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Plotino - Tratado 39,10 (VI, 8, 10) — Sequência da refutação do advir acidental do Bem

Enéada VI, 8, 10

domingo 19 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

Capítulo 10: Sequência da refutação do advir acidental do Bem

  • 1-21: Raciocínio pela causalidade: como o que é causa do Intelecto, da razão e da ordem poderia existir por acaso?
  • 21-25: Retomada da objeção: o Bem se existe de maneira necessária não poder ser livre e mestre de sua própria realidade
  • 25-38: Resposta: a superabundância de poder do Bem o torna superior a toda necessidade.

Míguez

10. Convendría preguntar al que dice que el Bien es como es por accidente: ¿y cómo juzgaría, si los hubiese, que algunos hechos accidentales son engañosos? ¿Cómo sería capaz de negar el carácter accidental? Posiblemente respondería que cuando se da una cierta naturaleza se prescinde de la noción de accidente. Mas si atribuye al azar la naturaleza que desecha los accidentes, ¿cómo entonces podría decir que no todo proviene del azar? El principio de que hablamos es ciertamente el que elimina el azar y da a las cosas su especie, su límite y su forma; y no es posible así atribuir al azar un encadenamiento de hechos según la razón; no es posible, decimos, porque el azar podrá darse, mas no en el encadenamiento de las causas primeras sino en su casual conjunción. ¿Habría motivo acaso para atribuir al azar el principio de toda razón, de todo orden y de toda determinación? ¿Cómo se haría provenir de él este principio? Es claro indudablemente que el azar es señor de muchas cosas, pero, con todo, no tiene poder para engendrar la Inteligencia, la razón y el orden. Y si se estima que el azar es contrario a la razón, ¿cómo realmente podría engendrarla?

De ahí que si el azar no engendra la Inteligencia, no deba engendrar igualmente lo que precede y supera a la inteligencia. En verdad que no tendría con qué engendrarla y, en manera alguna, podría ocupar un sitio entre los seres que llamamos eternos. Nos encontramos, pues, con un principio sin nada anterior, verdaderamente primero; aquí convendrá que nos detengamos, pero no ya para hacer más consideraciones en torno a él, sino para averiguar cómo han sido engendrados los seres que le siguen, sin atender para nada al origen de su principio que, ciertamente, no ha pasado en absoluto por esa prueba.

Pero, ¿podemos entonces considerarle como señor de su propia esencia, si precisamente no ha sido engendrado y se ofrece tal cual es? Porque si no ejerce dominio sobre sí mismo y usa de su ser tal como es, necesariamente tendrá que ser lo que es y no desde luego otra cosa. Y no es así porque no haya podido ser otra cosa, sino por ser ya perfecto siendo tal cual es. Pues si no posee plena libertad para llegar a ser mejor, tampoco hay nada que le impida el hacerse peor. Si no cae en esta situación, se lo deberá naturalmente a sí mismo y no a impedimento alguno, que no tendría en él razón de ser. El que no pueda acercarse hacía el mal no indica señal de impotencia en quien no se dirige a él, pues es por sí mismo y por ser sí mismo por lo que no toma ese camino.

Digamos, en efecto, que se da una sobreabundancia de potencia en el ser que no se orienta a otro ser diferente de sí. No hay para él necesidad que se lo impida, dado que él mismo es la necesidad y la ley de los demás seres. Pero, ¿es que la necesidad se dio a sí misma la existencia? Ciertamente, no deberá decirse que existe, sino que son las otras cosas las que existen después de aquel principia y en virtud de aquel principio. Porque, ¿cómo iba a recibir la existencia de otro ser o de sí mismo lo que justamente precede a toda existencia?

Bouillet

X. Demandons à celui qui dit que le Bien est par hasard ce qu’il est (37) comment il voudrait qu’on lui démontrât que l’hypothèse du hasard est fausse, supposé qu’elle le soit, et comment on pourrait faire disparaître de l’univers le hasard (38). S’il y a une nature qui le fasse disparaître [telle que la nature de l’Un], elle ne saurait être elle-même soumise au hasard . Si l’on soumet au hasard la nature qui fait que les autres êtres ne sont point par hasard ce qu’ils sont, il n’y aura plus rien qui ne provienne du hasard. Mais le Principe de tous les êtres bannit de l’univers le hasard en donnant à chacun une espèce, une détermination et une forme (εἶδος καὶ πέρας καὶ μορφὴν διδοῦσα), et il est impossible d’attribuer au hasard la production des êtres ainsi engendrés d’une manière conforme à la raison. Il y a donc là une cause. Le hasard ne règne que dans les choses qui ne résultent pas d’un plan, qui ne se suivent pas, qui sont accidentelles. Comment rapporter au hasard l’existence du Principe de toute raison, de tout ordre, de toute détermination ? Le hasard est sans doute maître de bien des choses (39); mais il ne saurait être maître d’engendrer l’intelligence, la raison et l’ordre. Le hasard est en effet le contraire de la raison : comment donc la produirait-il ? Si le hasard n’engendre pas l’intelligence, à plus forte raison il ne saurait engendrer le principe supérieur à l’intelligence et meilleur qu’elle : car il n’avait pas de quoi engendrer ce principe, il n’existait point lui-même, et il ne saurait en aucune manière faire partie des choses éternelles. Ainsi, puisqu’il n’y a rien avant Dieu, et qu’il est le premier, il faut nous arrêter à ce principe et ne plus en rien dire, mais plutôt examiner comment ont été engendrés les êtres qui sont après lui. Quant à lui, il n’y a pas lieu de se demander comment il a été engendré, puisqu’il n’a réellement pas été engendré.

Puisqu’il n’a pas été engendré, supposons qu’étant tel qu’il est Une soit pas maître de son essence. S’il n’est pas maître de son essence, si, étant ce qu’il est, il ne s’est pas donné l’existence à lui-même, mais se borne à user de ce qu’il a, il en résulte qu’il est nécessairement ce qu’il est, et qu’il n’aurait pu être autre qu’il est. — Dieu est ce qu’il est, non parce qu’il n’aurait pu être autrement, mais parce qu’étant ce qu’il est, il est excellent. En effet, si l’on n’est pas toujours maître de devenir meilleur, on n’est jamais empêché par un autre de devenir pire. Donc, si Dieu n’est pas sorti de lui-même, il le doit à lui seul et non à un empêchement extérieur ; c’est qu’il est essentiellement ce qui n’est pas sorti de soi-même. L’impossibilité de devenir pire n’est pas une marque d’impuissance, parce que, si Dieu ne devient pas pire, c’est de lui et par lui qu’il ne le devient pas. S’il n’aspire a rien d’autre que lui-même, il a par cela même le plus haut degré de la puissance, puisqu’il n’est pas soumis à la Nécessité, mais qu’il est lui-même pour tes autres êtres la Nécessité et la Loi.— La Nécessité s’est-elle donc donné à elle-même l’existence ? — Non, elle n’est même pas arrivée a l’existence. Toutes les choses qui sont après le Premier existent par lui. Comment donc Celui qui est avant l’existence aurait-il reçu l’existence, soit d’un autre principe, soit de lui-même?

Guthrie

THE SUPREME BANISHES ALL CHANCE BY ASSIGNING LIMIT AND SHAPE TO EACH FORM.

10. He (Strato the Peripatetic?) who insists that the Good is what it is by chance, should be asked how he would like to have it demonstrated to him that the hypothesis of chance is false — in case it be false — and how chance could be made to disappear from the universe? If there be a nature (such as the nature of the one Unity), which makes (chance) disappear, it itself could not be subject to chance. If we subject to chance the nature which causes other beings not to be what they are by chance, nothing will be left that could have been derived from chance. But the principle of all beings banishes chance from the universe by giving to each (being) a form, a limitation, and a shape; and it is impossible to attribute to chance the production of beings thus begotten in a manner conforming to reason. A cause exists there. Chance reigns only in things that do not result from a plan, which are not concatenated, which are accidental. How indeed could we attribute to chance the existence of the principle of all reason, order, and determination? Chance no doubt sways many things; but it could not control the production of intelligence, reason, and order. Chance, in fact, is the contrary of reason; how then could (chance) produce (reason)? If chance do not beget Intelligence, so much the more could it not have begotten the still superior and better Principle; for chance had no resources from which to produce this principle; chance itself did not exist; and it would not have been in any manner able to impart eternal (qualities). Thus, since there is nothing anterior to the (Divinity), and as He is the First, we shall have to halt our inquiry about this Principle, and say nothing more about Him, rather examining the production of the beings posterior to Him. As to Him himself, there is no use considering how He was produced, as He really was not produced.

THE SUPREME AS MASTER OF HIS OWN BEING.

Since He was not produced, we must suppose that He is the master of His own being. Even if He were not master of His own being, and if, being what He is, He did not endow Himself with “hypostatic” form of existence, and limited Himself to utilizing His resources, the consequence is that He is what He is necessarily, and that He could not have been different from what He is. He is what He is, not because He could have been otherwise, but because His nature is excellent. Indeed, even if one be sometimes hindered from becoming better, no one is ever hindered by any other person from becoming worse. Therefore, if He did not issue from Himself, He owes it to Himself, and not to any outside hindrance; He must essentially be that which has not issued from itself. The impossibility of becoming worse is not a mark of impotence, because, if (the Divinity) do not degenerate, He owes it to Himself, (and derives it) from Himself. His not aspiring to anything other than Himself constitutes the highest degree of power, since He is not subjected to necessity, but constitutes the law and necessity of other beings. Has necessity then caused its own (hypostatic) existence? No, it has not even reached there, inasmuch as all that is after the First achieved (hypostatic) existence on His account. How then could He who is before (hypostatic) existence (or, which has achieved a form of existence), have derived His existence from any other principle, or even from Himself?

MacKenna

10. The upholder of Happening must be asked how this false happening can be supposed to have come about, taking it that it did, and haw the happening, then, is not universally prevalent. If there is to be a natural scheme at all, it must be admitted that this happening does not and cannot exist: for if we attribute to chance the Principle which is to eliminate chance from all the rest, how can there ever be anything independent of chance? And this Nature does take away the chanced from the rest, bringing in form and limit and shape. In the case of things thus conformed to reason the cause cannot be identified with chance but must lie in that very reason; chance must be kept for what occurs apart from choice and sequence and is purely concurrent. When we come to the source of all reason, order and limit, how can we attribute the reality there to chance? Chance is no doubt master of many things but is not master of Intellectual-Principle, of reason, of order, so as to bring them into being. How could chance, recognised as the very opposite of reason, be its Author? And if it does not produce Intellectual-Principle, then certainly not that which precedes and surpasses that Principle. Chance, besides, has no means of producing, has no being at all, and, assuredly, none in the Eternal.

Since there is nothing before Him who is the First, we must call a halt; there is nothing to say; we may enquire into the origin of his sequents but not of Himself who has no origin.

But perhaps, never having come to be but being as He is, He is still not master of his own essence: not master of his essence but being as He is, not self-originating but acting out of his nature as He finds it, must He not be of necessity what He is, inhibited from being otherwise?

No: What He is, He is not because He could not be otherwise but because so is best. Not everything has power to move towards the better though nothing is prevented by any external from moving towards the worse. But that the Supreme has not so moved is its own doing: there has been no inhibition; it has not moved simply because it is That which does not move; in this stability the inability to degenerate is not powerlessness; here permanence is very Act, a self-determination. This absence of declination comports the fulness of power; it is not the yielding of a being held and controlled but the Act of one who is necessity, law, to all.

Does this indicate a Necessity which has brought itself into existence? No: there has been no coming into being in any degree; This is that by which being is brought to all the rest, its sequents. Above all origins, This can owe being neither to an extern nor to itself.