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Natural Knowledge of God in the Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquina

62 reason would lead

62 reason would lead thea; they tail to reoopile oreated ettect. as~logue. ot the Divine Being and thus they taU to understand the manitold .... y. in which God oaused sensible beings to represent the perfeotion ot Bie Infinite Being. 22 'ailing to see being. in their relation to Being, the,. do not reo- .., ogni,e the oreature as a term ot that relation which binds tinite to tinite and all things to the Wini te J with the bond of _taphyeical lUli ty. 1here results a distortion ot the per.pective of beJng; what ou~t to be a wuniver.e" beoomes an utterly diversified maltitude. !o those who deny the aaalogy ot being, neither the beooming nor the being ot the tini to turnishes man with a means ot aoquiring natural knowledge ot God. '1'0 such, God reuins lDlkDowable and the universe beco.e. oorrespondingly unintelligible. !o the 1hom.t, the analogy of being contera proportional unity on the diversitt of beings. !be intrinsie relation ot being to existenoe that is oom.oa to all, tro. the least ot tinite be· ing. to Infinite Being, enables the philosopher to begin his inquiry con­ ..... • el"lliDg God '. existenoe and Bi. nature with the in8ufticiency ot the finite and to reach positive conclusions about God'. existeaoe and Bis attributes. I 22 St. tha.a., Summa 1heOl0eica, I a, q. 12, art. 12, cor •• Our alad can not be led .ense .0 tar aa to .ee the e •• enoe of God, ftoau.e the senaible ettects ot God do not equal the po .... r ot God a. their oau.e. Benoe tro. the knowledge ot .ensible things the whole po .... r ot God cumot be DOWIl... But beoaJl.e they are Bi. etfeota and depend on their oau.e, ... oan be led trom them .0 tar a. to know ot God whether Be ezbt., and to know of Bia what must nece •• arill" belong to Hi., as the tIrst cau.e ot all things, exceeding all things oau.ed by Bia.

.' .!!. .!!. ill!.!. oreated thing_ !!!, St. !ho... would aay they ar. like God,21 th.y are Bb antlogu •• , Beoau •• God hal _de oreaturea to Bi. liken ... , becau •• Be hal _de them Hi. analogu •• , an can name God trOJa Hi. 81 creature •• 24, their goodne.,~ ~heir p.rt.ction. are o.rtain though .vid.nce ot the Being, the Goodne.. and the .o.,..r.iga p.rt.ctio.a ot God. 26 A briet reoaptulatlon will bring thil inqui1'7 ooncerning natural Imowl­ .dge ot God to it. 10Sl ... l Upon the unqu •• tlonabl. ot motloD in the UJli",er •• , ot !lOtlon 23 St. !hoaas, Sumaa ~eologica, I a, q. 4, art. 3, cor •• •• • all created thing., .0 tar a. they are being., are llte God a. the tir.t and uni",ersal principl. of all 24 ~ St. Dlo ••• Contra Gent., I, chap. xxx, p. 12, For .inc. e",e1'7 pert.ction ot creatur •• is to be tound in God, albeit in another and more .minent way, whatever tenu denote p.rtection absol\1tel and without any detect whate",er, are pr.dioated of God .. d ot oth.r things, tor in.tance, goodn ••• , wi.dom, and 80 forth. 26 St. ~o .... , S ..... !h.olo~oa, I a, q. 11, art. 2, cor •• Por th ••• n ..... xpr...ct, .0 tar a. our illtellect. mow Hia. Bow dnc. 0\1r intellect Imon Ood trom er.atllrea, it 1m ..... Rbi a. tar a. creatllr •• repre •• nt Him •••• God pr.-po ••••••• in Bia •• lt all the pertectiona of creature., being Him.elt .lapl,. and uni", p.rtect. Henoe e"1'7 creature repr •• ent. Hi. and i. like Hta .0 tar a. it po •••••••• ome pertectien, ,.et it represent. Him not a •• omething ot the ..... p •• i •• or g.n\1., but a. the .xc.lling principl. of who •• tora the ettect. tall .hort, although the,. d.ri", •• 000e ldnd or liken ... [ analog] ••••

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