Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grace and Freedom Lonergan on Molinism

Now all
being - every conceivable thing and every conceivable act - falls into one
ofthe following four categories: (I) positive being, (2) non-being and lack
(carentia) , (3) privation in the restricted sense, and (4) privation in the
strict sense. That is, some entities are (for example, New York City,
Lincoln's delivery ofthe Gettysburg Address); some entities simply are not
(for instance, my multi-million-dollar fortune, my winning of the Boston
marathon); some entities could and ought to be but are not, where 'ought'
has a restricted sense (for example, animal species rendered extinct by
climatic change, the absence of electrical current in a neighbourhood as
a result of a storm), and some entities could and ought to be but are not,
where 'ought' is intended in the strict sense; formal sin is the sole occu­
pant of this category. There are four possible ways in which an extrinsic
denominator can be, and hence four possible modes of agere.

The Divine Initiative
Grace, World-Order, and Human
Freedom in the Early Writings of
Bernard Lonergan
p. 276

There is a corresponding
trichotomy in God's willing of each of these objects: God directly wills
being to be; God wills non-being not to be, which includes the indirect
willing of privation in the restricted sense; and God permits the privation
of sin. Thus, formal sin represents a distinct category of being, a surd, a
mere matter of fact that has no intelligibility of its own and cannot be
reduced to any extrinsic cause.
p. 279

Deus igitur neque vult mala fieri neque vult mala non fieri sed vult
permittere mala fieri, et hoc est bonum.
ia, q. 19, a. 9, ad 3m; on why it is good to permit evil, see ia, q. 13, a. 5, ad 3m.

. unde malum culpae, quod privat ordinem ad bonum divinum, Deus
nullo modo vult; sed malum naturalis defectus vel malum poenae vult
volendo aliquod bonum cui coniungitur tale malum.
ia, q. 19, a. 9, c ; cf. ia, q. 49, a. %\ ia, q. 79, a. 1

in rebus dependentibus a Deo falsitas inveniri non potest per
comparationem ad intellectual divinum, cum quidquid in rebus accidit ex
ordinatione divini intellectus procedat, nisi forte in voluntariis agentibus
tantum, in quorum potestate est subducere se ab ordinatione divini
intellectus; in quo malum culpae consistit; secundum quod ipsa peccata
falsitates et mendacia dicuntur in Scripturis, secundum illud Ps. 4: 'Ut
quid diligitis vanitatem et quaeritis mendacium?' sicut per oppositum
operatio virtuosa Veritas vitae nominatur, sicut dicitur loan. 3: 'Qui
facit veritatem, venit ad lucem.'
In this passage an assertion of absolute objective falsity appears as
an afterthought ; i t begins hesi tant ly wi th a nisi forte; but i t gains
momentum as i t proceeds, and i t ends on the level of the Joannine
antithesis of Light and Darkness.
In this doubtful passage wha t appears decisive is the argument
offered: malum culpae must be an absolute objective falsity if i t
consists in subducere se ab ordinatione divini intellectus—that is a
definition. But does the sinner really wi thdraw from the ordi­
nance of divine intellect? It is not too difficult to find passages in
which St. Thomas states or implies as much. Thus, after main­
taining in ia, q. 103, a. 7 that nothing can occur praeter ordinem
divinae gubernationis', St. Thomas at once proceeds to ask whether
anything can revol t contra ordinem divinae gubernationis. The answer
to this is a distinction between general and specific ends, between
universal governance and its execution by part icular causes. In the
response St. Thomas is content to deny revol t in the former sense.
His idea is from Boethius: *
non est aliquid quod summo huic bono
vel velit vel possit obsistere." His argument is that the sinner
ia, q. 17, a. 1, c.


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