Original Research

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

Callum D. Scott
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 1 | a1377 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i1.1377 | © 2015 Callum D. Scott | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 August 2014 | Published: 25 March 2015

About the author(s)

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


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.


Cosmology, God, creation


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Crossref Citations

1. The place of metaphysics in the science-religion debate
Daniël P. Veldsman
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 73  issue: 3  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v73i3.4655