Author Topic: Pantheism  (Read 4314 times)

Offline frosty (OP)

Pantheism
« on: December 27, 2013, 03:06:20 AM »
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pantheism

Definition of PANTHEISM
1
:  a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe
2
:  the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults, or peoples indifferently; also :  toleration of worship of all gods (as at certain periods of the Roman empire)

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pantheism
noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Doctrine that the universe is God and, conversely, that there is no god apart from the substance, forces, and laws manifested in the universe. Pantheism characterizes many Buddhist and Hindu doctrines and can be seen in such Hindu works as the Vedas and the Bhagavadgita. Numerous Greek philosophers contributed to the foundations of Western pantheism. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the tradition was continued in Neoplatonism and Judeo-Christian mysticism. In the 17th century Benedict de Spinoza formulated the most thoroughly pantheistic philosophical system, arguing that God and Nature are merely two names for one reality.

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I've often heard by Theists that since Atheists do not believe in an immaterial world, than they must by default worship the natural, or material world, that they are pure naturalists that worship nature and only the things they can see. Now, considering Atheism is the lack of a belief in any deity(ies), I do find the worship criticism quite incorrect.

Based on the definitions provided above, I see Pantheism as something that can bridge the gap between secular and religious people. But religionists misuse the term as an attack, stating that Atheists do indeed worship something; that being themselves, and nature, and material objects.

Would any users on this forum identify themselves as Pantheists? And how do the Atheists of this forum respond back to the charges religionists make, as described above?

Offline Plu

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 03:25:38 AM »
1) is meaningless wordsalad and 2) is superstitious nonsense, so no I don't identify with either of these.

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 03:30:18 AM »
Quote from: "frosty"
And how do the Atheists of this forum respond back to the charges religionists make, as described above?
If I'm feeling patient, I respond by questioning the base assumption that one must worship anything at all.

If impatient, I simply retort that the question is like asking if teetotalers get drunk from water.  (The question is incorrect in that it assumes that teetotalers get drunk)

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 03:49:33 AM »
Quote from: "frosty"
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pantheism
noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Doctrine that the universe is God and, conversely, that there is no god apart from the substance, forces, and laws manifested in the universe. Pantheism characterizes many Buddhist and Hindu doctrines and can be seen in such Hindu works as the Vedas and the Bhagavadgita. Numerous Greek philosophers contributed to the foundations of Western pantheism. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the tradition was continued in Neoplatonism and Judeo-Christian mysticism. In the 17th century Benedict de Spinoza formulated the most thoroughly pantheistic philosophical system, arguing that God and Nature are merely two names for one reality.
About pantheism, it's an interesting gewgaw - a sort of have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too between otherwise diametrically opposing supernaturalism and naturalism.  Or at least, that's how it appears.  (I've found that at the end of the day, the cake is always either eaten or not eaten, not both)

One especially interesting thing about it - perhaps the only interesting thing - is how very little it actually diverges from atheism.  Call the universe whatever you like, a peach is still sweet, water is still wet, and supernatural beings are thoroughly absent.  And this idea was popularized at an age when avowed atheism was still harshly punished in the West.  Very curious...

Offline SGOS

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 06:47:56 AM »
Quote from: "frosty"
I've often heard by Theists that since Atheists do not believe in an immaterial world, than they must by default worship the natural, or material world
Non sequitur is the juice that keeps the vicious circle of religion alive.  This is just another example of theists' disorganized thought processes.

As for pantheism, I don't see the point.  Worship the universe, a tree, or a supernatural being.  All three are unnecessary.  Reality will continue with or without that human pastime.

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 08:41:13 AM »
It's classic projection.   Some religionists can't imagine a person's not having religion or objects of worship, and so they project what they feel are necessary onto others.  Often they have to torture logic to do so, calling atheism a religion and nature the object of worship.  Sometimes they claim that atheists worship humans as gods, a classic misunderstanding and slander of the term humanist.
Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room! -- President Merkin Muffley

My mom was a religious fundamentalist. Plus, she didn't have a mouth. It's an unusual combination. -- Bender Bending Rodriguez

Offline aitm

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 09:07:22 AM »
I read somewhere where a guy said that the earth is either 1/18th or 118/th the size of an atom comparatively to the universe if the universe were the size of he earth. If a person can truly grasp the significance of that, the whole idea that a god would care about who fucks who or where women should be when they have their period is absurd.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Pantheism
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 10:52:00 AM »
Quote from: "aitm"
I read somewhere where a guy said that the earth is either 1/18th or 118/th the size of an atom comparatively to the universe if the universe were the size of he earth. If a person can truly grasp the significance of that, the whole idea that a god would care about who fucks who or where women should be when they have their period is absurd.

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 04:55:58 PM »
Quote from: "Plu"
1) is meaningless wordsalad and 2) is superstitious nonsense, so no I don't identify with either of these.
You see we can agree. I too think this is just a semantic trick of sorts and nothing more.
God isn't nature and nature isn't god. Nature is nature and god is nothing but a weak explaination used as a tool to enslave weak minds!

Offline GrinningYMIR

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 05:05:39 PM »
Quote from: "Hijiri Byakuren"
Quote from: "aitm"
I read somewhere where a guy said that the earth is either 1/18th or 118/th the size of an atom comparatively to the universe if the universe were the size of he earth. If a person can truly grasp the significance of that, the whole idea that a god would care about who fucks who or where women should be when they have their period is absurd.
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That's hilarious
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Re: Pantheism
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2014, 06:27:09 AM »
You may as well just call the universe the universe if that's all there is though personally I would suggest the universe requires a context that isn't the universe and wasn't itself created. I know just the thing for the job.

Offline SGOS

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2014, 06:43:24 AM »
Quote from: "frosty"
I've often heard by Theists that since Atheists do not believe in an immaterial world, than they must by default worship the natural, or material world, that they are pure naturalists that worship nature and only the things they can see. Now, considering Atheism is the lack of a belief in any deity(ies), I do find the worship criticism quite incorrect.

Of course it's incorrect.  Theists can't live their lives without worshiping something.  Just because not worshiping something is foreign to their experience, does not mean they have any idea of what they are talking about.

Quote from: "frosty"
Based on the definitions provided above, I see Pantheism as something that can bridge the gap between secular and religious people. But religionists misuse the term as an attack, stating that Atheists do indeed worship something; that being themselves, and nature, and material objects.

Would any users on this forum identify themselves as Pantheists? And how do the Atheists of this forum respond back to the charges religionists make, as described above?  
Some might, but while many pantheists might be a sort of distant kin, I wouldn't call them atheists.  They believe in a god.  Atheists don't.  And the Christian herring about worshiping nature is just noise they invent to fill the gaps in their understanding.  And no, I don't think Pantheism bridges a gap.  It's just not as nutty as most religions.  But there are also varying degrees of woo in Pantheism that can run on a scale from none at all to actually endowing the universe with magical qualities.

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2014, 06:46:21 AM »
The universe would have immense magical qualities if it brought itself into existence via nothing for no reason.

Offline SGOS

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 06:55:48 AM »
Quote from: "Passion of Christ"
The universe would have immense magical qualities if it brought itself into existence via nothing for no reason.
Perhaps, but we don't know what brought it into existence, so claiming that it was magic is the argument from ignorance fallacy.

Re: Pantheism
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 07:09:57 AM »
Quote from: "SGOS"
Quote from: "Passion of Christ"
The universe would have immense magical qualities if it brought itself into existence via nothing for no reason.
Perhaps, but we don't know what brought it into existence, so claiming that it was magic is the argument from ignorance fallacy.

It will have to be non-created, eternal, beyond space and time so kind of like God. All you have to do is allow it to be a purposeful force which given the complex and finely balanced nature of the universe would seem somewhat likely. You can go the hog and say that the creator of the universe loves his creatures as his children and has a relationship with them which seems likely given the universal human spiritual experience. So you have a chain of good hard logical deduction there that results in the end conclusion based on the solid foundation of evidence. This dispels all the magic from the equation leaving you with pure reason and faith.