JOST: summary of ad. 1

The first group of difficulties studies above concerned the liberty’s indifference together with the act of the divine will, which is always in second act. In response we said that it is entirely true that there cannot be an indifference with respect to the exercise or non exercise of the divine power, but there could be an indifference of the act with respect to the contact or not being in contact with the created object, which can only be loved by God freely, always standing to him as a secondary and inadequate object. When it was objected that an actual relation to an object is intrinsic to [God] we responded that something that is dependent in act on an object and takes its specification or some perfection from it, is an intrinsic relation, and is indeed the very entity in act as it is something not entirely for itself but relating to another and depending on it. An act that in no way depends on something else but is an entity entirely for itself and on which its object entirely depends is not intrinsically constituted by this relation and order to the secondary object which depends on it and it does not establish a real relation to it. The relation of reason belonging to that maximal form of independence and dominion over the object is something following upon the act and not constituitive of it. Because if the act is the cause of the object and the object depends on it though not reciprocally, an order to an object is presupposed in such an act but it does not constitute it. Were one to press the objection that the very divine act, considered as free and as distinguished from the neceesary has nothing for its object except the created thing (as does, for that matter, omnipotence) We responded that the act is not distinguished into being either free or necessary through the created object, as something either motivating or specifying the act, but as something caused and changed by the act. If an object is caused by an act it does not distinguish the act per se nor constitute it, but presupposes it. So the distinction or constitution of of the free act as free is antecedent to the created object and to the relation of reason although the relation comes to it as a consequence, but the freedom of the act arises from the divine goodness as from an object, being something communicable to the creature, since the maximal and absolute independence and dominion that it has over every creature is not equal to the divinity itself and therefore not necessary but is rather contingent relative to divinity, whose changeless and so-constituted act is in the nature of the object, because whatever good is in the object participates in it and therefore is desirable and objective. So we said above that God relates to it more as his effect than as his object, which is also true of omnipotence, which is in God absolutely an independently, regarding the the object as an effect consequent on it, but not following on the nature of the contingent that is its existence, but in the nature of the possible, which is spoken of as necessary, about which we will speak of below in Q. 25 disp. 12. So omnipotence is not free with respect to possibles, even though created possibility is not equal to divinity, but his will is free with respect to existence. If one were to challenge what sort of indifference consists only on a relation of reason, we respond that the indifference is something real, denominated, and with a power over objects in the will and in contingent nature, which is nevertheless signified by us through a relation of reason while being something real in itself and absolute but unchangeable with respect to the exterior object, and so it cannot be present or absent entitatively on the side of the subject, but only as a term and on the side of the object, because the object lacks being in itself and is limited in existence and so is only contingent, and with a mode of contingency by an act not having necessity…

%d bloggers like this: