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Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being:
Part 1, Chapter 01.

    As regards the first, [N1] namely, whether there is a God, this, we say, can be proved.
[Note N1]: B: this.

*I.* In the first place, a priori thus:
   1. Whatever we clearly and distinctly know to belong to the nature [N1] of a thing, we can also truly affirm of that thing. Now we can know clearly and distinctly that existence belongs to the nature of God;
Otherwise also thus:[N2]
   2. The essence of things are from all eternity, and unto all eternity shall remain immutable;
The existence of God is essence;
[Note N1]: Understand the definite nature through which a thing is what it is, and which can by no means be removed from it without at the same time destroying that thing: thus, for instance, it belongs to the essence of a mountain that it should have a valley, or the essence of a mountain is that it has a valley;[N1N1] this is truly eternal and immutable, and must always be included in the concept of a mountain, even if it never existed, or did not exist now.
[Note N1N1]: B simply: to the essence of a mountain belongs a valley.

[Note N2]: B omits these three words.

[Note N3]: [[This note is flagged to the following paragraph in the original but Wolf believed it to belong here]]
From the definition which follows in chapter 2, namely, that God has infinite attributes, we can prove his existence thus: Whatever we clearly and distinctly see to belong to the nature of a thing, that we can also with truth affirm of that thing; now to the nature of a being that has infinite attributes belongs existence, which is an attribute; therefore... To assert that this may well be affirmed of the idea, but not of the thing itself, is false: for the Idea does not really consist of the attribute which belongs to this being, so that which is affirmed of the thing is [affirmed] neither of the thing, nor of that which is affirmed of the thing; so that there is a great difference between the Idea and the Ideatum: therefore what is affirmed of the thing is not affirmed of the Idea, and vice versa. [text corrupt]

*II.* A posteriori, thus:
If a man has an idea of God, then God must exist formaliter;
Now, man has an idea of God;

The first we prove thus:
If there is an idea of God, then the cause thereof must exist formaliter, and contain in itself all that the idea has objective;
Now there is an idea of God;

    In order to prove the first part of this argument we state the following principles, namely:
1. That the number of knowable things is infinite;
2. That a finite understanding cannot apprehend the infinite;
3. That a finite understanding, unless it is determined by something external, cannot through itself know anything; because, just as it has no power to know all things equally, so little also has it the power to begin or to commence to know this, for instance,[N1] sooner than that, or that sooner than this. Since, then, it can do neither the one nor the other it can know nothing.
[Note N1]: B omits for instance

    The first (or the major premise) is proved thus:
If the imagination of man were the sole cause of his ideas, then it would be impossible that he should be able to apprehend anything, but he can apprehend something;

    The first [N1] is proved by the first principle, namely, that the knowable things are infinitely numerous. Also, following the second principle, man cannot know all, because the human understanding is finite, and if not determined by external things to know this sooner than that, and that sooner than this, then according to the third principle it should be impossible for it to know anything.[N2]
[Note N1]: Instead of this paragraph B has the following: Again, since according to the first principle the knowable things are infinite, and according to the second principle the finite understanding cannot comprehend everything, and according to the third principle it has not the power to know this sooner than that, and that sooner than this, it would be impossible for it to know anything, if it were not determined by external things.

[Note N2]: Further, to say that this idea is a fiction, this also is false: for it is impossible to have this [idea] if it [the ideatum] does not exist; this is shown on page [this], and we also add the following:
   It is quite true that when an idea has first come to us from a particular thing, and we have generalised it in abstracto, then our understanding may fancy various things about it, and we can add to it many other attributes abstracted from other things. But it is impossible to do this without a prior knowledge of the things themselves from which these abstractions have been made. Once, however, it is assumed that this idea [of God] is a fiction, then all other ideas, that we have must be fictions no less. If this is so, whence comes it that we find such a great difference among them? For as regards some we see that it is impossible they should exist; e.g., all monsters supposed to be composed of two natures, such as an animal that should be both a bird and a horse, and the like, for which it is impossible to have a place in Nature, which we find differently constituted; [N2N1] other ideas may, but need not, exist; whether, however, they exist or do not exist, their essence is always necessary; such is the idea of a triangle, and that of the love in the soul apart from the body, &c., so that even if I at first thought that I had imagined these, I am nevertheless compelled afterwards to say that they are, and would be, the same no less even if neither I nor anybody had ever thought about them. They are, consequently, not merely imagined by me, and must also have outside me a subjectum other than myself, without which subjectum they cannot be. In addition to these there is yet a third idea, and it is an only one; this one carries with it necessary existence, and not, like the foregoing, the mere possibility of existence: for, in the case of those, their essence was indeed necessary, but not their existence, while in its case, both its existence and its essence are necessary, and it is nothing without them. I therefore see now that the truth, essence, or existence of anything never depends on me: for, as was shown with reference to the second kind of ideas, they are what they are independently of me, whether as regards their essence alone, or as regards both essence and existence. I find this to be true also, indeed much more so, of this third unique idea; not only does it not depend on me, but, on the contrary, he alone [N2N2] must be the subjectum of that which I affirm of him. Consequently, if he did not exist, I should not be able to assert anything at all about him; although this can be done in the case of other things, even when they do not exist. He must also be, indeed, the subjectum of all other things.

   From what has been said so far it is clearly manifest that the idea of infinite attributes in the perfect being is no fiction; we shall, however, still add the following:

   According to the foregoing consideration of Nature, we have so far not been able to discover more than two attributes only which belong to this all-perfect being. And these give us nothing adequate to satisfy us that this is all of which this perfect being consists, quite the contrary, we find in us a something which openly tells us not only of more, but of infinite perfect attributes, which must belong to this perfect being before he can be said to be perfect. And whence comes this idea of perfection? This something cannot be the outcome of these two [attributes]: for two can only yield two, and not an infinity. Whence then? From myself, never, else I must be able to give what I did not possess. Whence, then, but from the infinite attributes themselves which tell us that they are, without however telling us, at the same time, what they are: for only of two do we know what they are.

[Note N2N1]: In B the whole of this part of the note is given in the body of the text, while the rest is given as a note on other ideas eight lines above.
[Note N2N2]: B omits alone

    From all this the second point is proved, namely, that the cause of a man's ideas is not his imagination but some external cause, which compels him to apprehend one thing sooner than another, and it is no other than this, that the things whose essentia objectiva is in his understanding exist formaliter, and are nearer to him than other things. If, then, man has the idea of God, it is clear that God must exist formaliter, though not eminenter, as there is nothing more real or more excellent beside or outside him. Now, that man has the idea of God, this is clear, because he knows his attributes,[N1] which attributes cannot be derived from [man] himself, because he is imperfect. And that he knows these attributes is evident from this, namely, that he knows that the infinite cannot be obtained by putting together divers finite parts; that there cannot be two [N2] infinites, but only one; that it is perfect and immutable, for we know that nothing seeks, of itself, its own annihilation, and also that it cannot change into anything better, [N3] because it is perfect, which it would not be in that case, or also that such a being cannot be subjected to anything outside it, since it is omnipotent, and so forth.
[Note N1]: His attributes; it is better [to say], because he knows what is proper to God; for these things [infinity, perfection, &c.] are no attributes of God. Without these, indeed, God could not be God, but it is not through them [that he is God], since they show nothing substantial, but are only like adjectives which require substantives or their explanation.

[Note N2]: B omits two

[Note N3]: The cause of this change would have to be either outside, or in it. It cannot be outside, because no substance which, like this, exist through itself depends on anything outside it; therefore it is not subject to change through it. Nor can it be in it: because no thing, much less this, desires its own undoing; all undoing comes from outside. *Again, that there can be no finite substance is clear from this, because in that case it would necessarily have to have something which it had from nothing: which is impossible; for whence has it that wherein it differs from God? Certainly not from God; for he has nothing imperfect or finite, &c.: whence, therefore, but from nothing?*

    From all this, then, it follows clearly that we can prove both a priori and a posteriori that God exists. Better, indeed, a priori. For things which are proved in the latter way [a posteriori] must be proved through their external causes, which is a manifest imperfection [N1] in them, inasmuch as they cannot make themselves known [N2] through themselves, but only through external causes. God, however, who is the first cause of all things, and also the cause of himself [causa sui], makes himself known through himself. Hence one need not attach much importance to the saying of Thomas Aquinas, namely, that God could not be proved a priori because he, forsooth, has no cause.
[Note N1]: B: an extreme imperfection.

[Note N2]: B omits known.

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