I Sentences, Distinction 37, Question 2

ARTICULUS PRIMUS
Utrum Deus sit ubique
First Article
Whether God is everywhere.
Ad primum sic proceditur. 1. Videtur quod Deus non sit ubique. Esse enim ubique significat in omni loco esse. Sed, sicut dicit Anselmus, Monol., cap. XXII, si usus admitteret, magis dicendus esset: Deus cum omni loco quam in omni loco. Ergo videtur quod Deus non proprie dicatur ubique esse. We proceed thus to the first issue. 1. It seems that God is not everywhere. For to be everywhere means to be in every place. But as Anselm says in Chapter 22 of the Monologion, it would be more appropriate, if custom permitted, to say that God is with every place rather than in every place. It seems, therefore, that God is not properly said to be everywhere.
2. Praeterea, sicut tempus nominat mensuram quamdam, sic et locus. Sed secundum Philosophum, in IV Phys., esse in tempore est quadam parte temporis mensurari. Ergo esse in loco significat loco mensurari. Sed Deus est immensus. Ergo non est in loco. 2. Furthermore, just as time names a certain measure, so does place. But, according to the Philosopher in Book 4 of the Physics, to be in time is to be measured by a certain part of time. Therefore, to be in place means to be measured by a place. But God is immeasurable. He is not, therefore, in place.
3. Item, potest objici ex auctoritate Anselmi, ubi supra, qui dicit, quod omne quod est in loco et tempore sequitur leges loci et temporis. 3. Moreover, it can be objected by reason of the authority of Anselm who says, in Chapter 22 of the Monologion, that every thing that is in place and time obeys the laws of place and time.
4. Praeterea, sicut se habent successiva ad tempus, ita se habent permanentia ad locum. Sed in successivis unum indivisibile et una indivisibilis operatio non potest esse diversis temporibus. Ergo nec unum indivisibile permanens potest esse in diversis locis. Sed Deus est indivisibilis: ergo non est ubique. 4. Furthermore, just as successive things are related to time, so permanent things are related to place. But, in successive things, one indivisible thing and one indivisible operation cannot be in different times. Therefore, neither can one indivisible permanent thing be in different places. But God is indivisible. He is not, therefore, everywhere.
5. Praeterea, nulla conditio corporalis Deo potest convenire nisi metaphorice. Sed esse in loco est conditio corporis naturalis, adeo quod etiam corporibus mathematicis non datur locus nisi similitudinarie, ut I De generatione, dicit Philosophus. Ergo multo fortius Deo non convenit nisi metaphorice in loco esse vel ubique. 5. Besides, no corporeal condition can be applied to God except metaphorically. But to be in place is a condition of a natural body to such a degree that a place is not even given to mathematical bodies except by way of similarity, as the Philosopher says in Book 1 of On Generation. Therefore, by a much stronger reason, to be in place or everywhere is applicable to God only metaphorically.
Sed contra, Deus est in omnibus rebus, ut supra dictum est. Sed locus quilibet res aliqua est. Ergo Deus in omni loco est: ergo ubique. But, on the contrary, God is in all things, as was said above. But every place is some thing. God is, therefore, in every place and, consequently, everywhere.
SOLUTIO. Respondeo dicendum, quod esse in aliquo diversimode convenit spiritualibus et corporalibus: quia corpus est in aliquo ut contentum, sicut vinum est in vase; sed spiritualis substantia est in aliquo ut continens et conservans. Cujus ratio est, quia corporale per essentiam suam, quae circumlimitata est quantitatis terminis, determinatum est ad locum, et per consequens virtus et operatio ejus in loco est; sed spiritualis substantia quae omnino absoluta a situ et quantitate est, habet essentiam non omnino circumlimitatam loco. Unde non est in loco nisi per operationem, et per consequens virtus et essentia ejus in loco est. Solution: I answer that it should be said that to be in something belongs to spiritual things and corporeal things in a different way. For a body is in something as contained, as wine is in a vessel, but a spiritual substance is in something as containing and conserving. The reason for this is that a corporeal thing by its essence, which is circumscribed by the boundaries of quantity, is determined to a place, and consequently, its power and operation are in a place. But a spiritual substance, which is wholly independent from position and quantity, has an essence that is not wholly circumscribed by a place. Hence, it is in a place only by operation, and consequently, its power and essence are in a place.
Dicendum est ergo, quod si esse in hoc loco sumatur secundum quod corpus in loco esse dicitur; sic non convenit Deo esse ubique nisi metaphorice; quia implet locum sicut corpus locatum, non quidem distantia dimensionum, sed causalitate effectuum. Si autem accipiatur esse in loco per modum quo substantia spiritualis in aliquo esse dicitur; sic propriissime Deo in loco esse convenit, et ubique et non quidem ut mensuratum loco, sed ut dans loco naturam locandi et continendi; sicut dicitur esse in homine inquantum dat homini naturam humanitatis: et in qualibet re esse dicitur inquantum dat rebus proprium esse et naturam. It should be said, therefore, that if "to be in this place" is understood insofar as a body is said to be in a place, then it belongs to God to be everywhere only metaphorically. For he fills a place as a body does that is positioned in a place, not indeed by the distance of dimensions, but by the causality of his effects. If, however, "to be in a place" is taken in the way in which a spiritual substance is said to be in something, then it belongs most properly to God to be in a place and everywhere, and not indeed as measured by a place but as giving to a place the nature of locating and containing. In the same way, he is said to be in a human being inasmuch as he gives to a human being the nature of humanity, and he is said to be in every thing inasmuch as he gives to things their own being and nature.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad duo prima et ad auctoritatem Anselmi, et etiam ad quintum, quae procedunt secundum modum quo corpus in loco esse dicitur. Consequently, the response is clear to the first two objections, to the one based on the authority of Anselm, and also to the fifth objection. All these are based on the way in which a body is said to be in place.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod indivisibile secundum successionem dicitur dupliciter. Vel illud quod omnino absolutum est a successione, ut indivisibile negative sumatur, sicut aeternitas: et tale indivisibile potest esse in diversis temporibus, immo in omni tempore; quia "nunc" aeternitatis invariatum adest omnibus partibus temporis. Vel illud quod est successionis terminus, ut instans temporis, et quidquid per illud instans mensuratur; et hoc non potest esse in pluribus temporibus. Similiter indivisibile secundum dimensionem dicitur dupliciter. Vel illud quod omnino absolutum est a dimensione, sicut substantia spiritualis; et hoc non est inconveniens in omnibus vel pluribus locis esse. Vel quod est terminus dimensionis, ut punctus: et hoc, quia determinatum est ad situm, non potest in pluribus locis esse; et ideo, relicta imaginatione, indivisibilitas substantiae incorporeae, ut Dei, vel angeli, vel animae, vel etiam materiae, sicut indivisibilitas puncti non cogitetur: quia, ut dicit Boetius, lib. I De Trin., c. II, oportet in intellectualibus non deduci ad imaginationem. To the fourth, it should be said that something is said to be indivisible according to succession in two ways. Either something is wholly independent from succession so that "indivisible" is understood negatively, as, for example, eternity, and such an indivisible thing can be in different times or, rather, in every time, because the unvaried "now" of eternity is present to all parts of time. Or something is the boundary of succession, as, for example, an instant of time and whatever is measured by that instant, and this cannot be in many times. Similarly, something is said to be indivisible according to dimension in two ways. Either something is wholly independent from dimension, as, for example, a spiritual substance, and for such a thing, it is not inappropriate to be in all or many places. Or something is the boundary of a dimension, as, for example, a point, and this, because it is determined to a position, cannot be in many places. For this reason, when the imagination is left behind, the indivisibility of an incorporeal substance, such as God, an angel, the soul, or even matter, is not thought of as the indivisibility of a point. For, as Boethius says in Book 1, Chapter 2 of On the Trinity, it is necessary in intellectual things not to be drawn away to the imagination.

© John Laumakis
(jlamakis@hilltop.ic.edu)



The Aquinas Translation Project
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