The Fourth Way is a general argument that God is X to a maximal degree where X is “things like” (huiusmodi) good, true, dignity, being, etc. This means that God is most of all what we mean by these things, and even though we call other things good this is only because the first things we name are not the highest instances of what deserve that name. We can show this by looking at the great number of things that the Fourth Way is talking about in particular:
1a.) Being. A being exists just as a pair is even, i.e. by definition. But while some group that is by definition even can cease to be even by ceasing to be, what by definition exists can’t cease to exist. The individual we could call a being could only be an individual whose non-existence would involve a contradiction. This is no individual in the universe (all of them have a genesis) nor the universe (which is not an individual but a collection)
2a.) True. A thing is true when it exists relative to an intellect, but a thing only exists relative to a creator.*
2b.) Power. Power is the ability to be responsible for the existence of another.
3a.) Good. A good satisfies an appetite and so the highest good satisfies the highest appetite. But everything desires to exist and all intellects desire truth, and both of these terms are divine from 1 and 2.
Corollary 1: what we seek for ourselves requires going outside ourselves. The desire to for existence is not limited to our mere desire not to die.
Corollary 2: Here is another vantage point to see the shallowness of understanding divine goodness as “moral perfection”
3b.) Dignity. Dignity belongs to a thing so far as it is an end and not a means. But the highest good, as such, can never be a means but only an end.
3c.) Person. If the person is subordinate to a non-personal highest good then objectification, alienation and the degradation of persons are the highest good of a person. The consequent is a contradiction, therefore, etc.
1b.) Life. To live is to exist in what acts for itself. But a person acts for himself.
4.) One. One is the negation of division, but things are divisible so far as they await some further existence in space, in time, or of their intrinsic matter. But to await further being, as such, is not to be.
5.) Devotion. The limit of devotion is worship.
* Objection: Being heard does not require existence to a divine ear, so truth does not require existence to a non-divine mind.
Reponse: This illustrates the difference between the objectivity of sense and of intelligence. Sense objectivity is content to attain the thing as it is for the one sensing. Whether you’re a dung beetle or not will affect you awareness of sweet-smelling things, whether you are a polar bear or not will affect what temperature is too cold or oppressively hot. But intelligence seeks an objectivity that is just the thing itself and nothing more – the pure object unconditioned by subjectivity. But to attain this requires a pure “being seen” from no perspective, i.e. from no limited vantage point. What we mean by objectivity, and so truth, cannot involve a vantage point within the things we seek to understand.
This allows another development:
2c.) Beauty. The beauty appropriate to this sort of thing is sublimity, and the sublime is that which overwhelms the cognitive powers. But perfect objectivity totally overwhelms all created cognitive powers, therefore.