> Digression extended: I just don't find the violin metaphor helpful. Violins
> are dead; they have no ability whatsoever to act. All violins can do is
> respond to an external force. But the universe is rife with capabilities to
> act, including formational capabilities to actualize potentialities for the
> first time.
Let me butt in here. Analogies like the violinist & the violin have
been used traditionally to set out the idea of divine cooperation (or
concurrence), that God works with created agents.None of those created agents
have the ability to act _by themselves_ - i.e., without God. If God's enabling
them to act _at all_ is to be called "coercion", so be it.
But - & here is where IMO it's necessary to go beyond the classical idea
of cooperation - God
limits the way he works with creatures to be in accord with the laws or patterns
by which they exist, then God is not acting in such a way as to violate the
integrity with which he has endowed them.
The violin is not alive. Neither are quarks, carbon atoms, or amino
acids. Things made of carbon, hydrogen &c atoms at some point in earth history
became alive. I have said a number of times here that there is no theological
reason to insist that that must have come about through a miraculous
intervention. Neither do I think that it is necessary to say that somehow
carbon atoms possess some level of life so that they are capable of being
"persuaded" toward some higher level of organization. (That is of course the
direction in which some process arguments tend.)
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Dialogue"
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