God's thoughts of creation and divine simplicity

I’ve been considering becoming Catholic from atheism for a while now, and I think it’s time I addressed a huge doubt.

The Catholic concept of God is that he is divinely simple (also known as absolutely simple). Yet this divinely simple thought of design he would have is analogous (not metaphorical) to multiple different created essences - for example, trees, molecules, animals, etc…

I have difficulty believing that it is coherent that the absolutely simple is analogous to multiple things.


In the 6 hours since I originally posted, I think I have thought of a way that it can be done: the dichotomy of actuality and potentiality touched on by Aquinas.

God is pure actuality. The analogous other part of the dichotomy - potentiality - is a category containing all the different parts of creation.

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God is infinite and our knowledge of the Infinite is inadequate, and necessarily so since our minds are only finite.

The many different or variety of created essences are in traditional catholic theology called the divine ideas. St Thomas Aquinas addresses the question how the many divine ideas are not repugnant to the divine simplicity. See the Summa Theologica (it is online), Part I, Q. 15 “Of Ideas”, articles 1-3. I believe what Aquinas is saying is that God knows and understands the many ideas from one, namely, his own one simple and infinite divine essence and how that essence can be imitated in some created likeness to it. Since God is Being itself, he knows and understands whatever can possibly be included under being which is the entire universe of creatures.

Aquinas addressed this question in some other works of his too such as in the disputed questions I believe but I have just noticed that the site which had english translations of a lot of his works (dhspriory.org) has taken down unfortunately the english translations it says due to copyright laws.

(continued from last post)

Below are some other works of St Thomas Aquinas concerning the divine knowledge and the divine ideas of creation and links to them:
Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One, chapters 50-54,

De Veritate (On Truth), I found an English translation at the following link, some words are misspelled. Go to Question 3: Ideas

The Summa Theologica (latin/english) can be found at the first above link.

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