God, Chance and Purpose

Process Studies 39 (1):106-116 (2010)
Abstract
In God, Chance and Purpose, David Bartholomew uses probability theory to show how Divine Providence can be active in a world governed by chance and necessity. At the micro-level of Nature God uses a statistical formula to control the outcome of seemingly random events; at the macro-level God influences but does not control the outcome of events. From a Whiteheadian perspective “the common element of form” of a society could be seen as the equivalent of Bartholomew’s statistical formula but generated in each case from the bottom-up rather than imposed from the top-down. Yet Bartholomew’s insistence that statistical formulas only work with large groups of entities suggests that more attention should be given by Whiteheadians to the workings of Divine Providence onsocieties as opposed to individual actual entities
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