Prove Things Which Exist Are Good

In defining the “privation of good” definition of evil, I used Thomas Aquinas’ formulation that “all things, insofar as they exist, are good.” Then I was challenged to defend it. Never thought it needed defending before, so I’m at a loss.

From philosophy, and without divine revelation, how do we get to the point that existence is a good?

Maybe you could say non-existence is bad since it doesn’t allow good to exist. Existence could also be considered good since even those who would rather not exist would need to exist before they could make the decision to not exist.

Basically without existence we wouldn’t even be able to make the hypotheses that non- existence is good.

Brilliant!

I personally believe evil’s non-existence is superior to its existence.

Not sure if you’re supposing this, but he wasn’t applying “good” as a moral definition we use today but merely using the Aristotelian definition within philosophy, which is good and being are identical. As God is the fullness of being and thus fullness of good (demonstrated philosophically by the henological argument), all that exists that is not God derive their being/goodness from Him by participation. So whatever that does not exist or will not exist, cannot exist.

I did not know this. More on this point, please? :thumbsup:

If one applies the ‘normal’ sense of existent, Aquinas statement makes no sense- some one might say “Here is some pornography. It exists, and therefore it is good. But consider perfect justice- it doesn’t exists, and therefore it is bad.”

Heidegger argues that existence is undefinable. We cannot say what existence “is” with out already understanding what “is” is.

If existence is understood as being a ‘thing’ in the world of time and matter- existence is not good, it is a limitation.

If existence is undersood as something else, then the distinction between existence and non-existence really do not make much sense- since whatever could be thought of as a quality of the existent, could also be thought of as a limitation.

Which exists ‘more’- a lump of matter, or the idea of beauty? In one sense (the ‘normal’ sense) the lump of matter exists. But in another, the idea of beauty is eternal, perfect, etc. so therefore it exists ‘more’.

In the ‘normal’ sense, there is nothing necessarily good about existence. In the Platonic sense, there is.

I think we need another philosophical term for the type of ‘existence’ Aquinas was referring to. One which is not definable or attached to any predicates- how about “God”?:smiley:

newadvent.org/cathen/06636b.htm is a good summary

In defining the “privation of good” definition of evil, I used Thomas Aquinas’ formulation that “all things, insofar as they exist, are good.” Then I was challenged to defend it. Never thought it needed defending before, so I’m at a loss.

From philosophy, and without divine revelation, how do we get to the point that existence is a good?

according to Aquinas all things in existence are ontologically good but people never use good/evil in this context any more we use it solely as as meaning moral good/evil. so the devil is ontologically good but he is morally purely evil…at least according to Aquinas.

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