Necessitarianism about the laws of nature is a fairly popular view in contemporary analytic philosophy (Cf. Shoemaker, Swoyer, Bird, Fales, Ellis, Bigelow et al.). According to such accounts, the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. One popular type of account of necessitarianism about the laws of nature is dispositional essentialism. According to this sort of account, physical individuals and stuffs have their dispositional properties essentially, so that (for example) salt (or at the very least, least salt-in-alpha, i.e., the stuff that plays the salt role in the actual world) is essentially and thus necessarily such that it dissolves in water. Similarly, matter-energy (or at the very least, matter-in-alpha) is essentially and thus necessarily such that the conservation laws hold. But if so, then it appears that God can't violate the laws of nature, which puts constraints on God's relation to the physical world. For example, it implies that he can't intervene in the world in such a way as to violate the laws of physics, or that (if some of the conservation laws are properly spelled out in terms of conserved quantities of matter-energy), can't create or sustain the universe. But such claims are incompatible with orthodox monotheism. Therefore, to the extent that one is persuaded by necessitarianism about the laws of nature, one thereby has reason to think orthodox monotheism is false.
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- A Priori Naturalism, A Priori Inerrantism, and the Bible
Schmid, Joseph C. " Benardete paradoxes, patchwork principles, and the infinite past ", Synthese , forthcoming. Abstract: Benardet...