Alright, the last time we looked at the set up. Aquinas laid out the argument that it doesn’t seem that God could know things that ‘are not.’ We may well ask the question, “Does God have any knowledge of things that do not exist?” Which would lead us to the next question, “What is the prerequisite or the nature of existence, or rather, what is required to exist?” Can something be in existence if it is only in thought? Must it have some measurable form to exist? What is possible is not necessarily what is. Or, just because something is not now, does not mean that it was not. But, even a thought has some existence even if what is thought about never comes to pass. Does God waste His time with maybes or what ifs or could have beens?
But again the question Aquinas raises pertains to things that ‘are not.‘ It will help us to take note of the terms used here. He does not ask, “Does God have knowledge of things that will never be?” (Which question I believe would lead into a study on God’s imagination, or rather, His creativity). At some point in eternity, before God had created the universe and the Earth, these were in a state of ‘are not…yet.’ Things can only be if God wills them to be. We can only do what we do if God so wills. With this, I believe I have dug myself in deep enough, and besides, my head hurts!
So, I will hand it over to Thomas now as he takes to lay some groundwork for his reply (coming in the next post) to the objections we looked at in the previous post. By the way, these excerpts that I am posting are from Aquinas’ Summa Theologica: Treatise on God ……..