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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • FIRST PART (FP: QQ 1-119)
      • Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] Out. Para. 1/2 - THE NAMES OF GOD (TWELVE ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] Out. Para. 1/2 - THE NAMES OF GOD (TWELVE ARTICLES)

After the consideration of those things which belong to the divine
knowledge, we now proceed to the consideration of the divine names. For
everything is named by us according to our knowledge of it.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] Out. Para. 2/2

Under this head, there are twelve points for inquiry:

(1) Whether God can be named by us?

(2) Whether any names applied to God are predicated of Him substantially?

(3) Whether any names applied to God are said of Him literally, or are
all to be taken metaphorically?

(4) Whether any names applied to God are synonymous?

(5) Whether some names are applied to God and to creatures univocally or
equivocally?

(6) Whether, supposing they are applied analogically, they are applied
first to God or to creatures?

(7) Whether any names are applicable to God from time?

(8) Whether this name "God" is a name of nature, or of the operation?

(9) Whether this name "God" is a communicable name?

(10) Whether it is taken univocally or equivocally as signifying God, by
nature, by participation, and by opinion?

(11) Whether this name, "Who is," is the supremely appropriate name of
God?

(12) Whether affirmative propositions can be formed about God?


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether a name can be given to God?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that no name can be given to God. For Dionysius says
(Div. Nom. i) that, "Of Him there is neither name, nor can one be found
of Him;" and it is written: "What is His name, and what is the name of
His Son, if thou knowest?" (Prov. 30:4).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, every name is either abstract or concrete. But concrete
names do not belong to God, since He is simple, nor do abstract names
belong to Him, forasmuch as they do not signify any perfect subsisting thing. Therefore no name can be said of God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, nouns are taken to signify substance with quality; verbs
and participles signify substance with time; pronouns the same with
demonstration or relation. But none of these can be applied to God, for
He has no quality, nor accident, nor time; moreover, He cannot be felt,
so as to be pointed out; nor can He be described by relation, inasmuch as
relations serve to recall a thing mentioned before by nouns, participles,
or demonstrative pronouns. Therefore God cannot in any way be named by us.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (Ex. 15:3): "The Lord is a man of war,
Almighty is His name."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Since according to the Philosopher (Peri Herm. i), words
are signs of ideas, and ideas the similitude of things, it is evident
that words relate to the meaning of things signified through the medium
of the intellectual conception. It follows therefore that we can give a
name to anything in as far as we can understand it. Now it was shown
above (Q[12], AA[11],12) that in this life we cannot see the essence of
God; but we know God from creatures as their principle, and also by way
of excellence and remotion. In this way therefore He can be named by us
from creatures, yet not so that the name which signifies Him expresses
the divine essence in itself. Thus the name "man" expresses the essence
of man in himself, since it signifies the definition of man by
manifesting his essence; for the idea expressed by the name is the
definition.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The reason why God has no name, or is said to be above
being named, is because His essence is above all that we understand about
God, and signify in word.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Because we know and name God from creatures, the names we
attribute to God signify what belongs to material creatures, of which the
knowledge is natural to us. And because in creatures of this kind what is
perfect and subsistent is compound; whereas their form is not a complete
subsisting thing, but rather is that whereby a thing is; hence it follows
that all names used by us to signify a complete subsisting thing must
have a concrete meaning as applicable to compound things; whereas names
given to signify simple forms, signify a thing not as subsisting, but as
that whereby a thing is; as, for instance, whiteness signifies that
whereby a thing is white. And as God is simple, and subsisting, we
attribute to Him abstract names to signify His simplicity, and concrete
names to signify His substance and perfection, although both these kinds
of names fail to express His mode of being, forasmuch as our intellect
does not know Him in this life as He is.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: To signify substance with quality is to signify the
"suppositum" with a nature or determined form in which it subsists.
Hence, as some things are said of God in a concrete sense, to signify His
subsistence and perfection, so likewise nouns are applied to God
signifying substance with quality. Further, verbs and participles which
signify time, are applied to Him because His eternity includes all time.
For as we can apprehend and signify simple subsistences only by way of
compound things, so we can understand and express simple eternity only by
way of temporal things, because our intellect has a natural affinity to
compound and temporal things. But demonstrative pronouns are applied to
God as describing what is understood, not what is sensed. For we can
only describe Him as far as we understand Him. Thus, according as nouns,
participles and demonstrative pronouns are applicable to God, so far can
He be signified by relative pronouns.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether any name can be applied to God substantially?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that no name can be applied to God substantially. For
Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i, 9): "Everything said of God signifies
not His substance, but rather shows forth what He is not; or expresses
some relation, or something following from His nature or operation."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i): "You will find a chorus of
holy doctors addressed to the end of distinguishing clearly and
praiseworthily the divine processions in the denomination of God." Thus
the names applied by the holy doctors in praising God are distinguished
according to the divine processions themselves. But what expresses the
procession of anything, does not signify its essence. Therefore the names
applied to God are not said of Him substantially.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a thing is named by us according as we understand it.
But God is not understood by us in this life in His substance. Therefore
neither is any name we can use applied substantially to God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi): "The being of God is the
being strong, or the being wise, or whatever else we may say of that
simplicity whereby His substance is signified." Therefore all names of
this kind signify the divine substance.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, Negative names applied to God, or signifying His relation
to creatures manifestly do not at all signify His substance, but rather
express the distance of the creature from Him, or His relation to
something else, or rather, the relation of creatures to Himself.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Body Para. 2/4

But as regards absolute and affirmative names of God, as "good," "wise,"
and the like, various and many opinions have been given. For some have
said that all such names, although they are applied to God affirmatively,
nevertheless have been brought into use more to express some remotion
from God, rather than to express anything that exists positively in Him.
Hence they assert that when we say that God lives, we mean that God is
not like an inanimate thing; and the same in like manner applies to other
names; and this was taught by Rabbi Moses. Others say that these names
applied to God signify His relationship towards creatures: thus in the
words, "God is good," we mean, God is the cause of goodness in things;
and the same rule applies to other names.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Body Para. 3/4

Both of these opinions, however, seem to be untrue for three reasons.
First because in neither of them can a reason be assigned why some names
more than others are applied to God. For He is assuredly the cause of
bodies in the same way as He is the cause of good things; therefore if
the words "God is good," signified no more than, "God is the cause of
good things," it might in like manner be said that God is a body,
inasmuch as He is the cause of bodies. So also to say that He is a body
implies that He is not a mere potentiality, as is primary matter.
Secondly, because it would follow that all names applied to God would be
said of Him by way of being taken in a secondary sense, as healthy is
secondarily said of medicine, forasmuch as it signifies only the cause of
the health in the animal which primarily is called healthy. Thirdly,
because this is against the intention of those who speak of God. For in
saying that God lives, they assuredly mean more than to say the He is the
cause of our life, or that He differs from inanimate bodies.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] Body Para. 4/4

Therefore we must hold a different doctrine - viz. that these names
signify the divine substance, and are predicated substantially of God,
although they fall short of a full representation of Him. Which is proved
thus. For these names express God, so far as our intellects know Him. Now
since our intellect knows God from creatures, it knows Him as far as
creatures represent Him. Now it is shown above (Q[4], A[2]) that God
prepossesses in Himself all the perfections of creatures, being Himself
simply and universally perfect. Hence every creature represents Him, and
is like Him so far as it possesses some perfection; yet it represents Him
not as something of the same species or genus, but as the excelling
principle of whose form the effects fall short, although they derive some
kind of likeness thereto, even as the forms of inferior bodies represent
the power of the sun. This was explained above (Q[4], A[3]), in treating
of the divine perfection. Therefore the aforesaid names signify the
divine substance, but in an imperfect manner, even as creatures represent
it imperfectly. So when we say, "God is good," the meaning is not, "God
is the cause of goodness," or "God is not evil"; but the meaning is,
"Whatever good we attribute to creatures, pre-exists in God," and in a
more excellent and higher way. Hence it does not follow that God is good,
because He causes goodness; but rather, on the contrary, He causes
goodness in things because He is good; according to what Augustine says
(De Doctr. Christ. i, 32), "Because He is good, we are."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Damascene says that these names do not signify what God is,
forasmuch as by none of these names is perfectly expressed what He is;
but each one signifies Him in an imperfect manner, even as creatures
represent Him imperfectly.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: In the significance of names, that from which the name is
derived is different sometimes from what it is intended to signify, as
for instance, this name "stone" [lapis] is imposed from the fact that it
hurts the foot [loedit pedem], but it is not imposed to signify that
which hurts the foot, but rather to signify a certain kind of body;
otherwise everything that hurts the foot would be a stone [*This refers
to the Latin etymology of the word "lapis" which has no place in
English]. So we must say that these kinds of divine names are imposed
from the divine processions; for as according to the diverse processions
of their perfections, creatures are the representations of God, although
in an imperfect manner; so likewise our intellect knows and names God
according to each kind of procession; but nevertheless these names are
not imposed to signify the procession themselves, as if when we say "God
lives," the sense were, "life proceeds from Him"; but to signify the
principle itself of things, in so far as life pre-exists in Him, although
it pre-exists in Him in a more eminent way than can be understood or
signified.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: We cannot know the essence of God in this life, as He
really is in Himself; but we know Him accordingly as He is represented in
the perfections of creatures; and thus the names imposed by us signify
Him in that manner only.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether any name can be applied to God in its literal sense?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that no name is applied literally to God. For all names
which we apply to God are taken from creatures; as was explained above
(A[1]). But the names of creatures are applied to God metaphorically, as
when we say, God is a stone, or a lion, or the like. Therefore names are
applied to God in a metaphorical sense.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, no name can be applied literally to anything if it
should be withheld from it rather than given to it. But all such names as
"good," "wise," and the like are more truly withheld from God than given
to Him; as appears from Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. ii). Therefore none
of these names belong to God in their literal sense.
Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, corporeal names are applied to God in a metaphorical
sense only; since He is incorporeal. But all such names imply some kind
of corporeal condition; for their meaning is bound up with time and
composition and like corporeal conditions. Therefore all these names are
applied to God in a metaphorical sense.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Fide ii), "Some names there are which
express evidently the property of the divinity, and some which express
the clear truth of the divine majesty, but others there are which are
applied to God metaphorically by way of similitude." Therefore not all
names are applied to God in a metaphorical sense, but there are some
which are said of Him in their literal sense.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, According to the preceding article, our knowledge of God
is derived from the perfections which flow from Him to creatures, which
perfections are in God in a more eminent way than in creatures. Now our
intellect apprehends them as they are in creatures, and as it apprehends
them it signifies them by names. Therefore as to the names applied to
God - viz. the perfections which they signify, such as goodness, life and
the like, and their mode of signification. As regards what is signified
by these names, they belong properly to God, and more properly than they
belong to creatures, and are applied primarily to Him. But as regards
their mode of signification, they do not properly and strictly apply to
God; for their mode of signification applies to creatures.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: There are some names which signify these perfections
flowing from God to creatures in such a way that the imperfect way in
which creatures receive the divine perfection is part of the very
signification of the name itself as "stone" signifies a material being,
and names of this kind can be applied to God only in a metaphorical
sense. Other names, however, express these perfections absolutely,
without any such mode of participation being part of their signification
as the words "being," "good," "living," and the like, and such names can be literally applied to God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Such names as these, as Dionysius shows, are denied of God
for the reason that what the name signifies does not belong to Him in the
ordinary sense of its signification, but in a more eminent way. Hence
Dionysius says also that God is above all substance and all life.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: These names which are applied to God literally imply
corporeal conditions not in the thing signified, but as regards their
mode of signification; whereas those which are applied to God
metaphorically imply and mean a corporeal condition in the thing
signified.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether names applied to God are synonymous?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that these names applied to God are synonymous names.
For synonymous names are those which mean exactly the same. But these
names applied to God mean entirely the same thing in God; for the
goodness of God is His essence, and likewise it is His wisdom. Therefore
these names are entirely synonymous.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, if it be said these names signify one and the same thing
in reality, but differ in idea, it can be objected that an idea to which
no reality corresponds is a vain notion. Therefore if these ideas are
many, and the thing is one, it seems also that all these ideas are vain
notions.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a thing which is one in reality and in idea, is more one
than what is one in reality and many in idea. But God is supremely one.
Therefore it seems that He is not one in reality and many in idea; and
thus the names applied to God do not signify different ideas; and thus
they are synonymous.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, All synonyms united with each other are redundant, as
when we say, "vesture clothing." Therefore if all names applied to God
are synonymous, we cannot properly say "good God" or the like, and yet it is written, "O most mighty, great and powerful, the Lord of hosts is
Thy name" (Jer. 32:18).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, These names spoken of God are not synonymous. This would
be easy to understand, if we said that these names are used to remove, or
to express the relation of cause to creatures; for thus it would follow
that there are different ideas as regards the diverse things denied of
God, or as regards diverse effects connoted. But even according to what
was said above (A[2]), that these names signify the divine substance,
although in an imperfect manner, it is also clear from what has been said
(AA 1,2) that they have diverse meanings. For the idea signified by the
name is the conception in the intellect of the thing signified by the
name. But our intellect, since it knows God from creatures, in order to
understand God, forms conceptions proportional to the perfections flowing
from God to creatures, which perfections pre-exist in God unitedly and
simply, whereas in creatures they are received and divided and
multiplied. As therefore, to the different perfections of creatures,
there corresponds one simple principle represented by different
perfections of creatures in a various and manifold manner, so also to the
various and multiplied conceptions of our intellect, there corresponds
one altogether simple principle, according to these conceptions,
imperfectly understood. Therefore although the names applied to God
signify one thing, still because they signify that under many and
different aspects, they are not synonymous.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

Thus appears the solution of the First Objection, since synonymous terms
signify one thing under one aspect; for words which signify different
aspects of one things, do not signify primarily and absolutely one thing;
because the term only signifies the thing through the medium of the
intellectual conception, as was said above.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The many aspects of these names are not empty and vain, for
there corresponds to all of them one simple reality represented by them
in a manifold and imperfect manner.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The perfect unity of God requires that what are manifold
and divided in others should exist in Him simply and unitedly. Thus it
comes about that He is one in reality, and yet multiple in idea, because
our intellect apprehends Him in a manifold manner, as things represent
Him.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether what is said of God and of creatures is univocally predicated of
them?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that the things attributed to God and creatures are
univocal. For every equivocal term is reduced to the univocal, as many
are reduced to one; for if the name "dog" be said equivocally of the
barking dog, and of the dogfish, it must be said of some
univocally - viz. of all barking dogs; otherwise we proceed to
infinitude. Now there are some univocal agents which agree with their
effects in name and definition, as man generates man; and there are some
agents which are equivocal, as the sun which causes heat, although the
sun is hot only in an equivocal sense. Therefore it seems that the first
agent to which all other agents are reduced, is an univocal agent: and
thus what is said of God and creatures, is predicated univocally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, there is no similitude among equivocal things. Therefore
as creatures have a certain likeness to God, according to the word of
Genesis (Gn. 1:26), "Let us make man to our image and likeness," it seems
that something can be said of God and creatures univocally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, measure is homogeneous with the thing measured. But God
is the first measure of all beings. Therefore God is homogeneous with
creatures; and thus a word may be applied univocally to God and to
creatures.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, whatever is predicated of various things under the same
name but not in the same sense, is predicated equivocally. But no name
belongs to God in the same sense that it belongs to creatures; for
instance, wisdom in creatures is a quality, but not in God. Now a
different genus changes an essence, since the genus is part of the
definition; and the same applies to other things. Therefore whatever is
said of God and of creatures is predicated equivocally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, God is more distant from creatures than any creatures are from
each other. But the distance of some creatures makes any univocal
predication of them impossible, as in the case of those things which are
not in the same genus. Therefore much less can anything be predicated
univocally of God and creatures; and so only equivocal predication can be
applied to them.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, Univocal predication is impossible between God and
creatures. The reason of this is that every effect which is not an
adequate result of the power of the efficient cause, receives the
similitude of the agent not in its full degree, but in a measure that
falls short, so that what is divided and multiplied in the effects
resides in the agent simply, and in the same manner; as for example the
sun by exercise of its one power produces manifold and various forms in
all inferior things. In the same way, as said in the preceding article,
all perfections existing in creatures divided and multiplied, pre-exist
in God unitedly. Thus when any term expressing perfection is applied to a
creature, it signifies that perfection distinct in idea from other
perfections; as, for instance, by the term "wise" applied to man, we
signify some perfection distinct from a man's essence, and distinct from
his power and existence, and from all similar things; whereas when we
apply to it God, we do not mean to signify anything distinct from His
essence, or power, or existence. Thus also this term "wise" applied to
man in some degree circumscribes and comprehends the thing signified;
whereas this is not the case when it is applied to God; but it leaves the
thing signified as incomprehended, and as exceeding the signification of
the name. Hence it is evident that this term "wise" is not applied in the
same way to God and to man. The same rule applies to other terms. Hence
no name is predicated univocally of God and of creatures.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] Body Para. 2/3

Neither, on the other hand, are names applied to God and creatures in a
purely equivocal sense, as some have said. Because if that were so, it
follows that from creatures nothing could be known or demonstrated about
God at all; for the reasoning would always be exposed to the fallacy of
equivocation. Such a view is against the philosophers, who proved many
things about God, and also against what the Apostle says: "The invisible
things of God are clearly seen being understood by the things that are
made" (Rm. 1:20). Therefore it must be said that these names are said of
God and creatures in an analogous sense, i.e. according to proportion.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] Body Para. 3/3

Now names are thus used in two ways: either according as many things are
proportionate to one, thus for example "healthy" predicated of medicine
and urine in relation and in proportion to health of a body, of which the
former is the sign and the latter the cause: or according as one thing is
proportionate to another, thus "healthy" is said of medicine and animal,
since medicine is the cause of health in the animal body. And in this way
some things are said of God and creatures analogically, and not in a
purely equivocal nor in a purely univocal sense. For we can name God only
from creatures (A[1]). Thus whatever is said of God and creatures, is
said according to the relation of a creature to God as its principle and
cause, wherein all perfections of things pre-exist excellently. Now this
mode of community of idea is a mean between pure equivocation and simple
univocation. For in analogies the idea is not, as it is in univocals, one
and the same, yet it is not totally diverse as in equivocals; but a term
which is thus used in a multiple sense signifies various proportions to
some one thing; thus "healthy" applied to urine signifies the sign of
animal health, and applied to medicine signifies the cause of the same
health.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Although equivocal predications must be reduced to
univocal, still in actions, the non-univocal agent must precede the
univocal agent. For the non-univocal agent is the universal cause of the
whole species, as for instance the sun is the cause of the generation of
all men; whereas the univocal agent is not the universal efficient cause
of the whole species (otherwise it would be the cause of itself, since it
is contained in the species), but is a particular cause of this
individual which it places under the species by way of participation.
Therefore the universal cause of the whole species is not an univocal
agent; and the universal cause comes before the particular cause. But
this universal agent, whilst it is not univocal, nevertheless is not
altogether equivocal, otherwise it could not produce its own likeness,
but rather it is to be called an analogical agent, as all univocal
predications are reduced to one first non-univocal analogical
predication, which is being.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The likeness of the creature to God is imperfect, for it
does not represent one and the same generic thing (Q[4], A[3]).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 3: God is not the measure proportioned to things measured;
hence it is not necessary that God and creatures should be in the same
genus.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 2/2

The arguments adduced in the contrary sense prove indeed that these
names are not predicated univocally of God and creatures; yet they do not
prove that they are predicated equivocally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether names predicated of God are predicated primarily of creatures?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that names are predicated primarily of creatures rather
than of God. For we name anything accordingly as we know it, since
"names", as the Philosopher says, "are signs of ideas." But we know
creatures before we know God. Therefore the names imposed by us are
predicated primarily of creatures rather than of God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i): "We name God from
creatures." But names transferred from creatures to God, are said
primarily of creatures rather than of God, as "lion," "stone," and the
like. Therefore all names applied to God and creatures are applied
primarily to creatures rather than to God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, all names equally applied to God and creatures, are
applied to God as the cause of all creatures, as Dionysius says (De
Mystica Theol.). But what is applied to anything through its cause, is
applied to it secondarily, for "healthy" is primarily predicated of
animal rather than of medicine, which is the cause of health. Therefore
these names are said primarily of creatures rather than of God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written, "I bow my knees to the Father, of our
Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named"
(Eph. 3:14,15); and the same applies to the other names applied to God
and creatures. Therefore these names are applied primarily to God rather
than to creatures.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, In names predicated of many in an analogical sense, all
are predicated because they have reference to some one thing; and this
one thing must be placed in the definition of them all. And since that
expressed by the name is the definition, as the Philosopher says (Metaph.
iv), such a name must be applied primarily to that which is put in the
definition of such other things, and secondarily to these others
according as they approach more or less to that first. Thus, for
instance, "healthy" applied to animals comes into the definition of
"healthy" applied to medicine, which is called healthy as being the cause
of health in the animal; and also into the definition of "healthy" which
is applied to urine, which is called healthy in so far as it is the sign
of the animal's health. Thus all names applied metaphorically to God, are
applied to creatures primarily rather than to God, because when said of
God they mean only similitudes to such creatures. For as "smiling"
applied to a field means only that the field in the beauty of its
flowering is like the beauty of the human smile by proportionate
likeness, so the name of "lion" applied to God means only that God
manifests strength in His works, as a lion in his. Thus it is clear that
applied to God the signification of names can be defined only from what
is said of creatures. But to other names not applied to God in a
metaphorical sense, the same rule would apply if they were spoken of God
as the cause only, as some have supposed. For when it is said, "God is
good," it would then only mean "God is the cause of the creature's
goodness"; thus the term good applied to God would included in its
meaning the creature's goodness. Hence "good" would apply primarily to
creatures rather than to God. But as was shown above (A[2]), these names
are applied to God not as the cause only, but also essentially. For the
words, "God is good," or "wise," signify not only that He is the cause of
wisdom or goodness, but that these exist in Him in a more excellent way.
Hence as regards what the name signifies, these names are applied
primarily to God rather than to creatures, because these perfections flow
from God to creatures; but as regards the imposition of the names, they
are primarily applied by us to creatures which we know first. Hence they
have a mode of signification which belongs to creatures, as said above
(A[3]).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This objection refers to the imposition of the name.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The same rule does not apply to metaphorical and to other
names, as said above.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: This objection would be valid if these names were applied
to God only as cause, and not also essentially, for instance as "healthy"
is applied to medicine.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether names which imply relation to creatures are predicated of God
temporally?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that names which imply relation to creatures are not
predicated of God temporally. For all such names signify the divine
substance, as is universally held. Hence also Ambrose (De Fide i) that
this name "Lord" is the name of power, which is the divine substance; and
"Creator" signifies the action of God, which is His essence. Now the
divine substance is not temporal, but eternal. Therefore these names are
not applied to God temporally, but eternally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, that to which something applies temporally can be
described as made; for what is white temporally is made white. But to
make does no apply to God. Therefore nothing can be predicated of God
temporally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if any names are applied to God temporally as implying
relation to creatures, the same rule holds good of all things that imply
relation to creatures. But some names are spoken of God implying relation
of God to creatures from eternity; for from eternity He knew and loved
the creature, according to the word: "I have loved thee with an
everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3). Therefore also other names implying
relation to creatures, as "Lord" and "Creator," are applied to God from
eternity.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, names of this kind signify relation. Therefore that
relation must be something in God, or in the creature only. But it cannot
be that it is something in the creature only, for in that case God would
be called "Lord" from the opposite relation which is in creatures; and
nothing is named from its opposite. Therefore the relation must be
something in God also. But nothing temporal can be in God, for He is
above time. Therefore these names are not applied to God temporally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, a thing is called relative from relation; for instance
lord from lordship, as white from whiteness. Therefore if the relation of
lordship is not really in God, but only in idea, it follows that God is
not really Lord, which is plainly false.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, in relative things which are not simultaneous in nature,
one can exist without the other; as a thing knowable can exist without
the knowledge of it, as the Philosopher says (Praedic. v). But relative
things which are said of God and creatures are not simultaneous in
nature. Therefore a relation can be predicated of God to the creature
even without the existence of the creature; and thus these names "Lord"
and "Creator" are predicated of God from eternity, and not temporally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. v) that this relative
appellation "Lord" is applied to God temporally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Body Para. 1/5

I answer that, The names which import relation to creatures are applied
to God temporally, and not from eternity.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Body Para. 2/5

To see this we must learn that some have said that relation is not a
reality, but only an idea. But this is plainly seen to be false from the
very fact that things themselves have a mutual natural order and
habitude. Nevertheless it is necessary to know that since relation has
two extremes, it happens in three ways that a relation is real or
logical. Sometimes from both extremes it is an idea only, as when mutual
order or habitude can only go between things in the apprehension of
reason; as when we say a thing "the same as itself." For reason
apprehending one thing twice regards it as two; thus it apprehends a
certain habitude of a thing to itself. And the same applies to relations
between "being" and "non-being" formed by reason, apprehending
"non-being" as an extreme. The same is true of relations that follow upon
an act of reason, as genus and species, and the like.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Body Para. 3/5

Now there are other relations which are realities as regards both
extremes, as when for instance a habitude exists between two things
according to some reality that belongs to both; as is clear of all
relations, consequent upon quantity; as great and small, double and half,
and the like; for quantity exists in both extremes: and the same applies
to relations consequent upon action and passion, as motive power and the
movable thing, father and son, and the like.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Body Para. 4/5

Again, sometimes a relation in one extreme may be a reality, while in
the other extreme it is an idea only; and this happens whenever two
extremes are not of one order; as sense and science refer respectively to
sensible things and to intellectual things; which, inasmuch as they are
realities existing in nature, are outside the order of sensible and
intellectual existence. Therefore in science and in sense a real relation
exists, because they are ordered either to the knowledge or to the
sensible perception of things; whereas the things looked at in themselves
are outside this order, and hence in them there is no real relation to
science and sense, but only in idea, inasmuch as the intellect apprehends
them as terms of the relations of science and sense. Hence the
Philosopher says (Metaph. v) that they are called relative, not forasmuch
as they are related to other things, but as others are related to them.
Likewise for instance, "on the right" is not applied to a column, unless
it stands as regards an animal on the right side; which relation is not
really in the column, but in the animal.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] Body Para. 5/5

Since therefore God is outside the whole order of creation, and all
creatures are ordered to Him, and not conversely, it is manifest that
creatures are really related to God Himself; whereas in God there is no
real relation to creatures, but a relation only in idea, inasmuch as
creatures are referred to Him. Thus there is nothing to prevent these
names which import relation to the creature from being predicated of God
temporally, not by reason of any change in Him, but by reason of the
change of the creature; as a column is on the right of an animal, without
change in itself, but by change in the animal.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Some relative names are imposed to signify the relative
habitudes themselves, as "master" and "servant," "father," and "son," and
the like, and these relatives are called predicamental [secundum esse].
But others are imposed to signify the things from which ensue certain
habitudes, as the mover and the thing moved, the head and the thing that
has a head, and the like: and these relatives are called transcendental
[secundum dici]. Thus, there is the same two-fold difference in divine
names. For some signify the habitude itself to the creature, as "Lord,"
and these do not signify the divine substance directly, but indirectly,
in so far as they presuppose the divine substance; as dominion
presupposes power, which is the divine substance. Others signify the
divine essence directly, and consequently the corresponding habitudes, as
"Saviour," "Creator," and suchlike; and these signify the action of God,
which is His essence. Yet both names are said of God temporarily so far
as they imply a habitude either principally or consequently, but not as
signifying the essence, either directly or indirectly.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: As relations applied to God temporally are only in God in
our idea, so, "to become" or "to be made" are applied to God only in
idea, with no change in Him, as for instance when we say, "Lord, Thou art
become [Douay: 'hast been'] our refuge" (Ps. 89:1).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The operation of the intellect and the will is in the
operator, therefore names signifying relations following upon the action
of the intellect or will, are applied to God from eternity; whereas those
following upon the actions proceeding according to our mode of thinking
to external effects are applied to God temporally, as "Saviour,"
"Creator," and the like.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Relations signified by these names which are applied to God
temporally, are in God only in idea; but the opposite relations in
creatures are real. Nor is it incongruous that God should be denominated
from relations really existing in the thing, yet so that the opposite
relations in God should also be understood by us at the same time; in the
sense that God is spoken of relatively to the creature, inasmuch as the
creature is related to Him: thus the Philosopher says (Metaph. v) that
the object is said to be knowable relatively because knowledge relates to
it.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: Since God is related to the creature for the reason that
the creature is related to Him: and since the relation of subjection is
real in the creature, it follows that God is Lord not in idea only, but
in reality; for He is called Lord according to the manner in which the
creature is subject to Him.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[7] R.O. 6 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 6: To know whether relations are simultaneous by nature or
otherwise, it is not necessary by nature or otherwise of things to which
they belong but the meaning of the relations themselves. For if one in
its idea includes another, and vice versa, then they are simultaneous by
nature: as double and half, father and son, and the like. But if one in
its idea includes another, and not vice versa, they are not simultaneous
by nature. This applies to science and its object; for the object
knowable is considered as a potentiality, and the science as a habit, or
as an act. Hence the knowable object in its mode of signification exists
before science, but if the same object is considered in act, then it is
simultaneous with science in act; for the object known is nothing as such
unless it is known. Thus, though God is prior to the creature, still
because the signification of Lord includes the idea of a servant and vice
versa, these two relative terms, "Lord" and "servant," are simultaneous
by nature. Hence, God was not "Lord" until He had a creature subject to
Himself.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether this name "God" is a name of the nature?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that this name, "God," is not a name of the nature. For
Damascene says (De Fide Orth. 1) that "God {Theos} is so called from the
{theein} [which means to care of] and to cherish all things; or from the
{aithein}, that is to burn, for our God is a fire consuming all malice;
or from {theasthai}, which means to consider all things." But all these
names belong to operation. Therefore this name "God" signifies His
operation and not His nature.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a thing is named by us as we know it. But the divine
nature is unknown to us. Therefore this name "God" does not signify the
divine nature.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Fide i) that "God" is a name of the
nature.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Whence a name is imposed, and what the name signifies are
not always the same thing. For as we know substance from its properties
and operations, so we name substance sometimes for its operation, or its
property; e.g. we name the substance of a stone from its act, as for
instance that it hurts the foot [loedit pedem]; but still this name is
not meant to signify the particular action, but the stone's substance.
The things, on the other hand, known to us in themselves, such as heat,
cold, whiteness and the like, are not named from other things. Hence as
regards such things the meaning of the name and its source are the same.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] Body Para. 2/2

Because therefore God is not known to us in His nature, but is made
known to us from His operations or effects, we name Him from these, as
said in A[1]; hence this name "God" is a name of operation so far as
relates to the source of its meaning. For this name is imposed from His
universal providence over all things; since all who speak of God intend
to name God as exercising providence over all; hence Dionysius says (Div.
Nom. ii), "The Deity watches over all with perfect providence and
goodness." But taken from this operation, this name "God" is imposed to
signify the divine nature.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: All that Damascene says refers to providence; which is the
source of the signification of the name "God."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: We can name a thing according to the knowledge we have of
its nature from its properties and effects. Hence because we can know
what stone is in itself from its property, this name "stone" signifies
the nature of the stone itself; for it signifies the definition of stone,
by which we know what it is, for the idea which the name signifies is the
definition, as is said in Metaph. iv. Now from the divine effects we cannot know the divine nature in itself, so as to know what it is; but
only by way of eminence, and by way of causality, and of negation as
stated above (Q[12], A[12]). Thus the name "God" signifies the divine
nature, for this name was imposed to signify something existing above all
things, the principle of all things and removed from all things; for
those who name God intend to signify all this.

(tm)Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether this name "God" is communicable?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that this name "God" is communicable. For whosoever
shares in the thing signified by a name shares in the name itself. But
this name "God" signifies the divine nature, which is communicable to
others, according to the words, "He hath given us great [Vulg.: 'most
great'] and precious promises, that by these we [Vulg.: 'ye'] may be made
partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pt. 1:4). Therefore this name "God"
can be communicated to others.
Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, only proper names are not communicable. Now this name
"God" is not a proper, but an appellative noun; which appears from the
fact that it has a plural, according to the text, "I have said, You are
gods" (Ps. 81:6). Therefore this name "God" is communicable.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, this name "God" comes from operation, as explained. But
other names given to God from His operations or effects are communicable;
as "good," "wise," and the like. Therefore this name "God" is
communicable.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written: "They gave the incommunicable name to
wood and stones" (Wis. 14:21), in reference to the divine name. Therefore
this name "God" is incommunicable.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, A name is communicable in two ways: properly, and by
similitude. It is properly communicable in the sense that its whole
signification can be given to many; by similitude it is communicable
according to some part of the signification of the name. For instance
this name "lion" is properly communicable to all things of the same
nature as "lion"; by similitude it is communicable to those who
participate in the nature of a lion, as for instance by courage, or
strength, and those who thus participate are called lions metaphorically.
To know, however, what names are properly communicable, we must consider
that every form existing in the singular subject, by which it is
individualized, is common to many either in reality, or in idea; as human
nature is common to many in reality, and in idea; whereas the nature of
the sun is not common to many in reality, but only in idea; for the
nature of the sun can be understood as existing in many subjects; and the
reason is because the mind understands the nature of every species by
abstraction from the singular. Hence to be in one singular subject or in
many is outside the idea of the nature of the species. So, given the idea
of a species, it can be understood as existing in many. But the singular,
from the fact that it is singular, is divided off from all others. Hence
every name imposed to signify any singular thing is incommunicable both
in reality and idea; for the plurality of this individual thing cannot
be; nor can it be conceived in idea. Hence no name signifying any
individual thing is properly communicable to many, but only by way of
similitude; as for instance a person can be called "Achilles"
metaphorically, forasmuch as he may possess something of the properties
of Achilles, such as strength. On the other hand, forms which are
individualized not by any "suppositum," but by and of themselves, as
being subsisting forms, if understood as they are in themselves, could
not be communicable either in reality or in idea; but only perhaps by way
of similitude, as was said of individuals. Forasmuch as we are unable to
understand simple self-subsisting forms as they really are, we understand
them as compound things having forms in matter; therefore, as was said in
the first article, we give them concrete names signifying a nature
existing in some "suppositum." Hence, so far as concerns images, the same
rules apply to names we impose to signify the nature of compound things
as to names given to us to signify simple subsisting natures.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] Body Para. 2/3

Since, then, this name "God" is given to signify the divine nature as
stated above (A[8]), and since the divine nature cannot be multiplied as
shown above (Q[11], A[3]), it follows that this name "God" is
incommunicable in reality, but communicable in opinion; just in the same
way as this name "sun" would be communicable according to the opinion of
those who say there are many suns. Therefore, it is written: "You served
them who by nature are not gods," (Gal. 4:8), and a gloss adds, "Gods not
in nature, but in human opinion." Nevertheless this name "God" is
communicable, not in its whole signification, but in some part of it by
way of similitude; so that those are called gods who share in divinity by
likeness, according to the text, "I have said, You are gods" (Ps. 81:6).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] Body Para. 3/3

But if any name were given to signify God not as to His nature but as to
His "suppositum," accordingly as He is considered as "this something,"
that name would be absolutely incommunicable; as, for instance, perhaps
the Tetragrammaton among the Hebrew; and this is like giving a name to
the sun as signifying this individual thing.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The divine nature is only communicable according to the
participation of some similitude.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This name "God" is an appellative name, and not a proper
name, for it signifies the divine nature in the possessor; although God
Himself in reality is neither universal nor particular. For names do not
follow upon the mode of being in things, but upon the mode of being as it
is in our mind. And yet it is incommunicable according to the truth of
the thing, as was said above concerning the name "sun."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[9] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: These names "good," "wise," and the like, are imposed from
the perfections proceeding from God to creatures; but they do not signify
the divine nature, but rather signify the perfections themselves
absolutely; and therefore they are in truth communicable to many. But
this name "God" is given to God from His own proper operation, which we
experience continually, to signify the divine nature.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether this name "God" is applied to God univocally by nature, by
participation, and according to opinion?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that this name "God" is applied to God univocally by
nature, by participation, and according to opinion. For where a diverse
signification exists, there is no contradiction of affirmation and
negation; for equivocation prevents contradiction. But a Catholic who
says: "An idol is not God," contradicts a pagan who says: "An idol is
God." Therefore GOD in both senses is spoken of univocally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, as an idol is God in opinion, and not in truth, so the
enjoyment of carnal pleasures is called happiness in opinion, and not in
truth. But this name "beatitude" is applied univocally to this supposed
happiness, and also to true happiness. Therefore also this name "God" is
applied univocally to the true God, and to God also in opinion.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1
OBJ 3: Further, names are called univocal because they contain one idea.
Now when a Catholic says: "There is one God," he understands by the name God an omnipotent being, and one venerated above all; while the heathen
understands the same when he says: "An idol is God." Therefore this name
"God" is applied univocally to both.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, The idea in the intellect is the likeness of what is in
the thing as is said in Peri Herm. i. But the word "animal" applied to a
true animal, and to a picture of one, is equivocal. Therefore this name
"God" applied to the true God and to God in opinion is applied
equivocally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, No one can signify what he does not know. But the heathen does
not know the divine nature. So when he says an idol is God, he does not
signify the true Deity. On the other hand, A Catholic signifies the true
Deity when he says that there is one God. Therefore this name "God" is
not applied univocally, but equivocally to the true God, and to God
according to opinion.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, This name "God" in the three aforesaid significations is
taken neither univocally nor equivocally, but analogically. This is
apparent from this reason: Univocal terms mean absolutely the same thing,
but equivocal terms absolutely different; whereas in analogical terms a
word taken in one signification must be placed in the definition of the
same word taken in other senses; as, for instance, "being" which is
applied to "substance" is placed in the definition of being as applied to
"accident"; and "healthy" applied to animal is placed in the definition
of healthy as applied to urine and medicine. For urine is the sign of
health in the animal, and medicine is the cause of health.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] Body Para. 2/2

The same applies to the question at issue. For this name "God," as
signifying the true God, includes the idea of God when it is used to
denote God in opinion, or participation. For when we name anyone god by
participation, we understand by the name of god some likeness of the true
God. Likewise, when we call an idol god, by this name god we understand
and signify something which men think is God; thus it is manifest that
the name has different meanings, but that one of them is comprised in the
other significations. Hence it is manifestly said analogically.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: The multiplication of names does not depend on the
predication of the name, but on the signification: for this name "man,"
of whomsoever it is predicated, whether truly or falsely, is predicated
in one sense. But it would be multiplied if by the name "man" we meant to
signify different things; for instance, if one meant to signify by this
name "man" what man really is, and another meant to signify by the same
name a stone, or something else. Hence it is evident that a Catholic
saying that an idol is not God contradicts the pagan asserting that it is
God; because each of them uses this name GOD to signify the true God. For
when the pagan says an idol is God, he does not use this name as meaning
God in opinion, for he would then speak the truth, as also Catholics
sometimes use the name in the sense, as in the Psalm, "All the gods of
the Gentiles are demons" (Ps. 95:5).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

The same remark applies to the Second and Third Objections. For these
reasons proceed from the different predication of the name, and not from
its various significations.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The term "animal" applied to a true and a pictured animal
is not purely equivocal; for the Philosopher takes equivocal names in a
large sense, including analogous names; because also being, which is
predicated analogically, is sometimes said to be predicated equivocally
of different predicaments.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[10] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: Neither a Catholic nor a pagan knows the very nature of God
as it is in itself; but each one knows it according to some idea of
causality, or excellence, or remotion (Q[12], A[12]). So a pagan can take
this name "God" in the same way when he says an idol is God, as the
Catholic does in saying an idol is not God. But if anyone should be quite
ignorant of God altogether, he could not even name Him, unless, perhaps,
as we use names the meaning of which we know not.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether this name, HE WHO IS, is the most proper name of God?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that this name HE WHO IS is not the most proper name of God. For this name "God" is an incommunicable name. But this name HE WHO
IS, is not an incommunicable name. Therefore this name HE WHO IS is not
the most proper name of God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iii) that "the name of good
excellently manifests all the processions of God." But it especially
belongs to God to be the universal principle of all things. Therefore
this name "good" is supremely proper to God, and not this name HE WHO IS.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, every divine name seems to imply relation to creatures,
for God is known to us only through creatures. But this name HE WHO IS
imports no relation to creatures. Therefore this name HE WHO IS is not
the most applicable to God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written that when Moses asked, "If they should
say to me, What is His name? what shall I say to them?" The Lord answered
him, "Thus shalt thou say to them, HE WHO IS hath sent me to you" (Ex.
3:13,14). Therefor this name HE WHO IS most properly belongs to God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, This name HE WHO IS is most properly applied to God, for
three reasons:

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Body Para. 2/4

First, because of its signification. For it does not signify form, but
simply existence itself. Hence since the existence of God is His essence
itself, which can be said of no other (Q[3], A[4]), it is clear that
among other names this one specially denominates God, for everything is
denominated by its form.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Body Para. 3/4

Secondly, on account of its universality. For all other names are either
less universal, or, if convertible with it, add something above it at
least in idea; hence in a certain way they inform and determine it. Now
our intellect cannot know the essence of God itself in this life, as it
is in itself, but whatever mode it applies in determining what it
understands about God, it falls short of the mode of what God is in
Himself. Therefore the less determinate the names are, and the more
universal and absolute they are, the more properly they are applied to
God. Hence Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i) that, "HE WHO IS, is the
principal of all names applied to God; for comprehending all in itself,
it contains existence itself as an infinite and indeterminate sea of
substance." Now by any other name some mode of substance is determined,
whereas this name HE WHO IS, determines no mode of being, but is
indeterminate to all; and therefore it denominates the "infinite ocean of
substance."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] Body Para. 4/4

Thirdly, from its consignification, for it signifies present existence;
and this above all properly applies to God, whose existence knows not
past or future, as Augustine says (De Trin. v).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This name HE WHO IS is the name of God more properly than
this name "God," as regards its source, namely, existence; and as regards
the mode of signification and consignification, as said above. But as
regards the object intended by the name, this name "God" is more proper,
as it is imposed to signify the divine nature; and still more proper is
the Tetragrammaton, imposed to signify the substance of God itself,
incommunicable and, if one may so speak, singular.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This name "good" is the principal name of God in so far as
He is a cause, but not absolutely; for existence considered absolutely
comes before the idea of cause.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[11] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: It is not necessary that all the divine names should import
relation to creatures, but it suffices that they be imposed from some
perfections flowing from God to creatures. Among these the first is
existence, from which comes this name, HE WHO IS.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether affirmative propositions can be formed about God?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that affirmative propositions cannot be formed about
God. For Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. ii) that "negations about God are
true; but affirmations are vague."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Boethius says (De Trin. ii) that "a simple form cannot
be a subject." But God is the most absolutely simple form, as shown (Q[3]
): therefore He cannot be a subject. But everything about which an
affirmative proposition is made is taken as a subject. Therefore an
affirmative proposition cannot be formed about God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, every intellect is false which understands a thing
otherwise than as it is. But God has existence without any composition as
shown above (Q[3], A[7]). Therefore since every affirmative intellect
understands something as compound, it follows that a true affirmative
proposition about God cannot be made.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, What is of faith cannot be false. But some affirmative
propositions are of faith; as that God is Three and One; and that He is
omnipotent. Therefore true affirmative propositions can be formed about
God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, True affirmative propositions can be formed about God. To
prove this we must know that in every true affirmative proposition the
predicate and the subject signify in some way the same thing in reality,
and different things in idea. And this appears to be the case both in
propositions which have an accidental predicate, and in those which have
an essential predicate. For it is manifest that "man" and "white" are the
same in subject, and different in idea; for the idea of man is one thing,
and that of whiteness is another. The same applies when I say, "man is an
animal"; since the same thing which is man is truly animal; for in the
same "suppositum" there is sensible nature by reason of which he is
called animal, and the rational nature by reason of which he is called
man; hence here again predicate and subject are the same as to
"suppositum," but different as to idea. But in propositions where one
same thing is predicated of itself, the same rule in some way applies,
inasmuch as the intellect draws to the "suppositum" what it places in the
subject; and what it places in the predicate it draws to the nature of
the form existing in the "suppositum"; according to the saying that
"predicates are to be taken formally, and subjects materially." To this
diversity in idea corresponds the plurality of predicate and subject,
while the intellect signifies the identity of the thing by the
composition itself.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] Body Para. 2/2

God, however, as considered in Himself, is altogether one and simple,
yet our intellect knows Him by different conceptions because it cannot
see Him as He is in Himself. Nevertheless, although it understands Him
under different conceptions, it knows that one and the same simple object
corresponds to its conceptions. Therefore the plurality of predicate and
subject represents the plurality of idea; and the intellect represents
the unity by composition.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Dionysius says that the affirmations about God are vague
or, according to another translation, "incongruous," inasmuch as no name
can be applied to God according to its mode of signification.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Our intellect cannot comprehend simple subsisting forms, as
they really are in themselves; but it apprehends them as compound things
in which there is something taken as subject and something that is
inherent. Therefore it apprehends the simple form as a subject, and attributes something else to it.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[13] A[12] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: This proposition, "The intellect understanding anything
otherwise than it is, is false," can be taken in two senses, accordingly
as this adverb "otherwise" determines the word "understanding" on the
part of the thing understood, or on the part of the one who understands.
Taken as referring to the thing understood, the proposition is true, and
the meaning is: Any intellect which understands that the thing is
otherwise than it is, is false. But this does not hold in the present
case; because our intellect, when forming a proposition about God, does
not affirm that He is composite, but that He is simple. But taken as
referring to the one who understands, the proposition is false. For the
mode of the intellect in understanding is different from the mode of the
thing in its essence. Since it is clear that our intellect understands
material things below itself in an immaterial manner; not that it
understands them to be immaterial things; but its manner of understanding
is immaterial. Likewise, when it understands simple things above itself,
it understands them according to its own mode, which is in a composite
manner; yet not so as to understand them to be composite things. And thus
our intellect is not false in forming composition in its ideas concerning
God.





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