On 18.06.2012 23:53 meekerdb said the following:
On 6/18/2012 12:37 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 18.06.2012 19:33 meekerdb said the following:
On 6/13/2012 1:02 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
And what is that meaning which they have expounded with
unanimity and has anyone who is *not* a theologian ever
believed it?

I believe that educated people, for example scientists, have
followed theological books.

But I asked what *it* is, the meaning they have expounded with
*unanimity*. No doubt some scientists have been influenced by
some theological and philosophical writing. But did they *believe
it* and *was it unanimous* or was it selected by the scientist
from many contradictory writings as one agreeable to his ideas.

This would be a goal of historical research to find it out.

But the quote you posted asserted that such a meaning was already
known: "I have no fear of being contradicted when I say that the
meaning I suppose to be attached by this author to the proposition
'God exists' is a meaning Christian theologians have never attached
to it, and does not even remotely resemble the meaning which with
some approach to unanimity they have expounded at considerable

Collingwood has written this statement according to the historical research available at his time. In his lectures, Maarten Hoenen who is an expert in middle ages, says similar things. You may assume that both of them are apologetic but then you should find other historians and see what they say. You may also read originals texts and offer your own interpretation. The point however that the interpretation should be based on the texts that had been written at those times.

For example a couple of quotes from Newton (according to Soul of

Newton, General Scholium "This Being governs all things, not as the
 soul of the world, but as Lord over all; ... and Deity is the
dominion of God, not over his own body, as those imagine who fancy
God to be the soul of the world, but over servants."

“this most beautiful system of sun, planets, and comets could only
 proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and
powerful Being.”

Now the quote from the book Soul of Science itself:

"Roger Cotes, in his preface to the second edition of Newton’s
Principia, wrote that the book 'will be the safest protection
against the attacks of atheists, and nowhere more surely than from
this quiver can one draw forth missiles against the band of godless

Hard to have been more wrong than that.

I am not sure if I understand what you mean. Do you mean that this had not been written in the preface to the second edition of Newton’s

From SEV


"The second edition appeared in 1713, twenty six years after the first."

"In addition to these, two changes were made that were more polemical than substantive: Newton added the General Scholium following Book 3 in the second edition, and his editor Roger Cotes provided a long anti-Cartesian (and anti-Leibnizian) Preface."

It seems that quote from Soul of Science is the correct one. Note that this had happened when Newton was alive.

As for Newtons arguments for God, please find below quotes from Soul of Science, p. 66-67. If you do not agree, you may want to read Newton's Principia and offer your own interpretation.


"The reason Newton felt free to avoid ultimate causes was, of course, that for him the ultimate cause was God. He viewed gravity as an active principle through which God Himself imposes order onto passive matter—as one of the avenues through which God exercises His immediate activity in creation. As Kaiser puts it, for Newton things like gravity “depended on God’s immediate presence and activity as much as the breathing of an organism depends on the life-principle within.” Like breathing, these active powers were regular and natural, and yet they could not be explained in purely mechanical terms."

"A second way Newton found to “fit God in” was in his concept of absolute time and space. From the mathematician Isaac Barrow, Newton adopted the idea that time and space are expressions of God’s own eternity and omnipresence. Newton took God’s eternity to mean He is actually extended throughout all time — in his words, God’s “duration reaches from eternity to eternity.” He took God’s omnipresence to mean that He is extended throughout all space — His presence reaches “from infinity to infinity.” Therefore time must be eternal and space infinite.20 Physics textbooks often describe Newton’s concepts of absolute space and time as purely metaphysical without explaining that his motivation was primarily religious."

"A third way Newton found a role for God in the world was as the source of its orderly structure. In the cosmic order, Newton saw evidence of intelligent design. “The main business” of science, he said, is to argue backward along the chain of mechanical causes and effects “till we come to the very first cause, which certainly is not mechanical.” Newton also regarded several specific characteristics of the world as inexplicable except as the work of a Creator. “Was the eye contrived without skill in optics,” he asked, “or the ear without knowledge of sounds?”"

"A fourth way Newton found a role for God was by assuming that the universe needs God’s intervention from time to time to stabilize it. For example, the orbits of the planets exhibit irregularities when they pass close to other planets or to comets. Newton feared that over time these fluctuations would accumulate and cause chaos, and the solar system would collapse. Therefore, he argued, God must step in periodically and set things right again. If the universe is a clock, then it is a clock that on occasion needs to be repaired and rebuilt."

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