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Process Deism

Process Deism is a combination of Process Theism and Deism.   

Process theism typically refers to a family of theological ideas originating in, inspired by, or in agreement with the metaphysical orientation of the English philosopher-mathematician Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) and the American philosopher-ornithologist Charles Hartshorne (1897-2000). For both Whitehead and Hartshorne, it is an essential attribute of God to be fully involved in and affected by temporal processes. This idea contrasts neatly with traditional forms of theism that hold God to be in all respects non-temporal (eternal), unchanging (immutable,) and unaffected by the world (impassible). Process theism does not deny that God is in some respects eternal, immutable, and impassible, but it contradicts the classical view by insisting that God is in some respects temporal, mutable, and passible. The views of Whitehead and Hartshorne should also be distinguished from those that affirm that the divine being, by an act of self-limitation, opens itself to influence from the world. Some neo-Thomists hold this view and a group of Evangelical Christian philosophers, calling themselves “open theists,” promote similar ideas. These forms of theism were influenced by process theism, but they deny its claim that God is essentially in a give-and-take relationship with the world. Moreover, process theism is a genuinely philosophical theology in the sense that it is not grounded in claims of special insight or revealed truth but in philosophical reflection. Specifically, process theism is a product of theorizing that takes the categories of becoming, change, and time as foundational for metaphysics. The metaphysical underpinning of process theism is often called process philosophy, a label suggested by the title of Whitehead's magnum opus, Process and Reality. In order to bring out this philosophy's emphasis on relatedness, many scholars follow Bernard Loomer in calling it process-relational philosophy. Whitehead's preferred expression for his metaphysical viewpoint is “the philosophy of organism.”

Here are some of the key characteristics of the beliefs regarding Process Deism.

1. "God" is the source of all being
2. all existence is understood as a process
3. emphasis is on "becoming" not "being"
4. "God" is alive and changing
5. "God" acts as a divine persuasive force
6. "God" is interactive
7. the whole cosmos is the "body" of "God"
8. "God" is continually co-creating new possibilities
9. "God" is omnipresent
10. "God" is not omnipotent
11. "God" is not omniscient
12. "God's" power is cooperative
13. we can co-create a more just, loving, enjoyable world
14. the universe is a continual process of evolution
15. evolution moves towards increased complexity
16. the world is filled with creativity, emergence, and novelty
17. the world is an interconnected changing web
18. this life is meant to be enjoyed
19. life is hope filled
20. life is positive and optimistic



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