, quam deitatem, quae significat essentiam Dei.  For a divine good one calls the common good which is shared by all; wherefore he rather called this "divinity", which denotes a share in God, than "deity" which denotes the essence of God.
Col. II, 9: et in ipso habitat omnis plenitudo divinitatis.  Col II, 9: For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead [corporeally]. [Last word of Bible verse not quoted.]
Haec autem tria referuntur ad tres modos cognoscendi supradictos.  Now, these three things are related to the three abovesaid modes of acquiring knowledge.
Nam invisibilia Dei cognoscuntur per viam negationis; sempiterna virtus, per viam causalitatis; divinitas, per viam excellentiae.  For the invisible things of God are known by the way of negation, the everlasting power, by the way of causality°°; the divinity, by the way of excellence.
Secundo, considerandum est per quod medium illa cognoverunt, quod designatur cum dicit per ea quae facta sunt.  Secondly, one has to consider by what means they knew those things, which is designated when he says "by the things that are made" (v. 20).
Sicut enim ars manifestatur per artificis opera, ita et Dei sapientia manifestatur per creaturas.  For just as knowhow is manifested by the expert's works, so also God's wisdom is manifested in creatures.
Sap. XIII, 5: a magnitudine enim speciei et creaturae cognoscibiliter poterit creator horum videri.  Wisdom XIII, 5: For by the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, the creator of them may be seen, so as to be known thereby. °°°
Tertio, ostendit quomodo per ista cognoscatur Deus, cum dicit intellecta conspiciuntur.  Thirdly, he shows how by these God is known, when he says "are clearly seen, being understood" (v. 20).
Intellectu enim cognosci potest Deus, non sensu vel imaginatione, quae corporalia non transcendunt; Deus autem spiritus est, ut Io. c. IV, 24 dicitur; Is. LII, 13: ecce intelliget servus meus.  For by understanding God can be known, not by sense or visualisation power*° which do not transcend corporeal things; but "God is a spirit", as is stated in John chapter IV, 24; Is. LII, 13: "Behold my servant shall understand". [He cites first, relevant, half of the verse.]
Quarto, potest designari a qua, per hunc modum, Deus cognoscatur, cum dicitur a creatura mundi.  Fourthly, it may be designated from what, in this way, God is understood, when it is stated "from the creation of the world" (v. 20).
Per quod, uno modo, potest intelligi homo, Mc. ult.: praedicate Evangelium omni creaturae, vel propter excellentiam hominis, qui ordine naturae minor est Angelis sed excellit inter inferiores creaturas, secundum illud Ps. VIII, 6: minuisti eum paulo minus ab Angelis, omnia subiecisti sub pedibus eius, oves et boves, etc., vel quia communicat cum omni creatura: habet enim esse cum lapidibus, vivere cum arboribus, sentire cum animalibus, intelligere cum Angelis, ut Gregorius dicit.  By which, in one way, man may be understood, "Last of Mark"**: "preach the gospel to every creature", either because of the excellence of man, who in order of nature is lesser than Angels but excels among lesser creatures, according to this [verse in] Ps. VIII [namely v. 6] "Thou hast made him a little less than the angels ... Thou hast subjected all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen: etc." or because he has something in common with all creature: he has being with stones, life with trees, sense with animals, understanding with angels, as Gregory says.
Alio modo potest intelligi de universali creatura.  In another way it can be understood of creature in general.
Nulla enim creatura, ex propriis naturalibus, potest Dei essentiam in seipsa videre.  For no creature, of its own natural powers, can see God's essence in itself.
Unde et de Seraphim dicitur Is. VI, 2 quod duabus alis velabant caput.  Wherefore also it is said the the Seraphim, Is. VI, 2, that they were veiling their head with two wings.
Sed, sicut homo intelligit Deum per creaturas visibiles, ita Angelus per hoc quod intelligit propriam essentiam.  But, as man understands God**°° by visible creatures, so the angel by the fact of understanding its own essence.***°°°
Potest autem aliter intelligi per creaturam mundi, non ipsa res creata sed rerum creatio, ac si diceretur: a creatione mundi.  But "by the creation/creature of the world" can be understood in another maner, not the created thing itself but the creation of the thing, as if it were staed: from the creation of the world. [Which - both his Latin and my English is the actual text in current editions of Vulgate and Douay Rheims]
Et tunc potest dupliciter ordinari.  And then it can be ordered in two ways.
Uno modo quod intelligatur quod invisibilia Dei intelliguntur per ea quae facta sunt a creatione mundi, non solum per ea quae facta sunt tempore gratiae.  In one way that it may be understood that the invisible things of God are understood by the things that have been made# since the creation of the world, not only by those that have been made during the time of grace.##
Alio modo quod intelligatur quod a creatione mundi homines incoeperunt Deum cognoscere per ea quae facta sunt.  In another way that it may be understood that since the creation of the world men began to know God by the things that were made.#
Iob XXXVI, 25: omnes homines vident eum. Job XXXVI, 25: All men see him.
Glossa autem dicit quod per invisibilia Dei intelligitur persona patris. I Tim. c. ult.: quem nullus hominum vidit, et cetera.  The Gloss however says that by "the invisible things of God" is understood the Person of the Father. I Tim. last chapter [=VI, 16:] whom no man hath seen.
Per sempiternam virtutem, persona filii secundum illud I Cor. I, 24: Christum Dei virtutem.  By eternal power, the Person of the Son accordting to that [word] I Cor. I, 24: Christ the power of God.
Per divinitatem, persona spiritus sancti cui appropriatur bonitas.  By divinity, the person of the Holy Ghost, to whom goodness is appropriated.###
Non quod philosophi, ductu rationis, potuerint pervenire, per ea quae facta sunt, in cognitionem personarum quantum ad propria, quae non significant habitudinem causae ad creaturas, sed secundum appropriata.  Not that the philosophers, lead by reason, could arrive, through the things that were made, to knowledge of the Persons as to what is really their propers*#, which do not signify the "habit of being cause" in relation to creatures, but according to the appropriated things.###
Dicuntur tamen defecisse in tertio signo, id est in spiritu sancto quia non posuerunt aliquid respondere spiritui sancto, sicut posuerunt aliquid respondere patri, scilicet ipsum primum principium, et aliquid respondere filio, scilicet primam mentem creatam, quam vocabant paternum intellectum ut Macrobius dicit in libro super somnium Scipionis. But they are said to have been deficient in the third sign, that is in the Holy Ghost since they did not posit anything corresponding to the Holy Ghost as they did posit something corresponding to the Father, namely the First Principle itself, and something corresponding to the Son, namely the First Created Mind**## which they call Fatherly Understanding or Understanding of the Father, as Macrobius says in the book aboutv the Dream of Scipio.***###

For the Question 11 and Article 3 of Summa Theologica, Prima Pars, there is fortunately already an English translation available and online:

First from His simplicity. For it is manifest that the reason why any singular thing is "this particular thing" is because it cannot be communicated to many: since that whereby Socrates is a man, can be communicated to many; whereas, what makes him this particular man, is only communicable to one. Therefore, if Socrates were a man by what makes him to be this particular man, as there cannot be many Socrates, so there could not in that way be many men. Now this belongs to God alone; for God Himself is His own nature, as was shown above (Question 3, Article 3). Therefore, in the very same way God is God, and He is this God. Impossible is it therefore that many Gods should exist.

Secondly, this is proved from the infinity of His perfection. For it was shown above (Question 4, Article 2) that God comprehends in Himself the whole perfection of being. If then many gods existed, they would necessarily differ from each other. Something therefore would belong to one which did not belong to another. And if this were a privation, one of them would not be absolutely perfect; but if a perfection, one of them would be without it. So it is impossible for many gods to exist. Hence also the ancient philosophers, constrained as it were by truth, when they asserted an infinite principle, asserted likewise that there was only one such principle.

Thirdly, this is shown from the unity of the world. For all things that exist are seen to be ordered to each other since some serve others. But things that are diverse do not harmonize in the same order, unless they are ordered thereto by one. For many are reduced into one order by one better than by many: because one is the "per se" cause of one, and many are only the accidental cause of one, inasmuch as they are in some way one. Since therefore what is first is most perfect, and is so "per se" and not accidentally, it must be that the first which reduces all into one order should be only one. And this one is God.

This last and third thing is the most obvious to a modern reader - insofar as he grasps that St Thomas was a Geocentric and believed ALL of the Universe had exactly one centre, Earth and ALL the rest of the visible universe is circling around it. What about the other two? The second gets back to Q4 A2:

First, because whatever perfection exists in an effect must be found in the effective cause: either in the same formality, if it is a univocal agent--as when man reproduces man; or in a more eminent degree, if it is an equivocal agent--thus in the sun is the likeness of whatever is generated by the sun's power. Now it is plain that the effect pre-exists virtually in the efficient cause: and although to pre-exist in the potentiality of a material cause is to pre-exist in a more imperfect way, since matter as such is imperfect, and an agent as such is perfect; still to pre-exist virtually in the efficient cause is to pre-exist not in a more imperfect, but in a more perfect way. Since therefore God is the first effective cause of things, the perfections of all things must pre-exist in God in a more eminent way. Dionysius implies the same line of argument by saying of God (Div. Nom. v): "It is not that He is this and not that, but that He is all, as the cause of all."

Secondly, from what has been already proved, God is existence itself, of itself subsistent (3, 4). Consequently, He must contain within Himself the whole perfection of being. For it is clear that if some hot thing has not the whole perfection of heat, this is because heat is not participated in its full perfection; but if this heat were self-subsisting, nothing of the virtue of heat would be wanting to it. Since therefore God is subsisting being itself, nothing of the perfection of being can be wanting to Him. Now all created perfections are included in the perfection of being; for things are perfect, precisely so far as they have being after some fashion. It follows therefore that the perfection of no one thing is wanting to God. This line of argument, too, is implied by Dionysius (Div. Nom. v), when he says that, "God exists not in any single mode, but embraces all being within Himself, absolutely, without limitation, uniformly;" and afterwards he adds that, "He is the very existence to subsisting things."

This gets back to Q3 A4: which in turn points to 3,3 so let us get there and then 3,4:

I answer that, God is the same as His essence or nature. To understand this, it must be noted that in things composed of matter and form, the nature or essence must differ from the "suppositum," because the essence or nature connotes only what is included in the definition of the species; as, humanity connotes all that is included in the definition of man, for it is by this that man is man, and it is this that humanity signifies, that, namely, whereby man is man. Now individual matter, with all the individualizing accidents, is not included in the definition of the species. For this particular flesh, these bones, this blackness or whiteness, etc., are not included in the definition of a man. Therefore this flesh, these bones, and the accidental qualities distinguishing this particular matter, are not included in humanity; and yet they are included in the thing which is man. Hence the thing which is a man has something more in it than has humanity. Consequently humanity and a man are not wholly identical; but humanity is taken to mean the formal part of a man, because the principles whereby a thing is defined are regarded as the formal constituent in regard to the individualizing matter. On the other hand, in things not composed of matter and form, in which individualization is not due to individual matter--that is to say, to "this" matter--the very forms being individualized of themselves--it is necessary the forms themselves should be subsisting "supposita." Therefore "suppositum" and nature in them are identified. Since God then is not composed of matter and form, He must be His own Godhead, His own Life, and whatever else is thus predicated of Him.

Now, this is a bit abstruse - perhaps - to "the modern reader", who has been raised on materialism. However it is presupposed in the following article to which the second reason for the unity of God looked back:

First, whatever a thing has besides its essence must be caused either by the constituent principles of that essence (like a property that necessarily accompanies the species--as the faculty of laughing is proper to a man--and is caused by the constituent principles of the species), or by some exterior agent--as heat is caused in water by fire. Therefore, if the existence of a thing differs from its essence, this existence must be caused either by some exterior agent or by its essential principles. Now it is impossible for a thing's existence to be caused by its essential constituent principles, for nothing can be the sufficient cause of its own existence, if its existence is caused. Therefore that thing, whose existence differs from its essence, must have its existence caused by another. But this cannot be true of God; because we call God the first efficient cause. Therefore it is impossible that in God His existence should differ from His essence.

Secondly, existence is that which makes every form or nature actual; for goodness and humanity are spoken of as actual, only because they are spoken of as existing. Therefore existence must be compared to essence, if the latter is a distinct reality, as actuality to potentiality. Therefore, since in God there is no potentiality, as shown above (Article 1), it follows that in Him essence does not differ from existence. Therefore His essence is His existence.

Thirdly, because, just as that which has fire, but is not itself fire, is on fire by participation; so that which has existence but is not existence, is a being by participation. But God is His own essence, as shown above (Article 3) if, therefore, He is not His own existence He will be not essential, but participated being. He will not therefore be the first being--which is absurd. Therefore God is His own existence, and not merely His own essence.

But what about the first reason for the unity of God? It also looks back to Q3, A3. Which looks back to Q3, A1:

First, because no body is in motion unless it be put in motion, as is evident from induction. Now it has been already proved (2, 3), that God is the First Mover, and is Himself unmoved. Therefore it is clear that God is not a body.

Secondly, because the first being must of necessity be in act, and in no way in potentiality. For although in any single thing that passes from potentiality to actuality, the potentiality is prior in time to the actuality; nevertheless, absolutely speaking, actuality is prior to potentiality; for whatever is in potentiality can be reduced into actuality only by some being in actuality. Now it has been already proved that God is the First Being. It is therefore impossible that in God there should be any potentiality. But every body is in potentiality because the continuous, as such, is divisible to infinity; it is therefore impossible that God should be a body.

Thirdly, because God is the most noble of beings. Now it is impossible for a body to be the most noble of beings; for a body must be either animate or inanimate; and an animate body is manifestly nobler than any inanimate body. But an animate body is not animate precisely as body; otherwise all bodies would be animate. Therefore its animation depends upon some other thing, as our body depends for its animation on the soul. Hence that by which a body becomes animated must be nobler than the body. Therefore it is impossible that God should be a body.

A Dominican once told me the thing that made St Thomas wrong and moderns - say Kant - right was that the proofs of St Thomas suffer from essentialism. But any proof of anyone, including Dawkins's for Darwin, is essentially essentialist. The real problem for a modern would be Newtonian mechanics making uniform motion the same thing as perfect still-standing for any piece of matter. And then also of Universe according to Heliocentrism not being in daily motion round earth. But the Newtonian matter tends to make reasonings about potentiality and actuality less understood. In Newtonian matter the distinction between potentiality and actuality is blurred through the concept of "energy" and stillstanding is no longer the only default option of matter.

So the easiest way - and remember the proof is easy, otherwise Pagans would not have had a very obvious proof making them inexcusable - would be the third reason for the unity of God. Quoting it once again:

Thirdly, this is shown from the unity of the world. For all things that exist are seen to be ordered to each other since some serve others. But things that are diverse do not harmonize in the same order, unless they are ordered thereto by one. For many are reduced into one order by one better than by many: because one is the "per se" cause of one, and many are only the accidental cause of one, inasmuch as they are in some way one. Since therefore what is first is most perfect, and is so "per se" and not accidentally, it must be that the first which reduces all into one order should be only one. And this one is God.

Giordano Bruno was the first Heliocentric to take this as a serious implication in cosmology. His several solar systems, as we would call them, was in his terminology several worlds. So, familiar as he was with the proofs for God, he took the non-unity of the worlds as permitting (or perhaps even exacting) a non-unity of God. He was in 1600 burned for heresies involving pantheism and polytheism. And from there things have rolled on towards Dawkins.

Dawkins - as briefly mentioned earlier - has not exactly denied the conclusion of the five ways of St Thomas. He has identified the god of the three first ways with "matter-and-energy". The modern theory about "energy" being an entity that can neither be created nor destroyed makes it a candidate for being the God of the three first ways. As to the way concerned with degree and as to the way concerned with wisdom, the last two ways, Dawkins makes Evolution and whatever has most developed the Highest Value and Failure of whatever is unfit to last (either on levels like initial unity of all energy before Big Bang or on levels like Natural Selection eliminiating whatever is unfit to survive in competition to the other variety) the wisdom. Now, note he does not make Natural Selection the highest value. But he considers that it has through evolution led to one detestation of natural selection being very developed and therefore the most noble attitude.

He is in his way as honest as St Thomas Aquinas in saying that his deity cannot be seen, but there are millions of pieces of evidence for it. But one of them is geocentrism being a mistake and universe having no unified observable rule, but the view of Abraham was - on this view - an optical illusion. What was Abraham viewing, according to Josephus? Same thing as Geocentric Saint Thomas Aquinas. Stars moving in obedience to a single rule. If it had only been an inside of a globe moving and all he stars either fires glued onto it or holes through which a single fire is seen, then indeed he would not as immediately have had a reason to believe all stars obeyed a single ruler. But he saw that the planets are not attached (and "parallax" has proven to Geocentrics that neither are the fixed stars), since they make tours around the zodiak. So he concluded they were obeying one God, since their movements stayed harmonious. Without eliminating Geocentrism Dawkins could no more have been an intellectually fulfilled atheist than without accepting Evolution. Geocentrism points immediately to God. Day proclaims God's glory to day and night to night ... King David was giving us the view of Abraham.

And Heliocentrism is making this an optical illusion brought about by one movement simple enough to be mindless, namely earth turning around its axis. Newtonism is also denying that local motion can only happen to a body through its being reduced from potency to act.

But fortunately, Geocentrism is very obvious. However, apart from the Dawkins quote, the video by CMI contains one other statement worth noting in this very context:

01:25 Richard Lewontin

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural.

Hear that? Which one is first and most often cited? Actually two of them are cited together: earth is round and does not stand still. Now, earth being round may be surprising, but is not against common sense if you think about it. But earth not standing still is. And we have no evidence for it.

I have seen the sun lower at noon in winter than in summer in Malmö, but also lower in Malmö than in USA, California. I know the earth is curved. Or I have watched a boat leave a harbour through binoculars. I know the sea level, flattest thing there is on a large scale, is curved. But I have no such evidence for Heliocentrism.

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs.

CMI, after all your support for Galileo, I find it even touching that you cite this admission! It is worth citing in full as far as you do it yourselves, beginning with your reference for it:

Richard Lewontin, Harvard Geneticist, "Billions & Billions of Demons", The New York Review of Books, Jan. 9, 1997, Pg. 31

Our willingness to accept scientific claim that are against common sinse is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science, in spite of the patent absurdity of many of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

Cited on - once again:

CMIcreationstation : Why does the evidence always point to evolution? (Creation Magazine LIVE! 3-05)

OK, first unsubstantiated just-so story: Heliocentrism.

This is what I think that Pope Urban VIII foresaw when he considered that Galileos error - from which the Pisan's soul was saved by abjuration which if not immediately earnest became so his last year - would bring about. Along with a polytheistic, pantheistic and for that matter sunworshipping and starworshipping perversion of the Five Ways.

For of course, Kant's famous rebuttal of the Five Ways is not such a one and Dawkins is, as his interpretation of the fourth and fifth way in favour of evolution, as well as his interpretation of first three ways in favour of materialism show very well, not taking Kant seriously at all.

Immanuel Kant's attack on Romans 1:20 and on St Thomas Aquinas, using Aristotle, explaining it, can be very safely put aside as insincere rebuttals forgotten in any context outside the very specialied one of refuting Catholic Scholastics.

First support for this just-so story, overemphasising the gullibility of the senses.

Take two rings or rather parts of such, each a quarter circle wide, each a half radius thick. Make them point same way at a little distance. If they are equal, one will look greater than the other (the outer circumference which is opposite the inner circumference). But note that if you had not just used eyes but also fingertips, that is a second sense, on these figures in solids, you would very easily have noted that there was no difference in size.

Another support for another kind of just-so story - those attacking tradition between events and writing down of Genesis and Gospels - is the "whispering game" which may be pretty close to what happens in rumour mongering now and then, but is very far from how a story is deliberately orally transmitted in an oral culture.

A third is of course claiming to know the difference between fact and foction from miracles being fiction. Some simplify that into the rule of knowing them apart by fiction being miracles as well. And you land up with believing Name of the Rose is fact, because it contains no miracle and because there is this Adso of Melk - whom Umberto Eco invented as shamelessly as Tolkien invented the Red Book of Westmarch. The real test for Harry Potter not being history is that it has not come down to us, and the happenings in mundane settings, though purportedly recent, have not come down to us. The real test is tradition.

But the one "scientific" support for this mistrust in the senses comes not so much from earth not being flat (we can hardly use either fingertips or inner ears to determine whether the apparent flatness is not really very big roundness), but from earth, despite two of the senses, not being still in its place.

Note what argument Pope Urban VIII gave Galileo while he was himself still a Cardinal, the one that convinced Galileo years after he had recanted verbally. "God could create the world any way he wanted to and make it appear any way he wanted to." This is perhaps sometimes understood as ultimately undermining his position and its consistency with the truthfulness of God. But the thing is that if God could make the universe appear as He created it or create it as He wanted it to appear to us, He may very well have avoided a combination of reality and appearance involving two sensory illusions and not just one. And He may have done this to make the proof for His existence very readily accessible to any hack among the Pagans, even without access directly to the Scriptures or to Faith.

That is what, believing Romans 1:20, I think He did.

So did St Thomas: "The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion." (2,3 in the cited part) - In the parallel in Contra Gentes, he says "as for instance the sun".

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Blaise, Bishop and Martyr

Notes on translation:

* The Latin word "ibi" really means "there". Now "there" can de defined as "in that place" exactly as "from there" = "inde" can be explained as "from that place". In Classical Latin, as far as I know, "ibi" either refers to a physical place in space or, if pointing to a physical text to the place in the physical text which you show forth by putting your finger there. In St Thomas' usage here (!) it is rather = "in that passage" or = "in that phrase" = "where (!) it says". Classical Latin had a system for indirect speech which facilitated a form of quotation that was indirect and chnged the wording, so Medieval Latin had to invent - after Greek usages of 'οτι ("that", Medieval Latin "quod" or "quia" after other meaning of 'οτι) and of το - a new technical vocabulary for introduction of direct exact quote. Another version - after το - is "ly", pronounced as French "le" with "y" for a vowel foreign to Latin, and used much as one usage of Spanish "lo": Decían "que pagan bien a gente que trabajan bien". Lo de "pagan a gente que trabajan bien" es correcto, lo de "pagan bien" no lo es. Dicebant quia "bene remunerant quibus bene operant", et quidem ly remunerant quibus bene operant recte dixerunt, sed ly "bene remunerant" non recte. Here however St Thomas is not using "ly" for referring to a quote rather than to a concept signified by his word, he is using "ibi" and thinking of the definition "in that place" rather than of Classical usage.

** Last of Zachariah = last chapter of Zachariah, Zachariah 14. As said there were as yet no verse numbers (any verse number reference in the text of St Thomas has been added in modern editions for easier reference), but this is verse 9. Similarily "Last of Mark" = Marc 16. In this case second half of v. 15. St Francis had notably some decades earlier had another take on preaching "to every creature" when he used docile birds to rebuke indocile men. And obviously his doing so and them flying away in cruciform configuration agrees with some verses later in "Last of Marc".

*** He certainly quoted things from memory, but he also had a reason to believe his memory was exact, so I venture the conjecture he was recalling a copy with a mistake in it. Or even - I do not know the text history of this work - that one copier copied him out badly.

° Douay Rheims has eternal about the power of God.

°° This could be the reason why Douay Rheims does chose the word "eternal". I am not sure about the Greek, but "sempiternus" means "everlasting", something which will last for ever, but the causality implies an eternal power, one that is also from eternity.

°°° Was someone saying the New Testament never cites "the Apocrypha" as in the Books counted Canonic in the Septuagint? St Thomas Aquinas spotted a very clear reference in Romans 1 (especially vv. 19-20) to Wisdom 13.

*° By "imagination" St Thomas meant simply the power to visualise absent things, whether used for memory recalling them or for reason constructing (and in our sense "imagining") them.

**°° Understands God = understands there is a God and whatever else can be concluded about God. Not obviously understands God as in understands God in His own essence or understands God as God understands us (for He does understand us in our essence).

***°°° C. S. Lewis has for that matter made a proof of God from the partial understanding we have of ourselves as spiritual, i e we know the act of understanding is not material, and as creatures at the same time, i e we know we are not eternal.

# Or done? My "things" in this context is not the plural of the noun res, but the neutre plural of the pronoun, literally then "they which were made" or "they which were done" and faceere ... well, that is the rub, the things that were done might rather refer to the verb "ea quae acta sunt". So, I will for my part stick with "the things that were made".

## Time of grace - starting 5199 years or so after the creation of the world. Has been going on for 2000 years or so. Starts with the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, and had a small start a bit earlier when Our Lady was conceived without the Sin of Adam.

### Certain things are common to all the Three Persons, but are Theologically appropriated to one of them so as to help us see Them as the different persons as which They see Eachother. Power to the Father, Wisdom to the Son, Goodness to the Holy Ghost. Or Creation to the Father, Redemption - is NOT just appropriated to the Son, since He did it in His human nature - and Sanctification to the Holy Ghost.

*# It is proper to the Father to be Eternal Origin without any Origin. It is proper to the Son to be Eternal Origin takin His Origin by Filiation of the Father. It is proper to the Holy Spirit to be Eternal Origin taking His Origin by Spiration of the Father and of the Son. As we know, Photius disagreed with the last clause here, but St Athanasius did not.

**## If the Pagan philosophers considered what they had found out through reason about the Son as being "first created" - like Arius and Jehovah's Witnesses consider the Son, that does not mean the Son is actually created, but that the Philosophical understanding of God the Son was incomplete and fell short of the full Mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity.

***### Dream of Scipio is a pretty short story by Cicero. It is the Sixth Book of his Republic, and you know from the Bible how short a "book" can be. It is as the title says a dream which one of the national heros of Rome, Scipio, is said to have had. Nothing indicates Scipio actually had it, Cicero is using Scipio as an appropriate figure for having had it, since the main theme is the reward of virtue, including courage and patriotism, after death. And Scipio was, in the Pagan estimation of Cicero at least, a very virtuous man and recognised as such by everyone else. It refers to the younger Scipio, who destroyed Carthage, who died 23 years before Cicero was born himself. A bit as if I were putting Chesterton into a story. Now, Macrobius who lived centuries later wrote a very much longer comment on the Dream of Scipio which was during the Middle Ages apaprently one of the major sources of knowledge about Pagan Philosophers. If Dream of Scipio is Cicero's most Platonic work, the commentary by Macrobius is pretty decidedly Neoplatonic. So if ever you have wondered what Hypatia's doctrine was, the one that Agora is supposed to be about, you might do worse than consulting Macrobius. Consulting Agora is pretty inane for that purpose. She was Neoplatonic.

Here is Dream of Scipio:

Cicero, The Dream of Scipio - Somnium Scipionis (1883) pp.3-14
[Translated by W. D. Pearman]

The English translation of Macrobius' commentary is not online, as far as I could tell, here is the amazon on its paper format:

Commentary on the Dream of Scipio by Macrobius (Records of Western Civilization Series) Paperback
by Macrobius (Author) , William Harris Stahl (Translator)

The Latin text is on wikisource:

Vicifons : Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius Commentariorum in Somnium Scipionis
(ed. Franciscus Eyssenhardt)

References in Summa Theologica:

Newadvent Summa Theologica, Prima Pars Question 11. The unity of God
Article 3. Whether God is one?

Newadvent Summa Theologica, Prima Pars Question 4. The perfection of God
Article 2. Whether the perfections of all things are in God?

Newadvent Summa Theologica, Prima Pars Question 3. The simplicity of God
Article 3. Whether God is the same as His essence or nature?

Newadvent Summa Theologica, Prima Pars Question 3. The simplicity of God
Article 4. Whether essence and existence are the same in God?

Newadvent Summa Theologica, Prima Pars Question 3. The simplicity of God
Article 1. Whether God is a body?

Newadvent Summa Theologica, Prima Pars Question 2. The existence of God
Article 3. Whether God exists?

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire