PANDEISM: An Anthology
Pandeism: An Anthology, published in January 2017, contains 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 more conducive to peace.
This anthology is the first of its kind -- though Pandeism has been identified in philosophies going back thousands of years, was first formally theologically categorized 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.
“The joy of discovery is certainly the liveliest that the mind of man can ever feel”
- Claude Bernard -
In addition to offering an extensive examination of Pandeism, this book offers, by turns, a deep dive into concepts of Deism and Pantheism, Panentheism and Panendeism.
Outline of the Book
Section I: Fundamentals of Pandeism
What is the essence of Pandeism? This section contains articles broadly examining the heart of the proposition. It is logic-based, friendly to science and scientific discovery, and yet accounts for spirituality, and for characteristics of the human experience that defy quantification.
First, in “The Idealist Interpretation of Pandeism,” Bernardo Kastrup, PhD, argues “for an interpretation of the facts of reality that renders Pandeism both genuine as a theology and metaphysically sound.” Next, in “A Theorem Concerning God,” Robert G. Brown PhD sets forth a logical proof, effectively a mathematical argument demonstrating that any entity which could properly be called “God” in fact must be either pandeistic or panendeistic. Alan H. Dawe thence examines a divine reality, in “God, the Universe and Pandeism,” outlining broadly the capacities of what he terms God-Consciousness, the operative force which undergirds both the pandeistic Creator, and the more expansive theological model of Dawe’s own The God Franchise.
After a poetic interlude (poems throughout the book were provided by inestimable poetess Amy Perry), we find “God Without Religion,” wherein Dr Michael Arnheim sets forth the particular case for Deism as against both Atheism and Theism, and makes an especial plea for unity among those holding to variations of this middle view, including proponents of Pandeism.
“Pantheistic God-Concepts: Ancient, Contemporary, Popular, and Plausible Alternatives to Classical Theism,” Raphael Lataster argues for an end to the myopic focus of religious studies on the dichotomy between Theism and Naturalism, pointing to the often-ignored expansive history of pantheistic, panentheistic, and pandeistic theological options.Lastly, in “Why Pandeism Is Better Than Theism,” Knujon Mapson argues for the logical superiority of Pandeism as a theological model accounting for everything that theistic models claim, but doing so with fewer assumptions.
Section II: Philosophical Implications of Pandeism
“Omniscience, Omnipotence and Pantheism,” by Richard Francks PhD, sets the stage with an observation on the nature of omniscience as applied to experiential knowledge. Next, “Leibniz’s Best World Claim Restructured,” by William C. Lane, presents a tour-de-force of moral consequence, explaining how a creator wholly becoming the creation— without knowing in advance every negative consequence of that happening, and yet bearing all such consequences—escapes the ‘problem of evil’ while exhibiting one aspect of a maximally loving being: maximal closeness to that which is loved.
Zoltan Istvan, in “Transhumanism and Theistcideism,” contemplates the drive of living things to live, and of intelligent life to better itself, achieving some remarkable conclusions about the desire of nonomnipotent beings to obtain omnipotence—and of an omnipotent being to destroy itself and begin anew. Following another poetic interlude, “Pantheistic Reflections,” by Poffo Ortiz, introduces us to the pandeistic notion of biopantheism, and powerful arguments of pantheist/pandeist morality.
Lastly, in “Pandeism, the Holographic Universe, and Simulation Theory,” Anthony Peake considers the evidence for the popular theory that our Universe is itself a simulation—and how this too is a concept consistent with a pandeistic Universe.
Section III: Criticism and Analysis from Other Views
Throughout its history, Pandeism has drawn both a critical and comparative eye from adherents to other theological models. The conventional practice in organizing comparative religious literature seems to be to order pieces so that conventional Western world views are given prominence. Here, we upend this tendency by putting ahead of these the analysis from what is likely the the oldest religion on earth, Hinduism. Other views presented encompass some nontraditional approaches to mainstream belief systems as well.
In “Hindu Dharma—Living on the Edge of Infinity,” Sushma Sahajpal illuminates the viewpoint of Hinduism, often misunderstood or misrepresented in Western frames of thought, and examines how its theological propositions tend to compare to those of the pandeistic model. “Beyond Creator and Universe: From Pandeism to Ismaili Muslim Neoplatonism,” by Ismaili Gnosis, makes a case for a particular interpretation of Islam over Pandeism.
In “Omnientheism: God According to Biblical Universalist Unitarianism,” Orlando Alcántara Fernández makes a spirited plea for the soulfulness of theistic thought against the harsher light shone by Deism, Pandeism, and Panendeism. William Walker Atkinson, with his chapter, “Axioms of Reality—Concluded,” sets his early twentieth-century ‘New Thought’ ideas against Pandeism, arguing against both the evidence for it (as compared to his own view) and potential effects of its adoption.
And lastly—but hardly least—we close with the view from what is modernly the strongest challenge to theistic faith, with “An Atheist Critique of Pandeism.” Here, Dan Dana PhD contends that the same skepticism which applies to Theism leads to the same absence of evidence when applied to Pandeism.
The book closes with another poem: a selection from an ode by William Wordsworth.
Authors who have written or released materials for this book include an outstanding group of contributors to a variety of areas of philosophical thought (alphabetized, by surname):
Michael Arnheim (barrister and Deist, United Kingdom)
Robert G. Brown (physicist and philosopher, United States)
Dan Dana (Atheist writer, United States)
Alan Dawe (author of the award-winning "The God Franchise," New Zealand)
Orlando Alcántara Fernández (Christian poet, Dominican Republic)
Richard Francks (professor of philosophy, United Kingdom)
Ismaili Gnosis (Muslim Neoplatonist philosopher)
Zoltan Istvan (Transhumanist author, United States)
Bernardo Kastrup (computer scientist and philosopher of consciousness, Netherlands)
William C. Lane (lawyer and philosopher, United States)
Raphael Lataster (religious studies scholar, Australia)
Knujon Mapson (Pandeist theologian, United States)
Poffo Ortiz (Biopantheist author and artist, United States)
Anthony Peake (author and lecturer on consciousness, United Kingdom)
Amy Perry (transcendental poet, United States)
Sushma Sahajpal (Hindu interfaith educator, United Kingdom)
Launching January 12, 2016, our Kickstarter successfully raised awareness of Pandeism and our Pandeism anthology through new channels of communication, and covered costs which have been incurred in our efforts to create this invaluable book and bring it to publication. We sought to raise $2,450, and received pledges of $2,551, enough to cover most of our costs (which includes covering the cost of creating and maintaining this website upon which your eyes now feast). The primary goal of our Kickstarter was to fund the publication and distribution of Pandeism: An Anthology.
In the process of raising these funds, we received pre-orders for 73 copies of the book -- an auspicious beginning for a work still several months from seeing the printed page!!
Thank you, to our supporters!!
All who pledged more than $3 to our Kickstarter are thanked here:
Eileen Housel Kravitz
Davey T Steinman and Company
The Arcanum Book
J. Miles Dunn
Dark Cult Games
E J Minor
Lief White & Samantha White
Artist Collective - Transitions
Lori Jenessa Nelson