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NEBUCHADNEZZAR


733


NECESSITY


State of Nebraska became the Diocese of Omaha, with the then vicar-ApostoHc, Rt. Rev. James O'Connor, as its first bishop. In 1887 all that part of Nebraska, south of the Platte and of the south fork of the Platte, was erected into the Diocese of Lincoln, with Rt. Rev. Thomas Bonacura as its first bishop. The Cath- olic population of Nebraska is estimated at a slight increase over 117,0.58, the figures given in Wiltzius's Directory for 1910. The coloured and Indian Catholics included are too few to be worthy of special enumeration. For the last week in September, 1909, the following figures were given as the numerical strength of the various non-Catholic denominations in Nebraska: Methodists, 64,352; Lutherans, 59,- 485; Presbyterians, 23,862; Disciples (Christians), 19,613; Baptists, 17,939; CongregationaUsts, 16,629; Episcopalians, 6,903 (communicants); United Breth- ren, 6,086; all other Protestants, 19,657.

CuRLEY, Neb. Its Advantages etr. f Mi \v York, 1875) ; BuSHNELL, Lincoln Trade Review (Lincnln, IIMM: ; >',',.f, Bureau Labor and In~ dustrial Statistics (lAncoln, I'lii'i , \ ' r Educational Directory

(Lincoln, 1910); Wiltzius, /' , l 'I"); Reports Neb. Slate

Historical Society; Margrv. /' <'<i!< rt Etablissements des

Fran^ais dans VAmerique (Pan^, l.^Oo;; .Sai.NE, The Morton His- tory of Nebraska (Lincoln, 1906J .

John P. Sutton.

Nebuchadnezzar. See Nabuchodonosor.

Necessity, in a general way denotes a strict con- nexion between different beings, or the different ele- ments of a being, or between a being and its existence. It is therefore a primary and fundamental notion, and it is important to determine its various meanings and applications in philosophy and theology.

In Logic, the Schoolmen, studying the mutual re- lations of concepts which form the matter of our judg- ments, diviiled the judgments or propositions into judgments in necessary matter {in materia necessaria), and judgments in contingent matter {in materia con- tingenii). (Cf. S. Thom., I Perihermen. lect. xiii.) The judgments in necessary matter were known as propositiones per se; they are called by modern phi- losophers "analytic", "rational", "pure", or "a priori" judgments. The propositio perse is defined by the Schoolmen as one the predicate of which is either a constitutive element or a natural property of the subject. Such is the case with primary truths, metaphysical, and mathematical principles. (Cf. S. Thom., "In I Anal.", lect. x and xxxv; "de Anima", II, lect. xiv.) It is by ignoring the last part of this definition and arbitrarily restricting the concept of analytic judgments to those of which the predicate is a constitutive element of the subject, that Kant in- vented the false notion of synthetic-a priori judg- ments.

Considered under its metaphysical aspect, being in its relation to existence is divided into necessary and contingent. A necessary being is one of which the existence is included in and identical with its very es- sence. The different beings which we observe in our daily experience are subject to beginning, to change, to perfection, and to destruction; existence is not es- sential to them and they have not in themselves the reason of their existence; they are contingent. Their existence comes to them from an external efficient cause. It is from the real existence of contingent beings that we arrive at the notion and prove the ex- istence of a necessary being — one that produces them but is not produced, one whose existence is its own essence and nature, that is at the same time eternal, all-perfect, infinite, viz., God (see Contingency). And so in relation to existence, God alone is abso- lutely necessary; all other beings are contingent.

When we consider the divers beings, not from the point of view of existence, but in relation to their con- stitution and activity, necessity may be classified as metaphysical, physical, and moral. Metaphysical ne- cessity implies that a thing is what it is, viz., it has the elements essential to its specific nature. It is a


metaphysical necessity for Clod to be infinite, man rational, an animal a living being. Metaphysical necessity is absolute. Physical necessity exists in con- nexion with tlie activity of the material beings which constitute the universe. While they are contingent as to their existence, contingent also as to their actual relations (for God could have created another order than the present one), they are, however, necessarily determined in their activity, both as to its exercise and its specific character. But this determination is dependent upon certain conditions, the presence of which is required, the absence of one or the other of them preventing altogether the exercise or normal ex- ercise of this activity. The laws of nature should always be understood with that limitation: all con- ditions being realized. The laws of nature, therefore, being subject to physical necessity are neither abso- lutely necessary, as materialistic Mechanism asserts, nor merely contingent, as the partisans of the phi- losophy of contingency declare; but they are con- ditiorally or hypothetically necessary. This hy- pothetical necessity is also called by some consequent necessity. Moral necessity is necessity as applied to the activity of free beings. W'e know that men under certain circumstances, although they are free, will act in such and such a way. It is morally necessary that such a man in such circumstances act honestly; it is morally necessary that several histo- rians, relating certain facts, should tell the truth con- cerning them. This moral necessity is the basis of moral certitude in historical and moral sciences. The term is also used with reference to freedom of the will to denote any undue physical or moral influence that might prevent the will from freely choosing to act or not act, to choose one thing in preference to an- other. The derivatives, necessitation and necessa- rianism, in their philosophical signification express the doctrine that the will in all its activity is invariably determined by physical or psychical antecedent con- ditions (see Determinism; Free Will).

In theology the notion of necessity is sometimes applied with special meaning. Theologians divide necessity into absolute and moral. A thing is said to be absolutely necessary when without it a certain end cannot possibly be reached. Thus revelation is absolutely necessary for man to know the mysteries of faith, and grace to perform any supernatural act. Something is said to be morally necessary when a certain end could, absolutely speaking, be reached without it, but cannot actually and properly be reached without it, under existing conditions. Thus, we may say that, absolutely speaking, man as such is able to know all the truths of the natural order or to observe all the precepts of the natural law; but considering the concrete circumstances of human life in the present order, men as a whole cannot actually do so without revelation or grace. Revelation and grace are morally necessary to man to know suffi- ciently all the truths of the natural law (cf. S. Thom., "Sum. Theol.", P. la., Q. 1, a 1; "Contra Gentil.", I, iv).

Again, in relation to the means necessary to salva- tion theologians divide necessity into necessity of means and necessity of precept. In the first case the means is so necessary to salvation that without it (absolute necessity) or its substitute (relative necessity), even if the omission is guiltless, the end cannot be reached. Thus faith and baptism of water are necessary by a necessity of means, the former absolutely, the latter relatively, for salvation. In the second case, neces- sity is based on a positive precept, commanding some- thing the omis.sion of which, unless culpable, does not absolutely prevent the reaching of the end.

Mercier, Ontologie (Louvaia, 1902), ii. 3; Rickaby, First Prin' ciples of Knowledge (London, 1902), I, v; Idem, General Meta- physics (London, 1901), I, iv.

George M. Sauvage.