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CHAPTER LXXXVThat the Divine Will does not take away Contingency from things164164A ‘contingent’ thing, be it remembered, is a thing that actually is, but absolutely might not be. Except God, all actuality is ultimately contingent, however it be often hypothetically necessary.

HYPOTHETICAL necessity in the cause cannot lead to absolute necessity in the effect. But God’s will about a creature is not absolutely necessary, but hypothetically so (Chap. LXXXIII). Therefore the divine will is no argument of absolute necessity in creatures. But only this absolute necessity excludes contingency: for even a contingent fact may be extended either way into an hypothetical necessity: thus it is necessary that Socrates moves, if he runs. It does not therefore follow that a thing happens of necessity, if God wills it: all that holds is the necessary truth of this conditional: ‘If God wills anything, the thing will be’: but the ‘consequent’ (as distinguished from the ‘consequence’) need not be a necessary truth.165165Thus in the proposition: ‘If I find the money, I shall pay twenty shillings in the pound’: the truth of the ‘consequence’ is small comfort to my rueful creditors for the falsity of the ‘consequent’


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