Chapter

Theistic explanation of the laws of nature

Mark C. Murphy

in God and Moral Law

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693665
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732010 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693665.003.0006
Theistic explanation of the laws of nature

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This chapter identifies a strategy to pursue a more adequate theistic explanation of moral law. The problem of how God is related to the moral law is structurally identical to the problem, explored in amazing detail among the medieval and early modern philosophers, of how God is related to the laws of nature. The chapter shows that natural law theory and theological voluntarism correspond closely, in their strengths and weaknesses, to two theories of God's relationship to the laws of nature: mere conservationism and occasionalism, respectively. But there is not extant a theory of God's relationship to the moral law that corresponds to an influential third theory of God's relationship to the laws of nature: concurrentism. Thus it is worth asking whether there is a moral analog to concurrentism that is more successful than natural law theory and theological voluntarism in providing a theistic explanation of moral law.

Keywords: God; moral law; laws of nature; mere conservationism; occasionalism; concurrentism

Chapter.  6469 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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