Sunday, September 27, 2020

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Kickstarter underway for Essays From the Universe Experiencing Itself


Our Kickstarter is underway for our next collection: Essays From the Universe Experiencing Itself.

This is unlike any of our previous collections, as it is not explicitly about Pandeism (though it is explicitly about many other things).

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Record traffic on Wikipedia's Pandeism page

Recently I noticed that Wikipedia's Pandeism page -- --  has been seeing record traffic. So much that five of its ten biggest days EVER have happened within just the past thirty days (including by far the single biggest day, the second being in December)

Wikipedia's Pandeism page has been around since 2013, and there are stats for how many times it has been viewed since around mid-2015.... and between 2015 and August of 2019, the most pageviews in a day was 618, in 2017. That number was beaten by about 50 on August 29, 2019.... And then on December 11, 2019, two days after Pandeism was mentioned in an article in Scientific American, the views were 901, a third higher than ever before. But in the past thirty days, there have been pageviews for the day of 533, 548, 618, 638, and 1227!!

The 1227 view day is 1/3 more than the December 11 record, and nearly doubles anything seen for over four years before that, and was itself surrounded by days higher than those usually seen in years before. And unlike the Scientific American episode, there's no clear reason.

For further context, the *average* pageviews per day for Wikipedia's Pandeism page for the period from mid-2015 up to a month ago (April 2020) are around 162-163. In that stretch, pageviews broke 500 only six times (and in fact, only even broke 400 eight times). Contra approximately the past 35 days, in which the daily average has been around 360 views per day, mightily pulled up by those five very high days (not to mention two other days breaking 400).

So I am really baffled and curious -- what is going on with Pandeism and consciousness of it that hundreds, perhaps thousands more people over the course of the past month or so have seen fit to visit Wikipedia's Pandeism page?

I wonder if perhaps the coronavirus situation has people seeking solutions in Pandeism....

Somebody even suggested to me that this could be the result of people not knowing how to spell "Pandemic" -- and you know, at first I took this as a joke, but now I’m thinking people really may well actually be typing in the p-a-n-d-e.... and get that far, and Pandeism pops up as an option, and they wonder, “well what is that?”

.... or perhaps the quarantine-bound are simply on the Internet more.

A mystery, and one I'd love to solve.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

"Beyond Physicalism" from Scientific American

On December 9, Scientific American magazine published a most remarkable article, "Beyond Physicalism: Philosopher Hedda Hassel Mørch defends the idea that consciousness pervades the cosmos." Mørch, a philosopher and associate professor at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, was interviewed for this piece by science journalist John Horgan, who asks whether God fits into her philosophical propositions, Mørch answers:

Not really. But there is a religious view I find interesting, which is pandeism: the view that God used to exist, and be the only thing that existed, and then transformed himself into the universe, and so no longer exists. The reason God did this was basically for fun, or to see what happened. And maybe at some point the universe will transform itself back into God—that would be like nirvana or heaven. But then eventually God would get bored again and start the cycle over. As I understand it, this is close to some parts of Hindu cosmology.

Horgan's response? "I like that! I think I’m a pandeist!"

Mørch goes on to explain that the tendency of life to alternate between true pain and the essential pain of pleasure extended to the point of boredom "is also partly why the pandeistic view I just described appeals to me."

Interestingly, in the days following the publication of this Scientific American magazine article, the Wikipedia Pandeism page experienced an indisputable upsurge in viewership -- going from an average of about 175 views per day over the preceding weeks to over 1,600 views over the following three days, with a peak of over 900 views in a single day, an all-time viewership record for that page!!

This more than anything demonstrates the power of conveying information about a rising mode of thought to people, even when buried deep within a scholarly piece of journalism.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Pandeism, Catholicism, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church

As the next book from the Pandeism Anthology series, Pandeism: An Anthology of the Creative Mind, will come out in August 2019, we are reflecting on a unique aspect of this series -- that we invite people of differing and even anti-pandeistic views to publish their views in our collections. Our first Anthology covered perspectives including Hinduism, Islam, Biblical Unitarian Universalism, and Atheism. Our second has pieces from perspectives including Judaism and Stoicism.

One topic which we intend to cover in a future writing is the interesting relationship between Pandeism and Catholicism. The position of the Church as to Pandeism is addressed to a degree in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a work intended to be comprehensive, as such things go, in presenting the positions of the Roman Catholic Church on issues needing addressing. Within it, Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 1, Article I, addresses a certain set of philosophies thusly:

285 Since the beginning the Christian faith has been challenged by responses to the question of origins that differ from its own. Ancient religions and cultures produced many myths concerning origins. Some philosophers have said that everything is God, that the world is God, or that the development of the world is the development of God (Pantheism). Others have said that the world is a necessary emanation arising from God and returning to him. Still others have affirmed the existence of two eternal principles, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, locked, in permanent conflict (Dualism, Manichaeism). According to some of these conceptions, the world (at least the physical world) is evil, the product of a fall, and is thus to be rejected or left behind (Gnosticism). Some admit that the world was made by God, but as by a watch-maker who, once he has made a watch, abandons it to itself (Deism). Finally, others reject any transcendent origin for the world, but see it as merely the interplay of matter that has always existed (Materialism). All these attempts bear witness to the permanence and universality of the question of origins. This inquiry is distinctively human.

Now I do grant that there are a great many metatheoretical theological variations out there, so it might seem unfair to ask that this Catechism cover all of them. But in higher circles of theological thought, both Panentheism and Pandeism are long-standing enough (both coined in Germany by the mid-1800s) and well-enough known that they at least merit passing mention in a work intended or supposed to be comprehensive as to Catholic thought. But perhaps, just as the reference to the 'myths' of those "ancient religions and cultures" is likely intended to encompass Polytheism without needing mention it by name, perhaps it is assumed that other theologies not mentioned by name are encompassed by those that are. There is, after all, commentary upon the notion that "the development of the world is the development of God" parenthesized as Pantheism (one element of Pandeism), though Pantheism alone does not encompass all formulations of this conception. And there is commentary upon Deism (the other element of Pandeism), though many species of Deist would take issue with the summary as eliding the deistic property of a deity discernible by reasoned examination of our Universe, such that even those never privy to one of the claimed divine revelations could discover this possibility.

Panentheism, interestingly, may have gone unaddressed for another reason altogether -- that being that there is often reason to correlate Catholic doctrine with Panentheism more than with pure Theism, as Panentheism pairs the theistic aspects of an overseeing, intervening deity with the pantheistic properties of everything within the Universe itself being "within God." Such assertions have not gone without controversy, as there are those within the Church who dismiss elements of Panentheism, and at the same time fret and grumble when others within the Church embrace those elements and deem them doctrinally sound. But this dissension is mild compared to those "renegade" elements of the Church who decry the movement of the larger body as a shift towards Pandeism itself, and go so far as to accuse Pope Francis of being a secret (or not-so-secret) Pandeist in his own right.

But this modern quandary had escaped mention in the Catechism itself. In fact, the Catechism's dismissal of the parts of Pandeism without considering the whole eerily mirrors that of Richard Dawkins, who otherwise stands quite opposite the Catholic Church in its conclusions. Dawkins put it somewhat more abruptly, even, contending that "Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism." Reading the Church's summaries of these philosophies, it is hard to imagine that the Catechism's authors would at all disagree with Dawkins' characterizations on this score, and would quite likely agree with whatever characterization Dawkins might arrive at as to Pandeism as well.