To say that God is pure act is to say that anything God could be, God already is—there is no potentiality in God for any type of change. God seeks the actualization of all perfections, each in due season. The question is: is this what should evoke worship? The present lead seems to want to use the more neutral phrase 'fully involved in'. Process theism refuses to give a privileged metaphysical status to the one over the many. Process theologians have often seen the classical doctrine of omnipotence as involving coercion arguably mistakenly , and themselves claim something more restricted than the classical doctrine.
Are you really going to maintain flags that label this article as biased when you cannot refute any of its arguments, and are clearly biased yourself? In the mid-1990s, however, Rescher developed a process metaphysical embedding for his system, using familiar philosophical terminology, and thus presented the first systematic overview of the explanatory potential of a non-Whiteheadian process metaphysics that forfeits technical expenditure and operates with a notion of process that is much closer to our common-sense understanding of developments. Then Rutherford discovered the electron and thereby completely undermined the theory that atoms were indivisible and immutable. Process creation is creation out of chaos, not creatio ex nihilo. This is partially compatible with what the ancient Hebrews believed. For example, the options in the design argument are printed as follows Hartshorne 1970, 281 : A1 There is no cosmic order. While no particular evil is necessary, the possibility of there being some evil is necessary. We cannot willfully control their actions in most cases, and they cannot willfully control our actions.
Lifeless bodies such as the billiard balls cannot resist such applications of physical force at all, and even living bodies like arms can only resist so far, and can be coercively overpowered. Although Whitehead holds all determinate being to be finite, God is by contrast infinitely becoming, constantly in process of determination. Some process approaches use self-experience as anchoring canonical illustration for postulated technical notions of dynamic sameness and unity, but one might worry that this model is all too complex. As pictures are the products of paintings, mental representations thoughts, concepts were taken to be the quasi-objects that result from the productive developmental occurrences of perceiving and thinking. Sixth, process theology denies the efficacy of petitionary prayer. Second, process theology avers that God is not an exception to basic ontological rules but is their chief exemplification.
Process theism agrees with pantheism in that God is in the world, but disagrees with pantheism in that it does not identify God and the world. There are theologians in the religious traditions of the West who are willing to consider and some even accept that the traditional notion of the deity as a Supreme Being and an All Perfect being may not be the conception that is most consistent with the demands of reasoning. Gamwell, Forrest Wood, David Ray Griffin, James A. Thus, the contingencies in the divine actuality do not include the possibilities of God being selfish, cruel, or wicked as they do in the human case. In conclusion, could the practicalities simply boil down to the need to metabolize societies into communities, without, however, shifting to rabid communitarianism? Hartshorne denies that one can coerce belief in God with arguments such as this.
If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the about philosophy content on Wikipedia. The physical and mental poles are aspects of every real being actual entities but they are not real beings themselves. We have also seen that process theism conceives God as being really related to the world through prehensions or feelings. Jones, Glossary by Randall E. In those cases, on the classical view, God brings it about that people freely decide not to will the good of others.
Now a plurality of free decisions, insofar as they are uncoordinated, will inevitably though not necessarily lead to conflict, which is the source of evil. Indeed, some Christian Whiteheadians have gone beyond Whitehead in enriching the personality of the process God. It is as true to say that God creates the World, as that the World creates God. As the subjective unity of a multiplicity of prehensions, God experiences many distinct objective data, but these prehensions are not separable because of the indivisible unity, even simplicity, of their subject. It is simply not the case that material things are the indispensable basis for a framework of knowable, uniquely located, re-identifiable items. For secular, atheological processists evolution typifies the creative workings of a self-sustaining nature that fulfills the vision of a certain positivist program, dispensing altogether with a God function to explain any of the events in or appertaining to the universe.
Hartshorne's The Divine Relativity is sharply critical of the Thomistic claim that God in knowing creation is not really related to creatures. On the other hand, substance ontology has been capitalizing on the fact that the canonical illustrations of substances, things or living things, loom large in our practical interactions. In order to coercively twist someone's arm, I first have to persuade my own arm to move which it may not, if it is broken or asleep, etc. While most modern scientists still resist the idea of final cause, it is significant that Heisenberg called for the revival of such a concept in his Physics and Philosophy. In the orthodox view, it seems that God gets all the credit for the good that happens, but we are left unfortunately with all the responsibility for evil even for natural disasters which are supposed to be God's punishment for our sin. Yet he does it almost wholly without the use of technical terms! The dominant theological position in the West, which we have been referring to as classical theism, denies all relativity to God.
We have already mentioned others within the process tradition who have made the case for process theism: Clarke, Gamwell, and Malone-France. This idea differs from pantheism in that the latter teaches that the universe comprises God. How do two such dissimilar substances relate to one another or interact? God should be seen more as a parent or one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words. Above all, however, what is required is a way of making principled distinctions between different aspects of God so that the doctrine of dual transcendence does not collapse into contradiction. Cognitive evolution involves both biological and cultural components, superimposing non-random rational decision-making on biological selection. It is only the body of the child that can be coercively controlled by the body of the physically stronger parent; the child's free will remains intact. Therefore, Jesus is not unique in that God was incarnate in him.
In other words, Whitehead is not a mind-body dualist. I do not have the space nor is my reader equipped for the complex technical discussion that explains this transformation of Whitehead's single entity into a personal society. Despite all differences in constructive detail, however, Whiteheadian and non-Whiteheadian process philosophy both recommend themselves as gateways to renovating philosophical discourse. What emerges is a coherent form of Trinitarian Theism — since there is correspondence between the human un ability to know the two levels of reality the World and God — that is based on an inevitable relational-apophatic paradigm. The mention of angelic existence in the previous paragraph brings up a point seldom noticed in discussions of process theism.