Did you drink your coffee this morning, or did your coffee drink you? Philosophers are attempting to permeate Panpsychism into the mainstream light, the idea that everything has thought, and is aware.
Is mere matter conscious? Or is there a specialty to the ‘human condition?’ These are the questions ‘philosophers’ are attempting to answer, however, their quest for understanding consciousness coincides with ancient religions that challenge Monotheism.
Recently, in mainstream light, Panpsychism is gaining attention. Panpsychism is the doctrine or belief that everything material, however small, has an element of individual consciousness. Such a belief is mirrored in the New Age Movement, but the same belief is also apart of ancient religions, in fact, a similar belief is mentioned in Taoism and Hinduism. This particular aspect of philosophy can be traced back to early Greece.
Clear indications of panpsychist doctrines are evident in early Greek thought. One of the first Presocratic philosophers of ancient Greece, Thales (c. 624–545 BCE) deployed an analogical argument for the attribution of mind that tends towards panpsychism. The argument depends upon the idea that enminded beings are self-movers. Thales notes that magnets and, under certain circumstances, amber, can move themselves and concludes that they therefore possess minds. It is claimed that Thales went much beyond such particular attributions and endorsed a true panpsychism and pantheism. For example, as reported by Barnes (1982: 96–7), Diogenes claimed that Thales believed that “the universe is alive and full of spirits”, but this remark is derived from an earlier claim of Aristotle: “some say a soul is mingled in the whole universe—which is perhaps why Thales thought that everything is full of gods”. While Barnes disputes the pantheistic reading of Thales, he allows that Thales believed in the “ubiquity of animation”. — Stanford (see works cited)
There are several aspects to this belief structure;
- Everything has a mind
- Animism – all things have human-like or greater levels of consciousness, intellect and mind. – things have spirits, or are idols.
- Hylozoism – spirit – all things are alive.
- Pantheism- everything is god. some versions – everything is god’s mind.
- Panentheism- God is present in everything therefore everything has some part which is conscious, namely god.
- Pancognitivism- thought is fundamental and everything thinks.
- Panexperientialism- consciousness is fundamental and everything is conscious, or has conscious experience.
- Panprotopsychism- everything is fundamentally protoconscious (has elements which, if combined, give rise to consciousness.)
- Constitutive Panpsychism- Human or animal consciousness is not basic, but is grounded in facts about a more fundamental and pervasive type of consciousness present in everything.
What sounds like utter nonsense is actually being credited by leading philosophers, neuroscientists, and physicists, including figures such as neuroscientist Christof Koch and physicist Roger Penrose.
“Why should we think common sense is a good guide to what the universe is like?” says Philip Goff, a philosophy professor at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. “Einstein tells us weird things about the nature of time that counters common sense; quantum mechanics runs counter to common sense. Our intuitive reaction isn’t necessarily a good guide to the nature of reality.”
– Quartz (see works cited)
According to Philip Goff, one’s rejection of this aspect of New Age doctrine is usually based on the thought that it is ‘crazy’ and ‘just obviously wrong.’ But, what does the Bible say about universal consciousness or Panpsychism?
Panpsychism leads to the belief in universalism, purporting that because God made everything, nothing is special or unique. However, the Bible clearly states that Humans are above the animals and plants, otherwise, why didn’t Christ die for your cat’s sins? Scripture clearly states Mankind’s position in this world.
26 Furthermore God said, Let us make man in our image according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the beasts, and over all the earth, and over everything that creepeth and moveth on the earth.
God made man in His image and in His likeness, meaning that He did not derive the cats and dogs, the birds and fish, the bugs and beasts off of His likeness. God made man and detailed the ability for man to understand the difference between right and wrong by His Word, by conviction of conscious and of the Holy Spirit.
Connecting the dots
Individualistic Christianity, the belief in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, stands at odds with the idea that everything is somehow connected and conscious of that connection. Instead, what is being detailed in Panpsychism is similar to that of Christian Universalism, or even further a ‘Christ conscious.’
Christ consciousness is the belief, that one can achieve the awareness or level of Jesus Christ through works, but the Bible clearly states that salvation is obtained through Jesus Christ alone, through faith alone. However, many churches across this land are in fact preaching similar ideologies, forsaking scripture, and likening themselves to a ‘Christ-like consciousness.’
The following video is what is being preached by the New Age Gurus, who claim that anyone can achieve ‘Christ-Like Consciousness.’
Taking Christian Universalism to a whole new level, philosophers who hold stake in Panpsychism, purport the ideology that humans are likened unto animals, as is evident in evolutionary theory. In addition, aligned with that is the belief that each and everything is one with another, somehow, someway we are all conscious of such a connection, but we must achieve this ‘level.’
The God of the Bible is clear, salvation is obtained through Jesus Christ alone, through faith alone. The rise in New Age doctrine is not just being pushed outside of the pulpit, but instead, several churches are turning their congregations into self-seeking, self-desiring peoples. Which in turn is furthering the agenda of ‘universalism.’
Panpsychism is going mainstream, according to philosophers, researchers, and neuroscientists, or rather is ‘mainstream’ going Eastern?
What say you reader?
Olivia Goldhill. “The idea that everything from spoons to stones are conscious is gaining academic credibility.” Quartz. . (2018): . .
Goff, Philip, Seager, William and Allen-Hermanson, Sean. “Panpsychism.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. . (2017 Edition): . .
Philip Goff. “Panpsychism is crazy, but it’s also most probably true.” Aeon. . (2017): . .