Ultimately, God is knowledge, and the act proceeds from him voluntarily (at least insofar as it’s uncaused or determined by principles outside himself).
But doesn’t divine simplicity mean that there is no difference between God’s knowledge and his act? God is pure actuality, which just is His act of knowing, which just is the thought-content of that act of knowing.
and there is nothing external that determined God to create this way instead of any other way.
I follow you on this point.
If it was simply necessary for God’s nature to create this reality as opposed to any other, then God himself must be conditioned or caused, because he would not then have been able to pre-exist himself to determine himself to that end, and so he would not then be the Unconditioned Reality.
I’m not sure if I’m following this. God is unchanging and eternal, so the decision to create this world was also an unchanging and eternal decision: there was no process of discernment, no change in thinking. But with God, there could be no other alternative, then: He eternally thought of this world, and He eternally decided to create this world.
But that just makes the word “decided” unintelligible, since, if Creation is due to God’s eternal (timeless) and unchanging “decision,” then there was no other state to “decide.” Even if there were an alternative decision, we’d still have to say God was eternally “locked on” to creating, and in creating just the way he did, no?
Where is my error? I probably look dumb, but I’m just restating my thinking so you can better address my dilemma. Thanks.