[Article] Acts, Events and Things by Kit Fine

By Kit Fine

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9 Scientifically, we are not able to plumb the past beyond the moment of the big bang, but it is, at the very least, precarious to presume a cosmic history before it. As one extrapolates back closer and closer to the big bang singularity, matter is found to be in states of higher and higher energy, more and more remote from regimes of which we have the experience to speak with justified confidence. Of course, speculation can attempt to go beyond the reach of knowledge. 10 Prior to that, God’s body would be the vacuum—not quite as empty an entity as one might think, since the quantum vacuum is a richly structured state, but minimal nevertheless.

The miraculous is simply the providential in unusual circumstances. God’s purposive action within the flexibility of process may be expected to bear some analogy with our human experience of willed activity, for which we know that there must be such flexibility, since we exercise it all the time. How can we picture its coming about? The answer will lie in such modest understanding as we may possess of how our psychosomatic unity is realized within the physical world. It may be true, as John Macquarrie tells us, that philosophers from Plotinus to Whitehead have pointed out that “inert formless matter cannot evolve into such a universe as we know it,”21 but it is also true that matter, as we understand it today, is very far from being inert and formless.

While it will not be possible to exhibit the naked action of God, we must expect there to be occasions when belief in that action will be more persuasively suggested than on others. ”41 Without some recourse to the particular there is a danger that the God who does everything will be perceived as the God who does nothing. Yet, to the problem of God’s particular activity, we must add the problem of God’s particular inactivity, his apparent absence from those occasions when his powerful presence seems most needed and desired.

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