In today’s episode we’ll take a look at the following questions:
Is it possible to hate God?
Is hatred of God the greatest of sins?
Is hatred of one’s neighbor always a sin?
Is hated a deadly sin?
If not, from what deadly sin does hatred arise?
We’ll also be reading a lot from Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground. Here‘s the edition I have and recommend.
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Here’s the main article we look at from Aquinas in today’s episode:
Whether it is possible for anyone to hate God?
Objection 1. It would seem that no man can hate God. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that “the first good and beautiful is an object of love and dilection to all.” But God is goodness and beauty itself. Therefore He is hated by none.
Objection 2. Further, in the Apocryphal books of 3 Esdras 4:36, it is written that “all things call upon truth . . . and (all men) do well like of her works.” Now God is the very truth according to John 14:6. Therefore all love God, and none can hate Him.
Objection 3. Further, hatred is a kind of aversion. But according to Dionysius (Div. Nom. i) God draws all things to Himself. Therefore none can hate Him.
On the contrary, It is written (Psalm 73:23): “The pride of them that hate Thee ascendeth continually,” and (John 15:24): “But now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father.”
I answer that, As shown above (I-II:29:1), hatred is a movement of the appetitive power, which power is not set in motion save by something apprehended. Now God can be apprehended by man in two ways; first, in Himself, as when He is seen in His Essence; secondly, in His effects, when, to wit, “the invisible things” of God . . . “are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:20). Now God in His Essence is goodness itself, which no man can hate—for it is natural to good to be loved. Hence it is impossible for one who sees God in His Essence, to hate Him.
Moreover some of His effects are such that they can nowise be contrary to the human will, since “to be, to live, to understand,” which are effects of God, are desirable and lovable to all. Wherefore again God cannot be an object of hatred if we consider Him as the Author of such like effects. Some of God’s effects, however, are contrary to an inordinate will, such as the infliction of punishment, and the prohibition of sin by the Divine Law. Such like effects are repugnant to a will debased by sin, and as regards the consideration of them, God may be an object of hatred to some, in so far as they look upon Him as forbidding sin, and inflicting punishment.
Reply to Objection 1. This argument is true of those who see God’s Essence, which is the very essence of goodness.
Reply to Objection 2. This argument is true in so far as God is apprehended as the cause of such effects as are naturally beloved of all, among which are the works of Truth who reveals herself to men.
Reply to Objection 3. God draws all things to Himself, in so far as He is the source of being, since all things, in as much as they are, tend to be like God, Who is Being itself.
– ST II-II, Q. 34, A. 1