Does One Add To Being?

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Deeper Waters! I’m back and I hope you all enjoyed reading past blogs while I was away and I hope you had a wonderful Easter to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. We’re going to pick up our study of the doctrine of God. We’re looking at the Summa Theologica to do this of Thomas Aquinas. For those who do not own a copy, you can find one online at where you can read for free. Feel free to read ahead by all means if you want! We’re going to start tonight looking at the unity of God. Before that, I offer my prayer requests. First, my Christlikeness as I come to realize the love of Christ more especially and what that means. Second, for my finances. Third, I ask for prayers for a third related area in my life. For now, let’s get to the blog.

We’re going to be starting tonight on the unity of God and our first question will be to ask if One adds anything to being. One in this case is a transcendental, which means wherever you have being, you have One. When I use One in this sense, I will capitalize it.

So if we are going to ask if God is one, we need to know what that means. Is One truly a transcendental? First off, one is a quantity and to be a quantity is an addition to being. I am one man for instance. Because I am one man, then in addition to being a man, it seems I would have the property of being one and not two.

However, things are one by their substance. If one is something added to a thing, then it is one by this other something. Yet what is this other something one by? We must posit something else. We can go on ad infinitum. In order to avoid an infinite regress. One can add something in the sense of quantity, but it cannot add anything in the sense of substance. One is convertible with being.

But cannot something be divided by one? That which something can be divided by adds something to it and things are divisible by one and by many, so it would seem one does add something to being.

However, even if something is divided, there is nothing to prevent it from being undivided in another way. There can be a species such as man, a rational animal, but there are many who partake of the essence of that One species. There is, on the other hand, one me, and I am composed of many parts. Every multitude is in some way One. As G.K. Chesterton said you cannot speak of “all chairs” unless there is something common to being a chair.

To be One is actually to say what something is not. Something is One in the sense that it is not divided. As we get on in this, we will come to see more of what it means for God to be One. Let us remember that the medievals approached their doctrine seriously because they approached their God seriously. May we do the same!

We shall continue that tomorrow!

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