Philosophy and God's Nature: Second Thoughts

John Finnis

in Religion and Public Reasons

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580095
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729416 | DOI:
Philosophy and God's Nature: Second Thoughts

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This chapter offers a reflection on the treatment in Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980) of the question how the basic human goods and requirements of practical reasonableness are related to, or in Mark Murphy's words ‘detachable from’, the rational affirmability of God's existence and nature. (About that nature, the book was too austere and agnostic.) There is ‘detachability’ just to the extent that (say) physics can be done well without raising and pressing further questions about the origins of physical realities and laws. But rationality norms applicable across the whole field of human questioning require that when those questions are raised, in the appropriate (philosophical) discipline, they be answered by affirming the existence of divine causality in tandem with the natural causalities and intelligibilities known to the diverse human fields of inquiry and scholarly disciplines. Neither natural moral law nor any other intelligible order is safe for non-theists. The affirmation that God is love is not foundational, but dependent.

Keywords: rationality norms; God's existence; God's nature; divine causality; Mark Murphy; non-theism

Chapter.  2919 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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