Re: Coercion

From: Howard J. Van Till <>
Date: Thu Apr 08 2004 - 12:27:42 EDT

On 4/8/04 11:41 AM, "bivalve" <> wrote:

> I think my difficulty may be more with the perjurative association of the term
> coercion than the concept.

OK, you are certainly welcome to suggest another term for the idea that God
acts in such a way as to overpower or supersede creaturely action (for
example, force atoms and molecular sub-units to assemble into configurations
-- say a bacterial flagellum -- that could not have been actualized by
natural actions alone).

> With regard to that, I think that the question of
> God being coerced is important.

Agreed, I did not mean to say it was unimportant, but that a different
question was now being considered.

Skip a bit....
> George already replied to this. I would also note that I'm not certain that
> supernatural intervention necessarily requires overpowering something. E.g.,
> creation ex nihlo would seem to be an intervention-type action, but does not
> obviously involve overpowering anything.

These are semantic concerns, having to do with the working definitions of
words like "intervention," as we have discussed earlier.


> As far as I can tell, supernatural interventions are unnecessary for the
> actualization of new creaturely forms.


> Coercive actions, though rare, do occur

Sorry, I'm not following this section of your comments.

>> See George's comments on this [the problem of evil].<
> His answer seems to indicate that God can’t be blamed for evil in process
> thought because he doesn’t do anything.

No, George did not say that. In process thought, God's non-coercive action
can be effective (Griffin spends a lot of effort on developing this). But it
cannot overpower or forcibly supersede creaturely action. Action (divine or
human) can be influential without being coercive (having overpowering

Howard Van Till
Received on Thu Apr 8 12:32:57 2004

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