Category Archives: Philosophy

Abstraction and improbability

I’ve been dipping into George Berkeley’s philosophy recently, mainly because his mind-only view of reality resonates with some other thinkers whose ideas on the matter of matter have impressed me over the years, such as Arthur Eddington, Werner Heisenberg and William Dembski.

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Molinism again

A quick thought here, based on a heads-up to me on Peaceful Science on a thread that, for some reason, doesn’t give me the ability to reply. No matter, because I have more space to reply here.

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On distinguishing miracles from providence

In my recent piece about Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, I mentioned how Bacon, supposedly the staunch supporter of methodological naturalism, included both a scientificcally detectable miracle and a providential answer to prayer in an apologetic for the new science that is only 22 pages long. He would appear to cut the world-cake rather differently from many of a scientific bent now, who divide the world sharply between the “natural” and the “miraculous.”

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Design and all that metaphysics

A thread at Peaceful Science tosses around the usual argument-suspects about Intelligent Design. It was set up in an unhelpful way by the common ID argument contrasting Mount Rushmore (a large statue in America, m’Lud, in the form of a carved mountain) with Mount Everest, a “natural” mountain.

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Theistic Science and Bacon’s New Atlantis

Francis Bacon produced what I suppose one would call a “Utopian Novelette,” unfinished at about 22 pages, just three years before he died. It seems to have been intended as a kind of manifesto for the new scientific project he had, to a great extent, initiated, and so it is worth looking at retrospectively in the light of that project’s enormous success. The Kindle edition is also free, which is another incentive.

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Final causes and salvation

Here’s some theological musing inspired by the discussion we’ve had on “final causes” connected with the last couple of posts.

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No computation without teleology

Support for the suggestion in my last post, that we are likely to be missing significant biological truths by not recognising Aristotelian formal and final causation, comes from a philosophical direction in a recent article by Thomist analytic philosopher Ed Feser .

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Free will and final causation

In a Peaceful Science thread continuing the discussion of the view mentioned in my last post, John Harshman criticises what he calls the incoherence of the very idea of free will.

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Denying creation

Writing on the gender differences in the account of the Fall in the garden prompts me to reflect on a factor in the modern (or actually, postmodern) zeitgeist that profoundly affects our reception of the whole biblical doctrine of creation, let alone Adam and Eve. This arises from my old bogey of Promethean thinking, spelled out at length in God’s Good Earth but in brief here, but which has its own peculiar manifestation only in our times.

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The happiness of creation

My wife was preparing for a Bible study yesterday, and we were discussing whether “blessed” or “happy” is the better translation in the beatitudes of Matthew 5. It turns out to have some relevance for the understanding of the theology of nature.

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