-cum-pundit Scott Adams
, in his groundbreaking (and theism
-breaking) pandeistic theological experiment, God's Debris
, effectively presses the possibility that our Universe
is the consequence of a Creator
choosing to experience existence by essentially blowing itself up, to become all things. All things, specifically, being the most inconceivably minute particles of energy, which he called God Dust, and probabilistic laws of physics which govern their behavior from one nanosecond to the next. Tucked into this determination is the premise that our bent towards human communicative activity arises from our subconscious effort to restore our original state of being, to return to oneness. A specific manifestation of this, Adams explains through his fictional dialectic between a master and student, is the Internet
“As we speak, engineers are building the Internet to link every part of the world in much the same way as a fetus develops a central nervous system. Virtually no one questions the desirability of the Internet. It seems that humans are born with the instinct to create it and embrace it. The instinct of beavers is to build dams; the instinct of humans is to build communication systems.
Rationality can’t explain our obsession with the Internet. The need to build the Internet comes from something inside us, something programmed, something we can’t resist.
In your lifetime it will be possible to see almost anything on the planet from any computer. And society’s intelligence is merging over the Internet, creating, in effect, a global mind that can do vastly more than any individual mind. Eventually everything that is known by one person will be available to all. A decision can be made by the collective mind of humanity and instantly communicated to the body of society.
In the distant future, humans will learn to control the weather, to manipulate DNA, and to build whole new worlds out of raw matter. There is no logical limit to how much our collective power will grow. A billion years from now, if a visitor from another dimension observed humanity, he might perceive it to be one large entity with a consciousness and purpose, and not a collection of relatively uninteresting individuals.”
“Are you saying we’re evolving into God?”
“I’m saying we’re the building blocks of God, in the early stages of reassembling.”
Now think about the place of the Internet in religious literature. Or, really, the utter absence of it.
Paging through the Vedas
, the Bible
, the Quran
, the Book of Mormon
, there is no hint of the electronic age to come, neither as a thing predicted to happen nor a thing which ought
to happen. Just as Bertrand Russell
famously stated, "So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels
in praise of intelligence," so might the same be claimed for the scientific and technological advance which comes as a consequence of the exercise of intelligence. Though there is some hint of evolutionary biology by analogy in Hindu scripture
, this does not in any express sense extend to the anticipation of technological evolution.
Naturally, some have questioned why the old holy books didn't contain such common-sense admonitions such as "wash your hands with soap" or "boil water to kill germs" or "vaccinate your children," or perhaps instructions to make penicillin
or some simple anesthesia
, or for the assembly of a rudimentary solar cell
. But beyond the absence of such advice, all of historical scripture
seem incapable of imagining that progress along these lines was even possible. "The Bible," Sam Harris
wrote, "was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology." Of late, some Christian apologists have debated whether microchips are mentioned in Revelations
13:16-17, wherein the Beast "causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads," but bodily marks having existed since time immemorial, this is at best a strained proposition (and one rejected by more debaters than those who endorse it). The ancient scriptures of other faiths fare no better by comparison (curiously, not even the much-later-written Book of Mormon).
.... well, Pandeism has no scripture. But it's mantra is theology consistent with science
, and especially evolution
. And not simply biological evolution, but the scientific force propelled by humankind's own stunning capacity to accelerate its own capacities through technology. Consequently, long before Adams wrote his theological opus, Pandeism has been a plaything of certain high-concept science fiction
writers -- most famously, naturally, was Robert A. Heinlein
, who explored pandeistic ideas on several occasions, putting in the mouth of his favorite character, Lazarus Long, the quote: "God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good—and is no sillier than any other theology." Heinlein and others (Arthur C. Clarke
, Isaac Asimov
, Gene Roddenberry
) were apt to combine ideas of the pantheistic and deistic with advancing technology -- robotics
, genetic engineering
, interstellar travel
, and, yes, Internet-like communications structures. And so, when adherents to the religions which didn't see the Internet coming venture out upon it to ply their faiths, the Pandeists can warmly welcome them into technology which is Pandeism's domain
Moeyz suggests "You might want to do a quick Google search on "intelligence" in the Bible" -- though I propose that that would seem to be a beef better taken up with Bertrand Russell.