The deity and its creations have a bipolar nature. All existent entities have a mental pole or nature and a physical pole or nature as well. As they see it there are a number of problems with traditional theism. The principle problem is that as the traditional concept of God is considered as incoherent or beset with problems, the traditional conception of deity has led to atheism: first the dualistic nature of the concept of god led to a materialistic science and secondly, there was no longer room for God or divine causation.
(PDF) Process Theology and the Problem of Evil | John Woell - ryxocyduje.cf
But where is the soul to be located in the dualist view? Is the soul in the body, or is the body in the soul? How do two such dissimilar substances relate to one another or interact? Materialism is the view that only matter exists - no non-physical substances exist.
Thus, if the non-physical or spiritual mind cannot influence the body as there is no mind located in the physical body , then neither could a spiritual entity or deity god influence the material world. There is also no way to explain how the physical universe or world could be in a spiritual being or entity such as a deity or god.
With materialism our knowledge is limited to what is empirically verifiable, what we can detect with our senses, perhaps aided by physical devices and mathematical analyses. The non-physical or spiritual realm is not available to physical detection and so all claims about spiritual beings are beyond verification because they cannot be empirically detected or proven.
We cannot sense the deity god and so for materialism there is no such being. So the metaphysical traditions of dualism and monism-materialism each present significant problems for the traditional conception of a deity. With Process Metaphysics there is a different view of what is real. With this view because all is in causal motion, there is also creativity.
Within the Process view nature itself is comprised of creative, experiential events. So how is the deity viewed by Process Theology? The deity is thought of as the everlasting eternal entity. How does such a deity enable the Process Theologians to respond to the Problem of Evil?
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While no particular evil is necessary, the possibility of there being some evil is necessary. The deity can influence all events, but only as persuasion. Unfortunately in this view humans suffer more, because there are more possibilities open to them.
John Polkinghorne on Three Scientist-Theologians: Theology and Science: Vol 8, No 3
Since all events exercise some self-determination, the future is not knowable in principle. However, once something is, then God can know it. How does this change our concept of God? The Process idea of the deity is not one of an all perfect being that is all knowing and all powerful and detached from the physical universe existing in an eternal spiritual realm. Instead the deity is seen as existing both within and beyond the physical universe. This is Panentheism. The deity of process philosophy is viewed a partly in the creation and partly beyond or outside of its creation.
There is a relation of the creator to the creation. It is one of cooperation. The deity attempts to entice the creations to work with the deity but the creations humans cannot be forced to do so. The deity acts on the creations through the attraction of its values. The deity can influence the conscious creations but does not directly act upon them and does not force cooperation or compliance.
Process Philosophy is now most commonly associated with the English philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead , and his book Process and Reality: an Essay in Cosmology is considered one of the most important expositions of process philosophy. The main application of Whitehead's position was put forward by his pupil, the American philosopher Charles Hartshorne , whose main works include The Divine Relativity and The Logic of Perfection Two particularly good works on Process Theology are these:. Process Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr. What Is Process Theology?
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Meller writes about Whiteheadian thought, without the jargon and technical intricacies, so that the lay person might have better understanding of the thinking of the founder of process philosophy. Consider this manifestation of the reworking of the idea of the deity away from the traditional and toward the post modern by the Roman Catholic priest who is head of the Vatican Observatory is a trained scientist.
Dr George Coyne has spoken and written about the relation of Religion to Science.
He has expressed his view that there need not be a conflict of religious belief with scientific findings. In the controversy concerning Intelligent Design and Evolution Dr. Coyne has expressed these views concerning the nature of the deity. God should be seen more as a parent or one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words.
Scripture is very rich in these thoughts. It presents a God who gets angry , who disciplines, a God who nurtures the universe. The universe has a certain vitality like a child does. If you have previously obtained access with your personal account, Please log in. If you previously purchased this article, Log in to Readcube. Log out of Readcube. Click on an option below to access. Log out of ReadCube. Volume 20 , Issue 1. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.
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