Wednesday, 20 July 2011

For my followers etc

One of my regulars followers who espouses pandeism would like to get in touch. Friend, you already know me from just message.

I have it suggested to me that some pandeists believe that the divinity created the world, then ceased to exist as a conscious entity, having become the world and presumably operating through unconscious laws and forces of nature, to eventually at the end of time re-coalesce as the universe.

This seems plausible, but if the deity was unconscious and uninvolved and something happened to the sentient creatures in that universe e.g. a supernova, collision with an asteroid, such that life is wiped out, then surely this would upset progress toward the 'omega point' where presumably God 're-animates' to consider all that has come to pass? Surely such a deity, unable to intervene but depending on creation for his purposes would be a hostage to cosmic fortune. Unless you perhaps are also claiming the deity so designed the arrangement of the universe that we are safe from some cosmic catastrophe....we are though getting into the territory here of multiplying entities.

Indeed if God 'reconstitutes' at the end of time in pandeism, can we conclude that this deity so re-constituted then goes on to create another universe, and thereby an endless cycle? 

Features of pandeism are informative, but its apparent strengths are encompassed by a pan-en-deism, properly understood. Because if you really think about it, the schema my pandeist friends has suggested in his comments below, really postulates as deity that has both a transcendent aspect or state of being (at  least temporally as the 'before' and the 'after' the universe) and an entirely immanent aspect or state of being as some kind of unconscious logos spirit within nature.

Pandeism's deity as described by my follower friend, does at least satisfy the rational quest of the ancient Greeks to idenitify the 'arche' first cause, the 'logos' of nature, and it seems the final 'telos' of the universe.


  1. I do think there comes a point where Pandeism, broadly defined, and Panendeism, broadly defined, overlap like a Venn diagram. For, were one to consider the conscious entity existing prior to the creation of our Universe, and then again after the culmination of our Universe, and count this as the '-en-' in Panendeism, then Panendeism becomes simply one form of Pandeism (contrasted against those less spiritual models of Pandeism where the creation of our Universe spells the permanent end of our Creator). And, contrariwise, were one to consider the nature of the Deus of Pandeism -- noninterfering, nonjudging, nonobserving, nonconscious, and yet still continuously sustaining and binding all things together -- and count this as '-en-' in Panendeism, then this spiritual form of Pandeism itself becomes simply one form of Panendeism.

    There is, I confess, a very human tendency to get caught up with putting things in label boxes. In some instances, this is justified, as with theological traditions which suppose that our Creator has consciously and narrowly communicated one set of rules to one set of humans through an ancient tome which it never updates, and which sets forth many categories of activities (such as eating the wrong food, wearing the wrong clothes, touching the wrong body parts, or marrying the wrong race or sex or tribe) for which the itinerant doer is claimed to both deserve, and receive, an eternal punishment. Those types of beliefs can properly be labelled into a box marked 'nonsense.' But then, when we come to the whole continuum of Deism/Pantheism/Pandeism/Panentheism/Panendeism, there are many potential worlds of meaning attached to each of these, with great overlap. But I yet prefer 'Pandeism' as a descriptor, for it captures the essence of the idea that the most essential theological model includes the elements which define classical Deism, and those which define classical Pantheism, and requires nothing more.

  2. Now, as to your especial points of concern. First, as to the danger of life being 'wiped out' by a cataclysm such as a supernova. Certainly something like that could wipe out all life on a planet. But ours is a Universe of literally hundreds of billions of galaxies, every one of them made up of hundreds of billions of stars, and existing over billions of years, perhaps with hundreds of billions more to come. In sum, if ours is a Universe designed with physics geared toward life arising, then there's plenty of time and space for it to occur billions of times, enough so that a few supernovae here and there won't make more than a scratch in the total population of our Universe.

  3. And lastly, as for the oscillating Universe problem -- well I don't think it is necessary, and my reasoning for such is reflected here: