Quantum Randomness, Hylomorphism, and Classical Theism

Journal of Analytic Theology 4:147-170 (2016)
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According to certain interpretations of quantum mechanics, the behavior of some physical systems is random—that is, certain current states of physical systems are related to other current states and the set of possible future states in a probabilistic, rather than a deterministic, fashion. This account of physical systems seems to conflict with the claim that there is an omnipotent God—that is, a God Who can efficaciously bring about any logically possible creaturely state, and Who can cause efficacious secondary causes—and so raises problems for classical theism. After explaining these problems, I provide a solution to them based upon a version of hylomorphism, which I call Theistic Hylomorphism with Randomness. On this view, it can be affirmed that the physical world is both random and in determinate states, and divine omnipotence can be upheld in a random world. After presenting this version of hylomorphism and showing how it defeats the problems for classical theism raised by quantum mechanics, I defend it against three objections.



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Mark K. Spencer
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

References found in this work

The metaphysics within physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Summa Theologiae (1265-1273).Thomas Aquinas - 1911 - Edited by John Mortensen & Enrique Alarcón.

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