Friday, 14 January 2011

Process philosphy

The above article should be read - so letting me off actually explaining process thought to you.
My first encounter with process thought was with a Christian process theology as developed by Hartstone, and Cobb in particular. I remain rather unconvinced of the process monotheism - a belief in a supreme individual mind - developed by these writers. However having learnt more about Whitehead's original thought, this is sufficiently far removed from traditional theism.
We only need to consider the absolute when perhaps we are seeking still a necessary first cause or a final cause.Indeed, it seems process philosophy provides for a pan-en-deism, a rationally arrived at belief in an absolute which is yet involved in the world providing at least a teleological purpose of creativity and individualisation. If we accept that one pole of the divine absolute is 'outide' of space and time in the conventional way and the other pole of the divine is a process within space and time, we don't have to suggest that the divine no longer exists transcendentally as pandeists claim. Actually, I think it is not necessary for the divine to be considered 'exploded' or 'dissolved' in creation, for true absolute transcendence is 'beyond existence' and is not 'in' space or 'in' time at all - the absolute pole of the divine is not experienced and it might as well 'not be there' for persons in space time, accept it provides a logical and metaphysical grounding for the process.
I think we can 'secularise' or 'naturalise' process philosophy even further away from conventional theism - such that existence is a process that is not necessarily teleological (having no eschantolgoical end, for perhaps the 'end' of any actual entity is simply its own manifestation and optimisation in space and time.) And is a personal deity needed, in the final analysis? Apparently process philosophy can take a secular or naturalistic direction and I am interested in learning more about this.

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