On the truth of the Catholic faith = Summa contra Gentiles. by ST THOMAS AQUINAS

By ST THOMAS AQUINAS

Translated, with an advent and notes, via James F. Anderson

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Extra info for On the truth of the Catholic faith = Summa contra Gentiles. Book two: Creation

Example text

But every agent acts according as it is in act. Therefore, to produce an effect by somehow causing a form to inhere in a matter will be the proper function of an agent actualized by a form inherent in it, and not by its whole substance. 6 Therefore, the proper mode of His action is to produce the whole subsisting thing, and not merely an inhering entity, namely, a form in a matter. Now, every agent which does not require matter for its action acts in this way. In His action, consequently, God requires no pre-existing matter.

But it is proper to God to be the source of being to other things. Therefore, it pertains to Him to be powerful. [3] Again, just as passive potency follows upon being in potency, so active potency follows upon being in act; for a thing acts in consequence of its being in act, and undergoes action because it is in potency. But it is proper to God to be in act. Therefore, active power belongs to Him. 1 But active power belongs to the perfection of a thing; for the more per­ fect any thing is, so much the greater is its power found to be.

5 God, therefore, is the cause of being to all other things. [6] Again, everything that can be and not-be has a cause; for considered in itself it is indifferent to either, so that some­ thing else must exist which determines it to one. Since, then, it is impossible to go on to infinity, there must exist a neces­ sary being which is the cause of all things that can be and not-be. Now, there is a certain kind of necessary being whose necessity is caused. But in this order of things, also, progres­ sion to infinity is impossible; so that we must conclude to the existence of something which is of itself necessary being.

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