Substantial Artifacts

Proposition: Artifacts are substances in the same way as natural substances, e.g. a mouse trap is a substance in the way that a mouse is a substance.

Either the artificial substance’s essence finds its source and origin in God or not God.

  1. If not God, then only some intelligent creature can be the cause of the artificial substance, namely a rational creature.
    1. However, if a creature is the source and origin of the artificial substance’s essence then God is not the source and origin of all things.
    2. Therefore, God is not Creator, but a creator and a creature is a creator.
  2. If God, then God ordered the artificial substance to some end, namely its intrinsic finality.
    1. However, there are some artifacts that are ordered to their destruction, e.g. dynamite.
    2. Something intrinsically ordered to its own destruction is ordered to evil.
    3. Therefore, God orders some part of creation intrinsically to evil.
    4. Therefore, God wills evil and is therefore not perfect.

Therefore, given the proposition, God is either not Creator or is not perfect.

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4 Responses to Substantial Artifacts

  1. Wood says:

    Is destruction necessarily evil even if it necessarily occurs in the use of an artifact?

    A blueberry muffin is necessarily destroyed in its use but it isn’t ordered to destruction. Similarly with dynamite. Do you see this differently?


  2. Wood says:

    Meaning, a blueberry muffin isn’t intrinsically ordered to its self-destruction. It is ordered to the nourishment of man, even though in the use of the muffin to this purpose it will necessarily be destroyed. Similarly with dynamite.


  3. Destruction is an evil. Given the proposition, which I reject and take the conclusion as a reductio, a muffin well may be another example. I am confident in the example of dynamite, because its principal purpose is to explode, that is destroy itself, which is evil.
    Since the conclusion is absurd for God is Creator and perfect, I reject the proposition (and for other reasons as well). I would hold that artifacts are not substances in the same way as natural substances. An artifact is only extrinsically ordered by men and constitutes only an “accidental” unity whereas a natural substance is intrinsically ordered and is an “essential” unity.
    The natural substances that constitute the accidental unity of an artifact are intrinsically ordered and to some good. This ordering finds its source in God as Creator and Providence.


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