Saturday, October 03, 2015

Charles Hodge against Occasionalism

A third form of necessity includes all those theories which supersede the efficiency of second causes, by referring all events to the immediate agency of the first cause. This of course is done by Pantheism in all its forms, ... According to all these views, God is the only agent; all activity is but different modes in which the activity of God manifests itself.

The theory of occasional causes leads to the same results. According to this doctrine, all efficiency is in God. Second causes are only the occasions on which that efficiency is exerted. Although this system allows a real existence to matter and mind, and admits that they are endowed with certain qualities and attributes, yet these are nothing more than susceptibilities, or receptivities for the manifestation of the divine efficiency. They furnish the occasions for the exercise of the all-pervading power of God. Matter and mind are alike passive: all the changes in the one, and all of the appearance of activity in the other, are due to God’s immediate operation. (Charles Hodge, Systematc Theology, 2:281-2)

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