GREAT MINDS THINK (ALMOST) ALIKE THOMAS AQUINAS AND ALVIN PLANTINGA ON DIVINE ACTION IN NATURE

In: Philosophia Reformata
Author: Ignacio Silva
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In the first part of this paper I argue that even if at first Alvin Plantinga’s reasons for allowing special divine action seem similar to those of Thomas Aquinas, particularly in De Potentia Dei for allowing miracles, the difference in their metaphysical language makes Aquinas’ account less prone to the objections raised against Plantinga’s. In the second part I argue that Plantinga errs when recurring to quantum mechanics for allowing special divine action, making God to be a cause among causes. Thomas Aquinas, by speaking of primary and secondary causality when referring to God’s activity, avoids taking this step, evading the conclusion that God could be seen as a cause among causes. Aquinas, however, maintains in a statement which goes beyond Plantinga’s, that God’s providence requires the universe to be indeterministic because this indeterministic feature makes the universe more perfect.

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