Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
This thesis will explore the impact that scientific theories - particularly those in the field of physics - have had on prevailing philosophies of God, and illustrate that science and philosophy are not wholly separate, unrelated fields. Some of the most influential philosophical assertions about God have indeed been shaped by ideas that originated in science. Thomas Aquinas' view of God, as well as the proofs that he offered for God's existence, are laden with ideas about the physical structure and phenomena of nature. So, too, do the philosophical writings of Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes, and other Enlightenment thinkers invoke science for both their philosophical foundation and the arguments given in support of the existence - some will assert the necessity - of God in the world. And today's physics, which deals with the quantum world of X-rays, protons, and the speed of light, both highlights and complicates the relationship between physics and theology as it introduces ideas that escaped previous generations of physicists, reshaping a millennia-old discussion about whether God exists, what God is, and how God operates. This thesis will show that physics and the philosophy of God have intersected throughout history, and that Western theology has never achieved independence from physics, while theories in physics, likewise, were not constructed in a Godless vacuum.
Date of Award
© David Vranicar
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Vranicar, David, "The Relationship Between Physics and the West's Philosophy of God" (2008). Student Publications. 512.