What Is Partialism?
The word “partial” means half or less. So it is not just a term used when referring to something that is only part of another thing. A partialist believes that there are certain things which cannot be fully understood without taking into account all the other parts of them. For example, if you take a human being and remove their head, they would still have a brain inside them and therefore remain alive. However, it is possible to understand what happens in the brain of a person with no head at all.
So, if you believe that God created everything out of nothing then you must believe that some things could not be fully understood without taking into consideration the rest of creation. If you do not believe in God then your beliefs will probably change once you start looking at the universe from different angles. You might even come to question whether or not there is such a thing as life after all!
You may think that you already know all there is to know about partialism, but maybe you don’t. That’s why it is so important to read this article!
A partialist is someone who holds the belief that God does not create everything out of nothing, but rather creates some things out of nothing and others out of existing matter. They believe that God uses the laws of nature to determine how these creations work. In other words, God created some things from the beginning, but the rest of the laws of nature determined how they were going to behave.
In this sense, a partialist is similar to a deist in that they both believe in a God who sets the rules of the game and then lets you play by them.
Why Do People Beleive It?
There are a few reasons why someone might come to believe in partialism. While there is some evidence in nature that this theory might be true, the main reasons why people accept it is because of theology and philosophy.
From a theological point of view, most religions believe that God created people for a reason and because of this they attempt to do good in this life so as to go to heaven when they die. Partialism seems to fit well with this idea since it means that God created the laws of nature and then let us interact with them. This allows us a certain amount of free will while also ensuring that we would be punished for breaking the law.
From a philosophical point of view, most people who become partialists did so after they looked at the world around them and tried to make sense of it. Eventually they came to the conclusion that things were just too chaotic to have been created out of nothing by an all-powerful being. Instead, they have come to believe that the orderly nature of the physical world (and the universe as a whole) indicates that it has been around for a lot longer than 6,000 years.
Furthermore, they believe that everything has a purpose and that these purposes range from the extremely complex (such as humans) to the relatively simple (such as rocks). Finally, they believe that the physical world (including humanity) is here to grow and become better than they are now, rather than being created perfect and then forced to stay that way.
What Are The Problems With It?
While partialism does address some of the problems found in fundamentalism and literalism, it still has some issues of its own. In fact, some of these problems can’t be answered by any theory.
First of all, there’s the problem of evil.
If God is all-powerful then why does evil exist? Sure, you can say God gave us free will and this allows us to do evil, but what is the purpose of that if God is omnibenevolent (all-good) and onmipotent (all-powerful)? Shouldn’t he have been able to create humans so that they wouldn’t do evil at all?
Second of all, there’s the problem of human dignity. Partialism essentially states that humanity wasn’t created with any special purpose in mind. Rather we are just another form of life on the way to becoming something better.
Where’s the dignity in that?
We should be able to live up to our full potential without being limited by natural laws.
Finally, there’s the problem of existence itself. Even if we assume that everything came about through natural law and evolutionary processes, that still doesn’t explain where those laws and processes came from in the first place. You can say that God created them, but as I said earlier, that just raises more questions than it answers.
Is There Proof?
There is no real way to prove whether partialism is right or fundamentalism is right. You can look at the evidence for both and decide which one fits the facts better, but in reality, both are just theories about the past and we don’t really know absolute truth. Furthermore, even if fundamentalism was proved to be incorrect, that doesn’t automatically make partialism correct. It just means you have fewer choices than you did before.
Personally, I believe partialism fits the facts better. In my experience, natural law tends to be more powerful than anything else. For example, a skilled magician can do a lot, but if he tries to go up against a gang of orcs with only a few spells in his head he’s going to get his throat split open.
In other words, nature typically wins out.
Furthermore, humanity is the one confused about things like morality and religion.
Is it really likely that some all-powerful being is going to be even more confused?
Finally, I can’t shake the feeling that humanity is just another form of life that’s going to eventually give rise to something else. I don’t know what that something is, but I get the impression that we’re not the final stage of anything.
Is It Really So Strange?
Yes and no. While the idea that humanity is just another form of life and is eventually going to give rise to something else, it’s not entirely out of left field. There are other theories of evolution that pre-date the one that we’re taught in schools nowadays.
One example is the ancient Hindu concept of the “great chain of being”. In short, this theory states that all life is connected on a chain, or more appropriately a great ladder. The bottom of this chain consists of the most inert forms of matter such as rocks and the top consists of pure consciousness, with various lifeforms like angels and humans in between.
Each form of life is dependent on the one below it for existence. According to the theory, plants come first as they provide the foundation upon which all other life is based.
Sources & references used in this article:
Personhood and partialism in African philosophy by M Molefe – African Studies, 2019 – Taylor & Francis
The Gettier-illusion: Gettier-partialism and infallibilism by S Hetherington – Synthese, 2012 – Springer
Commitment and Partialism in the Ethics of Care by J Walsh – Hypatia, 2017 – Wiley Online Library
Partialism, executive control, and the deportation of permanent residents from Australia by A Nethery – Population, Space and Place, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
An unusual paraphilia: Case report of oral partialism by BE McGuire, GL Choon, P Nayer… – Sexual and Marital …, 1998 – Taylor & Francis
Partialism and parenthood by JL Nelson – Journal of Social Philosophy, 1990 – Wiley Online Library
Personhood and partialism in African philosophy by M Motsamai – 2018 – philpapers.org
Content Partialism and Davidson’s Dilemma by C Washington – ProtoSociology, 2002 – pdcnet.org