Paneverythingism

“The second 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. So it makes no basic philosophic difference which of them you begin with…As soon has you accept the impersonal beginning of all things, you are faced with some form of reductionism. Reductionism argues that everything there is now, from the stars to man himself, is finally to be understood by reducing it to the original, impersonal factor or factors.

The great problem with beginning with the impersonal is to find any meaning for the particulars. A particular is any individual factor, any individual thing – the separate parts of the whole. A drop of water is a particular, and so is a man. If we begin with the impersonal, then how do any of the particulars that now exist – including man – have any meaning, any significance? Nobody has given us  an answer to that.

…Beginning with the impersonal, everything, including man, must be explained in terms of the impersonal plus time plus chance. Do not let anyone divert your 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 man. No one has given us a clue to this.

…But whatever form paneverythingism takes, including the modern scientific form which reduces everything to energy particles, it always has the same problem: in all of them, the end is the impersonal.

There are two problems which always exist – the need for unity and the need for diversity. Paneverythingism gives an answer for the need of unity, but it gives none for the needed diversity. Beginning with the impersonal, there is no meaning or significance to diversity.

…And even if paneverythingism gave an answer for form, it gives no meaning for freedom…Morals, under every form of pantheism, have no meaning as morals, for everything in paneverythingism is finally equal.”

(Schaeffer, He is There and He is Not Silent, 9-10)

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