Welcome to a fundamental node of the Pandeism index!!
Perhaps you sometimes have that feeling, of our Universe
lining up so as to point something out to you -- as when you hear somebody randomly discussing some theme in Casablanca
in a coffee shop in the morning, and when you turn on the TV that afternoon, Casablanca
is on, and at the very scene the overheard conversant was discussing. Well I have had something of that experience in the contemplation of the relationship between Pandeism
. This began (in one sense) with my expansion on the problem of insufficient faith
, wherein I wrote:
An example of a purely philosophical issue wherein faith is required to ignore logic is the omnipotence/free will issue. In some faiths it is claimed that an omnipotent and omniscient Creator set forth our world, and knew before setting it forth how every detail of every moment would unfold, including every choice that each person in such world would make; and that such Creator had total power to pick any set of events, but created the specific procession of events at issue. If it is at the same time claimed that free will exists, and that the lives of beings in such a Universe are not wholly predetermined, then that claim contradicts the first.
Our good friend Iceowl
helpfully pointed out:
If an omniscient/omnipotent God set forth everything on a fixed path, and if there is no contradiction between free will and being "fixed" by God, then we could also presume, this entire universe takes place in but the most minute fraction of time conceivable. There is no time, because all of this takes no time at all.
I had not intended my essay (and specifically its commentary on the omniscience/free will problem) to implicate the problem of time. But the following day another friend emailed me a link to an essay I had come across some years ago. I had planned to convey a response to this (which I will address momentarily), but instead had socked it away
and somewhat forgotten it: "What is the Nature of Reality?" by Bill M. Tracer in Philosophy, May 18, 2011
; which analysed various theological models including, in Tracer's words:
Cosmological Pandeism (In this view there is also both a material universe and a spiritual aspect, but unlike Theistic Universalism and Classic Deism, this ideology includes the concept that God and the Material Universe are one, intimately interconnected and that essentially the spiritual domain and the material universe are not really separate from one another, at all. Some within the broad category of Cosmological Pandeism accept the Multiverse concept of M-Theory and as a consequence of God as having at least an 11 dimensional perceptional awareness of the Space/Time continuum, thus transcending time as we know it. As a result of this transcendent temporal relationship to the Universe, all of time is as one single instant to such a Pandeistic God. Certain aspects of esoteric and mystic views discussed below can be found in some Cosmological Pandeistic ideologies.) Certain Liberal Christian denominations, Universal Unitarians, those of the Unity Church, Theosophists, and other so called “New Ager” types embrace many of the principal beliefs in this view.
Now, not long at all after that, even while pondered this very coincidence, I was challenged in a discussion with an old point of Atheism
: "Why did God
for literally forever
, before deciding to create the Earth
?" Now, this is usually raised in counter to Abrahamic notions of Theism
, which propose an eternal deity doing nothing for trillions and trillions and trillions of millennia, and then seemingly somewhat abruptly setting forth a Universe supposedly set to exist for a few thousand years before being destroyed (especially when it is so clearly in focus now that our destiny is in the stars
. Now this is a point worth pondering, but I don't give it as much weight as a proof against a designed Universe, because the atheistic counterpropositions are not all that much better. Either nothing at all happened literally forever, and then suddenly our Universe came about for no more reason than that; or there was no time for anything to happen in at all, and yet our Universe still happened to, well, happen.
Now, to address Tracer's Cosmological Pandeism, which in deeming that "all of time is as one single instant to such a Pandeistic God" echoes Iceowl's observation that in a wholly deterministic Universe, "this entire universe takes place in but the most minute fraction of time conceivable." It is amazing that diverse minds can realize such a similar conclusion. I want it to be clear, naturally, that eleven-dimensional framework of M-Theory
is not a religious belief
, but a model of physics
(developed and championed by physicists of all theological stripes, including, but not at all limited, to those who hew to Pandeism), and one which is embraced because it successfully unifies the five different versions of superstring
theory which were in competition up until the development of M-Theory. And from the thousand-foot view, superstring theory is Pandeism written in mathematical terms; all of space
is at the lowest level not a collection of particles
, not waves
, but super-tiny twisted-up bits of existence itself
, interacting with other bits through resonation, like the strings of a guitar
But where does time fit into this? It is one of these eleven conjectured dimensions. One thing we are fairly confident of now is that even every point of the harshest vacuum
in space bubbles endlessly at the most minute level in a chaotic quantum foam
. And so if time is a function of space, and even in the absence of galaxy-sized stretches of space, quantum foam still constantly bubbles where there is nothing at all, doesn't this constantly generate time? Sort of a "time foam," perhaps? I do not sit and imagine a pandeistic Creator pointlessly waiting for seemingly infinite stretches of time to pass whilst doing nothing when it could act in some way. No, I would suppose that even an immeasurable underlying mind is susceptible to some controlling dynamics of its own, and that something had to have happened within those dynamics to compel its realization
that it must become our Universe and our lives to fulfill the knowledge of being necessarily missing from its existence for the whole of its being heretofore. After all, it's impossible to know that you don't know you're missing something until something gives you a reason to think about it!! And once you know, you act-- perhaps, to the perception of a Universe-Creator, instantaneously, and all wrapped into one glorious moment of realization of everything.
drownzsurf adds: "re Pandeism Somewhere in Time: To answer Tracer to some degree: he misses the point that we are creatures created in time, but the Creator is outside, beyond, whatever of time. We can't understand it anymore than a two dimensional creature can understand 3 dimensions let alone more or others."
Yes, that is indeed true -- just as two points on opposite ends of a sheet of paper can touch if the paper is curled in on itself, while inhabitants of a line on the paper would never know that these points were anything but far apart!!