Organon F

Volume 26, February 2019, Issue 1, Pages 86–103

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Causality, Free Will, and Divine Action

Does Divine Intervention Violate Laws of Nature?

Ralf B. Bergmann


The present paper discusses processes in our world embedded in a dense net of causes and effects. The role of laws of nature is discussed using classical mechanics as an example to demonstrate that the behavior of objects is not determined by laws of nature on their own. Natural processes rather depend on the environment that implies forces and conditions under which these processes occur. These conditions are usually described in mathematical terms using suitable initial or boundary conditions or further constrains. This analysis may seem trivial but has an important consequence. Divine intervention appears not to violate natural laws, rather, new causes are introduced that lead to results that otherwise would not have occurred. A further consequence arises from the complexity of causal nets and the presence of probabilistic processes in our world as one may not be able to determine the causes that led to a certain effect.


Causation; causal processes; probabilistic processes; laws of nature; equations of motion; divine action; miracles.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Ralf B. Bergmann


University of Bremen


Faculty of Physics and Electrical Engineering, University of Bremen, Otto Hahn Allee NW1, 28359 Bremen, Germany


About this article


13 July 2018


29 November 2018

Published online

22 January 2019


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Bergmann, R. B. (2019). Does Divine Intervention Violate Laws of Nature? Organon F, 26(1), 86–103.


Bergmann, Ralf B. 2019. "Does Divine Intervention Violate Laws of Nature?" Organon F 26 (1): 86–103.


Bergmann, R. B. (2019). Does Divine Intervention Violate Laws of Nature? Organon F, 26(1), pp. 86–103.

Copyright information

© Ralf B. Bergmann

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