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Primary causality: In defence of the metaphysical rationality of faith in God as Creator

Callum D. Scott

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 36, No 1 (2015), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v36i1.1377

Submitted: 22 August 2014
Published:  25 March 2015


Support has been lent to contemporary ‘New Atheism’ from physicalist interpretations of ‘hard’ science. From this perspective, any system of knowledge that does not rely solely upon empirical method is deemed meaningless in comparison to observationally-grounded empirical science. Consequently, as a non-empirically-based approach, faith positions are included in the critique offered by physicalists. The impetus for this article, then, is to establish physicalism as a reductionist epistemology that is partially comprised of – seemingly inconspicuously embedded – metaphysical assumptions. With metaphysics apparent in ‘hard’ science, it is argued from a Thomist perspective that metaphysical themes of primary causality must be realistically considered to account for being. As a logical outcome, the proposal is made that metaphysical primary causality directs to the reasonable suggestion that God creates.


Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article specifically challenges the currently trendy ‘New Atheist’ school of thought, resting upon the counter-argument offered that ‘hard’ science cannot ultimately account for the emergence or continued existence of being. Utilising Aquinas, the research calls for a re-embracement of unified, as opposed to limited, systems of knowledge.

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Author affiliations

Callum D. Scott, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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