Summa Th. I EN Qu.90 a.4
Objection: 1. It would seem that the human soul was made before the body. For the work of creation preceded the work of distinction and adornment, as shown above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ). But the soul was made by creation; whereas the body was made at the end of the work of adornment. Therefore the soul of man was made before the body.
2. Further, the rational soul has more in common with the angels than with the brute animals. But angels were created before bodies, or at least, at the beginning with corporeal matter; whereas the body of man was formed on the sixth day, when also the animals were made. Therefore the soul of man was created before the body.
3. Further, the end is proportionate to the beginning. But in the end the soul outlasts the body. Therefore in the beginning it was created before the body.
On the contrary The proper act is produced in its proper potentiality. Therefore since the soul is the proper act of the body, the soul was produced in the body.
I answer that, Origen (Peri Archon i, 7,8) held that not only the soul of the first man, but also the souls of all men were created at the same time as the angels, before their bodies: because he thought that all spiritual substances, whether souls or angels, are equal in their natural condition, and differ only by merit; so that some of them---namely, the souls of men or of heavenly bodies---are united to bodies while others remain in their different orders entirely free from matter. Of this opinion we have already spoken (Question , Article ); and so we need say nothing about it here.
Augustine, however (Gn ad lit. vii, 24), says that the soul of the first man was created at the same time as the angels, before the body, for another reason; because he supposes that the body of man, during the work of the six days, was produced, not actually, but only as to some "causal virtues"; which cannot be said of the soul, because neither was it made of any pre-existing corporeal or spiritual matter, nor could it be produced from any created virtue. Therefore it seems that the soul itself, during the work of the six days, when all things were made, was created, together with the angels; and that afterwards, by its own will, was joined to the service of the body. But he does not say this by way of assertion; as his words prove. For he says (Gn ad lit. vii, 29): "We may believe, if neither Scripture nor reason forbid, that man was made on the sixth day, in the sense that his body was created as to its causal virtue in the elements of the world, but that the soul was already created."
Now this could be upheld by those who hold that the soul has of itself a complete species and nature, and that it is not united to the body as its form, but as its administrator. But if the soul is united to the body as its form, and is naturally a part of human nature, the above supposition is quite impossible. For it is clear that God made the first things in their perfect natural state, as their species required. Now the soul, as a part of human nature, has its natural perfection only as united to the body. Therefore it would have been unfitting for the soul to be created without the body.
Therefore, if we admit the opinion of Augustine about the work of the six days (Question , Article ), we may say that the human soul preceded in the work of the six days by a certain generic similitude, so far as it has intellectual nature in common with the angels; but was itself created at the same time as the body. According to the other saints, both the body and soul of the first man were produced in the work of the six days.
Reply to Objection: 1. If the soul by its nature were a complete species, so that it might be created as to itself, this reason would prove that the soul was created by itself in the beginning. But as the soul is naturally the form of the body, it was necessarily created, not separately, but in the body.
2. The same observation applies to the second objection. For if the soul had a species of itself it would have something still more in common with the angels. But, as the form of the body, it belongs to the animal genus, as a formal principle.
3. That the soul remains after the body, is due to a defect of the body, namely, death. Which defect was not due when the soul was first created.
We have now to consider the production of the first man's body. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) The matter from which it was produced;
(2) The author by whom it was produced;
(3) The disposition it received in its production;
(4) The mode and order of its production.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the body of the first man was not made of the slime of the earth. For it is an act of greater power to make something out of nothing than out of something; because "not being" is farther off from actual existence than "being in potentiality." But since man is the most honorable of God's lower creatures, it was fitting that in the production of man's body, the power of God should be most clearly shown. Therefore it should not have been made of the slime of the earth, but out of nothing.
2. Further, the heavenly bodies are nobler than earthly bodies. But the human body has the greatest nobility; since it is perfected by the noblest form, which is the rational soul. Therefore it should not be made of an earthly body, but of a heavenly body.
3. Further, fire and air are nobler than earth and water, as is clear from their subtlety. Therefore, since the human body is most noble, it should rather have been made of fire and air than of the slime of the earth.
4. Further, the human body is composed of the four elements. Therefore it was not made of the slime of the earth, but of the four elements.
On the contrary It is written (Gn 2,7): "God made man of the slime of the earth."
I answer that As God is perfect in His works, He bestowed perfection on all of them according to their capacity: "God's works are perfect" (Dt 32,4). He Himself is simply perfect by the fact that "all things are pre-contained" in Him, not as component parts, but as "united in one simple whole," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. v); in the same way as various effects pre-exist in their cause, according to its one virtue. This perfection is bestowed on the angels, inasmuch as all things which are produced by God in nature through various forms come under their knowledge. But on man this perfection is bestowed in an inferior way. For he does not possess a natural knowledge of all natural things, but is in a manner composed of all things, since he has in himself a rational soul of the genus of spiritual substances, and in likeness to the heavenly bodies he is removed from contraries by an equable temperament. As to the elements, he has them in their very substance, yet in such a way that the higher elements, fire and air, predominate in him by their power; for life is mostly found where there is heat, which is from fire; and where there is humor, which is of the air. But the inferior elements abound in man by their substance; otherwise the mingling of elements would not be evenly balanced, unless the inferior elements, which have the less power, predominated in quantity. Therefore the body of man is said to have been formed from the slime of the earth; because earth and water mingled are called slime, and for this reason man is called 'a little world,' because all creatures of the world are in a way to be found in him.
Reply to Objection: 1. The power of the Divine Creator was manifested in man's body when its matter was produced by creation. But it was fitting that the human body should be made of the four elements, that man might have something in common with the inferior bodies, as being something between spiritual and corporeal substances.
2. Although the heavenly body is in itself nobler than the earthly body, yet for the acts of the rational soul the heavenly body is less adapted. For the rational soul receives the knowledge of truth in a certain way through the senses, the organs of which cannot be formed of a heavenly body which is impassible. Nor is it true that something of the fifth essence enters materially into the composition of the human body, as some say, who suppose that the soul is united to the body by means of light. For, first of all, what they say is false---that light is a body. Secondly, it is impossible for something to be taken from the fifth essence, or from a heavenly body, and to be mingled with the elements, since a heavenly body is impassible; wherefore it does not enter into the composition of mixed bodies, except as in the effects of its power.
3. If fire and air, whose action is of greater power, predominated also in quantity in the human body, they would entirely draw the rest into themselves, and there would be no equality in the mingling, such as is required in the composition of man, for the sense of touch, which is the foundation of the other senses. For the organ of any particular sense must not actually have the contraries of which that sense has the perception, but only potentially; either in such a way that it is entirely void of the whole "genus" of such contraries---thus, for instance, the pupil of the eye is without color, so as to be in potentiality as regards all colors; which is not possible in the organ of touch, since it is composed of the very elements, the qualities of which are perceived by that sense---or so that the organ is a medium between two contraries, as much needs be the case with regard to touch; for the medium is in potentiality to the extremes.
4. In the slime of the earth are earth, and water binding the earth together. Of the other elements, Scripture makes no mention, because they are less in quantity in the human body, as we have said; and because also in the account of the Creation no mention is made of fire and air, which are not perceived by senses of uncultured men such as those to whom the Scripture was immediately addressed.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the human body was not produced by God immediately. For Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4), that "corporeal things are disposed by God through the angels." But the human body was made of corporeal matter, as stated above (Article ). Therefore it was produced by the instrumentality of the angels, and not immediately by God.
2. Further, whatever can be made by a created power, is not necessarily produced immediately by God. But the human body can be produced by the created power of a heavenly body; for even certain animals are produced from putrefaction by the active power of a heavenly body; and Albumazar says that man is not generated where heat and cold are extreme, but only in temperate regions. Therefore the human body was not necessarily produced immediately by God.
3. Further, nothing is made of corporeal matter except by some material change. But all corporeal change is caused by a movement of a heavenly body, which is the first movement. Therefore, since the human body was produced from corporeal matter, it seems that a heavenly body had part in its production.
4. Further, Augustine says (Gn ad lit. vii, 24) that man's body was made during the work of the six days, according to the causal virtues which God inserted in corporeal creatures; and that afterwards it was actually produced. But what pre-exists in the corporeal creature by reason of causal virtues can be produced by some corporeal body. Therefore the human body was produced by some created power, and not immediately by God.
On the contrary It is written (Si 17,1): "God created man out of the earth."
I answer that The first formation of the human body could not be by the instrumentality of any created power, but was immediately from God. Some, indeed, supposed that the forms which are in corporeal matter are derived from some immaterial forms; but the Philosopher refutes this opinion (Metaph. vii), for the reason that forms cannot be made in themselves, but only in the composite, as we have explained (Question , Article ); and because the agent must be like its effect, it is not fitting that a pure form, not existing in matter, should produce a form which is in matter, and which form is only made by the fact that the composite is made. So a form which is in matter can only be the cause of another form that is in matter, according as composite is made by composite. Now God, though He is absolutely immaterial, can alone by His own power produce matter by creation: wherefore He alone can produce a form in matter, without the aid of any preceding material form. For this reason the angels cannot transform a body except by making use of something in the nature of a seed, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 19). Therefore as no pre-existing body has been formed whereby another body of the same species could be generated, the first human body was of necessity made immediately by God.
Reply to Objection: 1. Although the angels are the ministers of God, as regards what He does in bodies, yet God does something in bodies beyond the angels' power, as, for instance, raising the dead, or giving sight to the blind: and by this power He formed the body of the first man from the slime of the earth. Nevertheless the angels could act as ministers in the formation of the body of the first man, in the same way as they will do at the last resurrection by collecting the dust.
2. Perfect animals, produced from seed, cannot be made by the sole power of a heavenly body, as Avicenna imagined; although the power of a heavenly body may assist by co-operation in the work of natural generation, as the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 26), "man and the sun beget man from matter." For this reason, a place of moderate temperature is required for the production of man and other animals. But the power of heavenly bodies suffices for the production of some imperfect animals from properly disposed matter: for it is clear that more conditions are required to produce a perfect than an imperfect thing.
3. The movement of the heavens causes natural changes; but not changes that surpass the order of nature, and are caused by the Divine Power alone, as for the dead to be raised to life, or the blind to see: like to which also is the making of man from the slime of the earth.
4. An effect may be said to pre-exist in the causal virtues of creatures, in two ways. First, both in active and in passive potentiality, so that not only can it be produced out of pre-existing matter, but also that some pre-existing creature can produce it. Secondly, in passive potentiality only; that is, that out of pre-existing matter it can be produced by God. In this sense, according to Augustine, the human body pre-existed in the previous work in their causal virtues.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the body of man was not given an apt disposition. For since man is the noblest of animals, his body ought to be the best disposed in what is proper to an animal, that is, in sense and movement. But some animals have sharper senses and quicker movement than man; thus dogs have a keener smell, and birds a swifter flight. Therefore man's body was not aptly disposed.
2. Further, perfect is what lacks nothing. But the human body lacks more than the body of other animals, for these are provided with covering and natural arms of defense, in which man is lacking. Therefore the human body is very imperfectly disposed.
3. Further, man is more distant from plants than he is from the brutes. But plants are erect in stature, while brutes are prone in stature. Therefore man should not be of erect stature.
On the contrary It is written (Qo 7,30): "God made man right."
I answer that All natural things were produced by the Divine art, and so may be called God's works of art. Now every artist intends to give to his work the best disposition; not absolutely the best, but the best as regards the proposed end; and even if this entails some defect, the artist cares not: thus, for instance, when man makes himself a saw for the purpose of cutting, he makes it of iron, which is suitable for the object in view; and he does not prefer to make it of glass, though this be a more beautiful material, because this very beauty would be an obstacle to the end he has in view. Therefore God gave to each natural being the best disposition; not absolutely so, but in the view of its proper end. This is what the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 7): "And because it is better so, not absolutely, but for each one's substance."
Now the proximate end of the human body is the rational soul and its operations; since matter is for the sake of the form, and instruments are for the action of the agent. I say, therefore, that God fashioned the human body in that disposition which was best, as most suited to such a form and to such operations. If defect exists in the disposition of the human body, it is well to observe that such defect arises as a necessary result of the matter, from the conditions required in the body, in order to make it suitably proportioned to the soul and its operations.
Reply to Objection: 1. The sense of touch, which is the foundation of the other senses, is more perfect in man than in any other animal; and for this reason man must have the most equable temperament of all animals. Moreover man excels all other animals in the interior sensitive powers, as is clear from what we have said above (Question , Article ). But by a kind of necessity, man falls short of the other animals in some of the exterior senses; thus of all animals he has the least sense of smell. For man needs the largest brain as compared to the body; both for his greater freedom of action in the interior powers required for the intellectual operations, as we have seen above (Question , Article ); and in order that the low temperature of the brain may modify the heat of the heart, which has to be considerable in man for him to be able to stand erect. So that size of the brain, by reason of its humidity, is an impediment to the smell, which requires dryness. In the same way, we may suggest a reason why some animals have a keener sight, and a more acute hearing than man; namely, on account of a hindrance to his senses arising necessarily from the perfect equability of his temperament. The same reason suffices to explain why some animals are more rapid in movement than man, since this excellence of speed is inconsistent with the equability of the human temperament.
2. Horns and claws, which are the weapons of some animals, and toughness of hide and quantity of hair or feathers, which are the clothing of animals, are signs of an abundance of the earthly element; which does not agree with the equability and softness of the human temperament. Therefore such things do not suit the nature of man. Instead of these, he has reason and hands whereby he can make himself arms and clothes, and other necessaries of life, of infinite variety. Wherefore the hand is called by Aristotle (De Anima iii, 8), "the organ of organs." Moreover this was more becoming to the rational nature, which is capable of conceiving an infinite number of things, so as to make for itself an infinite number of instruments.
3. An upright stature was becoming to man for four reasons. First, because the senses are given to man, not only for the purpose of procuring the necessaries of life, which they are bestowed on other animals, but also for the purpose of knowledge. Hence, whereas the other animals take delight in the objects of the senses only as ordered to food and sex, man alone takes pleasure in the beauty of sensible objects for its own sake. Therefore, as the senses are situated chiefly in the face, other animals have the face turned to the ground, as it were for the purpose of seeking food and procuring a livelihood; whereas man has his face erect, in order that by the senses, and chiefly by sight, which is more subtle and penetrates further into the differences of things, he may freely survey the sensible objects around him, both heavenly and earthly, so as to gather intelligible truth from all things. Secondly, for the greater freedom of the acts of the interior powers; the brain, wherein these actions are, in a way, performed, not being low down, but lifted up above other parts of the body. Thirdly, because if man's stature were prone to the ground he would need to use his hands as fore-feet; and thus their utility for other purposes would cease. Fourthly, because if man's stature were prone to the ground, and he used his hands as fore-feet, he would be obliged to take hold of his food with his mouth. Thus he would have a protruding mouth, with thick and hard lips, and also a hard tongue, so as to keep it from being hurt by exterior things; as we see in other animals. Moreover, such an attitude would quite hinder speech, which is reason's proper operation.
Nevertheless, though of erect stature, man is far above plants. For man's superior part, his head, is turned towards the superior part of the world, and his inferior part is turned towards the inferior world; and therefore he is perfectly disposed as to the general situation of his body. Plants have the superior part turned towards the lower world, since their roots correspond to the mouth; and their inferior part towards the upper world. But brute animals have a middle disposition, for the superior part of the animal is that by which it takes food, and the inferior part that by which it rids itself of the surplus.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the production of the human body is not fittingly described in Scripture. For, as the human body was made by God, so also were the other works of the six days. But in the other works it is written, "God said; Let it be made, and it was made." Therefore the same should have been said of man.
2. Further, the human body was made by God immediately, as explained above (Article ). Therefore it was not fittingly said, "Let us make man."
3. Further, the form of the human body is the soul itself which is the breath of life. Therefore, having said, "God made man of the slime of the earth," he should not have added: "And He breathed into him the breath of life."
4. Further, the soul, which is the breath of life, is in the whole body, and chiefly in the heart. Therefore it was not fittingly said: "He breathed into his face the breath of life."
5. Further, the male and female sex belong to the body, while the image of God belongs to the soul. But the soul, according to Augustine (Gn ad lit. vii, 24), was made before the body. Therefore having said: "To His image He made them," he should not have added, "male and female He created them."
On the contrary Is the authority of Scripture.
Reply to Objection: 1. As Augustine observes (Gn ad lit. vi, 12), man surpasses other things, not in the fact that God Himself made man, as though He did not make other things; since it is written (Ps 101,26), "The work of Thy hands is the heaven," and elsewhere (Ps 94,5), "His hands laid down the dry land"; but in this, that man is made to God's image. Yet in describing man's production, Scripture uses a special way of speaking, to show that other things were made for man's sake. For we are accustomed to do with more deliberation and care what we have chiefly in mind.
2. We must not imagine that when God said "Let us make man," He spoke to the angels, as some were perverse enough to think. But by these words is signified the plurality of the Divine Person, Whose image is more clearly expressed in man.
3. Some have thought that man's body was formed first in priority of time, and that afterwards the soul was infused into the formed body. But it is inconsistent with the perfection of the production of things, that God should have made either the body without the soul, or the soul without the body, since each is a part of human nature. This is especially unfitting as regards the body, for the body depends on the soul, and not the soul on the body.
To remove the difficulty some have said that the words, "God made man," must be understood of the production of the body with the soul; and that the subsequent words, "and He breathed into his face the breath of life," should be understood of the Holy Ghost; as the Lord breathed on His Apostles, saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (Jn 20,22). But this explanation, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiii, 24), is excluded by the very words of Scripture. For we read farther on, "And man was made a living soul"; which words the Apostle (1Co 15,45) refers not to spiritual life, but to animal life. Therefore, by breath of life we must understand the soul, so that the words, "He breathed into his face the breath of life," are a sort of exposition of what goes before; for the soul is the form of the body.
4. Since vital operations are more clearly seen in man's face, on account of the senses which are there expressed; therefore Scripture says that the breath of life was breathed into man's face.
5. According to Augustine (Gn ad lit. iv, 34), the works of the six days were done all at one time; wherefore according to him man's soul, which he holds to have been made with the angels, was not made before the sixth day; but on the sixth day both the soul of the first man was made actually, and his body in its causal elements. But other doctors hold that on the sixth day both body and soul of man were actually made.
We must next consider the production of the woman. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the woman should have been made in that first production of things?
(2) Whether the woman should have been made from man?
(3) Whether of man's rib?
(4) Whether the woman was made immediately by God?
Objection: 1. It would seem that the woman should not have been made in the first production of things. For the Philosopher says (De Gener. ii, 3), that "the female is a misbegotten male." But nothing misbegotten or defective should have been in the first production of things. Therefore woman should not have been made at that first production.
2. Further, subjection and limitation were a result of sin, for to the woman was it said after sin (Gn 3,16): "Thou shalt be under the man's power"; and Gregory says that, "Where there is no sin, there is no inequality." But woman is naturally of less strength and dignity than man; "for the agent is always more honorable than the patient," as Augustine says (Gn ad lit. xii, 16). Therefore woman should not have been made in the first production of things before sin.
3. Further, occasions of sin should be cut off. But God foresaw that the woman would be an occasion of sin to man. Therefore He should not have made woman.
On the contrary It is written (Gn 2,18): "It is not good for man to be alone; let us make him a helper like to himself."
I answer that It was necessary for woman to be made, as the Scripture says, as a "helper" to man; not, indeed, as a helpmate in other works, as some say, since man can be more efficiently helped by another man in other works; but as a helper in the work of generation. This can be made clear if we observe the mode of generation carried out in various living things. Some living things do not possess in themselves the power of generation, but are generated by some other specific agent, such as some plants and animals by the influence of the heavenly bodies, from some fitting matter and not from seed: others possess the active and passive generative power together; as we see in plants which are generated from seed; for the noblest vital function in plants is generation. Wherefore we observe that in these the active power of generation invariably accompanies the passive power. Among perfect animals the active power of generation belongs to the male sex, and the passive power to the female. And as among animals there is a vital operation nobler than generation, to which their life is principally directed; therefore the male sex is not found in continual union with the female in perfect animals, but only at the time of coition; so that we may consider that by this means the male and female are one, as in plants they are always united; although in some cases one of them preponderates, and in some the other. But man is yet further ordered to a still nobler vital action, and that is intellectual operation. Therefore there was greater reason for the distinction of these two forces in man; so that the female should be produced separately from the male; although they are carnally united for generation. Therefore directly after the formation of woman, it was said: "And they shall be two in one flesh" (Gn 2,24).
Reply to Objection: 1. As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence; such as that of a south wind, which is moist, as the Philosopher observes (De Gener. Animal. iv, 2). On the other hand, as regards human nature in general, woman is not misbegotten, but is included in nature's intention as directed to the work of generation. Now the general intention of nature depends on God, Who is the universal Author of nature. Therefore, in producing nature, God formed not only the male but also the female.
2. Subjection is twofold. One is servile, by virtue of which a superior makes use of a subject for his own benefit; and this kind of subjection began after sin. There is another kind of subjection which is called economic or civil, whereby the superior makes use of his subjects for their own benefit and good; and this kind of subjection existed even before sin. For good order would have been wanting in the human family if some were not governed by others wiser than themselves. So by such a kind of subjection woman is naturally subject to man, because in man the discretion of reason predominates. Nor is inequality among men excluded by the state of innocence, as we shall prove (Question , Article ).
3. If God had deprived the world of all those things which proved an occasion of sin, the universe would have been imperfect. Nor was it fitting for the common good to be destroyed in order that individual evil might be avoided; especially as God is so powerful that He can direct any evil to a good end.
Objection: 1. It would seem that woman should not have been made from man. For sex belongs both to man and animals. But in the other animals the female was not made from the male. Therefore neither should it have been so with man.
2. Further, things of the same species are of the same matter. But male and female are of the same species. Therefore, as man was made of the slime of the earth, so woman should have been made of the same, and not from man.
3. Further, woman was made to be a helpmate to man in the work of generation. But close relationship makes a person unfit for that office; hence near relations are debarred from intermarriage, as is written (Lv 18,6). Therefore woman should not have been made from man.
On the contrary It is written (Si 17,5): "He created of him," that is, out of man, "a helpmate like to himself," that is, woman.
I answer that When all things were first formed, it was more suitable for the woman to be made from man that (for the female to be from the male) in other animals. First, in order thus to give the first man a certain dignity consisting in this, that as God is the principle of the whole universe, so the first man, in likeness to God, was the principle of the whole human race. Wherefore Paul says that "God made the whole human race from one" (Ac 17,26). Secondly, that man might love woman all the more, and cleave to her more closely, knowing her to be fashioned from himself. Hence it is written (Gn 2,23-24): "She was taken out of man, wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife." This was most necessary as regards the human race, in which the male and female live together for life; which is not the case with other animals. Thirdly, because, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 12), the human male and female are united, not only for generation, as with other animals, but also for the purpose of domestic life, in which each has his or her particular duty, and in which the man is the head of the woman. Wherefore it was suitable for the woman to be made out of man, as out of her principle. Fourthly, there is a sacramental reason for this. For by this is signified that the Church takes her origin from Christ. Wherefore the Apostle says (Ep 5,32): "This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the Church."
Reply to Objection: 1.:is clear from the foregoing.
2. Matter is that from which something is made. Now created nature has a determinate principle; and since it is determined to one thing, it has also a determinate mode of proceeding. Wherefore from determinate matter it produces something in a determinate species. On the other hand, the Divine Power, being infinite, can produce things of the same species out of any matter, such as a man from the slime of the earth, and a woman from out of man.
3. A certain affinity arises from natural generation, and this is an impediment to matrimony. Woman, however, was not produced from man by natural generation, but by the Divine Power alone. Wherefore Eve is not called the daughter of Adam; and so this argument does not prove.
Summa Th. I EN Qu.90 a.4