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Catholic Dictionary

Term

FINAL CAUSE

Definition

The end or purpose that an intelligent being has in performing an action or producing an effect. Strictly speaking, only created beings can have a final cause in what they do. God cannot properly be motivated by any cause, as though he were in any way changed or modified by his actions. Yet he does act for a purpose, which is really his own infinite goodness and identified with the divine essence.

See Also: CAUSE, See Also: EFFICIENT CAUSE, See Also: FIRST CAUSE, See Also: FORMAL CAUSE, See Also: FREE CAUSE, See Also: MATERIAL CAUSE, See Also: MORAL CAUSE, See Also: NECESSARY CAUSE, See Also: SECONDARY CAUSE