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Thursday, 17 January 2013

More on Predestination

As I am travelling, I am placing some selections from Thomas Aquinas to start conversation on his ideas on Predestination. Some of Augustine's ideas are here included by Aquinas.  

I shall comment on this soon, as soon as "things" settle down..................................................

This question treats predestination.
In the first article we ask:
Does predestination belong to knowledge or will?
[Parallel readings: S.T., I, 23, aa. 1, 3-4; I Sent., 40,1, 2; C.G., III, 163; In Rom., c. 1, lect. 3 (P. 13:7a, 82).]
It seems that it has will as its genus, for
1. As Augustine says,’ predestination is the intention of being merciful. But intention belongs to the will. Consequently, predestination also belongs to the will.
2. Predestination seems to be the same as the eternal election referred to in the Epistle to the Ephesians (1:4): “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world”—because the chosen are the same as the predestinated. Now, according to the Philosopher, choice belongs rather to appetite than to intellect. Hence, predestination belongs more to the will than to knowledge.
3. But it was said that election comes before predestination and is not the same as it.—On the contrary, will comes after knowledge, not before it. But choice pertains to the will. If, therefore, choice comes before predestination, then predestination cannot belong to knowledge.
4. If predestination belonged to knowledge, then it would seem to be the same as foreknowledge; and thus whoever foreknew the salvation of a person would predestine him. Now, this is false; for the prophets foreknew the salvation of the Gentiles; yet they did not predestine it. Therefore.
5. Predestination implies causality. Now, causality does not have the nature of knowledge, but rather the nature of will. Consequently, predestination belongs more to the will than to knowledge.
6. The will differs from a passive potency in this respect, that the latter refers only to effects taking place in the future, for we, cannot speak of passive potency in relation to things that are or have been, whereas the will extends equally to both present and future effects. Now, predestination has both present and future effects; for, as Augustine says: “Predestination is the preparation of grace in the present and of glory in the future.” Therefore, it belongs to the will.
7. Knowledge is not related to things in so far as they are made or to be made but in so far as they are known or to be known. Now, predestination is related to a thing as something that must be effected. Consequently, it does not belong to knowledge.
8. An effect receives its name from its proximate cause rather than from its remote cause. For example, we say that a man is begotten by a man, instead of saying by the sun, which also begets him. Now, preparation is the effect of both knowledge and will, but knowledge is prior to the will and more remote than it. Consequently, preparation belongs more to the will than to knowledge. But, as Augustine says: “Predestination is the preparation of someone for glory.” Therefore, predestination pertains rather to the will than to knowledge.
9. When many motions are ordered to only one term, then the entire co-ordinated complex of motions takes the name of the last motion. For example, in the drawing out of a substantial form from the potency of matter, the following order is had: first, alteration, then generation. But the whole is called generation. Now, when something is prepared, this order is had: first, movements of knowledge, then movements of the will. Consequently, the whole should be attributed to the will; therefore, predestination seems to be especially in the will.
10. If he of two contraries is appropriated to something, then the other contrary is removed from it in the highest possible degree. Now, evil is appropriated especially to God’s foreknowledge, for we say that the damned are known beforehand. Consequently, His foreknowledge does not have good things as its object. Predestination, however, is concerned only with those good things that lead to salvation. Therefore, predestination is not related to foreknowledge.
11. When a word is used in its proper sense, it does not need a gloss. But; whenever the sacred Scripture speaks of knowledge of good, a gloss is added saying that this means approval. This is evident from the Gloss on the first Epistle to the Corinthians (8:3): “‘If any man love God, the same is known by him’—that is, he is approved by God”; and from the Gloss on the second Epistle to Timothy (2:19): “‘The Lord knoweth who are his’—that is, God approves him.” In its proper sense, therefore, knowledge is not related to good things. But predestination is related to good things. Therefore.
12. To prepare belongs to a power that moves, for preparation is related to some work. But, as has been said, predestination is a preparation. Therefore, it belongs to a moving power and so to the will, not to knowledge.
13. A reasoning power modeled upon another reasoning power imitates it. Now, in the case of the human reason, which is modeled upon the divine, we see that preparation belongs to the will, not to knowledge. Consequently, divine preparation is similar; and the conclusion is the same as before.
14. Although the divine attributes are one reality, the difference between them is manifested in the difference in their effects. Consequently, something said of God should be reduced to that attribute to which this effect is appropriated. Now, grace and glory are the effects of predestination, and they are appropriated either to His will or His goodness. Therefore, predestination also belongs to His will, not to His knowledge.
To the Contrary
1. The Gloss on the Epistle to the Romans (8:29), “For whom he foreknew, he also predestinates,” says: “Predestination is God’s foreknowledge and preparation of benefits...”
2. Whatever is predestined is known, but the opposite is not true. Consequently, what is predestined belongs to the class of things that are known; hence, it is included in the genus of knowledge.
3. A thing should be placed in the genus to which it always belongs, rather than in a genus which is not always proper to it. Now, the element of knowledge always belongs to predestination, because foreknowledge always accompanies it. The granting of grace, however, which takes place through the will, does not always accompany predestination, since predestination is eternal while the bestowal of grace takes place in time. Predestination, therefore, should be placed in the genus of knowledge rather than in that of will acts.
4. The Philosopher places habits of knowing and doing among the intellectual virtues, for they belong more to reason than to appetite. This is clearly what he does in the case of art and prudence, as can be seen in his Ethics.” Now, predestination implies a principle of doing and of knowing, since, as is evident from the definition given, predestination is both foreknowledge and preparation. Predestination, therefore, belongs more to knowledge than it does to the will.
5. Contraries belong to the same genus. But predestination is the contrary of reprobation. Now, since reprobation belongs to the genus of knowledge, because God foreknows the malice of the damned but does not cause it, it seems that predestination also belongs to the genus of knowledge.
Destination (from which predestination is derived) implies the direction of something to an end. For this reason, one is said to destine a messenger if he directs him to do something. And because we direct our decisions to execution as to an end, we are said to destine what we decide. For example, Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:19) is said to have “destined” in his heart not to do “any unlawful things for the love of life.”
Now, the particle pre-, when joined to a word, adds a relation to the future. Consequently, to destine refers to what is present, while to predestine can also refer to what is future. For two reasons, therefore, predestination is placed under providence as one of its parts, namely, because direction to an end, as pointed out in the preceding question,” pertains to providence, and because providence—even according to Cicero—includes a relation to the future. In fact, some define providence by saying that it is present knowledge bearing upon future event.
On the other hand, predestination differs from providence in two respects. Providence means a general ordering to an end. Consequently, it extends to all things, rational or irrational, good or bad, that have been ordained by God to an end. Predestination, however, is concerned only with that end which is possible for a rational creature, namely, his eternal glory. Consequently, it concerns only men, and only with reference to those things that are related to salvation. Moreover, predestination differs from providence in a second respect. In any ordering to an end, two things must be considered: the ordering itself, and the outcome or result of the ordering, for not everything that is ordered to an end reaches that end. Providence, therefore, is concerned only with the ordering to the end. Consequently, by God’s providence, all men are ordained to beatitude. But predestination is also concerned with the outcome or result of this ordering, and, therefore, it is related only to those who will attain heavenly glory. Hence, providence, is related to the initial establishment of an order, and predestination is related to its outcome or result; for the fact that some attain the end that is eternal glory is not due primarily to their own power but to the help of grace given by God.
Therefore, just as we said above that providence consists in an act of reason, like prudence, of which it is a part, because it belongs to reason alone to direct and to ordain, so now we say that predestination also consists in an act of reason, directing or ordering to an end. However, the willing of an end is required before there can be direction to an end, because no one directs anything to an end which he does not will. This is why the Philosopher says that a perfect prudential choice can be made only by a man of good moral character, because moral habits strengthen one’s affections for the end which prudence dictates. Now, the one who predestines does not consider in a general way the end to which his predestination directs him; he considers it, rather, according to the relation it has to one who attains it, and such a person must be distinct in the mind of the one predestining from those persons who will not achieve this end. Consequently, predestination presupposes a love by which God wills the salvation of a person. Hence, just as a prudent man directs to an end only in so far as he is temperate or just, so God predestines only in so far as He loves.
Another prerequisite of predestination is the choice by which he who is directed to the end infallibly is separated from others who are not ordained to it in the same manner. This separation, however, is not on account of any difference, found in the predestined, which could arouse God’s love; for, as we read in the Epistle to the Romans (9:11-13): “When the children were not yet born nor had done any good or evil... it was said... ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.’” Consequently, predestination presupposes election and love, and election presupposes love. Again, two things follow upon predestination: the attainment of the end, which is glory, and the granting of help to attain this end, namely, the bestowal of the grace that pertains to the call to be among the predestined. Predestination, therefore, has two effects: grace and glory.
Answers to Difficulties
1. The acts of the soul are such that a preceding act in some way is virtually contained in the act that follows. Since predestination presupposes love, an act of the will, the notion of predestination includes something that belongs to the will. For this reason, intention and other elements belonging to the will are sometimes put into its definition.
2.Predestination is not the same as election, but, as we said above, it presupposes election. This is why the predestined are the same as the elect.
3. Since choice belongs to the will, and direction to the intellect, direction always precedes election if both have the same object. But if they have different objects, then there is no inconsistency in election’s coming before predestination, which implies the existence of direction. As election is taken here, however, it pertains to one who is directed to an end; and the acceptance of one who is to be directed toward an end comes before the direction itself. In the case stated, therefore, election precedes predestination.
4. Even though predestination is placed under the genus of knowledge, it adds something to knowledge and foreknowledge, namely, direction or an order to an end. In this respect, it resembles prudence, which also adds something to the notion of knowledge. Consequently, just as every person who knows what to do is not thereby prudent, so also not every one who has foreknowledge thereby predestines.
5. Even though causality does not belong to the notion of knowledge as such, it belongs to that knowledge which directs and orders to an end; and direction of this kind is not proper to the will but to the intellect alone. Similarly, understanding does not belong to the nature of a rational animal in so far as it is animal but only in so far as it is rational.
6. Knowledge is related to both present and future effects, just as the will is. On this,basis, therefore, it cannot be proved that predestination belongs more to one than to the other. Yet predestination, properly speaking, is related only to the future-as the prefix pre- indicates, because it implies an ordering to the future. Nor is it the same to speak of having an effect in the presentand of having a present effect, because whatever pertains to the state of this life—whether it be present, past, or future—is said to be in the present.
7. Even though knowledge as knowledge is not related to things in so far as they are to be made, practical knowledge is related to things under this aspect, and predestination is reduced to this type of knowledge.
8. In its proper sense, preparation implies a disposing of a potency for act. There are, however, two kinds of potencies: active and passive; consequently, there are two kinds of preparations, There is a preparation of the recipient, which we speak of when we say that matter is prepared for a form. Then there is a preparation of the agent, which we speak of when we say that someone is preparing himself in order to do something. It is this latter kind of preparation that predestination implies; for it asserts simply this, that in God there exists the ordering of some person to an end. Now, the proximate principle of ordering is reason, and, as is clear from above, its remote principle is will. Consequently, for the reason given in the difficulty, predestination is attributed more to reason than to will.
9. A similar answer should be given to the ninth difficulty.
10. Evil things are ascribed as proper to foreknowledge, not because they are more proper objects of foreknowledge than good things, but because good things in God imply something more than mere foreknowledge, while evil things have no such added implication. Similarly, a convertible term which does not signify an essence appropriates to itself the name of property, which belongs just as properly to the definition, because the definition adds a certain priority.
11. A gloss does not always mean that a word has not been used in its proper sense. Sometimes a gloss is necessary merely to make specific what has been stated in a general way. This is why the gloss explains knowledge as meaning knowledge of approval.
12. To prepare or direct belongs only to powers that move. But to move is not peculiar to the will. As is clear from The Soul, this is also a property of the practical intellect.
13. In so far as preparation made even in a human reason implies an ordering or directing to an end, it is an act proper to the intellect, not to the will.
14. When treating a divine attribute, we should not consider only its effect but also its relation to the effect; for, while the effects of knowledge, power, and will are the same, still, as the names of these attributes imply, their relations to them are not. Now, in so far as predestination is directive, the relation implied by predestination to its effect is more logically said to be a relation of knowledge than a relation of power or will. Consequently, predestination is reduced to a type of knowledge.
Answers to Contrary Difficulties
1.-2.-4. We concede the other arguments presented here. One might reply to the second, however, by pointing out that not everything that is found in more things is thereby a genus, for it might be predicated of them as an accident.
3. Even though the granting of grace does not always accompany predestination, the will to grant grace always does.
5. Reprobation is directly opposed, not to predestination, but to election, for He who chooses accepts one and rejects another and this is called reprobation. Consequently, as the word itself shows, reprobation pertains more to the will. For to reprobate is, as it were, to reject—except that it might be said that to reprobate means the same as to judge unworthy of admittance. However, reprobation is said to belong to God’s foreknowledge for this reason, that there is nothing positive on the part of His will that has any relation to sin. He does not will sin as He wills grace. Yet reprobation is said to be a preparation of the punishment which God wills consequent to sin—not antecedent to it.