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Human Freedom and the Freedom of Natural Processes: On Omnicausality, A-Causality and God’s Omnipotence

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Abstract The article traces the development of causality in physical science and examines its functioning in theology, as well as its demand for a different approach to power, especially the omnipotence and omnicausality of God. The three main phases in the development of causality is briefly mentioned with special reference to some applicable notions of Hume, Newton and Kant. Some examples are given of developments that contributed to the erosion of the causality concept in the sciences during the nineteenth century. The possibility of thinking of God in a-causal terms is proposed. The idea of an omni-causal God is build upon a pre-modern monarchical view. The question whether the importance of God as an omni-causal agent forms part of our regulative thinking, is dealt with. Special attention is given to the way Karl Barth interprets our knowledge of God as well as God’s power. We take the stance that the idea of God’s omnipotence does not imply his omnicausality. This implies that he respect the freedom (autopoeticism) of nature as he respect the freedom of humans. This stance obviates the need to prove God as the magical force in or behind natural and physical events. The action of God is seen on the consequential side of events and not on its causal side.

Affiliations: 1: Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa P. O. Box 392, 0003 UNISA Republic of South Africa


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