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Natural Knowledge of God in the Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquina

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9 -- God i.. 1here are, however, mean. ot knowing what God ie not. 9 1M .hall nOW' oonsider what can be known about God by .aying what He 18 not. It wa. upon the dynamic a.pect ot reality that St. 1'hoilla. based his proot of the exi.tence ot a Prime Mover. . .. .. ., But it was not only the exi.t- ence ot a Prime MOTer ae ~, that St. 1'homas wi.hed to proTe. Be did not wi.h to e.tablish proot ot the existence ot God only .!! ~ tir.t .E.rinciple !!! motion (tir.t moTer) but ae Firat Being. Kotion, tor st. 1ho.s, pre.uppo.es being. It God is the Pr1ae Mover, it all motion tinds it. ultimate cause in Him, it is because motion i. being; and God, as the Fir.t Cause ot all being, i. by implioation the First Cau.e ot all motion or becoming. God is the Being upon Whoa all created being and all becoming depend, but Who depends upon no being tor either His .xist.nc. or Hie pertection. 1b,at is why we r.t.r to God a. the Supre. Being • . It has been .hown that God, Who is the Prime Mo'Ver, is Him •• lt neoe.- earily immutable or unchang.abl.. 1'hl. do •• not mean that God i. in a .tate ot perp.tual inertia. Mo'Vement is sfJlonymou. with a principl. ot 9St• 1hoaas, Su.aa !heologica, I a, q. 2, Prol •• When the ezi.tenc. ot a thing hal be.n asoertain.d th.re .... in. the furth.r que.tion ot the aDDer ot 1 ts .Xi.t.llO., in ord.r that we _31 know it ..... no.. Bow beca ••• we oannot know what God ie, but rath.r what H. i. not, we haTe no .. an. tor oonsid.ring how God i. but rath.r how He is llot St. !bo ... , Contra Gent., I, ohap. xi'V, p.al. AcoordinglT haT1Dgpro;ed that th.re i. a tir.t being whioh we oall God, it b.hoT •• u. to inquir. into Hi. nature. Bow in tr.ating ot the di'Vine .... nc. the prinoipal method to be tollow.d i. that ot reaotion. For the di'Vin ••••• nc. b.r it. immen.ity .urpa •••• 8'V8rT tora to whioh our int.ll.ot r.ach •• ; and thus we oannot apprehend it by knowing what it is. But we haTe .ome knowledge thereot by knowing what it is not. ---.---, I

10 determination, ot actualization. God, a, immutable Being, oannot·~eoeiTe determination trom any ,ouree what,oeTer. In Him there il no potentiality. But God il not inert Being, He oan and doe. act, more properly atill, He !!. act, ~ only, He is pur. act. 10 , .. , In an t.mtable being there is no becoming, no trand tion trom nonbeing to being. His being n.ith.r begin. nor ceaa •• to be, trom eternity unto .terni ty H. is J H. can not not-b. • Time .. ia the mea lure ot JIlOTement, or the chang.abl.; eternity is the immeasurabl.n.18 ot the immutabl •• God i. immutable, th.retor. He il .ternal. ll In pr.dicating eternity ot God, .... haT. impli.d Hie intinity. Ther. are no limits to any asp.ct ot His actuality, He ia intinit. Being. l2 Because God is pur. act with no admixture ot becoming, Hia b.ing exclud., mat.riality and composition. Matt.r ia not a principl. or d.termination; it is the determinable .lement in b.ing, it is pur. pot.ncy. From lOSt. Thomas, Summa Th.ologica, I a, q. S, art. 1, cor.l .ow it has alr.ady be.n proT.d that God ia the Firat KOTer and is Himself uumoT.d •••• th. tirst being mult ot neo •• lity be 1n act and in no ~y in pot.ntiality. IlSt. Thoma., Contra Gent., I, chap. xv, p.S4: 'or whateTer begin"i'""O'r ceasea to b., sutr.rl this through.::JaOT.ment or ohang.. Now it has b •• n shown that God 1s al tog.th.r UDchang.a bl •• Ther.tore H. ia .t.rnal, haTing n.ith.r beginning nor .nd. I l2St. Thomas, Contra Gent., I. ohap. xliii, pp. 95 & 96. An act i. the more p.rtect, aocording a. it is le •• mingl.d w1~ potentiality. Wher.tore eT.ry act that haa an admixture of potentiality has a 11m1 t to its pert.ction: while the aot whioh ha. no admixture of potentiali ty has no limit to its p.rtection. Bow God is pure act without any potentiality •••• Th.r.for. H. is infinite.

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