Reductionistic Impersonalism

(One) possible answer in the area of existence is that all that now is had an impersonal beginning. This impersonality may be mass, energy, or motion, but they are all impersonal, and all equally impersonal…As soon as you accept the impersonal beginning of all things, you are faced with some form of reductionism. Reductionism argues that every thing which exists, from the stars to man himself, is finally to be understood by reducing it to the original, impersonal factor or factors…(But) beginning with the impersonal, everything, including man, must be explained in terms of the impersonal plus time plus chance. Do not let anyone divert you mind at this point. There are no other factors in the formula, because there are no other factors that exist. If we begin with an impersonal, we cannot then have some form of teleological concept. No one has ever demonstrated how time plus chance, beginning with an impersonal, can produce the needed complexity of the universe, let alone the personality of a man. No one has given us a clue to this…Often this answer – of beginning with the impersonal – is called pantheism…but this is a semantic trick, because by using the root theism a connotation of the personal is brought in, when by definition the impersonal is meant….If we begin with less than personality, we must finally reduce personality to the impersonal. The modern scientific world does this in its reductionism, in which the world personality is only the impersonal plus complexity.

Shaeffer – He Is There and He Is Not Silent, p. 9, 12 (p.282 283, 286 in Volume 1 of 5 volume set)

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