Little Elements of Theology, I

What directs itself, knows.  

For unless someone is aware of his own self, he cannot direct it. Only a knower, therefore, can direct his self, properly speaking.  

The above argument suffices but there are many others taken apart from proper cause: praise and blame, awareness and intention, our interior awareness that our knowledge is essentially related to our self direction, etc.  

So what does not know, and has direction to something, is being directed by another.  

But all that is moving has direction to something.  

So all motion depends upon intelligence, for what is by another is properly from what is by itself.  

Again, to be by another is a way of being after, what is by itself is before. To think that everything is by another is to think that everything is after an after an after.  

Or again it is a failure to understand basic truths about relative terms. Relatives properly speaking cannot exist without their correlatives. To think all could be after of from another would be like thinking there could be all beneath and nothing above, all sons in a world where there never were fathers.   

The first trace of actuality, motion, presupposes and depends upon that highest actuality, the immobile and intelligent.  


  1. September 19, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Motion is relative, so a thing may be moving from the point of view of one reference frame and stationary from the point of view of another reference frame. So, is an intelligence both moving and not moving it?

    Motion has direction, but it is not “to something,” as if the moving thing wanted to get there.

    Also, no cause is necessary for a thing to remain in constant motion. Hence there would seem to be no need for a power guided by an intelligence to keep moving it.

  2. September 19, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Do you happen to know where Aquinas says that either Christ performed miracles which attest to His nature and mission, or otherwise the conversion of the world to Christianity completely without miracles is a miracle in its own right?

  3. a thomist said,

    September 30, 2007 at 11:44 am

    As to your claim about contradiction, it does not jibe with experience. I move a fork accross the table, which is manifestly by intelligence. How am I moving and not moving it? I can move it in one respect, but not in another.

    When did I speak about, say, a falling stone “wanting” the ground? When did I limit this consideration to “absolute” motion (whatever that is) as opposed to “relative” motion (and why does an argument about motion as such not apply just as well to relative and any other kind of motion?)

    You are assuming I am saying things I am not. I am well aware that a stone does not want to go to the ground. In fact, my whole argument presupposes that stones DON’T know, or want! That is the whole basis for their being directed by another.

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