Re: God and nature; miracles

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Thu May 15 2003 - 00:22:29 EDT

  • Next message: Don Winterstein: "Re: Guilt by association"

    On Wed, 14 May 2003 22:36:41 -0400 "Ted Davis" <>
    > Something seems a bit fishy, in the quotation Bob gave us from
    > Augustine
    > about God and nature. I suspect it may be rolled up in the meaning
    > of
    > "nature," which would have to be understood in terms of the
    > "natures" of
    > things as well as in terms of the "natural" order. I can't quite
    > flesh this
    > out with confidence, but I have my doubts that Augustine would
    > intend to say
    > that God never acts in ways that would be "outside" the "ordinary
    > course of
    > nature," as Boyle would have put it.
    > In any event, I think God does sometimes act in extraordinary ways,
    > ways
    > that simply cannot be fully described with natural categories. For
    > example,
    > I believe that Jesus was conceived without a human father; that the
    > women
    > and the disciples went to the right tomb and found it empty; that
    > our Lord
    > made real wine from real water in a trice; and that (for lack of
    > better
    > language) there was a time when there was no time, before the world
    > was
    > brought into being by an inscrutable act of divine power and will.
    > None of
    > these things, IMO, is unscientific, for genuine science cannot
    > proscribe
    > events it cannot describe--contrary to David Hume, whose own
    > principle of
    > the uniformity of nature rested precariously on his own faith in
    > the
    > validity of induction, whose validity he himself doubted.
    > The question is always, *did* such and such take place, not *could*
    > it
    > happen. And those who would make God a constitutional monarch, who
    > "cannot
    > break his own laws," do not understand (IMO) what it means to be
    > "maker of
    > heaven and earth."
    > ted davis
    Excellent point, Ted. But little men want to have a deity that they can
    understand. So they claim that God cannot know the future because our
    experiential knowledge ends at the present moment. Etc., etc. But God is
    not me written bigger and maybe a little better, for I think well of
    myself ;-)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Thu May 15 2003 - 00:27:11 EDT