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 Why panendeism?

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MatthewG



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PostSubject: Why panendeism?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:11 am

I am curious as to why people are panendeists, process deists, classical deists, and neo-classical deists. If people believe that there is a divine mind, a creator, some kind of divine Cause or force, why? For me, a divine cause or creator of some sort might make good sense of ethics, meaning, and the human ability to reason. I have been thinking about the "argument from reason" and I am currently studying it. If there was a rational mind of some kind that was not human and supported some form of deism, then a good question is whether this rational mind was a divine being that existed independently of the universe and transcended it or was to the cosmos as the "mind/soul" is to the body. I am also thinking that panendeism could give meaning to ethics and provide a meaning for life. In fact, ethics, meaning, and reason could presuppose a divine Cause of some sort that is ethical and rational.

Matthew
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Uriah



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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:29 am

For me I came at this from much the same direction as you yourself. Not necessarily by reading "argument from reason" (Which I have read and found to be, quite simply, an extended exercise in apologetics) but beginning with the idea that ethics and morality demand a metaphysical counterpart to reality.

At its most basic it's the same argument Western Philosophy has been engaged in since Plato and Aristotle: Is there a soul? Because that's what it boils down to, no matter how you shake it out.

Are we merely blood, bone, and electrical impulses, or are we the more than the sum of our parts?

That's what the Mind/Body Problem is about as well.

And you'll find that in the philosophical canon all theories of ethics fall on either side of that debate as well. There are those who believe we have a soul and their ethical theories tell us that this is the origin of ethics and morality, and there are those who tell us there is no soul and ethics and morality are purely a utilitarian social tool humans have devised to promote their survival.

For my part I have come to the conclusion that both arguments are equally true, because I see the teleological process of creation as an ongoing phenomenon, and that this universe (evolution) is guided, not from the outside by an externalized supreme consciousness (God), but rather from an inherent unfolding nature within the evolving universe, and creature or object in it.

This is idea, I have come to find, best fits with Panendeism. So that is what I consider myself, for the time being.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:25 pm

This doesn't sum up my feelings perfectly regarding the pan- in pan-en-deism, but it comes close.

Quote :
Why do pantheists believe in pantheism?

There are several compelling reasons.

1. Most traditional religions have elements which are hard to believe or to reconcile with common sense, evidence or modern science. Most pantheists are reared in another religion, and as they mature come to question what they have been taught. This leads many people to atheism or humanism.

2. Atheism and humanism don't suffer from the logical or empirical problems of traditional religions - but many people find them too cold and dry. They don't provide a sense of positive belonging to nature and the universe.

3. Nearly everyone feels religious feelings when looking at nature or the night sky. Most people explain those feelings in terms of the religion they were taught as children.

Pantheism believes that those feelings are older and more basic than any traditional religion: they are a natural part of our existence as natural material beings. They are a recognition of our participation and belonging as members of nature and the universe.

Pantheism takes those feelings as its basic foundation.

What's the evidence for pantheism? How do you know the universe is worthy of reverence?

We choose to regard the universe with awe, reverence, love, feelings of belonging and a recognition of tremendous power, beauty and mystery. This is an aesthetic/emotional choice and basically lies beyond any challenge from logic or evidence. But it is based on objective qualities of the Universe and Nature.

In fact almost everyone regards the universe or nature in that way but many are mislead by traditional religious teachings into seeing these things as evidence for deities they read about in their ancient scriptures.

We need no faith, no ancient books, to reveal these feelings and experiences to us. The visions are right in front of our eyes, the feelings are in our hearts. We only need to recognize them frankly to accept the universe and nature as primal focus.

The evidence for this approach is infinitely stronger than for belief in a personal creator God.
http://www.pantheism.net/paul/faqs.htm

My belief in the -en- in pan-en-deism is based on the idea that for the universe to exist the potential for it to exist had to come first. In this way the -en- acts as meta-nature or "the ground of being". Taoists refer to it as "the Tao" or "the Way".

I realize that's a bit ambiguous, but I hope it helped a little.

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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:08 pm

Quote :
I am curious as to why people are panendeists, process deists, classical deists, and neo-classical deists.

The various reasons why people envision the alleged deity in classical, modern, or post-post-modern forms may be too complex to fathom. But I suspect the main reason is a feeling. Depending on your personality, your cultural background, and your general worldview, one of the rainbow of god-colors and deity-flavors just feels right.

In my own case, the First Cause philosophical argument felt right, even when I was an Agnostic. But eventually, my studies of cutting-edge sciences convinced me that the "nature" of the mysterious suspect, who committed the crime of creation, had to fit certain criteria that we can retrodict* from observations of the consequences of that initial causation.

Based on my Enformationism thesis, the deity must be characterized primarily by mental qualities rather than physical properties. But an even more fundamental aspect of a deity is existence. So I conclude that the creator of this universe is first, Being (all of existence), then Mind (substance of meta-physical existence), and then Matter (the stuff of physical existence). Hence PanEnDeism : all-in-god. And that seems to include all possible hues of divine nature.


Retrodict : this is what detectives and crime scene investigators do. observe the evidence, formulate hypotheses, and eliminate the least plausible guesses. What remains is what you take to court to prove your case, in the absence of witnesses.
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Steve Esser



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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:25 pm

Here's a thought on a link between an "argument from reason" and panendeism.

The weighing of events which are possible but not actual is central to reasoning. The actual world cannot by itself explain our facility to judge possibilities (and necessities). Possibilities must be grounded by a reality which transcends the actual (modal realism).

The panendeist idea is that reality includes all metaphysical possibilities, and that the familiar actual world is a small subset of this larger reality (whether one calls this larger reality "God" or not is a choice based on other considerations or preferences).

(How do our minds access this realm of possiblities? I think it has to do with the fact that, like in quantum mechanics, we are in nonlocal contact with a set of possibilites at each moment, only some of which will be "actualized".)
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:00 pm

Steve Esser wrote:
The panendeist idea is that reality includes all metaphysical possibilities, and that the familiar actual world is a small subset of this larger reality (whether one calls this larger reality "God" or not is a choice based on other considerations or preferences).

(How do our minds access this realm of possiblities? I think it has to do with the fact that, like in quantum mechanics, we are in nonlocal contact with a set of possibilites at each moment, only some of which will be "actualized".)

Yes! Very well stated!

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:15 pm

Steve Esser wrote:
The panendeist idea is that reality includes all metaphysical possibilities, and that the familiar actual world is a small subset of this larger reality (whether one calls this larger reality "God" or not is a choice based on other considerations or preferences).

(How do our minds access this realm of possiblities? I think it has to do with the fact that, like in quantum mechanics, we are in nonlocal contact with a set of possibilites at each moment, only some of which will be "actualized".)

I know I've posted this before (probably more than once). I think it's a very poetic way of essentially saying the same thing that Steve said and does a wonderful job of describing how I view the nature of deity.

25
There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.

Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.

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Mechajutaro



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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Mon May 17, 2010 2:39 pm

New here, ergo this thread seems like the perfect starting point:

In my case, all the run-of-the-mill reasons that decided muckrackers and proponents of independent thought have been echoing since the dawn of time. Can one really contemplate omnipresent God(the goddess, the Universe, pick your terminology)and then in same breath box something by it's very definition beyond the scope of thorough human comprehension into one single faith? Has constantly looking up rather than within and all around oneself really ever brought anyone peace of mind?
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Why panendeism?   Wed May 19, 2010 11:22 pm

I guess for some it does.

Welcome to the forum. Smile

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