Summa Theologica Part I (Prima Pars) Part 1/
Summa Theologica Part I (Prima Pars) Part 1
Part I (Prima Pars).
by Thomas Aquinas.
FIRST ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 1]
Whether, besides Philosophy, any Further Doctrine Is Required?
Objection 1: It seems that, besides philosophical science, we have no need of any further knowledge. For man should not seek to know what is above reason: "Seek not the things that are too high for thee"
(Ecclus. 3:22). But whatever is not above reason is fully treated of in philosophical science. Therefore any other knowledge besides philosophical science is superfluous.
Obj. 2: Further, knowledge can be concerned only with being, for nothing can be known, save what is true; and all that is, is true. But everything that is, is treated of in philosophical science--even G.o.d Himself; so that there is a part of philosophy called theology, or the divine science, as Aristotle has proved (Metaph. vi). Therefore, besides philosophical science, there is no need of any further knowledge.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (2 Tim. 3:16): "All Scripture inspired of G.o.d is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice." Now Scripture, inspired of G.o.d, is no part of philosophical science, which has been built up by human reason. Therefore it is useful that besides philosophical science, there should be other knowledge, i.e. inspired of G.o.d.
_I answer that,_ It was necessary for man's salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by G.o.d besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because man is directed to G.o.d, as to an end that surpa.s.ses the grasp of his reason: "The eye hath not seen, O G.o.d, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee" (Isa. 66:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. Even as regards those truths about G.o.d which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about G.o.d such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man's whole salvation, which is in G.o.d, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation. It was therefore necessary that besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation.
Reply Obj. 1: Although those things which are beyond man's knowledge may not be sought for by man through his reason, nevertheless, once they are revealed by G.o.d, they must be accepted by faith. Hence the sacred text continues, "For many things are shown to thee above the understanding of man" (Ecclus. 3:25). And in this, the sacred science consists.
Reply Obj. 2: Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e.
abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself.
Hence there is no reason why those things which may be learned from philosophical science, so far as they can be known by natural reason, may not also be taught us by another science so far as they fall within revelation. Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy.
SECOND ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 2]
Whether Sacred Doctrine Is a Science?
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not a science. For every science proceeds from self-evident principles. But sacred doctrine proceeds from articles of faith which are not self-evident, since their truth is not admitted by all: "For all men have not faith" (2 Thess. 3:2). Therefore sacred doctrine is not a science.
Obj. 2: Further, no science deals with individual facts. But this sacred science treats of individual facts, such as the deeds of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and such like. Therefore sacred doctrine is not a science.
_On the contrary,_ Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 1) "to this science alone belongs that whereby saving faith is begotten, nourished, protected and strengthened." But this can be said of no science except sacred doctrine. Therefore sacred doctrine is a science.
_I answer that,_ Sacred doctrine is a science. We must bear in mind that there are two kinds of sciences. There are some which proceed from a principle known by the natural light of intelligence, such as arithmetic and geometry and the like. There are some which proceed from principles known by the light of a higher science: thus the science of perspective proceeds from principles established by geometry, and music from principles established by arithmetic. So it is that sacred doctrine is a science because it proceeds from principles established by the light of a higher science, namely, the science of G.o.d and the blessed. Hence, just as the musician accepts on authority the principles taught him by the mathematician, so sacred science is established on principles revealed by G.o.d.
Reply Obj. 1: The principles of any science are either in themselves self-evident, or reducible to the conclusions of a higher science; and such, as we have said, are the principles of sacred doctrine.
Reply Obj. 2: Individual facts are treated of in sacred doctrine, not because it is concerned with them princ.i.p.ally, but they are introduced rather both as examples to be followed in our lives (as in moral sciences) and in order to establish the authority of those men through whom the divine revelation, on which this sacred scripture or doctrine is based, has come down to us.
THIRD ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 3]
Whether Sacred Doctrine Is One Science?
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not one science; for according to the Philosopher (Poster. i) "that science is one which treats only of one cla.s.s of subjects." But the creator and the creature, both of whom are treated of in sacred doctrine, cannot be grouped together under one cla.s.s of subjects. Therefore sacred doctrine is not one science.
Obj. 2: Further, in sacred doctrine we treat of angels, corporeal creatures and human morality. But these belong to separate philosophical sciences. Therefore sacred doctrine cannot be one science.
_On the contrary,_ Holy Scripture speaks of it as one science: "Wisdom gave him the knowledge [scientiam] of holy things" (Wis. 10:10).
_I answer that,_ Sacred doctrine is one science. The unity of a faculty or habit is to be gauged by its object, not indeed, in its material aspect, but as regards the precise formality under which it is an object. For example, man, a.s.s, stone agree in the one precise formality of being colored; and color is the formal object of sight.
Therefore, because Sacred Scripture considers things precisely under the formality of being divinely revealed, whatever has been divinely revealed possesses the one precise formality of the object of this science; and therefore is included under sacred doctrine as under one science.
Reply Obj. 1: Sacred doctrine does not treat of G.o.d and creatures equally, but of G.o.d primarily, and of creatures only so far as they are referable to G.o.d as their beginning or end. Hence the unity of this science is not impaired.
Reply Obj. 2: Nothing prevents inferior faculties or habits from being differentiated by something which falls under a higher faculty or habit as well; because the higher faculty or habit regards the object in its more universal formality, as the object of the _common sense_ is whatever affects the senses, including, therefore, whatever is visible or audible. Hence the _common sense,_ although one faculty, extends to all the objects of the five senses. Similarly, objects which are the subject-matter of different philosophical sciences can yet be treated of by this one single sacred science under one aspect precisely so far as they can be included in revelation. So that in this way, sacred doctrine bears, as it were, the stamp of the divine science which is one and simple, yet extends to everything.
FOURTH ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 4]
Whether Sacred Doctrine Is a Practical Science?
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is a practical science; for a practical science is that which ends in action according to the Philosopher (Metaph. ii). But sacred doctrine is ordained to action: "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22).
Therefore sacred doctrine is a practical science.
Obj. 2: Further, sacred doctrine is divided into the Old and the New Law. But law implies a moral science which is a practical science.
Therefore sacred doctrine is a practical science.
_On the contrary,_ Every practical science is concerned with human operations; as moral science is concerned with human acts, and architecture with buildings. But sacred doctrine is chiefly concerned with G.o.d, whose handiwork is especially man. Therefore it is not a practical but a speculative science.
_I answer that,_ Sacred doctrine, being one, extends to things which belong to different philosophical sciences because it considers in each the same formal aspect, namely, so far as they can be known through divine revelation. Hence, although among the philosophical sciences one is speculative and another practical, nevertheless sacred doctrine includes both; as G.o.d, by one and the same science, knows both Himself and His works. Still, it is speculative rather than practical because it is more concerned with divine things than with human acts; though it does treat even of these latter, inasmuch as man is ordained by them to the perfect knowledge of G.o.d in which consists eternal bliss. This is a sufficient answer to the Objections.
FIFTH ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 5]
Whether Sacred Doctrine Is n.o.bler than Other Sciences?
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not n.o.bler than other sciences; for the n.o.bility of a science depends on the cert.i.tude it establishes. But other sciences, the principles of which cannot be doubted, seem to be more certain than sacred doctrine; for its principles--namely, articles of faith--can be doubted. Therefore other sciences seem to be n.o.bler.
Obj. 2: Further, it is the sign of a lower science to depend upon a higher; as music depends on arithmetic. But sacred doctrine does in a sense depend upon philosophical sciences; for Jerome observes, in his Epistle to Magnus, that "the ancient doctors so enriched their books with the ideas and phrases of the philosophers, that thou knowest not what more to admire in them, their profane erudition or their scriptural learning." Therefore sacred doctrine is inferior to other sciences.
_On the contrary,_ Other sciences are called the handmaidens of this one: "Wisdom sent her maids to invite to the tower" (Prov. 9:3).
_I answer that,_ Since this science is partly speculative and partly practical, it transcends all others speculative and practical. Now one speculative science is said to be n.o.bler than another, either by reason of its greater cert.i.tude, or by reason of the higher worth of its subject-matter. In both these respects this science surpa.s.ses other speculative sciences; in point of greater cert.i.tude, because other sciences derive their cert.i.tude from the natural light of human reason, which can err; whereas this derives its cert.i.tude from the light of divine knowledge, which cannot be misled: in point of the higher worth of its subject-matter because this science treats chiefly of those things which by their sublimity transcend human reason; while other sciences consider only those things which are within reason's grasp. Of the practical sciences, that one is n.o.bler which is ordained to a further purpose, as political science is n.o.bler than military science; for the good of the army is directed to the good of the State. But the purpose of this science, in so far as it is practical, is eternal bliss; to which as to an ultimate end the purposes of every practical science are directed. Hence it is clear that from every standpoint, it is n.o.bler than other sciences.
Reply Obj. 1: It may well happen that what is in itself the more certain may seem to us the less certain on account of the weakness of our intelligence, "which is dazzled by the clearest objects of nature; as the owl is dazzled by the light of the sun"
(Metaph. ii, lect. i). Hence the fact that some happen to doubt about articles of faith is not due to the uncertain nature of the truths, but to the weakness of human intelligence; yet the slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things, as is said in _de Animalibus_ xi.
Reply Obj. 2: This science can in a sense depend upon the philosophical sciences, not as though it stood in need of them, but only in order to make its teaching clearer. For it accepts its principles not from other sciences, but immediately from G.o.d, by revelation. Therefore it does not depend upon other sciences as upon the higher, but makes use of them as of the lesser, and as handmaidens: even so the master sciences make use of the sciences that supply their materials, as political of military science. That it thus uses them is not due to its own defect or insufficiency, but to the defect of our intelligence, which is more easily led by what is known through natural reason (from which proceed the other sciences) to that which is above reason, such as are the teachings of this science.
SIXTH ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 6]
Whether This Doctrine Is the Same as Wisdom?