Author Topic: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: As known from Revelation and Reason.  (Read 662 times)

Online Xavier

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Almighty God solemnly revealed to us some 3500 years ago, Exodus 3:[14] God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you. that He is He Who is, i.e. His very Nature is Existence. In the New Testament, these ideas are further developed. Thus, for example want to teach us that Christ is in very Nature God, they call Him the Power and Wisdom of God, for e.g. as St. Paul does "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Cor 1:24). Hence, it necessarily follows that the Wisdom of God is the Essence of God, for Christ is God by Essence. And the like is true for Power, and the other attributes of God, when we consider them ad intra or internally in God. St. John says simply and beautifully, "God is charity". Deus Caritas Est (1 Jn 4:8 ). Thus, we learn that God's very Nature is Love, and His Attributes are His Essence. Fr. Haydock writes on the passage in Exodus, "[14] "I am who am": That is, I am being itself, eternal, self-existent, independent, infinite; without beginning, end, or change; and the source of all other beings."

This does not speak to the manifestation of the attributes, which do differ ad extra or externally and are called the divine operations.

Now, New Advent admirably summarizes diverse proofs by which reason itself can gain an understanding of this dogmatic Truth, "Simplicity of God
God is a simple being or substance excluding every kind of composition, physical or metaphysical. Physical or real composition is either substantial or accidental — substantial, if the being in question consists of two or more substantial principles, forming parts of a composite whole, as man for example, consists of body and soul; accidental, if the being in question, although simple in its substance (as is the human soul), is capable of possessing accidental perfections (like the actual thoughts and volition of man's soul) not necessarily identical with its substance. Now it is clear that an infinite being cannot be substantially composite, for this would mean that infinity is made up of the union or addition of finite parts — a plain contradiction in terms. Nor can accidental composition be attributed to the infinite since even this would imply a capacity for increased perfection, which the very notion of the infinite excludes. There is not, therefore, and cannot be any physical or real composition in God."

Thus, briefly, two rough syllogisms can be constructed. The first: The Infinite cannot be made of finite parts. Composition suggests finite parts added together by which the being is formed. Therefore, there is no composition in the Supreme Being, Almighty God, Who therefore is known to be perfectly Simple.

Similarly, a second can be constructed: Almighty God, being Infinite in His Perfections, and existing Necessarily as the first being, cannot admit of such contingencies as increase or decrease in His attributes. But if God were composite, or composed of various diverse perfections capable of being increased, His Perfection could conceivably change, and would be contingent. But this is false, and therefore, it is certain that God is not composite of various parts, nor subject to contingent increases or decreases in Perfection.

 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06612a.htm#IC What else can we learn about the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity, as known primarily through Revelation, and confirmed by reason?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 05:00:39 PM by Xavier »
My Personal Motto in Life, that of St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, founder of the Militia Immaculatae: "I want to be a Saint, and a great Saint". Make it your motto too.

"Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre" (Deign, O Lord, to keep us this day without any sin). Please pray this prayer many times every day to end all sin.

St. Padre Pio: "I have made a pact with the Lord: I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."

Come offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: 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 Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray 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/

"I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race." [Indulgence of 100 Days, 22 January 1914] https://www.piercedhearts.org/hearts_jesus_mary/heart_mary/mystery_coredemptrix_papal_magisterium.htm Pray, "Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: As known from Revelation and Reason.
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 05:35:46 AM »
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"I am who am": That is, I am being itself,

Utter rot. אהיה אשר אהיה is a statement of eternal personhood, not of "being in itself", which is a nonsensical term anyway

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Hence, it necessarily follows that the Wisdom of God is the Essence of God, for Christ is God by Essence.

No, it doesn't. Christ is divine by ousia and hypostasis; it doesn't follow at all that what Christ is, or what is predicated of Christ, is identical with the "essence of God" is or predicated of it (e.g., humanity, incarnation, theophanies, sonship are predicated of Christ but  are not predicated of the divine ousia). You destroy the real distinctions of the hypostases, and Aquinas's fallacious argument that tries to get around the transitivity of identity to avoid this is an abject failure. 

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And the like is true for Power, and the other attributes of God, when we consider them ad intra or internally in God. St. John says simply and beautifully, "God is charity".

"God is charity" doesn't state in any way that "God's essence is charity". Taking this as a statement of absolute divine simplicity is begging the question by presupposing "God" is identical with "God's essence".

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Now, New Advent admirably summarizes diverse proofs by which reason itself can gain an understanding of this dogmatic Truth, "Simplicity of God God is a simple being or substance excluding every kind of composition, physical or metaphysical.

Assuming this Aristotelian mumbo-jumbo even makes sense.

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Physical or real composition is either substantial or accidental — substantial, if the being in question consists of two or more substantial principles, forming parts of a composite whole, as man for example, consists of body and soul; accidental, if the being in question, although simple in its substance (as is the human soul), is capable of possessing accidental perfections (like the actual thoughts and volition of man's soul) not necessarily identical with its substance.

Assuming we accept the ontological distinction of substance an accident, the dichotomic anthropology of the example, and the notion that thoughts and volition are "possessed" by the soul.

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Now it is clear that an infinite being cannot be substantially composite, for this would mean that infinity is made up of the union or addition of finite parts — a plain contradiction in terms.

You're going to have to precisely define "infinite being" and other terms like "made up" and "union" in order to play these logical games with the terms. At the moment you're just bringing in hidden presuppositions, and it's not plain that an "infinity" cannot be "made up" of an infinite "union".

Moreover, you're operating with another presupposition: a real distinction between "essence" and "energies" equals "composition".

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Nor can accidental composition be attributed to the infinite since even this would imply a capacity for increased perfection, which the very notion of the infinite excludes. There is not, therefore, and cannot be any physical or real composition in God."

Only if God's thoughts etc. are God or "part" of God. This doesn't have to be accepted at all. Also, "a capacity for increased perfection, which the very notion of the infinite excludes" hasn't been proved, and "infinite" and "perfection" haven't even been defined here.


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Thus, briefly, two rough syllogisms can be constructed. The first: The Infinite cannot be made of finite parts.

A mere claim.

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Composition suggests finite parts added together by which the being is formed.

Real distinction doesn't imply composition.

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Therefore, there is no composition in the Supreme Being, Almighty God, Who therefore is known to be perfectly Simple.

No composition doesn't imply an absence of real distinction.
 

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Re: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: As known from Revelation and Reason.
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2019, 08:33:22 AM »
Dear Kreuzritter,

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"I am who am": That is, I am being itself,

Utter rot. אהיה אשר אהיה is a statement of eternal personhood, not of "being in itself", which is a nonsensical term anyway

Not at all. That's a false dichotomy. If God is "HE WHO IS", then HE IS ONE WHO HAS BEING IN HIMSELF. It is as if God said, "I AM HE WHO HAS BEING IN MYSELF, DEPENDENT ON NO ONE AND HIM ON WHOM ALL OTHER BEINGS DEPEND" far above the limited conceptions of gods as created things or various idols that man could form at the time. God is a Personal Being Who gives being to all.

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No, it doesn't. Christ is divine by ousia and hypostasis; it doesn't follow at all that what Christ is, or what is predicated of Christ, is identical with the "essence of God"

An absurdity. The purpose of St. John writing the Gospel is to show that Jesus is Divine. Not only that He is a Divine Person but that He is Consubstantial with the Father. So how does St. John begin. In those immortal words, Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. Transliterated, En arche en ho Logos, kai ho Logos pros ton Theon, kai Theos en ho Logos. Literally translated, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. In just the same way, St. Paul says in 1 Cor, Christ is the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God? Why, to show that Christ is truly Divine. If you read Church history of Simon Magus, and even in Acts, he wanted to be called "power of God" as a false claim to divinity.

The Fathers of Nicaea also endorsed this dogmatically when they taught that he who says there was a time when Christ did not exist is a heretic on par with one who says there was a time when God was without Wisdom. As Wisdom is co-eternal with God, Wisdom ad intra is certainly the Divine Nature itself. Otherwise, you either have two gods, or have introduced composition into the Divine Nature.

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is or predicated of it (e.g., humanity, incarnation, theophanies, sonship are predicated of Christ but  are not predicated of the divine ousia).

But this is not the purpose of saying Christ was the Logos from Eternity Past, by Whom all things were made; nor that Christ is the Power and Wisdom of God, nor that God is Love. St. John could have said God merely feels loving at some time, or even that He has Love, but the Apostle, closest to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who learnt therefrom all its secrets, taught God IS LOVE.

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You destroy the real distinctions of the hypostases, and Aquinas's fallacious argument that tries to get around the transitivity of identity to avoid this is an abject failure. 

What rubbish, are you still on this Photian nonsense. Photius is a heretic and blasphemer on par with Arius. St. Thomas is the Athanasius of his age who crushed the Photian blasphemy like a spider's web. Up until the time of the schismatic Mark of Ephesus, St. Thomas' teaching was universally accepted in seminaries of the Greeks. Mark only wanted it withdrawn because St. Thomas crushed Photian Monopatrism, which is a crypto-Arian heresy that denies the Son His Eternal Spirit.

St. Thomas distinction of the Hypostases by their Eternal Relations is precisely that of St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, St. Cyril, St. Leo etc as St. Robert Bellarmine proved in detail and as we've seen elsewhere. Photius in fact, if you've read Mystagogy, tries to absurdly argue from Divine Simplicity against Filioque. Which proves both that he understood neither and that the Greeks acknowledged Divine Simplicity before him. Divine Simplicity, as is obvious, applies to the Divine Essence, and is not a consideration against the Hypostatic relation of Filioque, which relates the Eternal Holy Spirit to the Eternal Father and His Eternal Son, as Photius absurdly thought it was.

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"God is charity" doesn't state in any way that "God's essence is charity".

That is ridiculous. You beg the question by presupposing composition. St. John would have said "God has charity" or "God feels charity" if he wanted to teach what later opponents of Divine Simplicity believe.

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Moreover, you're operating with another presupposition: a real distinction between "essence" and "energies" equals "composition".

No, I'm only speaking abut the composition of the divine Essence itself, ad intra, which you can read even in St. Augustine and St. Cyril. By the way, as I've explained before, we don't deny the Divine Operations ad extra, or externally, and operations are the word translated from "energeia". But they don't compromise the simplicity of the Divine Essence itself.

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Thus, briefly, two rough syllogisms can be constructed. The first: The Infinite cannot be made of finite parts

A mere claim.

It is obviously self-evident. All that is composed of finite parts is finite. Therefore what is infinite is not composed of finite parts. Take for e.g. four squares of length 2 cm each and superimpose them together to compose a larger square of 4 cm. Infinite is not composed of finites.

The body is composite because the whole is greater than the part. The soul, which is wholly in every part of the body, so that it already as a spirit gives us an intuitive understanding of the Perfect Simplicity of the Eternal Spirit, and Lord of spirits, is simple compared to the body. But in the soul itself, it is one thing for it to be wise, and another for it to be good, and it is possible neither exist in the soul.

But in God Himself, Who is Eternal Wisdom and Eternal Goodness, it is not so: His Very Nature is Eternally Goodness, Wisdom and Love. "nevertheless, since in the soul also it is one thing to be skillful, another to be indolent, another to be intelligent, another to be of retentive memory; since cupidity is one thing, fear another, joy another, sadness another; and since things innumerable, and in innumerable ways, are to be found in the nature of the soul, some without others, and some more, some less; it is manifest that its nature is not simple, but manifold. For nothing simple is changeable, but every creature is changeable.But God is truly called in manifold ways, great, good, wise, blessed, true, and whatsoever other thing seems to be said of Him not unworthily: but His greatness is the same as His wisdom; for He is not great by bulk, but by power; and His goodness is the same as His wisdom and greatness, and His truth the same as all those things; and in Him it is not one thing to be blessed, and another to be great, or wise, or true, or good, or in a word to be Himself." (From St. Augustine's De Trinitate) See Online at: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/130106.htm

 The Fifth Council said "we follow in every the holy fathers ... Augustine... and their writings on the true Faith". St. Augustine's teaching here is Ecumenically Approved. It was even believed by the Orthodox for a long time before they later fell into schism from the Church.

If God were not simple, He would be changeable, as every creature. But God is not changeable, nor a creature. Hence, He is Simple.

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Real distinction doesn't imply composition.

This is fine provided you distinguish internally and externally. Read the Catholic Dictionary, or the work of Blessed Mary of Jesus posted in the other subforum, on Ad Extra Divine Operations. These are external to the Divine Essence and so don't compromise its Simplicity.

"DIVINE OPERATION: 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

In Jesus and Mary,
Xavier.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 08:48:21 AM by Xavier »
My Personal Motto in Life, that of St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, founder of the Militia Immaculatae: "I want to be a Saint, and a great Saint". Make it your motto too.

"Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre" (Deign, O Lord, to keep us this day without any sin). Please pray this prayer many times every day to end all sin.

St. Padre Pio: "I have made a pact with the Lord: I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."

Come offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: 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 Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray 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/

"I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race." [Indulgence of 100 Days, 22 January 1914] https://www.piercedhearts.org/hearts_jesus_mary/heart_mary/mystery_coredemptrix_papal_magisterium.htm Pray, "Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: As known from Revelation and Reason.
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2019, 05:39:55 PM »
Dear Kreuzritter,

Quote
"I am who am": That is, I am being itself,

Utter rot. אהיה אשר אהיה is a statement of eternal personhood, not of "being in itself", which is a nonsensical term anyway

Not at all. That's a false dichotomy. If God is "HE WHO IS", then HE IS ONE WHO HAS BEING IN HIMSELF. It is as if God said, "I AM HE WHO HAS BEING IN MYSELF, DEPENDENT ON NO ONE AND HIM ON WHOM ALL OTHER BEINGS DEPEND" far above the limited conceptions of gods as created things or various idols that man could form at the time. God is a Personal Being Who gives being to all.

No, it's not a false dichotomy, and your response is straw man, not a response to the quotation above or what I said of it.

Firstly, this is not about about God's eternal and uncaused reality but about the false reification in the term "being itself" used in "I am being itself", which you've ignored and replaced with "having being in himself". "Being" is not a thing. It is not possessed like a thing, and something "having being" merely  means that something is, not that there is a thing called "being" which it possesses. "Being" used like  a noun is a participle, and even its status as a verb is questionable. It's palpable nonsense to say of any thing X that X is being.

Secondly, the dichotomy is real because the reality of personhood absolutely excludes the Scholastic verbal construct of "absolute simplicity".

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No, it doesn't. Christ is divine by ousia and hypostasis; it doesn't follow at all that what Christ is, or what is predicated of Christ, is identical with the "essence of God"

An absurdity.[/quote]

You've shown no such thing, and you and all the Scholastics put together have not and cannot prove the non sequitur.

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The purpose of St. John writing the Gospel is to show that Jesus is Divine. Not only that He is a Divine Person but that He is Consubstantial with the Father.

You only expose an incomprehension of the Trinity with this. You presume to respond to what I said, but you haven't even understood it. The Father and Jesus are indeedhomoousion, but this was not denied above. So why are you acting as if it had been? The hypostases are one in ouisa, but the hypostases are not identical with that ousia. Your incomprehension is a result of the Latin use of essence in place of ousia, so you think that by the ousia which the hypostases have in common is meant the Latin essence of a thing. But this is simply false. Ousia is a term of existential subjecthood, and this divine I exists as and in three distinct objective and concrete realities, the hypostases. These are not even terms that are describing the same ontological level of reality. What an hypostasis is, in itself, is not the ousia. The hypostasis is the hypostasis, and it is ironically exactly that word which literally means substance, one being in three substances, while the Latins go about talking about "one substance in three persons", an expression made even more ridiculous by the Thomistic definition of a "person" as "an individual rational substance", in other words, "one substance in three substances".


 
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So how does St. John begin. In those immortal words, Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. Transliterated, En arche en ho Logos, kai ho Logos pros ton Theon, kai Theos en ho Logos. Literally translated, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. In just the same way, St. Paul says in 1 Cor, Christ is the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God? Why, to show that Christ is truly Divine. If you read Church history of Simon Magus, and even in Acts, he wanted to be called "power of God" as a false claim to divinity.

The Fathers of Nicaea also endorsed this dogmatically when they taught that he who says there was a time when Christ did not exist is a heretic on par with one who says there was a time when God was without Wisdom.

Why are you trying to evidence what hasn't been denied?

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As Wisdom is co-eternal with God, Wisdom ad intra is certainly the Divine Nature itself. Otherwise, you either have two gods, or have introduced composition into the Divine Nature.

Non sequitur.

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is or predicated of it (e.g., humanity, incarnation, theophanies, sonship are predicated of Christ but  are not predicated of the divine ousia).

But this is not the purpose of saying Christ was the Logos from Eternity Past, by Whom all things were made; nor that Christ is the Power and Wisdom of God, nor that God is Love. St. John could have said God merely feels loving at some time, or even that He has Love, but the Apostle, closest to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who learnt therefrom all its secrets, taught God IS LOVE.

You have not addressed the point: there are things predicated of the Son that are not predicated of the ousia or the other hypostases, but this is impossible if the Son is identical with the ousia.

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St. John could have said God merely feels loving at some time, or even that He has Love, but the Apostle, closest to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who learnt therefrom all its secrets, taught God IS LOVE

You're  reading this presupposing absolute divine simplicity and you don't even see it. "God is love" is not the same as "the divine ousia is love", unless God and his ousia are identical. But this is not the case, or at the very least it precisely what you are attempting to evidence, and you're begging the question.

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You destroy the real distinctions of the hypostases, and Aquinas's fallacious argument that tries to get around the transitivity of identity to avoid this is an abject failure. 

What rubbish, are you still on this Photian nonsense.

There's nothing Photian in the statement above. Identity is logically transitive. A = C and B = C implies A = B. End of story. Identity of the hypostases with the ousia implies identity of the hypostases with each other. Aquinas gives the example "action is the same as motion, and likewise passion; still it does not follow that action and passion are the same", which is nonsense. Action and passion are not motion but are, if anything, alleged types of motion.

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Photius is a heretic and blasphemer on par with Arius. St. Thomas is the Athanasius of his age who crushed the Photian blasphemy like a spider's web. Up until the time of the schismatic Mark of Ephesus, St. Thomas' teaching was universally accepted in seminaries of the Greeks. Mark only wanted it withdrawn because St. Thomas crushed Photian Monopatrism, which is a crypto-Arian heresy that denies the Son His Eternal Spirit.

St. Thomas distinction of the Hypostases by their Eternal Relations is precisely that of St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, St. Cyril, St. Leo etc as St. Robert Bellarmine proved in detail and as we've seen elsewhere. Photius in fact, if you've read Mystagogy, tries to absurdly argue from Divine Simplicity against Filioque. Which proves both that he understood neither and that the Greeks acknowledged Divine Simplicity before him. Divine Simplicity, as is obvious, applies to the Divine Essence, and is not a consideration against the Hypostatic relation of Filioque, which relates the Eternal Holy Spirit to the Eternal Father and His Eternal Son, as Photius absurdly thought it was.

You've said nothing of relevance and my point remains unchallenged.

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"God is charity" doesn't state in any way that "God's essence is charity".

That is ridiculous. You beg the question by presupposing composition. St. John would have said "God has charity" or "God feels charity" if he wanted to teach what later opponents of Divine Simplicity believe.[/quote]

I'm not presupposing anything. You're presupposing the identity of God and the divine ousia, which is the very thing you're supposed to be evidencing.

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Moreover, you're operating with another presupposition: a real distinction between "essence" and "energies" equals "composition".

No, I'm only speaking abut the composition of the divine Essence itself, ad intra, which you can read even in St. Augustine and St. Cyril. By the way, as I've explained before, we don't deny the Divine Operations ad extra, or externally, and operations are the word translated from "energeia". But they don't compromise the simplicity of the Divine Essence itself.

Yes you are, and what you've written here in no wise contradicts the claim that you are. Absolute divine simplicity denies real distinction of energeia and ousia and constantly objects that a real distinction would introduce composition.

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Thus, briefly, two rough syllogisms can be constructed. The first: The Infinite cannot be made of finite parts

A mere claim.

It is obviously self-evident.

"Obviously self-evident" means, to translate from the language of classical foundationalism, "It's a presupposition whose alleged truth I cannot prove".

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All that is composed of finite parts is finite.

Another "self-evident" claim.

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Therefore what is infinite is not composed of finite parts.

Therefore this doesn't follow.

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Take for e.g. four squares of length 2 cm each and superimpose them together to compose a larger square of 4 cm.

An example of an instance does not prove a universally quantified proposition.

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Infinite is not composed of finites.

Either the infinite set of natural numbers is "composed" of a union of finite pairs of the form {n,n+1} or distinction does not imply "composition". Take your pick.

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The body is composite because the whole is greater than the part. The soul, which is wholly in every part of the body, so that it already as a spirit gives us an intuitive understanding of the Perfect Simplicity of the Eternal Spirit, and Lord of spirits, is simple compared to the body. But in the soul itself, it is one thing for it to be wise, and another for it to be good, and it is possible neither exist in the soul.

It's one thing to be wise and another to be good because the words "wise" and "good" have two distinct referents. Despite Scholastic indications to the contrary, what, with all the empty syntactic babble they engage in, words have meaning, and "wise" and "good" mean two different things, so that wisdom=goodness is and will forever be a meaningless expression whether it is predicated of man, of God, or of anything else.

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But in God Himself, Who is Eternal Wisdom and Eternal Goodness, it is not so: His Very Nature is Eternally Goodness, Wisdom and Love.

God is all those things because God is not absolutely simple.

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"nevertheless, since in the soul also it is one thing to be skillful, another to be indolent, another to be intelligent, another to be of retentive memory;

No. It's absolutely one thing to be skilful and another to be indolent because these words have meanings and they are not the same.

 The Fifth Council said "we follow in every the holy fathers ... Augustine... and their writings on the true Faith". St. Augustine's teaching here is Ecumenically Approved. It was even believed by the Orthodox for a long time before they later fell into schism from the Church.

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If God were not simple, He would be changeable, as every creature.

Non sequitur.

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Real distinction doesn't imply composition.

This is fine provided you distinguish internally and externally.

No. It's fine either way.

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Read the Catholic Dictionary, or the work of Blessed Mary of Jesus posted in the other subforum, on Ad Extra Divine Operations. These are external to the Divine Essence and so don't compromise its Simplicity.

"DIVINE OPERATION: 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

In Jesus and Mary,
Xavier.

I have a better idea. I will demonstrate just how ridiculous your absolutely simple divinity is.

Here is an image. Within the moment of reality it presents to us are a myriad of forms, textures, sounds, feelings, and shades and hues of every colour . It is undoubtedly complex as a totality. It is undoubtedly composed in its parts. And no two parts of it are alike, no sound of a wave the texture of the sand running through ones hands, no vision of blue water that of orange sky above the hands shielding ones eyes. But this phenomenon is what it is, and to know it is to know it as it is.



But as for the absolutely simple divinity, in his vision, imagination, mind, intellect or whatever else you wish to call it wherein he might possess knowledge of it, he can have no knowledge of it. For that vision, imagination, mind, intellect or whatever, along with their contents, are identical with each other and with his essence, and his essence is absolutely simple. This phenomenal reality is everything which this divinity is not and cannot be. This divinity could not even see or have knowledge of a single shade of blue or orange as they are and for what they are, for they are really distinct appearances and would have to be distinct in him, which is impossible, or resolve into one another and be annihilated with it.

You can keep your blind God.
 

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Re: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: As known from Revelation and Reason.
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 02:18:04 AM »
Heh. I don't have the time to go through all this now, but I'll get back later; and I fraternally advise you to read up on the Fathers more, and you will see the holy Greek Fathers in the early Church teach us Divine Simplicity. Let me quote St. Athanasius, the venerably Father of Catholic orthodoxy,

"22. If then any man conceives God to be compound, as accident is in essence, or to have any external envelopement , and to be encompassed, or as if there is anything about Him which completes the essence, so that when we say 'God,' or name 'Father,' we do not signify the invisible and incomprehensible essence, but something about it, then let them complain of the Council's stating that the Son was from the essence of God; but let them reflect, that in thus considering they utter two blasphemies; for they make God corporeal, and they falsely say that the Lord is not Son of the very Father, but of what is about Him. But if God be simple, as He is, it follows that in saying 'God' and naming 'Father,' we name nothing as if about Him, but signify his essence itself.

For though to comprehend what the essence of God is be impossible, yet if we only understand that God is, and if Scripture indicates Him by means of these titles, we, with the intention of indicating Him and none else, call Him God and Father and Lord. When then He says, 'I am that I am,' and 'I am the Lord God Exodus 3:14-15,' or when Scripture says, 'God,' we understand nothing else by it but the intimation of His incomprehensible essence Itself, and that He Is, who is spoken of." http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2809.htm

St. Dionysius, the convert made by St. Paul in the book of Athens, teaches Divine Simplicity in Divine Names. Even a Jewish historian like Philo, closely acquainted with the Apostles, and contemporaneous with them, hands down the Christian religion taught Divine Simplicity.

ETA: "Far removed is the Father of all from those things which operate among men, the affections and passions. He is simple, not composed of parts, without structure, altogether like and equal to himself alone. He is all mind, all spirit, all thought, all intelligence, all reason . . . all light, all fountain of every good, and this is the manner in which the religious and the pious are accustomed to speak of God" (St. Iraneaus, Against Heresies 2:13:3 [A.D. 189]).

"But there is neither nor ever shall be such a dogma in the Church of God that would prove the simple and incomposite [God] to be not only manifold and variegated, but even constructed from opposites. The simplicity of the dogmas of the truth proposes God as he is" (Against Eunomius 1:1:222 [A.D. 382]). St. Gregory of Nyssa

"[St. Paul] knows [God] in part. But he says, ‘in part,’ not because he knows God’s essence while something else of his essence he does not know; for God is simple. Rather, he says ‘in part’ because he knows that God exists, but what God is in his essence he does not know" (Against the Anomoians 1:5 [A.D. 386]). St. John Chrysostom

"For if one is not too poorly endowed with the decency which befits wise men, one will say that the divine being is properly and primarily simple and incomposite ..." - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Dialogues on the Trinity, book VII

St. Dionysius: "BE it so then. Let us come to the appellation "Good," already mentioned in our discourse, which the Theologians ascribe pre-eminently and exclusively to the super-Divine Deity, as I conjecture, by calling the supremely Divine Subsistence, Goodness; and because the Good, as essential Good, by Its being, extends Its Goodness to all things that be ... From this Beautiful (comes) being to all existing things,----that each is beautiful in its own proper order; and by reason of the Beautiful are the adaptations of all things, and friendships, and inter-communions, and by the Beautiful all things are made one, and the Beautiful is origin of all things, as a creating Cause, both by moving the whole and holding it together by the love of its own peculiar Beauty; and end of all things, and beloved, as final Cause (for all things exist for the sake of the Beautiful) and exemplary (Cause), because all things are determined according to It. Wherefore, also, the Beautiful is identical with the Good, because all things aspire to the Beautiful and Good, on every account, and there is no existing thing which does not participate in the Beautiful and the Good."
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 02:42:55 AM by Xavier »
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: As known from Revelation and Reason.
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 05:26:40 AM »
Yaaawn. Nobody has claimed the divine ousia is not simple, that God is composite, that the Father is composed of parts, etc. And to every one of your cut 'n paste "proof texts" into which you read your Augustinian-Thomistic theory of absolute divine simplicity, we can find a Father who contradicts it.

We say that we know the greatness of God, His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His providence over us, and the justness of His judgment; but not His very ousia. The question is, therefore, only put for the sake of dispute. For he who denies that he knows the ousia does not confess himself to be ignorant of God, because our idea of God is gathered from all the attributes which I have enumerated. But God, he says, is simple, and whatever attribute of Him you have reckoned as knowable is of His ousia. But the absurdities involved in this sophism are innumerable. When all these high attributes have been enumerated, are they all names of one ousia? And is there the same mutual force in His awfulness and His loving-kindness, His justice and His creative power, His providence and His foreknowledge, and His bestowal of rewards and punishments, His majesty and His providence? In mentioning any one of these do we declare His ousia? If they say, yes, let them not ask if we know the ousia of God, but let them enquire of us whether we know God to be awful, or just, or merciful. These we confess that we know. If they say that ousia is something distinct, let them not put us in the wrong on the score of simplicity. For they confess themselves that there is a distinction between the ousia and each one of the attributes enumerated. The operations are various, and the ousia simple, but we say that we know our God from His operations, but do not undertake to approach near to His ousia. His operations come down to us, but His ousia remains beyond our reach. St. Basil the Great, letter 234. 

And Philo was not "closely acquainted with the Apostles" and has nothing whatsoever to say of them or the Christian religion. He was, moreover, a Platonist, peddling pagan philosophy and replacing Yahweh with the Platonic "One" just like the Scholastics.
 

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Re: The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity: As known from Revelation and Reason.
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 05:47:13 AM »
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Heh. I don't have the time to go through all this now, but I'll get back later

There will be no getting back. Absolutely divine simplicity is absurd and my last argument buries it. The argument actually goes further, because such a being could not imagine our various colours, could not have the least essence of them in his grasp, and could not have brought them into existence. The real diversity of what something like colours really are, being precisely the appearances we see, not reducible to each other or to a third, wrecks the Scholastic absolutely simple "God".

I've engaged professional, published Thomists like Taylor Patrick O'Neill with it, not wannabe schoolboys, and they've all run away without an answer to the problem.