Chapter

Free and Creator of the Universe

Richard Swinburne

in The Coherence of Theism

Published in print March 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240709
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598586 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198240708.003.0008

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

Free and Creator of the Universe

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Explanation is of two kinds—personal (in terms of persons, their intentions, capacities, and beliefs) and scientific (in terms of laws of nature and initial conditions). In explaining things in terms of God's action, theology uses personal explanation. God is the creator of the universe in the sense that he brings about (or permits some other being to bring about) the existence of all things apart from himself; it is irrelevant to this doctrine whether or not the universe had a beginning. God acts directly in that no outside causal factors cause or can influence how he acts; considerations of reason alone influence him; and hence he will always do what he believes that there is overriding reason to do, and never do what he believes that there is overriding reason not to do.

Keywords: cosmology; creator; explanation; free action; God; initial conditions; intention; laws of nature; overriding reason; personal explanation; persons; rational action; scientific explanation; theology

Chapter.  10254 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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