The Power of God

Sophia 49 (4):603-616 (2010)
Much contemporary analytic philosophy understands the power of God as belonging to the same logical space as the power of human beings: a power of efficient causation taken to the maximum limit. This anthropomorphic picture is often explicated in terms of God’s capacity to bring about any logically possible state of affairs, so-called omnipotence. D.Z. Phillips criticized this position in his last book, The Problem of Evil and the Problem of God. I defend Phillips’s argument against recent criticism by William Hasker, contending that the omnipotence thesis is either false or trivial. I trace the superficial plausibility of the thesis to a Cartesian understanding of personal agency, in the light of which God’s power over the whole material world is an inflated version of our more modest power over our own bodies: it is the power of immaterial souls to control material phenomena. This comparison is expressed to perfection in the work of Richard Swinburne, my main target. I argue that by making God a force among other possible forces, in-principle able to be resisted, however feebly, by contrary forces, this picture reduces the Creator to a creature
Keywords Omnipotence  Anthropomorphism  Logical possibility  Phillips  Swinburne  Hasker
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11841-010-0166-8
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,037
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Andrew Gleeson (2012). God and Evil: A View From Swansea. Philosophical Investigations 35 (3-4):331-349.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

47 ( #94,151 of 1,934,424 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #113,193 of 1,934,424 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.