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Knowledge, Action, Pluralism

Contemporary Perspectives in Philosophy of Religion

Edited By Sebastian Kolodziejczyk and Janusz Salamon

In this book, an international team of scholars from leading American, British and Continental European universities, led by Richard Swinburne, Eleonore Stump, William Wainwright and Linda Zagzebski, presents original ideas about three currently discussed topics in the philosophy of religion: religious epistemology, the philosophy of God’s action in the world, including the problem of evil and Divine Providence, and the philosophical challenge of religious diversity. The book contains echoes of all four main strands of the late 20th century philosophy of religion: Richard Swinburne’s philosophical theology, Alvin Plantinga’s reformed epistemology, John Hick’s theory of religious pluralism, and the philosophy of religion inspired by the work of the later Wittgenstein. One of the distinguishing features of this volume is that it mirrors a new trend towards philosophical cooperation across the so-called continental/analytic divide.
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Creation as a Metaphysical Concept

Extract



Paul Clavier

The metaphysical concept of creation should be preserved from ideological claims implied in the creationism vs. evolutionism debate. Two different topics have to be disentangled: 1°) the probability for living organisms to evolve with or without divine guidance; 2°) the ontological dependence of what there is upon a hypothetical (originating and sustaining) cause of its existence. The first topic often (even if not fatally) displays a disastrous mingling of observational evidence with metaphysically premature conclusions (whatever these may be: theistic or atheistic). Giving preliminarily and finally some reasons to cast doubt on the validity of arguing deductively from physical (or biological) states of affairs to God, this paper will be principally concerned with the second topic. The challenge of a rephrased argument to the existence of a creator is to point out new reasons for defeating the claim for a self-existent world, and therefore for arguing the ontological dependence the world might have on a creator.

The doctrine of creation is usually supposed to be: 1°) a religious belief proper to western monotheistic traditions; 2°) short of any rational justification; or even 3°) an irrational superstition, not compatible with scientific evidence.

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