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Religious and Secular Statements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 February 2009

D. H. Mellor
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge


The relation between religious and scientific explanations of events and states of affairs has been the subject of much debate. For example, are the statements

‘John's life was saved by surgery’

‘John's life was saved in answer to prayer’

in competition with each other and, if so, in what way? They do not seem to be rival causal explanations, nor are they straightforwardly contradictory. Yet each seems to cast doubt on the other, or at least to make it to some extent redundant.

Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 1974

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