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Overall and Aquinas on Miracles

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 November 2015

Fordham University


Christine Overall has argued that miracles, if they exist, would be an evil committed by God and therefore disprove the existence of God. However, her notion of a miracle as an intervention presupposes a view about the relation between God and creation that posits God as an ‘outsider.’ Such a view has not been held by all theists. It was not held by Thomas Aquinas. I show that Aquinas’s conception is not susceptible to Overall’s criticisms. The upshot is that theists should avoid any view of God as an ‘outsider,’ if they wish to avoid Overall’s criticisms.

Christine Overall a affirmé que les miracles, s'ils existaient, seraient un mal commis par Dieu, et ainsi qu'ils démontreraient la non-existence de Dieu. Cependant, sa notion de miracle comme intervention présuppose une opinion selon laquelle Dieu serait «au-dehors». Une telle opinion n'est pas partagée par tous les théistes. Elle n'était pas partagée par Thomas d'Aquin. Je montrerai que la conception de Thomas d'Aquin n'est pas compromise par les critiques formulées par Overall. Le résultat est que les théistes devraient éviter de concevoir Dieu comme étant «au-dehors» s’ils veulent éviter les critiques d'Overall.

Copyright © Canadian Philosophical Association 2015 

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