is in trouble
!! Well, not actual
trouble, but Wikipedia
trouble; for the past month or so, its wikiality
has been under siege
, under fire
, out of the frying pan
and onto the the funeral pyre
. Accusations have been leveled by anonymous
critics (or, quite possibly, a single such anonymous critic pretending to be several -- anonymity allowing for that) who've managed to fool some of the people some of the time by tossing about fancy charges of "original research
" and "synthesis
" and "lack of notability
Now, Wiki's Pandeism page has several dozen sources and references (or at least it had
them, about half having been tossed out in the current assault). So those who have suddenly risen up to carp for the deletion of this page have sought to pick at those references one by one, via various thrusts and prods, and in some instances downright subterfuges.
Firstly, as to the ancient sources at least briefly mentioning "Pandeism" as far back as 1787, the disputers frame those as simply errors on the part of the authors. Those writers, it is claimed, must not have known what Deism
was, and instead intended to invoke Pantheism
, or something else altogether. This is even claimed of the ones who in their writing pointedly contrasted Pantheism against Pandeism. And where such a usage is undeniable, fleetness of mention is begged to be treated the same as no mention at all. And, many of these earlier sources being in German
(and a few in Italian
), the detractors quizzically seek an additional bulwark, to wall them off for their foreignness, classing them as additionally irrelevant to an English-language article. (This seems rather odd for any encyclopedia
, but odder still for one which seeks to branch out into all languages, and which prides itself in coverage of topics often not otherwise found in English reference works.)
As to sources originating in the Twentieth Century
the attack is that the authors are not notable enough; or if the authors are indisputably notable, that even the seasoned theologians among them must again have simply mistakenly written of Pandeism while meaning to use some other word. And as to the most
recent authors, those who have most modernly and unequivocally described Pandeism as the combination of Pantheism and Deism, a new attack unfolds: that these uses are irrelevant simply because they postdate the Wikipedia page's debut!! And so even though none
of these later authors claim to have used Wikipedia as their source, we are told that we ought to put on blinders as to all the older sources attacked on other grounds, and simply assume that these newer authors could not have heard of or conceived of Pandeism anywhere else. And so we are told, we ought to eliminate this Wiki page for the very reason that those recent authors were somehow led astray by its very existence!!
These critics have eradicated every reference to the extraordinary "Pandeist Theorem, encapsulated in the article, A Theorem Concerning God
by Duke University Physics Professor Robert G. Brown, on the grounds that Brown's method of publication -- freely sharing his views and calculations on his university's website, instead of through some stodgy publication
. And so the charade
is built upon itself. If some excuse can be clawed out for each reference to be ignored and discarded when taken utterly in isolation, then suddenly the page can be mocked as "unreferenced." And, having discounted most of the sources, both ancient and new, actually using "Pandeism" to identify this theological model, the detractors then seek to excise from the article every other mention of a pandeistic model or predecessor where the discussion of same uses something other than the exact word "Pandeism" to describe a pandeistic model. Here is an actual example of how extreme the application of this trend has become. There was in the "criticisms" portion of the piece, an excerpt -- a few paragraphs from an 1890s book by one William Walker Atkinson -- which began (with my own bolding added to the key words):
It will be seen that this fact of the Immutability of REALITY, when clearly conceived, must serve to confute and refute the erroneous theories of certain schools of Pantheism which hold that "God becomes the Universe by changing into the Universe." Thus it is sought to identify Nature with God, whereby, as Schopenhauer said, "you show God to the door." If God changes Himself into The Phenomenal Universe, then God is non-existent and we need not concern ourselves any more about Him, for he has committed suicide by Change.
This is no hypothetical case. This has actually been removed
from Wikipedia's Pandeism page!! Walker did not use the word "Pandeism" (despite his description being the very definition of Pandeism), and so it was adjudged with a shrug that it was "original research" to suppose the above passage to have anything to do with Pandeism. A slew of other references similarly describing pandeistic models without using some variant of the word "Pandeism" have been removed under this same rationale, including the Polynesian myth of Taaroa
; Bernard Haisch's The God Theory
; Scott Adams
' God's Debris
; and Warren Sharpe's Philosophy for the Serious Heretic
. Alan Dawe's award-winning The God Franchise
remains, as it indisputably does use the word "Pandeism" in discussing his philosophical notions, but the critics have made various arguments for its disposition -- including one whose rationale amounts to simply, "I've never heard of this guy."
Of late, some absolutely inspired editors, in their zeal, have even brazenly removed quotes and references which clearly include the actual word "Pandeism" -- at least one time with the false explanation that the reference in question doesn't contain the word. And when called out upon, they have simply declared the deletion to have been mistaken, an oversight on their part -- but in the same breath implied their intention to try this ploy again later. Against such a sustained campaign, it is conceivable that the page will fall. And so, it is clear that there are those who have so set their minds on this issue that no proof will penetrate. But the future of Pandeism is not contingent on the quality of Wikipedia's representation of it. To the contrary, if the logic of Pandeism gains broad footing in the wider world, then must even the most recalcitrant Wiki warrior yield as to its validity. History records that things fall, and then rise again, as the theological model now under assault has done at several points throughout history, and against much more brutal opponents than the current crop.
But in the light of this ongoing effort, I hope this much more broadly directed community will indulge my adding to E2's corpus just a few nodes memorializing materials which Wiki critics now press, by hook or by crook, to discard from their own.
Node auditing proceeds at a moderate pace:
BONGGGG!!!! hamster bong
is done!! All hamstered up!!
is on page 4 of 27
is on page 4 of 31
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is on page 4 of 29
In the queueueu: avalyn