…is rejected by most of the people who think rationally. The only way by which Deism thrives or protects itself is by saying that the statement about God that we are making is a dogma. It is not to be questioned. And very often this dogma is coupled with another idea that while humanity in general can never know God, can never have access to God, sometimes God stands on this a earth a Prophet who alone can know, others cannot know; or a messiah is born on this earth, son of God and it is He who can give the knowledge of that God. You can have piety, sense of holiness, some purity, some kind of feeling, of presence of the Divine but more than that, what you have do is simply to follow God’s will, what He has asked you to do and if you give your allegiance to that god, you are saved, if you don’t, you are punished.
Now, these ideas collide with rational thought so much that most of the rationalists reject this idea of God. Along with that even some of the true elements of Deism, even what is true behind Deism is also rejected. How can there be a God who is merciful, why does He create a system in which individuals are thrown into hellfire? What is justice in it? What is goodness in it? If God is God, is omnipotent, why does He create this kind of world, (if He has created the world)? Why does He employ the method of punishment? Even modern civilised man does not now favour the method of punishment. So it may seem that God is even inferior to a civilised man because He uses the method of punishment and a very heavy punishment. If He wants to improve the individuals, why does He not find some better method of improving the children, if He is omnipotent? Why this kind of method in which hellfire is to be experienced? These and other questions arise in the minds of those who think rationally and who question the dogmas.
There is therefore an opposite view, which many rationalists seem to admit more easily, which say that God is not above the world, God is not transcendent of the world, God is nothing but the totality of the world, the sum total of all what is in the world is God; God and all-ness is the same thing; God is all, all is God: this is the view of Pantheism as opposed to Deism. Pantheism: pan means all; theism means God. All is God.
Question: If all is God, why this good and evil in the world?
But that is the question which is raised against Deism.
Pantheism now answers that all that is there is the world is God. The only problem with Pantheism is that evidently in the world, everything is not beautiful; everything is not good. How can you therefore say that ugliness is also God? If all is God, ugliness is part of the world, how can ugliness be God? How can cruelty be God? (Because cruelty also exists in the world) Therefore it is felt that we have to find an answer to this question. If all is God then pantheist’s answer saying is what is ugly looks ugly only from a certain point of view, but if you look at the whole totality, that ugliness seem to be a part of beauty. It is like seeing the whole picture and seeing a part of the picture: a part of the picture may look to be ugly, but when you look the whole, then it looks fully beautiful. Similarly a part of the action may seem to be wrong, to be unkind, to be cruel, but when you see the totality of the whole then you see that that action which seemed cruel was actually kind: this argument which is put forward by pantheists. But this does not satisfy because if this is true, then all that happens in the world is allowed to be happening. You don’t need to do anything at all: all is God, everything is good in this world, whatever you are doing is good, what ever you can do is good, therefore the entire endeavour of man to reject evil and to establish good does not find a justification in this scheme of things. So this pantheistic idea which is called ‘idea of God as immanent’ is also rejected.