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Pantheism, Panentheism, Pandeism, Panendeism

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Uploaded on Sep 26, 2009

This video will explain the key distinctions between Pandeism and Panentheism, and a later variation, Panendeism.

Both Pandeism and Panentheism are thought to have originated in Germany in the first half of the 19th Century, and both sought to incorporate elements of earlier theories to provide a more rational and comprehensive explanation of the spiritual basis of the Universe. By the 19th Century, the concept of Pantheism had been formally and well established. Pantheism is the belief that the Universe is identical to God, and is sometimes characterized as the Universe being the body of God. But Pantheism is only an explanation of the nature of the Universe. It can offer no answer to the origin or destiny of the Universe.

In Panentheism, the philosophers sought to reconcile Pantheism with Theism, proposing a God that indeed was the Universe, but was still also seprate from, and continuing to interfere in the development of the Universe. Thus God created the Universe from a part of itself, leaving another part separate and distinct. In Pandeism, the philosophers sought to reconcile Pantheism not with Theism but with Deism, belief in a God that created the Universe and then ceased to interfere in its operations. As with Panentheism, Pandeism proposes that the Universe had a Creator, and that this Creator used its own substance as the material of the Universe.

But Pandeism proposes that the Creator imparted all of its substance into the Universe. This explains why the Creator no longer interacts with the Universe. By becoming the Universe, it had at least temporarily surrendured its ability to act upon it. Indeed, Pandeists explain that any entity with the power and intelligence necessary to create a Universe such as ours would have been able to carry out this Creation correctly, and would have no need to interfere with the Creation once it had been initiated. Because there is no need for the Creator to continue to act upon the Universe, Pandeists find the external portion of the deity proposed by Panentheism to be unnecessary.

Another much more recent proposal is Panendeism, an attempt to reconcile Panentheism with Deism. Panendeism is therefore identical to Panentheism except that the portion of the Creator remaining external to the Universe, does not act on the Universe, but merely observes.

Pandeists find this to be superflous to the Creator's ongoing experience of existing as the Universe itself. If the Creator exists as the Universe, then the direct experience of being the Universe would already be superior to any benefit obtained by merely observing the Universe. It is in this way that Pandeism seeks to delineate a spiritual basis of the Universe that includes only what is necessary in light of the evidence given by the Universe itself.

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