Randomness, Compatibilism and Divine Providence

Bibliographic Information: 

Lefeu, James. "Randomness, Compatibilism and Divine Providence," Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 27 (2015) 61-81.


This essay explores quantum physics and theology to propose that ontological randomness does not exist, but divine Providence does. Some interpretations of quantum physics that involve mathematical formalism and observational phenomenology are deterministic (de Broglie-Bohm, many-worlds, cosmological, time-symmetric, many-minds), while others are non-deterministic (Copenhagen, stochastic, objective collapse, transactional). Yet, quantum events are merely epistemically indeterminable by us, but actually do have a fundamental cause. Compatibilism best describes the teaching of the Bible. Humans possess free agency, and are determined by their desires and values. Hence, they can be said to have "free will," because they do what they want. The fundamental cause, as understood by Compatibilism, is God’s Providence, defined as God’s continual involvement with creation through keeping it existing, cooperating with creation in every action, and directing it to fulfill His purposes. The interaction between quantum physics and Providence suggests methodological parallels between science and theology in a quest for synthesis.

Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
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