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Whether Names Predicated of God are Predicated Primarily of Creatures?

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cf., Sent.I.D22.Q1.A2; SCG1.C34; CT.BookI.C27; Eph.C3.L4


In this question, we ask which ratio of naming is primary and which one is secondary. In the example given in the previous article, the food is "healthy" since it causes health in the primary analogate, i.e., in the body.


From the considerations above, the answer ought to be clear.


First, we ought to make a distinction between the metaphorical names and literal names. The metaphorical names apply primarily to creatures and are appropriated to God. The literal names are applied primarily to God and secondarily to creatures.


Why? We can easily see the answer from the considerations given above and in Q. 4. For, there is a distinction between pure and mixed perfections in creatures. Pure perfections merely have limitations in their manner of existence, i.e, goodness is participated in creatures, essential in God, and retain the perfection of ratio. Thus, we primarily designate God by that name as possessing the ratio of the name in perfection of mode. On the other hand, with mixed perfections, the ratio of the name (not only the mode) has some imperfection in it. So, we can only appropriate the perfection contained in the name, rather than designating God properly by it.

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