Worldview Week 8: “The Magic Pans”

I’m blogging through a worldview class I’m teaching for our homeschool coop through the next year in this series of posts. Each week I’ll post a class outline and notes.


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Thoughts From this Week’s Class

  • Pantheism, Panentheism, Deism, and Pandiesm, while completely different systems of thought, are actually quite similar in their application in the real world. Because of this, we’ll deal with them as a group throughout the rest of this course.
  • Pantheism and Panentheism must often bring in various gnostic ideas and sources in order to cover for inconsistencies in their thinking. Because of this, the line between gnosticism and these “pan” worldviews can be somewhat blurred at times.
  • Pantheism has some striking and important self-contradictions that aren’t often dealt with. For instance, if everything is “god,” then we (humans) are god. If we (humans) are god, then we can’t be a “problem” for the harmony of the universe, unless god is somehow unable or unwilling to control himself.
  • Pantheistic ideas influence our culture in major, if sometimes subtle, ways. A short list is provided below.

A few ways in which pantheistic ideas influence our culture:

  • “Love Your Mother,” in relation to the Earth, and the entire idea of “saving the Earth,” rather than being responsible in our care and respect for God’s creation.
  • The idea of the “noble savage,” in relation to “native cultures,” such as the American Indian.
  • The idea of marking off large swathes of land as prohibited to human interaction, are all based on the concept that man is somehow a “virus,” or a “problem.”
  • “The Force,” in Star Wars, and the entire movie “Avatar,” are prime examples of strong pantheistic thought. Star Trek also has many panentheistic overtones, and you can the ideas of these philosophies in many other popular movies.

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