David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 79:21-27 (2005)
The author recounts his own journey from inductive arguments for God’s existence and the Free Will Defense, to the Thomistic claim that we do not know God’s essence (which implies, among other things, that God cannot be classified among things in the world). Propositions can be truly affirmed of God, if we distinguish knowing that a proposition is true and understanding what makes the proposition true. We can say “God exists” without knowing what God is. If God is the Unknown that makes all other things to be, are all our choices positively caused, not just permitted, by God? Since God is not an agent among other agents in the world, he does not coerce us from outside. We are free not in spite of God, but rather because of Him. This does not mean that all our actions are pre-determined; it means, rather, that God creatively makes people who act as they do, to be. The reasons for supposing that we do not know what God is, are the same as the reasons for thinking that He (as the creative source of everything) is more present to us than any creature is
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