Author Topic: Divine Simplicity and its importance.  (Read 1004 times)

Offline james03

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2018, 04:53:09 PM »
Possibly true, I'd have to think about it.  Let's grant that for the sake of argument.

This is a non sequitur.  We are talking about freely chosen actions, not things.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

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Offline james03

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2018, 05:16:28 PM »
Q., thanks for an interesting discussion.  Hopefully I can check back soon enough.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2018, 05:54:49 PM »
The balderdash of philosophers and scholars, the logomachy of the Middle Ages, thenceforth held absolute sway. - A Rebours

Huysmans’s Jean des Esseintes was so right. When a mere string of words prevents one from grasping and accepting the clear and absolutely necessary distinction between actor, acting and the act, just as with willer, willing and the willed, thinker, thinking and the thought, seer, seeing and the seen, and so on, a blunder that seems to have its psychological origin in the spiritually stunted and stupid Westerner having no grasp on his self-indentical I in itself and its distinction from the changing soul and its “content”, a view reflected in the patent falsehood of the dichotomous anthropology of “body and soul” to exclusion of the transcendent I  not contained within them but belonging to it - when this semantic game played with Greek philosophical doctrines found nowhere in revelation degenerates into such blind stupidity, is it any wonder that the religious of the East, caught up in the experiential realities of hesychasm, never looked back after the schism? The proof is in the pudding of the endless cycle of contradictions in which Western theology lands itself; the former, lost in his textbooks and logomachic labyrinths of thought says “God” is x,y and z; the mystic, who knows himself, knows God. Thank God, literally, for the Cappadocian fathers’ understanding of ousia and hypostasis, so thoroughly misunderstood and perverted by Augustine and the Latins and their “essentia”, and for the light of Gregory of Palamas, whom these word-spinners could never understand.

By the way, I am created, but what I will is not, nor is it predetermined by some mechanistic causal chain from an Aristotelian first mover, for I am first cause of what I will, irrespective of that following from a judgment of something extrinsic to my self, whether that be a sensation, an impression, a desire or any of the other thing that are constantly mistaken, as above, with being a part of the subject when they are in fact objects of the subjects conscious observation.. So much for that premise of “modal collapse”.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 06:12:28 PM by Kreuzritter »
 
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Offline TomD

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2018, 05:44:03 PM »
For those interested, there is a rich literature on the dilemma of divine simplicity and modal collapse. Matthews Grant and Mark Spencer have a helpful article (https://philpapers.org/rec/GRAAIA-4) on how different Thomists approach the topic. I believe it can be found online at Academia.edu
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2018, 09:16:46 PM »
I'm not sure if this has to do with God's simplicity or if it has more to do with His oneness (I get those mixed up), but I am wondering how we know that "Being" and "Truth" and "Goodness" all signify one and the same individual? And how do we know that this one individual is personal rather than impersonal?

edit - Here's another question: If Oneness is God, and if Threeness is God (as the Christians claim), then why is 1 not equal to 3? And what about the other numbers? Is Twoness God? Are all the numbers God? Further, what about the Forms in general? Are all of the Forms God? Is Triangularity God? Are Dogness and Catness God? (Some forms, such as individual human souls, are evidently not God. Is there some sort of test we can apply to figure out which things are God and which are creatures?)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 09:44:49 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2018, 03:55:26 AM »
Simply stated (pun intended), the doctrine of Divine Simplicity is: "the attributes of God are identical with the divine essence ad intra"

1. In Scripture, God is said not merely to be loving, but Love itself. Similarly, not merely to be living, but Life itself. So this is true of all the divine attributes.

I.E. to say, we do not say of God that He is merely good just as if goodness could exist apart from or independent of Him. No, not at all. We say He is Goodness itself, and the infinite source of the goodness by which all creatures can be good. It follows that no one can be good apart from some degree of participation in the goodness of God. St. Thomas proves this in the Fourth way.

"The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God."

Reply to Daniel: in the third way, it was already proven that there is One necessarily existent Being upon whom all contingently existing beings depend. In the fourth way, it is further proved and deduced that even those attributes in creatures that are reflections of the Creator's perfection and infinite attributes depend on and come from Him.

Dogness is not a divine attribute but the nature of one specific creature. That should answer your objections.

2.No creature can be perfectly simple, there will be some composition in it. Man is not simple but composed of soul and body. The body is not simple but composed of various parts. As for the soul itself, it is more simple than the body, as St. Augustine says, but not perfectly simple - its essence is not identical to its attributes, as is the case with God's Essence.

Re: regarding St. Thomas and Palamas and especially the divine energies. It should be noted carefully here that, while Divine Simplicity is certainly true and is dogma, that doesn't preclude a true Catholic evaluation of the doctrine of divine operations/manifestations of the attributes ad extra. The Greek word translated energies in the East, which sounds so surprising to modern western ears, is traditionally rendered "operations" (sometimes divine activities - this is relational and refers to God's interactions with His creatures) and pertains to God's activity

It is the view of some theologians (though that is contested by others) that the Thomistic and Palamite views (with the understanding of energies as the divine operations given above) can be reconciled. I tend to agree that it can be. That would be an interesting thesis. Basically,

I. Divine attributes are identical with the Divine Essence ad intra
II. Divine attributes differ in their manifestation ad extra

are not necessarily contrary to one another. But that is controversial and another topic.

Fr. Hardon on Divine Operations: "Term DIVINE OPERATION

Definition: God's activity outside of himself. Also called divine activity ad extra in contrast with divine activity within the Trinity. The Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Florence teach that all of God's activity outside the trinity is done simultaneously and equally by all three persons. Thus everything that God does in the world of creatures, whether naturally or supernaturally, is the operation of all three divine persons." https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=33161
.Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ Please pray this daily and you and your family will be saved. You will avoid Purgatory.

Daily Morning Offering: O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary,  I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the Altars  throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. I desire to gain every Indulgence and Merit I can, offering them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, Whom Thou hast appointed the dispenser of the merits of Thy Precious Blood, especially by means of this Scapular  [Here kiss your Brown Scapular] that She may best apply them to the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Amen.

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Offline Xavier

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2018, 04:09:49 AM »
xavier - can you provide me with some Ott page numbers?  I looked up attributes in the index, and divine, and there is nothing for either.

Missed this. You can find the relevant parts of Ott's volume with eaxh of the doctrines and their degree of certainty online here, Philip. http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/councils/summary.htm

Divine simplicity as de fide is number 14. We note that Dr. Ott also mentions the Divine Operations. Those interested can read further.

Selected excerpts: number 55 deals with ad extra (exterior) operations.

Quote
11) The Divine Attributes are really identical among themselves and with the Divine Essence. (De fide.)

12) God is absolutely perfect. (De fide.)

13) God is actually infinite in every perfection. (De fide.)

14) God is absolutely simple. (De fide.)

15) There is only One God. (De fide.)

16) The One God is, in the ontological sense, The True God. (De fide.)

17) God possesses an infinite power of cognition. (De fide.)

18) God is absolute Veracity (De fide.)

19) God is absolutely faithful. (De fide.)

20) God is absolute ontological Goodness in Himself and in relation to others. (De fide.)

21) God is absolute Moral Goodness or Holiness. (De fide.) D 1782

22) God is absolute Benignity. (De fide.) D1782.

23) God is absolute Beauty. D1782.

...

53) The Relations in God are really identical with the Divine Nature. (De fide.)

54) The Three Divine Persons are in One Another. (De fide.)

55) All the ad extra Activities of God are common to that Three Persons. (De fide.)

56) The Father sends the Son: the Father and the Son send the Holy Ghost. (Sent. certa.)

57) The Trinity of God can only be known through Divine Revelation. (sent. fidei proxima.)

58) All that exists outside God was, in its whole substance, produced out of nothing by God. (De fide.)

59) The world is the work of the Divine Wisdom. (Sent. certa.)

60) God was moved by His Goodness to create the world. (De fide.)

61) The world created for the Glorification of God. (De fide.)

62) The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation. (De fide.)

63) God created the world free from exterior compulsion and inner necessity. (De fide.)

64) God was free to create this worrld or any other. (Sent. Certa.)

65) God has created a good world. (De fide.)

66) The world had a begining in time. (De fide.)

67) God alone created the World. (De fide.)

68) No Creature can, as Principal Cause (causa principalis) that is, from its own power, create something out of nothing. (Sent. communis.)
.Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ Please pray this daily and you and your family will be saved. You will avoid Purgatory.

Daily Morning Offering: O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary,  I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the Altars  throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. I desire to gain every Indulgence and Merit I can, offering them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, Whom Thou hast appointed the dispenser of the merits of Thy Precious Blood, especially by means of this Scapular  [Here kiss your Brown Scapular] that She may best apply them to the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Amen.

Consecration to Our Blessed Mother: My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to Thee, and to show my devotion to Thee I consecrate to Thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve, Wherefore, good Mother, as I am Thine own, keep me, guard me, as Thy property and possession." http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/morning-offering.htm
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Divine Simplicity and its importance.
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2018, 09:27:13 AM »
Quote
What are we then to make of Jesus saying, "Antichrist cometh, and in me he hath not a thing"?

Please provide a cite so I can check the context.
Here is the commentary from Cornelius A Lapide's "Great Biblical Commentary"
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/scripture/newtestament/Lapide.htm

Quote
Ver. 29.—And now I have told you, &c. That is, and now I foretell to you My departure and death, My resurrection and return to you, not that ye should condole with Me, and look after your own safety, but that, when ye see those things fulfilled, ye may believe that I foreknew and foreordained them all, and therefore that I submitted to death, not of necessity, but of My own free-will, for your salvation and that of the world, and therefore that ye may believe that I am the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour.

Ver. 30.—I will not henceforth talk much with you, &c. For this is not the time to speak much, but to conclude, for the prince of this world, to whom worldly men are subject, by sinning after their own will, cometh. That is, he cometh to take and kill Me. For Christ said this when Judas was approaching with the officers, who were sent by the chief priests to take Him.

But he hath nothing in Me, i.e., he cometh to take Me, but he hath no power over Me, because he will find nothing of sin in Me, nothing of that which caused Adam and his posterity to die. Wherefore he must unjustly bring death upon Me being innocent. And this I am ready to suffer, that by means of My unjust death I may despoil him of his power, and deliver men from his jurisdiction and tyranny. So Cyril and Chrysostom. The innocence therefore of Christ, and the death of that innocent One, hath delivered all of us, the guilty ones, from harm. And this was that supreme consolation of Christ, which He here brings home to the Apostles. Or, as Maldonatus puts it, “The devil cometh, to take and kill Me by means of the Jews, but in Me he hath nothing, i.e. he will not be able to overcome or destroy Me, as he hopes; for although I am about to die, I shall not do so through his power or strength, but of My own free choice, that I may fulfil My Father’s will.”
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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