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Type: Journal article
Title: The Power of God
Author: Gleeson, A.
Citation: Sophia: international journal of philosophy and traditions, 2010; 49(4 Sp Iss):603-616
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0038-1527
Statement of
Andrew Gleeson
Abstract: 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
Logical possibility
Description: From the issue entitled "Special Issue on 2 Conferences: Biennial Conference in Philosophy, Religion and Culture; and the APRA Conference 2010 / Guest Edited by Andrew Murray and Morgan Luck"
Rights: © Springer, Part of Springer Science+Business Media
DOI: 10.1007/s11841-010-0166-8
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Philosophy publications

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