Pandeism: An Anthology is a collection of articles by more than a dozen authors, from all over the world, presenting diverse viewpoints on the theological theory of Pandeism. This theory seeks to reconcile aspects of Pantheism and Deism, proposing as a logical possibility that we are all part of a Creator which became our Universe to experience existence through our lives. This theory is proposed to be a more elegant and parsimonious model than theistic faiths, with implications argued to be more conducive to claiming the title of a "religion of peace."
This anthology is the first of its kind -- though Pandeism has been identified in philosophies going back thousands of years, was first identified as a formal theological category over 150 years ago, and has been touched on by dozens of writers, it has not itself been the subject of a book dedicated to examining it for over a hundred years. It is important to note that though all of these articles are in some way or another about Pandeism, they are not all advocating of the theory -- indeed, we as compilers as well as writers have taken the unusual step of intently soliciting and receiving commitments from Atheist and Theist authors offering their critical views on Pandeism.
Authors who have committed articles to this book include an outstanding group of contributors to a variety of areas of philosophical thought:
"Have I ever told you about the guy who used to live on my block? He is actually a pointy-eared, green-blooded alien, from a civilization which endeavors to function by emotionless logic."
"Um, you mean like a Vulcan, from Star Trek?" "No, nothing at all like Star Trek, because this alien former neighbor of mine belongs to an ancient order of warriors for peace and justice who wield swords made of laser light, and have power over a mystical unifying force which suffuses the Universe."
"So.... like the Jedi in Star Wars." "Have you not been listening? My former neighbor is obviously a real person, and not some made up 'story' derived from Star Wars, because Star Wars has no pointy-eared, green-blooded, emotionlessly logical alien. And he is obviously not some story derived from Star Trek, because Star Trek has no swords made of laser light and no mystical unifying force suffusing its Universe. Besides, there's more -- you see, my former neighbor was sent here in a spaceship as an infant, because his own planet was unstable and was going to explode."
"Okay, now this sounds like a mix of Star Trek and Star Wars and Superman." "Don't be ridiculous -- Superman shoots freakin' laser beams out of his eyes and is vulnerable to Kryptonite, from his native planet. But my former neighbor doesn't shoot laser beams or anything else from his eyes, and isn't at all affected by Kryptonite. Plus I already told you, he has green blood. Superman doesn't have green blood. Or pointy ears. So, obviously he can't be some story derived from Superman -- I'm telling you, he's a real pointy-eared laser-sword-wielding logical alien, sent as a baby from an exploded planet to Earth, where he gains strength from our yellow sun!!"
"And you didn't get any of this from, I don't know, maybe reading some comic books? Watching TV?" "No, I got none of this from any of that. I heard all this directly, straight from the kids of the people who lived on the house on the other side of the street, who heard it from their parents, who heard it directly from my former neighbor."
"Wait -- so, your former neighbor didn't tell you this himself? He told some other people this?" "Tell me? No, I've never even met the guy. He moved out before I even lived there. But my other neighbors across the street, their parents knew these things about him, and their kids even wrote all this down. Years ago."
"And how do you know the parents who told the kids all this didn't, maybe, mix in a little sci-fi. Even by accident, mixing things in? Or that the kids didn't mix some of these sci-fi things in?" "Because that makes no sense -- why would they mix anything in? Look, you're overthinking this, my former neighbor obviously isn't a fictional character because there is no fictional character which combines all of these characteristics which he's been, I stress, recorded in writing as having. I mean, look, if I tell you my former neighbor breathed oxygen and ate food, would you conclude he was a fictional mix-up because everybody else breathes oxygen and eats food?"
"But we see people every day doing those things. We don't see pointy-eared green-blooded logic-observing aliens at all, except in Star Trek and things derived from it. We don't see laser-sword-wielding force users at all, except in Star Wars or its copycats. And we don't see an alien from a doomed planet sent to Earth in a spaceship except in Superman, and knock-offs of it." "I'm sorry, but I hardly see that as proof that what I've heard about my former neighbor is untrue. In fact, maybe you've just misremembered all your sci-fi stories."
"Well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree." "I guess. So, hey, have I ever told you about the religion I follow?"
We had a great Pandeism meeting on Dec. 12 at noon Pacific Time. Much of it was spoken, but some was typed. A lot of the typed stuff makes little sense out of the context of the spoken conversation, but here it is anyway, as a record for the interested.
[12:12:51 PM] K Mapson: hello, is anybody out there?
[12:13:34 PM] K Mapson: who's that?
[12:13:39 PM] K Mapson: Juice?
[12:14:17 PM] juice The Jedi Dominguez: my computer inst compatible and I'm signing thru my phone
[12:14:19 PM] K Mapson: [I'm actually not sure who else is in the call, you're the only vid I see, but I hear another voice]
[12:14:32 PM] K Mapson: That is the Buddhabrot!!
[12:15:06 PM] K Mapson: It is indeed.
[12:15:31 PM] K Mapson: Juice, are you typing?
[12:15:39 PM] juice The Jedi Dominguez: can you hear me? not sure how to join
[12:15:42 PM] K Mapson: The Buddhabrot is a mathemetical formula.
[12:15:55 PM] Amy P-----: we can't hear you right now, juice.
[12:16:02 PM] K Mapson: are you speaking? I'm sure I heard you (or somebody) earlier.
[12:16:15 PM] Amy P-----: yeah somebody said hello.
[12:16:53 PM] Amy P-----: we hear you
[12:16:56 PM] K Mapson: hello, we hear you!!
[12:17:09 PM] Amy P-----: yes
[12:17:10 PM] K Mapson: Yes, can you hear Amy?
[12:17:40 PM] Ivan Sanders: Wish I could join you guys
[12:17:57 PM] K Mapson: Ivan Sanders is the creater of Koilas
[12:18:11 PM] K Mapson: longtime friend -- good man for the cause
[12:18:18 PM] K Mapson: yes he is
[12:18:20 PM] Ivan Sanders: Koilas.org is for you guys. If you want to add or change anything to it let me know.
[12:18:39 PM] Amy P-----: thanks, Koilas
[12:18:41 PM] K Mapson: http://www.koilas.org/
[12:19:25 PM] K Mapson: Koilas is a quite interesting effort to build a pandeistic religion.
[12:19:26 PM] Ivan Sanders: It's totally for you guys. And for the world. I can do anything with it, so let me know and we can use it for any purpose.
[12:19:46 PM] K Mapson: Ivan, I signed the book contract today.
[12:19:52 PM] K Mapson: with the what where on Twitter?
[12:20:00 PM] Amy P-----: alien face
[12:20:06 PM] K Mapson: Crispy Sea?
[12:20:14 PM] Ivan Sanders: Congratulations! I have to go, traveling today. You guys have a good and productive meeting.
[12:20:23 PM] Amy P-----: thanks for coming
[12:20:39 PM] Ivan Sanders: Take care. Miss you KM
[12:20:50 PM] Ivan Sanders: (penguin)
[12:20:54 PM] K Mapson: Bless you, Ivan -- we'll be in touch!!
[12:21:05 PM] K Mapson: YES!! Phillip -- one of my writers!!
[12:21:15 PM] K Mapson: I'm typing in.
[12:21:22 PM] Phillip Jones: Hi
[12:21:39 PM] K Mapson: We have Amy, Juice, and Phillip
[12:22:45 PM] K Mapson: So now would be the time for the statement, for inspiration!!
[12:27:11 PM] K Mapson: I feel you, brother -- same for me!!
[12:27:17 PM] K Mapson: (no, mine blew up completely)
[12:28:56 PM] K Mapson: Being told not to look for an answer is no better than being told that the answer comes from a Bronze-Age book.
[12:29:22 PM] K Mapson: Very into that, yes.
[12:29:48 PM] K Mapson: If our Universe was designed for us to evolve to this point, why would it be meant to stop here?
[12:29:58 PM] Amy P-----: good point
[12:31:06 PM] K Mapson: But that's good!! That's a way through the usual filter!!
[12:32:09 PM] K Mapson: Yes, the Internet.
[12:32:32 PM] K Mapson: reaches people who, generations past, would only ever have been told things by their parents and peers
[12:32:46 PM] K Mapson: The book will be in print too!! ;)
[12:34:13 PM] K Mapson: It is an inevitable synergy. An idea like Pandeism comes to make sense at the same time as the technology comes to exist to disperse the knowledge.
[12:34:47 PM] K Mapson: (almost as if it was planned like that) ;)
[12:35:41 PM] K Mapson: I define a deity by what it does -- it's an entity able to create a rational Universe, with whatever power and intellect is required for that.
[12:36:26 PM] K Mapson: I think there's a universal underlying connectedness, which people sometimes feel, and mistake for the bearded guy in the sky.
[12:36:48 PM] K Mapson: But an awesome cell!!
[12:36:58 PM] K Mapson: We are all awesome cells!!
[12:38:29 PM] K Mapson: Some of our writers who focus on the consciousness aspect -- Bernardo Kastrup and Anthony Peake.
[12:39:36 PM] K Mapson: (if you look them up on Amazon, you can get a sense of their writings)
[12:40:16 PM] K Mapson: Very confusingly -- since I use PanDeist on some sites.
[12:40:45 PM] K Mapson: He is.
[12:41:24 PM] K Mapson: Typing -- no microphone.
[12:42:45 PM] K Mapson: I would consider "science" as a whole being the means by which we discover how the Creator did everything.
[12:43:57 PM] K Mapson: I'd recommend to everybody to read William C. Lane's article on Leibniz's Best World, which addresses this issue very well (it will be republished in the book as well). It's dense writing, but packed full of thought.
[12:44:42 PM] Amy P-----: which subject?
[12:45:36 PM] K Mapson: Lane's article? Its ostensibly about morality, but it points out that a pandeistic Creator could not create a Universe with no suffering in it, unless it makes physics insanely more complex.
[12:45:55 PM] K Mapson: So far as we can tell, our laws of physics are the simplest set of rules which can bring about our life-generating Universe.
[12:47:59 PM] K Mapson: Dawkins is great at explaining that part, actually -- too bad he sees it through such a reductionist framework.
[12:49:56 PM] K Mapson: We are evolving ourselves. What we evolve ourselves towards is inevitably something more godlike, in intellect at least.
[12:51:32 PM] K Mapson: A friend of mine once described the theistic image of god as "a cartoon clown suit" thrown on the Creator to make it comfortable to envision.
[12:51:45 PM] Amy P-----: haha I like that
[12:52:37 PM] K Mapson: That's why theism is so terrible tho -- we take all these human traits, bigotries, fears, and assign them to a god.
[12:53:59 PM] K Mapson: That is what Ivan Sanders is doing with Koilas -- writing a religion that will be updated as new knowledge is added.
[12:54:08 PM] K Mapson: Sure!!
[12:55:46 PM] K Mapson: I want to go over the state of the book, and the plan for it, and for the Kickstarter to support it.
[12:56:08 PM] K Mapson: These are, in my view, all ways to distribute the knowledge.
[12:56:33 PM] K Mapson: For example, Kickstarter is a fundraising platform, but people who look at this there will learn about it.
[12:57:14 PM] K Mapson: There are countless forums out there, beyond Twitter and Facebook and the like.
[12:58:37 PM] K Mapson: An the unending battles between "Christianity" and "Islam" or between "Theism" and "Atheism" suck all the oxygen out of the room. Like "Coke" and "Pepsi" -- with no option for "water"!!
[12:59:36 PM] K Mapson: That's why it is so important that we have even these small discussions.
[12:59:56 PM] K Mapson: Phillip, has this helped you think about what you will write?
[1:00:20 PM] K Mapson: (that is a great, great direction)
[1:00:48 PM] Amy P-----: glad you agree
[1:01:27 PM] Ivan Sanders: Wish I could participate. Last time there were 3 of us and it lasted 3 hours. Again, I want everyone to know that Koilas.org is for everyone and I would love to add more content in the website. Take care everyone and keep me in the loop at [email address]
[1:01:45 PM] K Mapson: Ivan, we'll definitely keep you in!!
[1:02:20 PM] Amy P-----: thanks, we brought Koilas up again while you were absent, Ivan
[1:03:24 PM] K Mapson: We must always begin by confessing we could be wrong in everything we believe.... unfortunately, the most wrong people never take that step.
[1:04:31 PM] K Mapson: I tend not to call it a religion -- it's a philosophy, a framework for seeing our Universe in a way which makes sense.
[1:05:14 PM] Amy P-----: I agree with that view as well
[1:05:25 PM] K Mapson: I love that. Must find it.
[1:05:32 PM] Amy P-----: must find what?
[1:05:37 PM] K Mapson: that quote
[1:06:29 PM] K Mapson: Juice, find out where that quote about the Nobel Prize comes from!! :D
[1:07:08 PM] Amy P-----: hyperspace by michio kaku
[1:07:41 PM] K Mapson: So I wanted everybody to know we have ten authors so far for the Pandeism Anthology, and are aiming to get all pieces in by March.
[1:08:44 PM] K Mapson: The Kickstarter will be started most likely in January, to fund a college writing competition with a modest cash prize, with the winning article to be published in the book as well.
[1:09:28 PM] K Mapson: Authors thus far:
[1:09:30 PM] K Mapson: Robert G. Brown
William C. Lane
Orlando Alcantara Fernandez
Phillip Alexander Jones
[1:09:48 PM] K Mapson: Brown is physicist at Duke Univ.
[1:10:54 PM] K Mapson: Lataster is an Australian theologian
[1:11:04 PM] K Mapson: by Bernard Haisch
[1:11:27 PM] K Mapson: (I asked Haisch to write a piece for the anthology, but he's not writing in that area anymore)
[1:12:51 PM] K Mapson: I'd kind of like to get some 'opposing viewpoints' pieces from atheists/theists, but have gotten no bites from those I've asked.
[1:13:29 PM] K Mapson: But 10-12 pieces is a healthy selection for an anthology.
[1:14:35 PM] K Mapson: The fact that other possibilities are possible doesn't itself make any possibility impossible. ;)
[1:15:19 PM] Amy P-----: what other types of voices do we have in the anthology?
[1:15:22 PM] K Mapson: If there's no beginning, everything would already have happened infinitely long ago!!
[1:15:50 PM] K Mapson: Alan Dawe (from New Zealand) is more of a spiritualist -- he wrote "The God Franchise," great book.
[1:16:04 PM] K Mapson: Julian West is a historian of mythology
[1:16:43 PM] K Mapson: Michael Arnheim is a UK barrister, who wrote "The God Book" (just came out) which is an argument for Deism.
[1:17:04 PM] Amy P-----: any other info to cover after this, k?
[1:17:44 PM] K Mapson: I think we're good -- I think we've got a sense of direction. Naturally, we could go on talking about the topic for hours.... but at some point we must live our lives as well!!
[1:17:56 PM] Amy P-----: haha, ok
[1:18:26 PM] K Mapson: I'm going to put up a website to track progress, and will send it to everybody.
[1:18:54 PM] K Mapson: You're both writers -- write!!
[1:19:16 PM] K Mapson: Amy, from you I want a poem. I'll sneak that into the book as well.
[1:20:21 PM] Amy P-----: @amybeff
[1:20:30 PM] K Mapson: Well, for Juice, and all of us -- keep getting into arguments with people about it -- hearing their objections always sharpens our ability to address the possibilities.
[1:21:57 PM] K Mapson: There are like ten Facebook Pandeism groups.... need to bring them all together.
[1:22:16 PM] Amy P-----: alright, let's keep that in mind
[1:22:27 PM] K Mapson: (Amy, do I know you know you on Facebook)
[1:22:44 PM] Amy P-----: Not currently
[1:22:50 PM] K Mapson: (find me there, I'm the only Knujon Mapson)
[1:22:57 PM] Amy P-----: got it
[1:22:59 PM] K Mapson: Mind = blown
[1:23:12 PM] K Mapson: Nope -- that is it for today -- blessings, all!!
[1:23:27 PM] K Mapson: And thank you all so much!!
[1:24:15 PM] K Mapson: :)
[1:24:22 PM] *** Call ended, duration 1:15:23 ***
[1:24:23 PM] Phillip Jones: :-)
[1:24:51 PM] juice The Jedi Dominguez: 👍🏾 :)
[1:24:59 PM] Phillip Jones: (champagne)
The human race has demonstrated a great predilection for addiction. Drug addiction. Alcoholism. Internet addiction. But there's one which nobody seems to recognize even when it is right before their face -- religion addiction. The religious in society laud religiosity -- to the point where they are simply unable to see when one particular adherent has become fixated upon their religious practice to a wholly unhealthy degree. Even atheists seem to ignore this peculiar problem, as they seem to be equally dismissive of all ranks of the faithful without distinguishing those whose faith turns into behavior which would be identified as addictive in any other area.
Imagine, if you will, an exceedingly devoted baseball fan, or Beatles fan, or Harry Potter fan -- and indeed, such people do exist in abundance. But imagine what a person might be like if they crossed the threshold from 'fan' to addict. If they found themselves emotionally unable to go, even hour to hour, without engaging in activities relating to the subject of their fandom. Imagine if they sought to inject the topic of their fandom into their every conversation, no matter how orthogonal to the topic. Imagine the baseball fan who tries to lecture his fellows on the superiority of baseball while they are trying to watch the Super Bowl. Envision the Harry Potter fan who seeks to press the importance of that media empire in the middle of a screening of the Hobbit. Picture a Beatles lover seeking converts to his point of view outside an Iron Maiden concert. And beyond that, imagine the conduct and mindset of such a fan who'd been strictly taught that their fandom was so correct that they would be rewarded for advancing it, and punished for not doing so. To put in a purely addictive frame, imagine a heroin user who'd been indoctrinated with the conviction that using heroin was a sacred act, and refusing to use it was a terrible wrong, one meriting horrific consequences.
Now this enquiry is not intended to engulf those who are simply deeply religious, or passionate in their defense of their faith. But compulsive behavior directed to religious devotion can undoubtedly be harmful to the exhibiting person. In one account, a person raised into a compulsive level of religiosity describes how she "spent literally years injuring myself, cutting and burning my arms, taking overdoses and starving myself, to punish myself so that God doesn't have to punish me." And even for those not inclined to self-injure, addictive behavior can drain away all time for other pursuits. Amongst the most constant in their religious devotion are monks (found in various religions, or with equivalents in them) who lock themselves away in secluded lives of prayer. This is not to suggest that all such people are addicts, but it must be quite the temptation -- a person with a religion addiction becoming a monk or other full-time religious professional is like a compulsive eater working as a chef, a cripplingly obsessed pornography addict becoming the proprietor of a porn store, or an alcoholic pursuing an occupation as a bartender. It seems to be no recipe for a healthfully balanced life.
The deepest problem with religion addiction is the impetus for religious organizations to stonewall any effort to uncover the existence of such a condition, much less to treat it. To "treat" somebody for addiction to a thing is to suggest that the thing itself at least requires moderation. And how would one approach an actual sufferer of a religion addiction? It is the one addiction for which a Twelve Step Program would only make the problem worse!! One treats alcoholism or gambling addictions by giving up alcohol or gambling altogether, but the religious armaments of society would never stand for the suggestion that an individual, no matter how badly harmed by their religious devotion, ought to give up that religion altogether. The situation might be compared to a food addiction, since even the food addict doing everything to overcome their problem must eat to survive. But one can survive without having religion -- and the biological need to eat is one reason why eating disorders can be so hard to overcome. Plenty of people with eating disorders die from them, even knowing they have them and knowing that their compulsions are irrational and against their health. So one must wonder, how many more people die, or suffer a lifetime of destroyed capacity, while living in a society where it is effectively forbidden to identify their especial unusually rigorous compulsion to religion as being a problem at all.
Though I am a Pandeist and not an Atheist, I proffered an answer, and I expand on this further here:
A building has builders because it is essentially defined as a thing built by builders. If you came across a cave in the wilderness, would you call it a "building"? Even if it was roomy enough for people to live in, or even to set up a commercial office in? Surely not, for it would not be a thing which was built.
Now, have you ever heard anyone refer to our Universe, or our Milky Way Galaxy, or our Solar System, or our planet Earth, as "a building"? Surely not, and so we know know that these things were not "built," or they'd be called "buildings."
But here's another thing, when you do see a building of any substantial size or scale, do you think to yourself that that building must have had a single "builder" acting autonomously? Or is it not the case in your own experience that *every* building beyond a rudimentary hut or the like must have *multiple* builders, working cooperatively? And perhaps many more people than you think, for it takes many men to manufacture materials used for even the simplest constructions -- loggers, smelters, machiners, mechanics, material scientists, glaziers, all manner of factory workers -- and it takes many construction workers wielding all many of tools (and separate still many makers of tools), and not only an architect but most likely a separate landscaper for the exterior and a separate interior designer for the interior, and everything else from food truck people to lawyers and accountants to make sure all the permits get filed and the taxes get paid. And the bigger and more complex the structure, the larger the number of people involved in the creation of it.
So if we are to assume from the building/builder(s) model that our Universe was god-built on some wholesale scale (ie built as a whole instead of being set forth pandeistically), it follows then that there must have been hundreds of trillions of gods involved in the process, boss gods and worker gods, some of these gods capable of directing the action but not designing or building the end product, some gods incapable of managing or constructing the project but ably tasked with designing some aspect of it or other, some gods not able to manage or design but able to carry out construction orders. Plus all their toolmakers and materials suppliers and lawyer gods and accountant gods to make sure all the divine permits get filed and the sacred taxes get paid.