CT 33: Identity of God’s Will with His Intellect

The obvious next step at the end of CT 32 was to establish the identity of God’s volition with His intellect…and hence, with His existence and His essence, and Thomas takes that step in Chapter 33:

Evidently God’s will cannot be anything other than His intellect. For, since a good that is apprehended by the intellect is the object of the will, it moves the will and is the will’s act and perfection. In God, however, there is no distinction between mover and moved, act and potency, perfection and perfectible, as is clear from the truths we have already gained. Also, the divine intellect and the divine essence are identical. Therefore the will of God is not distinct from the divine intellect and God’s essence.

The intellect understands a good, and through the will moves things to achieve that good. The apprehended good is the “final cause”, the end in view, the perfection reached through the act of will. We established previously that God has volition, has a will; but God is simple, as we already established, and therefore His intellect and His will must be one, with no distinction between them. He Is, He Knows, and He Wills, eternally.

Another consideration: among the various perfections of things, the chief are intellect and will. A sign of this is that they are found in the nobler beings. But the perfections of all things are one in God, and this is His essence, as we showed above. In God, therefore, intellect and will are identical with His essence.

Not much to say, here; this is simply the next logical step in the progression.

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