Friday, March 11, 2011
Pandeism: How Powerful Is Your Creator?
Let us propose, to begin with, that our Universe is the product of a conscious act of Creation.
If you believe that ours is a created Universe, then there is only one question to ask.
Is the Creator in which you believe powerful enough to set forth the Universe as we experience it -- in every particular -- while needing do nothing more than set forth the energy of this Universe and the governing dynamics which control the behavior of that energy?
Is it powerful enough to initiate a Universe where everything which we experience comes to pass -- stars, planets, the origin of life, the rise of complex ecosystems, the rise of intelligent life, machinery, technology, and social institutions (including religious institutions, writings, and beliefs) -- by doing no more than simply initially causing this Creation?
Is it powerful enough to bring about our complete experience of our world without needing to interfere again, other than through the moment of Creation?
**** If the Creator in which you believe is not this powerful, then it is definitionally inferior in power to one which is. ****
Now, you may claim that it has such power, but that you nonetheless believe it has continued to intervene....
But if it was powerful enough to bring about our Universe in every particular without intervening... that would include bringing about the appearance of intervention where there is none.
And you may claim to believe your Creator has told you otherwise....
But if it was powerful enough to bring about our Universe in every particular.... that would include bringing about your belief that you have been told things -- even when you have not.
And you may claim to believe your Creator would not mislead you....
But every faith has its own holy books and sacred traditions. And though these contradict and conflict with one another, most of their adherents share the conviction that theirs is the only truth, and that their Creator would not mislead them.
But if our Creator was powerful enough to bring about our Universe in every particular, without intervening in any way after the very moment of Creation.... that would include bringing about both your belief, and the set of everyone else's competing beliefs, that you would not be mislead.
But then, there is another model of the Creator, that which is discerned by the theological theories of Deism, and subsets of this, such as Pandeism....
The deistic/pandeistic Creator is not only powerful enough to bring about our Universe in every particular --including the existence of intelligent life and all of our beliefs and traditions--through nothing more than a singular, perhaps transformative moment of Creation....
Deism generally, and Pandeism especially, are the models in which it has actually done this.
And this accounts for our Universe in every particular, including all beliefs to the contrary.
Naturally, it may yet be denied that this theological model is sufficient to provide an adequate accounting for every aspect of our Universe....
The denier need only confess that their God lacks the power to set forth our Universe in such a manner, and some other model will become necessary.
An abbreviated version of this proposition -- but with some nifty background images and killer homemade background music -- may be viewed on the YouTube PanDeism Channel....
A fellow noder proposes that the "use of the word 'after' excludes any creator for whom time has no meaning".... He continues:
A worm on a cylinder can only move freely in two dimensions - forward/backward on the cylinder, or around it. Were the worm sentient, the concept of a third dimension through which it could move freely would be a difficult concept to grasp. Likewise it is with us - we live in a universe with nine spatial dimensions and one time dimension, but consciously experience only four and can freely move through only three, thus our understanding of time and power over it is severely limited. A creator bound by the same constraints as us would indeed be 'tinkering' with his universe ex post facto, but a creator for which all events happen in simultaneity (for which time is not a meaningful construct) would not be tinkering ex post facto - there is no ex post facto! To this creator, there would be no past or future, just now.
I would, naturally, hope that any entity capable of Creating our Universe would know the meaning of "time," and would understand (and be capable of operating congruent to) things occurring in time, including all human experience. But more to the point of this discussion, suppose I were to claim our Creator to be powerful enough to set forth a Creation which appears exactly as ours down to every particular, while doing no more than setting forth governing dynamics, irrespective of whether the Creator occupies our "passage of time," and so, irrespective of whether anything appears to occur "after" anything else. Surely the proposition that things need not occur "in time" does not then require that things which do occur "in time" require the intervention of a Universe-Creator, else we would be required to give equal credence to every claim of revelation or divine intervention for a thousand contradictory belief systems!! But, a sufficiently powerful Creator could naetheless set forth a Universe wherein, with no interference by that Creator in the governing dynamics set forth in the moment of Creation, intelligent beings come about who have my fellow noder's thought that their Creator might be one for whom time has no meaning, even if it does!!