Whitehead, Adventure of Ideas Glencove, N. This is simply a disguised form of a divine totalitarianism which no self-respecting, rational human being should accept. Since God does not create everything, what we create enriches what he has created. And he also negates strict naturalism when he identifies the transcendent aspect of God with the element of creativity, which is not accounted for by the laws of nature. Every person has the power of persuasion and coercion in their ordinary senses , but neither of these powers involves a violation of the laws of nature.
Let us examine the different ways in which Whitehead and Hartshorne attempt to save the doctrine of dual transcendence from incoherence. Cobb has suggested, we should not be surprised when bad things happen. Reese, is a massive critical study of the varieties of concepts of God as they relate to process theism. Much more important to me than the question as to whether God can at once establish and exemplify the metaphysical principles are questions about how God is related to the world. Taking creativity as the category of the ultimate is an attempt to keep the one and the many on equal metaphysical footing by taking reality itself as necessarily social. Thus, Whitehead does not claim that every real being is a conscious entity.
Hartshorne notes that ordinary language provides scanty support for and abundant evidence against the superiority of one pole over the other. The idea is meaningless or contradictory. New York: Seabury Press, 1995. Neo-Thomists like Clarke and some other theists, like William Alston, accept real relations in God but retain the timelessness, immutability, and non-corporeality of God. This is likely to suggest to the reader that God knows us as we might know a fact or an object of vision. In this sense, a valid argument provides one with options for belief rather than a proof of its conclusion.
No one thing explains or grounds everything else. Some Problems in Christian Process Theology We cannot leave this chapter without pointing out some of the problems that a Christian process theology faces. It is consciously directed toward process theology from a perspective that is quite different and fully self-conscious. He criticizes Whitehead for representing God as a mere datum of experience, and he pictures the relation of God to actual occasions as external to their subjectivity. Human existence and character are fragile and subject to variation.
It is noteworthy, however, that process theism retains one element of the traditional view. This nonidentification has at least these seven advantages: 1. They maintain that the word God must denote a transcendent Being who created the universe. Ontologically, God is present in Jesus in the same way that he is present in all creatures. The process God has what might be called a second cousin to over-power. The question about process theism for me, then, is not whether it is problem free but whether it is sufficiently cogent and fruitful to warrant continuing work within this tradition. Process theists generally disagree cf.
It is free from the causal determinism of the past insofar as it selectively appropriates from that past according to the divine aim, but it is also free from divine determinism insofar as it allows that aim to be modified by the past it appropriates. On the process view, creaturely decisions are themselves acts of creation, which means that the universe is a joint product of God and the creatures. This provides for a straightforward concept of God responding to the creatures and for an interpretive scheme for the dominant Scriptural motif that God is in dynamic interaction with people in answering prayer, for example. Ford are presented each discussing Robert C. The mention of angelic existence in the previous paragraph brings up a point seldom noticed in discussions of process theism. The mysticism of identity, to which many mystics have testified, would then be impossible.
Approved for a Comprehensive Distance Education Program. If not they will reject the premises or the mode of inference. Daniel Day Williams has attempted the first full-scale process theology centered on the interpretation of love. Neville argues that this distinction should be rejected, whereas I have increasingly found it vindicated by its fruitfulness for dialog, especially between Christians and Buddhists. A Deity whose limitation is his goodness was far more worshipful for Whitehead.
The latter three texts present a theory of comparison that uses C. Its function is not to help man overcome the hazards of nature, but to enable him to bring under control his inhumanity to his fellow man. God is fluent in constantly acquiring new experiences of the world and the world is fluent in the rhythm of the birth and death of actual occasions. As we have seen in Chapter Four-B, Whitehead's theological method is a via eminentia in which terms about the divine nature are used univocally. The divine suffering can be regarded as a response to results of natural evolutionary processes, to human choices or actions, or as immediately produced when the divine purpose of full flourishing of all being is obstructed in a given case. There are process theologians representing other traditions as well. Both stress the idea of value.
Whether or not Whitehead and Hartshorne are considered great philosophers, they seem to have occasioned a seismic shift in contemporary discussions of the philosophy of religion in which philosophers take the doctrine of real relations in God more seriously. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin were all religious liberals who were heavily influenced by the new science and rational philosophy of the European Enlightenment. The self is the immediately present concrescent occasion, striving to unify the world it receives. God shares the suffering of the beloved creation while seeking to move it to new life and flourishing. Hartshorne responds that this view divorces the concept of decision making from any meaningful connection with lived experience.
God creates each moment of time and simultaneously is present in every moment of it without being subject to created physical time. A related problem is how the activities of the many actualities that make up the cosmos happen to obey a common set of natural laws. Superspacetime differs from the Boethian idea of eternity in at least this much: it is complex whereas eternity has no parts. These contrasting predicates can be applied to the same individual, provided they apply to diverse aspects: God is abstract, necessary, unchanging with respect to metaphysical attributes, but concrete, contingent, and changing in the experience of the world. The lack of satisfactory theories in these areas does not lead me to total skepticism.