Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hello follower

Hi, if you have commented on my blog, please me aware that I am having some difficulty manipulating the software. I was hoping to reply to your comments but for reasons unclear to me, I don't seem to be able to do so. I can post but not it seems reply to your comments directly. If any of you tech heads have a solution to this please let me know next time you comment!

At least one of my followers has defended pandeism by arguing that God became the world in order it seems to experience first hand the conditions of finite existence. I have real difficulty with this concept. Unless God remains distinct from creation how can this God 'experience'. Doesn't experience imply one who has the experience, a subjective sense of self, an observer? Where is God's subjectivity located in the physical cosmos? If the pandeist God creates simply to experience then are you not implying the notion here of a cosmic or world 'soul' or 'mind' albeit one co-extensive with the cosmos? In pandeism God has become the world with no remainder, surley there can be no 'subjective' aspect of God that survives this transition. God as  personal  including as an observer and experiencer has ceased to exist.  Subjectivity seems to be limited to individual brains. I cannot have your experience, you cannot have mine, so the notion of a cosmic experiencer without its own independent mind makes no sense to me.

Even if a pandeist can overcome this hurdle and explain how God continues to experience post creation, I still see little that is emotionally attractive in pandeism. It seems only to allow one to be a pantheist while also believing in an intelligent designer. I think pandeists should seriously consider whether what they really want is in fact pan-en-deism, the term coined by Larry Copling a few years ago. If you take on board process philosophy, you can have a bi-polar deity who's absolute nature could be pure awareness (a kind of cosmic all-seeing eye) while his consequent nature is the cosmos itself. Then it makes sense to say that God is experiencing the world and that it was to have this experience that justified creation.  Pan-en-deism or its close sibling pan-en-theism does not I am sure, actually require in fact that God is 'outside' the cosmos, only distinct from its pure physical aspects.This is not a difficult concept to imagine. My mind appears to be 'inside' my body, not floating above it, so God's mind, the experiencing part of God, can be 'in' creation, interior to it.

I have also found the notion of a cosmic mind attractive in the past, but I still find the problem of evil overwhelmingly prevents me finding any satisfaction is such cold, aloof philosophical deities. A God who could only passively observe but never help or hinder seems hardly worthy of worship and devotion.


  1. Greetings, friend!! Yes, there are some points here I would address. As to the question of how a Creator which has wholly become the Cosmos continues to experience the same -- well I ought to begin by stepping back and pointing out that 'Pandeism' is the blanket name for any theological model in which the Creator becomes our nonintervening Universe, whether it does so in the way some Hindus perceive Vishnu, as a conscious experiencer (given that they believe Vishnu to be nonintervening, and accounts to the contrary to be metaphorical) or in the way proposed by Scott Adams in God's Debris, wherein the Creator simply destroys itself, and what's left of that destruction becomes our Universe simply because it bears the capacities of being the leftover material of 'God.'

    But that out of the way, for those who strictly believe that our Creator became our Universe so as to learn what it was to experience existence as whatever sort of life comes up within a Universe attuned to the development of life, it does not follow that our Creator remains conscious and aware during the existence of such Universe; it is instead possibly even more plausible that our Creator remains unconscious throughout the entirety of the existence of our Universe. And when our Universe comes to its end (as it seems it will at some point, one way or another), then and only then will our Creator be restored to its original state, complete with the whole record within its knowledge of everything which transpired within it while it existed as a Universe. This model answers the problem of evil as well; our Creator is neither actively nor passively observing our plight and then declining to help even though it is able, or unable to help even though it desires to. It is unaware at the point of Creation what it is to exist as something other than itself, which is why it sets out to learn in the first place; and it only uncovers its results once the experiment is complete, and our Universe returns to being a single unified mind, though one now imbued with a great deal of information it would not have been able to acquire beforehand.

  2. Now, to the objections that Pandeism is not 'emotionally attractive,' and does not provide a deity 'worthy of worship and devotion.' It ought to be no surprise that I have often heard this exact objection from Christians, Muslims, and others who desire to have a deity which coincides with their need to be loved, watched over, and favoured to the point of the laws of physics being bent in submission to their prayers. But consider a bolt of lightening, a powerful and impressive display, but one which is ultimately explicable by the comparatively mundane natural force of static electricity. Surely it would be more emotionally satisfying to believe that such bolts were thrown by a deity displaying its power, and that those injured by them were being justly punished for whatever wrongs they may have done. And, surely a lightening hurling deity is more aptly described as worthy of worship and devotion than is simple static electricity. And similarly, if you have a five pound note and a ten pound note in your pocket, no matter how badly you need twenty pounds, your potential emotional satisfaction at having twenty pounds won't make five and ten add up to twenty. But neither emotional satisfaction nor the worship-worthiness of desired characteristics brings those characteristics into being true, any more than the worship-worthiness of a hypothetical lightening-hurler causes lightening to be caused by anything other than static electricity.

    But Pandeism is unconcerned with human needs; it is concerned with logic and reason and rational paths toward the discovery of spiritual truths, toward a full accounting of both the scientific and mystical experiences of our Universe. The assumptions inherent in Panentheism and Panendeism, and especially in Theism, are simply not necessary to account for the evidence observed. Pandeism assumes no more than that the factors which point to ours being a designed/created Universe are indeed explained by it being such a Universe; and thence, that our Creator possessed sufficient power, intellect, rationality, and motivation to engage precisely the Creation we are able to observe all around us. We assume no more than this, for no further assumption is rationally justified by the proof presented, no matter how emotionally satisfactory such assumptions might prove.