St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province


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Post praemissa, considerandum est de divina unitate. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor.    After the foregoing, we consider the divine unity; concerning which there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum unum addat aliquid supra ens.     (1) Whether "one" adds anything to "being"?
Secundo, utrum opponantur unum et multa.     (2) Whether "one" and "many" are opposed to each other?
Tertio, utrum Deus sit unus.     (3) Whether God is one?
Quarto, utrum sit maxime unus.     (4) Whether He is in the highest degree one?


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Question: 11  [<< | >>]
Article: 1  [<< | >>]

Whether "one" adds anything to "being"?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod unum addat aliquid supra ens. Omne enim quod est in aliquo genere determinato, se habet ex additione ad ens, quod circuit omnia genera. Sed unum est in genere determinato, est enim principium numeri, qui est species quantitatis. Ergo unum addit aliquid supra ens.   Objection 1: It seems that "one" adds something to "being." For everything is in a determinate genus by addition to being, which penetrates all "genera." But "one" is a determinate genus, for it is the principle of number, which is a species of quantity. Therefore "one" adds something to "being."
Praeterea, quod dividit aliquod commune, se habet ex additione ad illud. Sed ens dividitur per unum et multa. Ergo unum addit aliquid supra ens.   Objection 2: Further, what divides a thing common to all, is an addition to it. But "being" is divided by "one" and by "many." Therefore "one" is an addition to "being."
Praeterea, si unum non addit supra ens, idem esset dicere unum et ens. Sed nugatorie dicitur ens ens. Ergo nugatio esset dicere ens unum, quod falsum est. Addit igitur unum supra ens.   Objection 3: Further, if "one" is not an addition to "being," "one" and "being" must have the same meaning. But it would be nugatory to call "being" by the name of "being"; therefore it would be equally so to call being "one." Now this is false. Therefore "one" is an addition to "being."
Sed contra est quod dicit Dionysius, ult. cap. de Div. Nom., nihil est existentium non participans uno, quod non esset, si unum adderet supra ens quod contraheret ipsum. Ergo unum non habet se ex additione ad ens.   On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. 5, ult.): "Nothing which exists is not in some way one," which would be false if "one" were an addition to "being," in the sense of limiting it. Therefore "one" is not an addition to "being."
Respondeo dicendum quod unum non addit supra ens rem aliquam, sed tantum negationem divisionis, unum enim nihil aliud significat quam ens indivisum. Et ex hoc ipso apparet quod unum convertitur cum ente. Nam omne ens aut est simplex, aut compositum. Quod autem est simplex, est indivisum et actu et potentia. Quod autem est compositum, non habet esse quandiu partes eius sunt divisae, sed postquam constituunt et componunt ipsum compositum. Unde manifestum est quod esse cuiuslibet rei consistit in indivisione. Et inde est quod unumquodque, sicut custodit suum esse, ita custodit suam unitatem.   I answer that, "One" does not add any reality to "being"; but is only a negation of division; for "one" means undivided "being." This is the very reason why "one" is the same as "being." Now every being is either simple or compound. But what is simple is undivided, both actually and potentially. Whereas what is compound, has not being whilst its parts are divided, but after they make up and compose it. Hence it is manifest that the being of anything consists in undivision; and hence it is that everything guards its unity as it guards its being.
Ad primum igitur dicendum quod quidam, putantes idem esse unum quod convertitur cum ente, et quod est principium numeri, divisi sunt in contrarias positiones. Pythagoras enim et Plato, videntes quod unum quod convertitur cum ente, non addit aliquam rem supra ens, sed significat substantiam entis prout est indivisa, existimaverunt sic se habere de uno quod est principium numeri. Et quia numerus componitur ex unitatibus, crediderunt quod numeri essent substantiae omnium rerum. E contrario autem Avicenna, considerans quod unum quod est principium numeri, addit aliquam rem supra substantiam entis (alias numerus ex unitatibus compositus non esset species quantitatis), credidit quod unum quod convertitur cum ente, addat rem aliquam supra substantiam entis, sicut album supra hominem. Sed hoc manifeste falsum est, quia quaelibet res est una per suam substantiam. Si enim per aliquid aliud esset una quaelibet res, cum illud iterum sit unum, si esset iterum unum per aliquid aliud, esset abire in infinitum. Unde standum est in primo. Sic igitur dicendum est quod unum quod convertitur cum ente, non addit aliquam rem supra ens, sed unum quod est principium numeri, addit aliquid supra ens, ad genus quantitatis pertinens.   Reply to Objection 1: Some, thinking that the "one" convertible with "being" is the same as the "one" which is the principle of number, were divided into contrary opinions. Pythagoras and Plato, seeing that the "one" convertible with "being" did not add any reality to "being," but signified the substance of "being" as undivided, thought that the same applied to the "one" which is the principle of number. And because number is composed of unities, they thought that numbers were the substances of all things. Avicenna, however, on the contrary, considering that "one" which is the principle of number, added a reality to the substance of "being" (otherwise number made of unities would not be a species of quantity), thought that the "one" convertible with "being" added a reality to the substance of beings; as "white" to "man." This, however, is manifestly false, inasmuch as each thing is "one" by its substance. For if a thing were "one" by anything else but by its substance, since this again would be "one," supposing it were again "one" by another thing, we should be driven on to infinity. Hence we must adhere to the former statement; therefore we must say that the "one" which is convertible with "being," does not add a reality to being; but that the "one" which is the principle of number, does add a reality to "being," belonging to the genus of quantity.
Ad secundum dicendum quod nihil prohibet id quod est uno modo divisum, esse alio modo indivisum; sicut quod est divisum numero, est indivisum secundum speciem, et sic contingit aliquid esse uno modo unum, alio modo multa. Sed tamen si sit indivisum simpliciter; vel quia est indivisum secundum id quod pertinet ad essentiam rei, licet sit divisum quantum ad ea quae sunt extra essentiam rei, sicut quod est unum subiecto et multa secundum accidentia; vel quia est indivisum in actu, et divisum in potentia, sicut quod est unum toto et multa secundum partes, huiusmodi erit unum simpliciter, et multa secundum quid. Si vero aliquid e converso sit indivisum secundum quid, et divisum simpliciter; utpote quia est divisum secundum essentiam, et indivisum secundum rationem, vel secundum principium sive causam, erit multa simpliciter, et unum secundum quid; ut quae sunt multa numero et unum specie, vel unum principio. Sic igitur ens dividitur per unum et multa, quasi per unum simpliciter, et multa secundum quid. Nam et ipsa multitudo non contineretur sub ente, nisi contineretur aliquo modo sub uno. Dicit enim Dionysius, ult. cap. de Div. Nom., quod non est multitudo non participans uno, sed quae sunt multa partibus, sunt unum toto; et quae sunt multa accidentibus, sunt unum subiecto; et quae sunt multa numero, sunt unum specie; et quae sunt speciebus multa, sunt unum genere; et quae sunt multa processibus, sunt unum principio.   Reply to Objection 2: There is nothing to prevent a thing which in one way is divided, from being another way undivided; as what is divided in number, may be undivided in species; thus it may be that a thing is in one way "one," and in another way "many." Still, if it is absolutely undivided, either because it is so according to what belongs to its essence, though it may be divided as regards what is outside its essence, as what is one in subject may have many accidents; or because it is undivided actually, and divided potentially, as what is "one" in the whole, and is "many" in parts; in such a case a thing will be "one" absolutely and "many" accidentally. On the other hand, if it be undivided accidentally, and divided absolutely, as if it were divided in essence and undivided in idea or in principle or cause, it will be "many" absolutely and "one" accidentally; as what are "many" in number and "one" in species or "one" in principle. Hence in that way, being is divided by "one" and by "many"; as it were by "one" absolutely and by "many" accidentally. For multitude itself would not be contained under "being," unless it were in some way contained under "one." Thus Dionysius says (Div. Nom. cap. ult.) that "there is no kind of multitude that is not in a way one. But what are many in their parts, are one in their whole; and what are many in accidents, are one in subject; and what are many in number, are one in species; and what are many in species, are one in genus; and what are many in processions, are one in principle."
Ad tertium dicendum quod ideo non est nugatio cum dicitur ens unum, quia unum addit aliquid secundum rationem supra ens.   Reply to Objection 3: It does not follow that it is nugatory to say "being" is "one"; forasmuch as "one" adds an idea to "being."


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Question: 11  [<< | >>]
Article: 2  [<< | >>]

Whether "one" and "many" are opposed to each other?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod unum et multa non opponantur. Nullum enim oppositum praedicatur de suo opposito. Sed omnis multitudo est quodammodo unum, ut ex praedictis patet. Ergo unum non opponitur multitudini.   Objection 1: It seems that "one" and "many" are not mutually opposed. For no opposite thing is predicated of its opposite. But every "multitude" is in a certain way "one," as appears from the preceding article. Therefore "one" is not opposed to "multitude."
Praeterea, nullum oppositum constituitur ex suo opposito. Sed unum constituit multitudinem. Ergo non opponitur multitudini.   Objection 2: Further, no opposite thing is constituted by its opposite. But "multitude" is constituted by "one." Therefore it is not opposed to "multitude."
Praeterea, unum uni est oppositum. Sed multo opponitur paucum. Ergo non opponitur ei unum.   Objection 3: Further, "one" is opposed to "one." But the idea of "few" is opposed to "many." Therefore "one" is not opposed to "many."
Praeterea, si unum opponitur multitudini, opponitur ei sicut indivisum diviso, et sic opponetur ei ut privatio habitui. Hoc autem videtur inconveniens, quia sequeretur quod unum sit posterius multitudine, et definiatur per eam; cum tamen multitudo definiatur per unum. Unde erit circulus in definitione, quod est inconveniens. Non ergo unum et multa sunt opposita.   Objection 4: Further, if "one" is opposed to "multitude," it is opposed as the undivided is to the divided; and is thus opposed to it as privation is to habit. But this appears to be incongruous; because it would follow that "one" comes after "multitude," and is defined by it; whereas, on the contrary, "multitude" is defined by "one." Hence there would be a vicious circle in the definition; which is inadmissible. Therefore "one" and "many" are not opposed.
Sed contra, quorum rationes sunt oppositae, ipsa sunt opposita. Sed ratio unius consistit in indivisibilitate, ratio vero multitudinis divisionem continet. Ergo unum et multa sunt opposita.   On the contrary, Things which are opposed in idea, are themselves opposed to each other. But the idea of "one" consists in indivisibility; and the idea of "multitude" contains division. Therefore "one" and "many" are opposed to each other.
Respondeo dicendum quod unum opponitur multis, sed diversimode. Nam unum quod est principium numeri, opponitur multitudini quae est numerus, ut mensura mensurato, unum enim habet rationem primae mensurae, et numerus est multitudo mensurata per unum, ut patet ex X Metaphys. Unum vero quod convertitur cum ente, opponitur multitudini per modum privationis, ut indivisum diviso.   I answer that, "One" is opposed to "many," but in various ways. The "one" which is the principle of number is opposed to "multitude" which is number, as the measure is to the thing measured. For "one" implies the idea of a primary measure; and number is "multitude" measured by "one," as is clear from Metaph. x. But the "one" which convertible with "being" is opposed to "multitude" by way of privation; as the undivided is to the thing divided.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nulla privatio tollit totaliter esse, quia privatio est negatio in subiecto, secundum philosophum. Sed tamen omnis privatio tollit aliquod esse. Et ideo in ente, ratione suae communitatis, accidit quod privatio entis fundatur in ente, quod non accidit in privationibus formarum specialium, ut visus vel albedinis, vel alicuius huiusmodi. Et sicut est de ente, ita est de uno et bono, quae convertuntur cum ente, nam privatio boni fundatur in aliquo bono, et similiter remotio unitatis fundatur in aliquo uno. Et exinde contingit quod multitudo est quoddam unum, et malum est quoddam bonum, et non ens est quoddam ens. Non tamen oppositum praedicatur de opposito, quia alterum horum est simpliciter, et alterum secundum quid. Quod enim secundum quid est ens, ut in potentia, est non ens simpliciter, idest actu, vel quod est ens simpliciter in genere substantiae, est non ens secundum quid, quantum ad aliquod esse accidentale. Similiter ergo quod est bonum secundum quid, est malum simpliciter; vel e converso. Et similiter quod est unum simpliciter, est multa secundum quid; et e converso.   Reply to Objection 1: No privation entirely takes away the being of a thing, inasmuch as privation means "negation in the subject," according to the Philosopher (Categor. viii). Nevertheless every privation takes away some being; and so in being, by reason of its universality, the privation of being has its foundation in being; which is not the case in privations of special forms, as of sight, or of whiteness and the like. And what applies to being applies also to one and to good, which are convertible with being, for the privation of good is founded in some good; likewise the removal of unity is founded in some one thing. Hence it happens that multitude is some one thing; and evil is some good thing, and non-being is some kind of being. Nevertheless, opposite is not predicated of opposite; forasmuch as one is absolute, and the other is relative; for what is relative being (as a potentiality) is non-being absolutely, i.e. actually; or what is absolute being in the genus of substance is non-being relatively as regards some accidental being. In the same way, what is relatively good is absolutely bad, or vice versa; likewise what is absolutely "one" is relatively "many," and vice versa.
Ad secundum dicendum quod duplex est totum, quoddam homogeneum, quod componitur ex similibus partibus; quoddam vero heterogeneum, quod componitur ex dissimilibus partibus. In quolibet autem toto homogeneo, totum constituitur ex partibus habentibus formam totius, sicut quaelibet pars aquae est aqua, et talis est constitutio continui ex suis partibus. In quolibet autem toto heterogeneo, quaelibet pars caret forma totius, nulla enim pars domus est domus, nec aliqua pars hominis est homo. Et tale totum est multitudo. Inquantum ergo pars eius non habet formam multitudinis, componitur multitudo ex unitatibus, sicut domus ex non domibus, non quod unitates constituant multitudinem secundum id quod habent de ratione indivisionis, prout opponuntur multitudini; sed secundum hoc quod habent de entitate, sicut et partes domus constituunt domum per hoc quod sunt quaedam corpora, non per hoc quod sunt non domus.   Reply to Objection 2: A "whole" is twofold. In one sense it is homogeneous, composed of like parts; in another sense it is heterogeneous, composed of dissimilar parts. Now in every homogeneous whole, the whole is made up of parts having the form of the whole; as, for instance, every part of water is water; and such is the constitution of a continuous thing made up of its parts. In every heterogeneous whole, however, every part is wanting in the form belonging to the whole; as, for instance, no part of a house is a house, nor is any part of a man a man. Now multitude is such a kind of a whole. Therefore inasmuch as its part has not the form of the multitude, the latter is composed of unities, as a house is composed of not houses; not, indeed, as if unities constituted multitude so far as they are undivided, in which way they are opposed to multitude; but so far as they have being, as also the parts of a house make up the house by the fact that they are beings, not by the fact that they are not houses.
Ad tertium dicendum quod multum accipitur dupliciter. Uno modo, absolute, et sic opponitur uni. Alio modo, secundum quod importat excessum quendam, et sic opponitur pauco. Unde primo modo duo sunt multa; non autem secundo.   Reply to Objection 3: "Many" is taken in two ways: absolutely, and in that sense it is opposed to "one"; in another way as importing some kind of excess, in which sense it is opposed to "few"; hence in the first sense two are many but not in the second sense.
Ad quartum dicendum quod unum opponitur privative multis, inquantum in ratione multorum est quod sint divisa. Unde oportet quod divisio sit prius unitate, non simpliciter, sed secundum rationem nostrae apprehensionis. Apprehendimus enim simplicia per composita, unde definimus punctum, cuius pars non est, vel principium lineae. Sed multitudo, etiam secundum rationem, consequenter se habet ad unum, quia divisa non intelligimus habere rationem multitudinis, nisi per hoc quod utrique divisorum attribuimus unitatem. Unde unum ponitur in definitione multitudinis, non autem multitudo in definitione unius. Sed divisio cadit in intellectu ex ipsa negatione entis. Ita quod primo cadit in intellectu ens; secundo, quod hoc ens non est illud ens, et sic secundo apprehendimus divisionem; tertio, unum; quarto, multitudinem.   Reply to Objection 4: "One" is opposed to "many" privatively, inasmuch as the idea of "many" involves division. Hence division must be prior to unity, not absolutely in itself, but according to our way of apprehension. For we apprehend simple things by compound things; and hence we define a point to be, "what has no part," or "the beginning of a line." "Multitude" also, in idea, follows on "one"; because we do not understand divided things to convey the idea of multitude except by the fact that we attribute unity to every part. Hence "one" is placed in the definition of "multitude"; but "multitude" is not placed in the definition of "one." But division comes to be understood from the very negation of being: so what first comes to mind is being; secondly, that this being is not that being, and thus we apprehend division as a consequence; thirdly, comes the notion of one; fourthly, the notion of multitude.


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First Part  [<< | >>]
Question: 11  [<< | >>]
Article: 3  [<< | >>]

Whether God is one?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deus non sit unus. Dicitur enim I ad Cor. VIII, siquidem sunt dii multi et domini multi.   Objection 1: It seems that God is not one. For it is written "For there be many gods and many lords" (1 Cor. 8:5).
Praeterea, unum quod est principium numeri, non potest praedicari de Deo, cum nulla quantitas de Deo praedicetur. Similiter nec unum quod convertitur cum ente, quia importat privationem, et omnis privatio imperfectio est, quae Deo non competit. Non est igitur dicendum quod Deus sit unus.   Objection 2: Further, "One," as the principle of number, cannot be predicated of God, since quantity is not predicated of God; likewise, neither can "one" which is convertible with "being" be predicated of God, because it imports privation, and every privation is an imperfection, which cannot apply to God. Therefore God is not one.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Deut. VI, audi, Israel, dominus Deus tuus unus est.   On the contrary, It is written "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord" (Dt. 6:4).
Respondeo dicendum quod Deum esse unum, ex tribus demonstratur. Primo quidem ex eius simplicitate. Manifestum est enim quod illud unde aliquod singulare est hoc aliquid, nullo modo est multis communicabile. Illud enim unde Socrates est homo, multis communicari potest, sed id unde est hic homo, non potest communicari nisi uni tantum. Si ergo Socrates per id esset homo, per quod est hic homo, sicut non possunt esse plures Socrates, ita non possent esse plures homines. Hoc autem convenit Deo, nam ipse Deus est sua natura, ut supra ostensum est. Secundum igitur idem est Deus, et hic Deus. Impossibile est igitur esse plures deos.   I answer that, It can be shown from these three sources that God is one. First from His simplicity. For it is manifest that the reason why any singular thing is "this particular thing" is because it cannot be communicated to many: since that whereby Socrates is a man, can be communicated to many; whereas, what makes him this particular man, is only communicable to one. Therefore, if Socrates were a man by what makes him to be this particular man, as there cannot be many Socrates, so there could not in that way be many men. Now this belongs to God alone; for God Himself is His own nature, as was shown above (Question [3], Article [3]). Therefore, in the very same way God is God, and He is this God. Impossible is it therefore that many Gods should exist.
Secundo vero, ex infinitate eius perfectionis. Ostensum est enim supra quod Deus comprehendit in se totam perfectionem essendi. Si ergo essent plures dii, oporteret eos differre. Aliquid ergo conveniret uni, quod non alteri. Et si hoc esset privatio, non esset simpliciter perfectus, si autem hoc esset perfectio, alteri eorum deesset. Impossibile est ergo esse plures deos. Unde et antiqui philosophi, quasi ab ipsa coacti veritate, ponentes principium infinitum, posuerunt unum tantum principium.    Secondly, this is proved from the infinity of His perfection. For it was shown above (Question [4], Article [2]) that God comprehends in Himself the whole perfection of being. If then many gods existed, they would necessarily differ from each other. Something therefore would belong to one which did not belong to another. And if this were a privation, one of them would not be absolutely perfect; but if a perfection, one of them would be without it. So it is impossible for many gods to exist. Hence also the ancient philosophers, constrained as it were by truth, when they asserted an infinite principle, asserted likewise that there was only one such principle.
Tertio, ab unitate mundi. Omnia enim quae sunt, inveniuntur esse ordinata ad invicem, dum quaedam quibusdam deserviunt. Quae autem diversa sunt, in unum ordinem non convenirent, nisi ab aliquo uno ordinarentur. Melius enim multa reducuntur in unum ordinem per unum, quam per multa, quia per se unius unum est causa, et multa non sunt causa unius nisi per accidens, inquantum scilicet sunt aliquo modo unum. Cum igitur illud quod est primum, sit perfectissimum et per se, non per accidens, oportet quod primum reducens omnia in unum ordinem, sit unum tantum. Et hoc est Deus.    Thirdly, this is shown from the unity of the world. For all things that exist are seen to be ordered to each other since some serve others. But things that are diverse do not harmonize in the same order, unless they are ordered thereto by one. For many are reduced into one order by one better than by many: because one is the "per se" cause of one, and many are only the accidental cause of one, inasmuch as they are in some way one. Since therefore what is first is most perfect, and is so "per se" and not accidentally, it must be that the first which reduces all into one order should be only one. And this one is God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod dicuntur dii multi secundum errorem quorundam qui multos deos colebant, existimantes planetas et alias stellas esse deos, vel etiam singulas partes mundi. Unde subdit, nobis autem unus Deus, et cetera.   Reply to Objection 1: Gods are called many by the error of some who worshipped many deities, thinking as they did that the planets and other stars were gods, and also the separate parts of the world. Hence the Apostle adds: "Our God is one," etc.
Ad secundum dicendum quod unum secundum quod est principium numeri, non praedicatur de Deo; sed solum de his quae habent esse in materia. Unum enim quod est principium numeri, est de genere mathematicorum; quae habent esse in materia, sed sunt secundum rationem a materia abstracta. Unum vero quod convertitur cum ente, est quoddam metaphysicum, quod secundum esse non dependet a materia. Et licet in Deo non sit aliqua privatio, tamen, secundum modum apprehensionis nostrae, non cognoscitur a nobis nisi per modum privationis et remotionis. Et sic nihil prohibet aliqua privative dicta de Deo praedicari; sicut quod est incorporeus, infinitus. Et similiter de Deo dicitur quod sit unus.   Reply to Objection 2: "One" which is the principle of number is not predicated of God, but only of material things. For "one" the principle of number belongs to the "genus" of mathematics, which are material in being, and abstracted from matter only in idea. But "one" which is convertible with being is a metaphysical entity and does not depend on matter in its being. And although in God there is no privation, still, according to the mode of our apprehension, He is known to us by way only of privation and remotion. Thus there is no reason why a certain kind of privation should not be predicated of God; for instance, that He is incorporeal and infinite; and in the same way it is said of God that He is one.


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First Part  [<< | >>]
Question: 11  [<< | >>]
Article: 4  [<< | >>]

Whether God is supremely one?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deus non sit maxime unus. Unum enim dicitur secundum privationem divisionis. Sed privatio non recipit magis et minus. Ergo Deus non dicitur magis unus quam alia quae sunt unum.   Objection 1: It seems that God is not supremely "one." For "one" is so called from the privation of division. But privation cannot be greater or less. Therefore God is not more "one" than other things which are called "one."
Praeterea, nihil videtur esse magis indivisibile quam id quod est indivisibile actu et potentia, cuiusmodi est punctus et unitas. Sed intantum dicitur aliquid magis unum, inquantum est indivisibile. Ergo Deus non est magis unum quam unitas et punctus.   Objection 2: Further, nothing seems to be more indivisible than what is actually and potentially indivisible; such as a point and unity. But a thing is said to be more "one" according as it is indivisible. Therefore God is not more "one" than unity is "one" and a point is "one."
Praeterea, quod est per essentiam bonum, est maxime bonum, ergo quod est per essentiam suam unum, est maxime unum. Sed omne ens est unum per suam essentiam, ut patet per philosophum in IV Metaphys. Ergo omne ens est maxime unum. Deus igitur non est magis unum quam alia entia.   Objection 3: Further, what is essentially good is supremely good. Therefore what is essentially "one" is supremely "one." But every being is essentially "one," as the Philosopher says (Metaph. iv). Therefore every being is supremely "one"; and therefore God is not "one" more than any other being is "one."
Sed contra est quod dicit Bernardus, quod inter omnia quae unum dicuntur, arcem tenet unitas divinae Trinitatis.   On the contrary, Bernard says (De Consid. v): "Among all things called one, the unity of the Divine Trinity holds the first place."
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum unum sit ens indivisum, ad hoc quod aliquid sit maxime unum, oportet quod sit et maxime ens et maxime indivisum. Utrumque autem competit Deo. Est enim maxime ens, inquantum est non habens aliquod esse determinatum per aliquam naturam cui adveniat, sed est ipsum esse subsistens, omnibus modis indeterminatum. Est autem maxime indivisum, inquantum neque dividitur actu neque potentia, secundum quemcunque modum divisionis, cum sit omnibus modis simplex, ut supra ostensum est. Unde manifestum est quod Deus est maxime unus.   I answer that, Since "one" is an undivided being, if anything is supremely "one" it must be supremely being, and supremely undivided. Now both of these belong to God. For He is supremely being, inasmuch as His being is not determined by any nature to which it is adjoined; since He is being itself, subsistent, absolutely undetermined. But He is supremely undivided inasmuch as He is divided neither actually nor potentially, by any mode of division; since He is altogether simple, as was shown above (Question [3], Article [7]). Hence it is manifest that God is "one" in the supreme degree.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet privatio secundum se non recipiat magis et minus, tamen secundum quod eius oppositum recipit magis et minus, etiam ipsa privativa dicuntur secundum magis et minus. Secundum igitur quod aliquid est magis divisum vel divisibile, vel minus, vel nullo modo, secundum hoc aliquid dicitur magis et minus vel maxime unum.   Reply to Objection 1: Although privation considered in itself is not susceptive of more or less, still according as its opposite is subject to more or less, privation also can be considered itself in the light of more and less. Therefore according as a thing is more divided, or is divisible, either less or not at all, in the degree it is called more, or less, or supremely, "one."
Ad secundum dicendum quod punctus et unitas quae est principium numeri, non sunt maxime entia, cum non habeant esse nisi in subiecto aliquo. Unde neutrum eorum est maxime unum. Sicut enim subiectum non est maxime unum, propter diversitatem accidentis et subiecti, ita nec accidens.   Reply to Objection 2: A point and unity which is the principle of number, are not supremely being, inasmuch as they have being only in some subject. Hence neither of them can be supremely "one." For as a subject cannot be supremely "one," because of the difference within it of accident and subject, so neither can an accident.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, licet omne ens sit unum per suam substantiam, non tamen se habet aequaliter substantia cuiuslibet ad causandam unitatem, quia substantia quorundam est ex multis composita, quorundam vero non.   Reply to Objection 3: Although every being is "one" by its substance, still every such substance is not equally the cause of unity; for the substance of some things is compound and of others simple.

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