Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Principle of Predilection: "Nothing would be greater if God did not will it more good."


Summa theologiae I.20.3c: Does God Love All Equally? 

I answer that, since to love a thing is to will it good, in a twofold way anything may be loved more, or less. In one way on the part of the act of the will itself, which is more or less intense. In this way God does not love some things more than others, because He loves all things by an act of the will that is one, simple, and always the same. In another way on the part of the good itself that a person wills for the beloved. In this way we are said to love that one more than another, for whom we will a greater good, though our will is not more intense. In this way we must needs say that God loves some things more than others. For since God's love is the cause of goodness in things, as has been said (2), no one thing would be better than another, if God did not will greater good for one than for another.

Respondeo dicendum quod, cum amare sit velle bonum alicui, duplici ratione potest aliquid magis vel minus amari. Uno modo, ex parte ipsius actus voluntatis, qui est magis vel minus intensus. Et sic Deus non magis quaedam aliis amat, quia omnia amat uno et simplici actu voluntatis, et semper eodem modo se habente. Alio modo, ex parte ipsius boni quod aliquis vult amato. Et sic dicimur aliquem magis alio amare, cui volumus maius bonum; quamvis non magis intensa voluntate. Et hoc modo necesse est dicere quod Deus quaedam aliis magis amat. Cum enim amor Dei sit causa bonitatis rerum, ut dictum est, non esset aliquid alio melius, si Deus non vellet uni maius bonum quam alteri.

1 comment:

Geremia said...

This has been, at least for me, one of the most interesting distinctions in the Summa. In effect, it seems he explains how God's permission of evil in things (permission of a lack of good in things) results from His infinite love.