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Plotino - Tratado 32,13 (V, 5, 13) — A transcendência absoluta do Bem

Enéada V, 5, 13

terça-feira 14 de junho de 2022, por Cardoso de Castro

    

Capítulo 13: A transcendência absoluta do Bem

  • 1-9: O Bem não possui nada, é «só e isolado»
  • 9-20: Nada é necessário adicionar ou predicar ao Bem
  • 20-32: O Bem não é qualquer das outras coisas e não é bem por participação
  • 33-38: Resumo conclusivo
    

Míguez

13. Conviene, pues, que sea el Bien mismo, y no un ser bueno, ya que no posee nada en sí mismo  , ni siquiera el Bien. Porque lo que pudiera poseer tendría que ser bueno o no serlo; pero lo que no es bueno ya no podría encontrarse en el Bien más alto y primero, lo mismo que el Bien no podría poseer nada que no sea bueno. Por tanto, si no posee lo bueno ni lo que no lo es, no posee nada; y si no posee nada, se encuentra realmente solo y aislado de las otras cosas. De lo que resulta que, si las demás cosas han de ser buenas — y no el Bien — o no serlo, ninguno de cuyos supuestos es cierto, nada en absoluto es el Bien, ya que el Bien nada posee. Porque si algo ha de añadirse al Bien, sea esto lo que sea, o la esencia, o la inteligencia, o lo bello, se priva ya al Bien mismo de este carácter que se le añade. Privémosle, pues, de todo, y no digamos nada de El, ni aun equivocadamente que algo hay en El. Quedémonos tan sólo con la palabra es y no declaremos en modo alguno respecto a caracteres que no están presentes, imitando así a los que hacen panegíricos sin conocimiento de causa   en detrimento de la reputación de los mismos a los que alaban, al atribuirles cualidades inferiores a las que verdaderamente tienen, confusos como están para decir la verdad sobre las personas que tratan en sus discursos, No le atribuyamos, por tanto, nada que sea posterior   e inferior   a El, ya que estando por encima de todas las cosas y siendo causa de ellas, no es El mismo esas cosas. Porque la naturaleza del Bien ni es ciertamente todas las cosas ni tampoco una cualquiera de ellas. Si así fuese quedaría encerrada en un mismo género con todas las demás cosas y sólo se diferenciaría de ellas por aquello que le es propio, y por la diferencia y el accidente. Sería, entonces, dos cosas y no ya una sola; sería, de una parte, el no-bien, o lo común con todo lo demás, y de otra parte el Bien mismo, esto es, algo mezclado de bien y de no-bien. No sería, desde luego, el Bien puro y primitivo, sino que éste constituiría aquello en lo que él participa, fuera de lo que le es común, para llegar a ser el Bien. Sería el bien, por participación, en tanto aquello en lo que él participa no podría ser realmente ninguna de las demás cosas. El Bien, pues, no es ninguna de las otras cosas. Si el bien se encontrase en El — por ejemplo, como una simple diferencia que da al compuesto el carácter de bien — sería preciso, entonces, que recibiese este carácter de otra cosa. Mas, este carácter es ya pura y solamente bien; con mayor razón lo será aquello de lo que proviene.

Hemos demostrado así que el Bien primitivo está por encima de todas las cosas, que El es el único Bien, que nada tiene en sí mismo, sino que se mantiene puro de toda mezcla, dominándolo todo y siendo, también, causa de todo. Porque lo bello y los seres no provienen del mal ni de algo indiferente al bien y al mal, ya que el hacedor es mejor que lo hecho como más perfecto.

Bouillet

XIII, Étant le Bien même, et non simplement une chose bonne. Dieu   ne saurait posséder aucune chose, pas même la qualité d’être bon. S’il possédait quelque chose, cette chose ou serait bonne ou ne le serait pas; or il ne peut y avoir rien qui ne soit bon dans le principe qui est le Bien par excellence et au premier degré ; d’un autre côté, on ne saurait dire que le Bien possède la qualité d’être bon. S’il ne peut posséder ni là qualité d’être bon ni celle de n’être pas bon, il en résulte qu’il ne doit rien posséder, par conséquent, qu’il est unique et isolé de tout le reste. Comme toutes les autres choses ou sont bonnes sans être le Bien, ou ne sont pas bonnes, que le Bien n’a ni la qualité d’être bon, ni celle de n’être pas bon, il n’a rien (22), et c’est par cela même qu’il est le Bien. Si on lui attribue quelque chose, l’essence, l’intelligence, la beauté, on lui ôte aussitôt le privilège d’être le Bien. Donc, quand on lui ôte tout attribut, qu’on n’affirme rien de lui, qu’on ne commet pas l’erreur de supposer qu’il y ait quelque chose en lui, on le laisse être simplement, sans lui rien prêter des choses qu’il n’a pas. N’imitons pas ces panégyristes ignorants qui rabaissent la gloire de ceux qu’ils louent en leur attribuant des qualités inférieures à leur dignité, parce qu’ils ne savent pas parler convenablement des personnes dont ils font l’éloge. De même, n’attribuons a Dieu aucune des choses qui sont au-dessous de lui et après lui ; reconnaissons qu’il en est la cause éminente sans être aucune d’elles. La nature du Bien ne consiste point a être toutes choses en général, ni l’une d’elles en particulier. En effet, dans ce cas, le Bien ne ferait qu’un avec tous les êtres; par conséquent, il n’en différerait que par son caractère propre, c’est-à-dire par une différence et par l’addition de quelque qualité. Au lieu d’être un, il serait deux choses, dont l’une, savoir, ce qu’il aurait de commun avec les autres êtres, ne serait pas le bien, tandis que l’autre serait le bien. Dans cette hypothèse, il serait mélangé de bien et de non-bien : il ne serait plus le Bien pur et premier. Le Bien premier serait ce dont l’autre chose participerait particulièrement, participation en vertu de laquelle elle deviendrait le bien. Cette chose ne serait ainsi le bien que par participation, tandis que celle dont elle participerait ne serait rien en particulier ; ce qui montre que le Bien n’est rien de particulier. Mais si, dans le Principe que nous examinons, le Bien est tel (c’est-à-dire s’il est une différence dont la présence donne au composé le caractère du bien), ce bien doit dériver d’un autre principe qui soit uniquement et simplement le Bien; ce composé dépend donc du Bien pur et simple. Ainsi, le Premier, le Bien absolu, domine tous les êtres, est uniquement le Bien, ne possède rien en lui, n’est mélangé à rien, est supérieur à toutes choses et est la cause de toutes. Le Beau et les êtres ne sauraient provenir du mal ni de principes indifférents : car la cause est meilleure que l’effet, parce qu’elle est plus parfaite.

Guthrie

THE SUPREMACY OF THE GOOD IMPLIES HE IS SUPERIOR TO ALL POSSESSIONS.

13. Being the Good Himself, and not simply something good, the Divinity cannot possess anything, not even the quality of being good. If He possessed anything, this thing would either be good, or not good; now in the principle which is good in Himself and in the highest degree, there cannot be anything which is not good. On the other hand, the statement that the Good possesses the quality of being good is impossible. Since therefore (the Good) can possess neither the quality of being good, or of not being good, the result is that He cannot possess anything; that He is unique, and isolated from everything else. As all other things either are good without being the Good, or are not good, and as the Good has neither the quality of being good, or of not being good, He has nothing, and this is the very thing that constitutes His goodness. To attribute to Him anything, such as being, intelligence, or beauty, would be to deprive Him of the privilege of being the Good. Therefore when we deprive Him of all attributes, when we affirm nothing about Him, when one does not commit the error of supposing anything within Him, He is left as simple essence, without attribution of things He does not possess. Let us not imitate those ignorant panegyrists who lower the glory of those they praise by attributing to them qualities inferior to their dignity, because they do not know how to speak properly of the persons they are trying to praise. Likewise, we should not attribute to the Divinity any of the things beneath and after Him; we should recognize Him as their eminent cause, but without being any of them. The nature of the Good consists not in being all things in general, nor in being any of them in particular. In this case, indeed, the Good would form no more than one with all beings; consequently, He would differ from them only by His own character; that is, by some difference, or by the addition of some quality. Instead of being one, He would be two things, of which the one — namely, what in Him was common with the other beings — would not be the Good, while the other would be the Good (and would leave all beings evil). Under this hypothesis  , He would be a mixture of good and of not good; he would no longer be the pure and primary Good. The primary Good would be that in which the other thing would particularly participate, a participation by virtue of which it would become the good. This thing would be the good only by participation, whilst that in which it would participate would be nothing in particular; which would demonstrate that the good was nothing in particular. But if, in the principle under discussion, the good be such — that is, if there be a difference whose presence gives the character of goodness to the composite — this good must derive from some other principle which must be the Good uniquely and simply. Such a composite, therefore, depends on the pure and simple Good. Thus the First, the absolute Good, dominates all beings, is uniquely the Good, possesses nothing within Himself, is mingled with nothing, is superior to all things, and is the cause of all things. The beautiful and that which is «being» could not derive from evil, or from indifferent principles; for the cause being more perfect, is always better than its effects.

MacKenna

13. The Supreme, as the Absolute Good and not merely a good being or thing, can contain nothing, since there is nothing that could be its good.

Anything it could contain must be either good to it or not good; but in the supremely and primally Good there can be nothing not good; nor can the Absolute Good be a container to the Good: containing, then, neither the good nor the not good it contains nothing and, containing nothing, it is alone: it is void of all but itself.

If the rest of being either is good - without being the absolute good - or is not good, while on the other hand the Supreme contains neither what is good nor what is not good, then, containing nothing, it is The Good by that very absence of content.

Thus we rob it of its very being as The Absolute Good if we ascribe anything to it, existence or intellect or goodness. The only way is to make every denial and no assertion, to feign no quality or content there but to permit only the «It is» in which we pretend to no affirmation of non-existent attribute: there is an ignorant praise which, missing the true description, drags in qualities beneath the real worth and so abases; philosophy must guard against attaching to the Supreme what is later and lower: moving above all that order, it is the cause and source of all these, and is none of them.

For, once more, the nature of the Good is not such as to make it all things or a thing among all: that would range it under the same classification with them all and it would differ, thus, only by its individual quality, some specialty, some addition. At once it becomes not a unity but a duality; there is one common element not good and another element that is good; but a combination so made up of good and not good cannot be the purely good, the primarily good; the primarily good must be that principle in which the better element has more effectively participated and so attained its goodness. Any good thing has become so by communion; but that in which it has communion is not a thing among the things of the all; therefore the Good is not a thing of the All.

Since there is this Good in any good thing - the specific difference by which the combination becomes good - it must enter from elsewhere than the world of things: that source must be a Good absolute and isolated.

Thus is revealed to us the Primarily existent, the Good, above all that has being, good unalloyed, containing nothing in itself, utterly unmingling, all-transcending, cause of all.

Certainly neither Being nor Beauty springs from evil or from the neutral; the maker, as the more consummate, must surpass the made.