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Religion and Public ReasonsCollected Essays Volume V$
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John Finnis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580095

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580095.001.0001

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Philosophy and God's Nature: Second Thoughts

Philosophy and God's Nature: Second Thoughts

(p.193) 13 Philosophy and God's Nature: Second Thoughts
Religion and Public Reasons

John Finnis

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a reflection on the treatment in Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980) of the question how the basic human goods and requirements of practical reasonableness are related to, or in Mark Murphy's words ‘detachable from’, the rational affirmability of God's existence and nature. (About that nature, the book was too austere and agnostic.) There is ‘detachability’ just to the extent that (say) physics can be done well without raising and pressing further questions about the origins of physical realities and laws. But rationality norms applicable across the whole field of human questioning require that when those questions are raised, in the appropriate (philosophical) discipline, they be answered by affirming the existence of divine causality in tandem with the natural causalities and intelligibilities known to the diverse human fields of inquiry and scholarly disciplines. Neither natural moral law nor any other intelligible order is safe for non-theists. The affirmation that God is love is not foundational, but dependent.

Keywords:   rationality norms, God's existence, God's nature, divine causality, Mark Murphy, non-theism

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