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Metaphysical Thoughts: Part 2, Chapter 5.
Concerning the Simplicity of God.

The threefold distinction of things as real, modal, and rational.
    We proceed to the simplicity of God. In order to correctly understand this attribute of God we should recall what Descartes said in the "Prin. of Phil.," Part 1., Arts. 48 and 49, viz., that in nature we know only substances and their modes. From this comes the distinction, Arts. 60, 61, and 62, of things as real and modal, and rational. That is called real which distinguishes two substances from one another, whether two different substances, or attributes of the same substance; as for example, thought and extension or different parts of matter. These we know are different because each may be conceived apart from the other, and consequently may so exist. Modal distinctions are of two kinds, namely, that between a mode of a substance and the substance itself, and that between two modes of one substance. The first we recognize because while one mode may be conceived without another, neither can exist apart from the substance whose modes they are; the second because while substance can be conceived without its modes, modes cannot be conceived apart from substance. Finally, a rational distinction is that arising between substance and its attributes, as, for example, when duration is distinguished from extension. We recognize this distinction because substance cannot be understood without that attribute.

Whence combinations arise, and how many forms there are.
    From these three forms of things all forms of combination arise. The first form is that made by the combination of two or more substances, the attributes being the same, as the combination of bodies, or the attributes being different, as in man. The second class is made by the union of different modes. The third is not made in reality, but only conceived as made in order to better understand objects. What does not come under the first two of these heads is not composite, but simple in its nature.

God is not composite but simple.
    From this it may be shown that God is not composite, but simple being. For it is a self-evident fact that the component parts of a composite object are prior in nature to the object itself. Then those substances from which God is composed are necessarily prior in their nature to God Himself. Each could then be conceived in itself apart from the concept of God. Each part, therefore, could exist per se and we would have as many gods as there are substances from which God is supposed to be composed. For when each part can exist per se it must exist by its own power. Under these conditions (as we have shown in Prop. 7, Pt. 1., where we demonstrated the existence of God) it will have the power of giving to itself all the perfection of God. As nothing could be more absurd than this, we conclude that God is not composite, that is, made by the coalition and union of substances. The same conclusion is also evident from the fact that there are no modes in God's being; for modes arise from the change of substances (via. Principles, Pt. 1., Art. 56). Finally, if any one wishes to conceive of some other combination of the essence and of the existence of things, we will not say him nay. Only he should remember that there are not two separate things in God.

The attributes of God are only distinguished by reason.
    We may conclude, therefore, that all the distinctions we make in regard to the attributes of God are not real but rational distinctions. Let it be understood that such distinctions as I have just made are distinctions of reason, which may be known from the fact that such a substance could not exist without this attribute. Therefore, we conclude that God is simple being. We do not care for the other minor distinctions of the Peripatetics, and proceed, therefore, to the life of God.
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