chapter  7
28 Pages

Successful Theistic Explanations

Once again, let me begin by summarising my argument. There exists a bare, theoretical possibility that appeal to the action of God might constitute a potential explanation of some fact. However, such an explanation cannot merely invoke the existence of a divine agent. The theist would need to posit a particular divine intention and to show that the fact in question was the best way in which that intention could have been realised. This “optimality condition,” as I called it in Chapter 5, sets the bar very high. It may be that if it were consistently applied (as it rarely is), it would disqualify most if not all proposed theistic explanations. On close examination, they may turn out to be not even potential explanations of the facts in question.