Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Panentheism, Transhumanism, and the Problem of Evil - From Metaphysics to Ethics

Benedikt Paul Göcke

Abstract

There is a close systematic relationship between panentheism, as a metaphysical theory about the relation between God and the world, and transhumanism, the ethical demand to use the means of the applied sciences to enhance both human nature and the environment. This relationship between panentheism and transhumanism provides a ‘cosmic’ solution to the problem of evil: on panentheistic premises, the history of the world is the one infinite life of God, and we are part of the one infinite divine being. We ourselves are therefore responsible for the future development of the life of the divine being. We should therefore use the means provided by the natural sciences to develop the history of the world in such a way that the existence of evil shall be overcome and shall no longer be part of the divine being in whom we move and live and have our being. The metaphysics of panentheism leads to the ethics of transhumanism.

Full Text:

PDF

References

Aerts, Diederick, Leo Apostel, Bart de Moor, Staf Hellemans, Edel Maex, Hubert van Belle, and Jan van der Veken. 1994. World Views: From fragmentation to integration. Brussels: VUB Press.

Apostel, Leo, and Jan van der Veken. 1991. Wereldbeelden: Van Fragmentering naar Integratie. Kapellen: DNB/Pelckmans.

Atmanspacher, Harald, and Hartmut von Sass. 2017. “The Many Faces of Panentheism: An Editorial Introduction”. Zygo 52, no. 4: 1029–43. doi:10.1111/zygo.12373.

Bishop, John, and Ken Perszyk. 2016. “Concepts of God and the Problem of Evil”. In Alternative Concepts of God: Essays on the Metaphysics of the Divine, edited by Andrei A. Buckareff and Yujin Nagasawa, 106–27. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Bostrom, Nick. 2005. “A History of Transhumanist Thought”. Journal of Evolution and Technology 14, no. 1: 1–25.

—. 2011. “In Defense of Posthuman Dignity”. In Transhumanism and its Critics, edited by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie, 55–66. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

Buckareff, Andrei A., and Yujin Nagasawa, eds. 2016. Alternative Concepts of God: Essays on the Metaphysics of the Divine. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Chalmers, David. 2009. “Introduction: A Guided Tour of Metametaphysics”. In Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology, edited by David Chalmers, David Manley and Ryan Wasserman, 1–37. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Clayton, Philip. 2008. Adventures in the Spirit: God. World, Divine Action. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

—. 2008. “Open Panentheism and Creatio ex Nihilo”. Process Studies 37, no. 1: 166–83.

—. 2017. “How Radically Can God Be Reconceived before Ceasing to Be God? The Four Faces of Panentheism”. Zygon 52, no. 4: 1044–59. doi:10.1111/zygo.12368.

Clayton, Philip, and Arthur Peacocke, eds. 2004. In Whom We live and Move and Have our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

Drees, Willem B. 2017. “Panentheism and Natural Science: A Good Match?”. Zygon 52, no. 4: 1060–79. doi:10.1111/zygo.12377.

Dupuy, Jean-Pierre. 2011. “Cybernetics is Antihumanism: Advanced Technologies and the Rebellion against the Human Condition”. In Transhumanism and its Critics, edited by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie, 227–48. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

Fichte, Johann G. 1971. “Die Anweisung zum seligen Leben, oder auch die Religionslehre”. In Fichtes Werke: Bd. 5. Zur Religionsphilosophie, edited by Immanuel H. Fichte. Berlin.

Fine, Kit. 2012. “Guide to Ground”. In Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, edited by Fabrice Correia and Benjamin Schnieder, 37–80. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Göcke, Benedikt P. 2013. “On the Importance of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause’s Panentheism”. Zygon 48, no. 2: 364–79. doi:10.1111/zygo.12015.

Göcke, Benedikt P. 2013. “Panentheism and Classical Theism”. Sophia 52, no. 1: 61–75. doi:10.1007/s11841-011-0292-y.

—. 2015. “There is no Panentheistic Paradigm”. The Heythrop Journal 32, no. 1: Online First. doi:10.1111/heyj.12314.

—. 2016. “The Paraconsistent God’”. In Rethinking the Concept of a Personal God: Classical Theism, Personal Theism, and Alternative Concepts of God, edited by Christian Tapp, Veronika Wegener and Thomas Schärtl, 177–201. Münster: Aschendorff Verlag.

—. 2017. “Christian Cyborgs: A Plea For a Moderate Transhumanism”. Faith and Philosophy 34, no. 3: 347–64. doi:10.5840/faithphil201773182.

—. 2017. “Concepts of God and Models of the God-world relation”. Philosophy Compass 12, no. 2: Online First. doi:10.1111/phc3.12402.

—. 2017. “The Existence of Evil in Christian and Naturalistic Worldviews”. Synthesis philosophica 32, no. 1: 5–20. doi:10.21464/sp32101.

—. 2018. The Panentheism of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832): From Transcendental Philosophy to Metaphysics. Oxford, Berlin: Peter Lang.

—. 2018. “Theologie als Wissenschaft: Allgemeine wissenschaftstheoretische Grundlagen der Diskussion der Wissenschaftlichkeit christlicher Theologie”. In Die Wissenschaftlichkeit der Theologie: Band 1: Systematische und historische Perspektiven, edited by Benedikt P. Göcke. Münster: Aschendorff Verlag.

Göcke, Benedikt P. 2014. A Theory of the Absolute. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Göcke, Benedikt P., and Christian Tapp. 2019. The Infinity of God: New Perspectives in Theology and Philosophy. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press.

Griffin, David R. 2004. “Panentheism: A Postmodern Revelation”. In In Whom We live and Move and Have our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World, edited by Philip Clayton and Arthur Peacocke, 36–47. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

—. 2014. Panentheism and Scientific Naturalism: Rethinking Evil, Morality, Religious Experience, Religious Pluralism, and the Academic Study of Religion. Claremont, CA: Process Century Press.

Hansell, Gregory R., and William Grassie, eds. 2011. Transhumanism and its Critics. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

Hartshorne, Charles. 1967. A Natural Theology for our Time. La Salle: Open Court.

Haught, John F. 2017. The New Cosmic Story: Inside our Awakening Universe. New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press.

Hayles, Katherine. 2011. “Wrestling with Transhumanism”. In Transhumanism and its Critics, edited by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie, 215–26. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

Henriksen, Jan-Olav. 2017. “The Experience of God and the World: Christianity’s Reasons for Considering Panentheism a Viable Option”. Zygon 52, no. 4: 1080–97. doi:10.1111/zygo.12374.

Hopkins, Patrick. 2008. “A Moral Vision for Transhumanism”. Journal of Evolution and Technology 19, no. 1: 3–7.

Juengst, Eric T. 2013. “What’s Taxonomy Got to Do with It? ‘Species Integrity’, Human Rights, and Science Policy”. In Human Enhancement, edited by Julian Savulescu and Nick Bostrom, 43–58. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Keller, Catherine. 2015. The Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement. New York, NY: Columbia Univ. Press.

Kuhn, Thomas. 1996. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL: The Univ. of Chicago Press.

Loux, Michal. 2002. Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction. London: Routledge.

Mackie, J. L. 1955. “Evil and Omnipotence”. Mind 64, no. 254: 200–212.

Main, Roderick. 2017. “Panentheism and the Undoing of Disenchantment”. Zygon 52, no. 4: 1098–1122.

Marsen, Sky. 2011. “Playing by the Rules-or not? Constructions of Identity in a Posthuman Future”. In Transhumanism and its Critics, edited by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie, 84–93. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

Nagasawa, Yujin. 2016. “Modal Panentheism”. In Alternative Concepts of God: Essays on the Metaphysics of the Divine, edited by Andrei A. Buckareff and Yujin Nagasawa, 93–105. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Peacocke, Arthur, and Philip Clayton. 2004. “Introduction: In Whom we Live and Move and Have our Being”. In In Whom We live and Move and Have our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World, edited by Philip Clayton and Arthur Peacocke, XVIII–XXII. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

Peters, Ted. 2007. “Models of God”. Philosophia 35, no. 3-4: 273–88. doi:10.1007/s11406-007-9066-8.

—. 2011. “Transhumanism and the Posthuman Future: Will Technological Progress Get us There?”. In Transhumanism and its Critics, edited by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

Quine, W. V. 1951. “Two Dogmas of Empiric”. The Philosophical Review 60, no. 1: 20–43.

Schaffer, Jonathan. 2014. “Monism”. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/monism/.

Silberstein, Michael. 2017. “Panentheism, Neutral Monism, and Advaita Vedanta”. Zygon 52, no. 4: 1123–45. doi:10.1111/zygo.12367.

Spinoza, Baruch. 2002. Complete Works, with Translations by Samuel Shirley. Cambridge: Hackett publishing Company.

Tirosh-Samuelson, Hava. 2011. “Engaging Transhumanism”. In Transhumanism and its Critics, edited by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie, 19–54. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

van Inwagen, Peter. 2002. Metaphysics. Cambridge, Mass.: Westview Press.

Vidal, Clément. 2012. “Metaphilosophical Criteria for Worldview Comparison” 43, no. 3: 306–47.

Walker, Mark. 2011. “Ship of Fools: Why Transhumanism is the Best Bet to Prevent the Extinction of Civilization”. In Transhumanism and its Critics, edited by Gregory R. Hansell and William Grassie, 94–111. Philadelphia, PA: Metanexus-Institute.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.