Providence, Contingency, and the Perfection of the Universe

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In this paper, I present and analyse the theological reasons given by contemporary authors such as Robert J. Russell, Thomas Tracy and John Polkinghorne, as well as thirteenth‑century scholar Thomas Aquinas, to admit that the created universe requires being intrinsically contingent in its causing, in particular referring to their doctrines of providence. Contemporary authors stress the need of having indeterminate events within the natural world to allow for God’s providential action within creation, whereas Aquinas focuses his argument on the idea that a universe which includes contingent causes is a more perfect universe. I compare these two approaches, concluding that Aquinas’ seems to be better suited to account for true indetermination within the natural world, claiming that divine causality is not required to complement natural causality in its own level.
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Archival date: 2019-10-08
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