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Old 05-03-2012, 02:38 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Pantheism, strictly speaking, is the belief that the universe is "God." On the surface, this doesn't sound like anything close to atheism because the word God is there. However, it really means "a religious attitude, respect and reverence towards the universe and nature." Pantheists don't believe in a personal or supernatural God like that of the Abrahamic religions or in the existence of an afterlife. They value science, reason and logic.

As an atheist, I do feel that nature is infinitely transcendent, awe-inspiring and mysterious. So, I can definitely relate to these aspects of pantheism.

So, can a person be a pantheist atheist?

http://www.pantheism.net/paul/faqs.htm#central-belief
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Pantheism, strictly speaking, is the belief that the universe is "God." On the surface, this doesn't sound like anything close to atheism because the word God is there. However, it really means "a religious attitude, respect and reverence towards the universe and nature." Pantheists don't believe in a personal or supernatural God like that of the Abrahamic religions or in the existence of an afterlife. They value science, reason and logic.

As an atheist, I do feel that nature is infinitely transcendent, awe-inspiring and mysterious. So, I can definitely relate to these aspects of pantheism.

So, can a person be a pantheist atheist?

Pantheism: FAQs on pantheism, panentheism, paganism etc.
I'd say, no. Technically, one has gone too far in belief in something that has the qualities that merit the term 'God'. That is what I call a forward -planning mind as distinct from a physical process which makes thing happen. The intent to bring about a result is the line over which It All ceases to be materialist nature and becomes God or, at least, 'god'. To subscribe to that or anything further along the Cosmic Mind line and one has ceased to be really atheist, though they could still be utterly irreligious.

It certainly isn't a line where I suddenly change from a kindly tone and bark 'Permission to treat this witness as hostile!!! ?'

I have a lot of time for pantheists and, as I hinted, I can even see a time - loop process which might give the forward -planning effect without actually having an intent to do it. So anything could be possible and even feasible. I just remain atheist because I don't know it to be so or even probable, and not knowing means not believing -yet.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Well, Dawkins called it "sexed-up atheism," so I suppose so. That FAQ you linked seemed to indicate that they are atheists with a great respect and reverence for nature, the ecology and the Universe. I suppose I am failing to see the distinction between them and an ordinary atheist (IOW sans the pantheist moniker) who has a great respect for nature, the ecology and the Universe. Are they suggesting that ordinary atheists are incapable of doing so?

The panentheism explanation I get. That's what the vast majority of North American Indians practice(d), though the actual implementation of it varies from Nation to Nation. Some had some animism or totemism through into the mix.

Last edited by Fullback32; 05-03-2012 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:54 AM
 
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By the definition you give I am sure any atheist can be pantheist and your definition likely even described myself.

I am involved in not one, but two threads on here at the moment though wondering why one feels the need to use terms like "god" for it though. There must be some motivation for doing so but it is entirely opaque to me. Perhaps it is just to sell the idea of pantheism off the back of the marketing success of the word "god".

However "god" has had a clear meaning for a lot of people for a long time. There is a wealth of history, etymology and metaphysical baggage that comes along with the word. As such those that use it are opening up a chasm of tautology at their own feet for themselves to cross in what I can only see as a bout of intellectual masochism. It seems to me, simply by use of the word "god" that one is then going to have to spend the vast majority of ones time explaining what they do NOT mean rather than talk about what they actually DO mean.

I am certainly someone people would call atheist, though for reasons of my own I rarely use that term to describe myself. If you want to espouse a position where the universe is great, we celebrate it and revel in our awe of it... and more importantly our shared place within it..... then nothing about that position is in any way in conflict with anything I am or think.

I rather fear however that many people who consider themselves Pantheist are a little more than that definition though. And I also rather fear that there are those around here that simply would use the selling of such Pantheism as simple a foot in the door to wedge in their own brand of Theism. There are quite a few people on these fora, one of them quite prolific in his meanderings, who start off with this vague "the universe is god" notion but then very insidiously slip in notions like souls, afterlives and oh yes Jesus was the incarnation of that god. So your idea of pantheism is rather ruined by those who treat it as a way to sell the "Theism Lite" product around here in much the same way as a drug dealer gives the first few hits free before trying to sell you something harder and more expensive and more beneficial to their own bottom line profits.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:06 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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According to The Incredible's Dash:"If everyone is special, nobody is special."
Following that logic if everything is god, nobody would be god.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Queensland, Australia
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Yes, and a few other 'isms as well.
All is in THE ALL, and THE ALL is in All.

By the way, How does "FASAGAISM" sound.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: West Egg
2,161 posts, read 1,663,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Pantheism, strictly speaking, is the belief that the universe is "God." On the surface, this doesn't sound like anything close to atheism because the word God is there. However, it really means "a religious attitude, respect and reverence towards the universe and nature." Pantheists don't believe in a personal or supernatural God like that of the Abrahamic religions or in the existence of an afterlife. They value science, reason and logic.

As an atheist, I do feel that nature is infinitely transcendent, awe-inspiring and mysterious. So, I can definitely relate to these aspects of pantheism.

So, can a person be a pantheist atheist?

Pantheism: FAQs on pantheism, panentheism, paganism etc.
I find Sequoias positively amazing. In their presence, I am in awe.

On the other hand, a blade of grass really doesn't do much for me.

I chalk this up to the subjectivity of human emotions, not the idea that natural processes are a deity.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Green Onions View Post
I find Sequoias positively amazing. In their presence, I am in awe.

On the other hand, a blade of grass really doesn't do much for me.

I chalk this up to the subjectivity of human emotions, not the idea that natural processes are a deity.
That's a useful point. While a blade of grass, up close and analysed microscopically down to DNA level is as astounding as anything else, a Sequoia is amazing because of the sheer size.

The point is that sheer size can instil a feeling of awe, reverence and can bolster this argument that it has to be more than just unthinking matter and physical processes. As you say, it is rather harder to argue that about a blade of grass, and it is the sheer size that makes the 'complexity' argument look feasible.

However, that is an aside from the Pantheism argument. While the feelings of awe and reverence for nature (Pantheism in one definition) is compatible with atheism, seeing them as evidence of the workings and plannings of a forward - planning cosmic Mind (Aka Pantheist - god) is not, though I must reiterate that a Pantheist, like a Deist, is someone I could live with.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Gettysburg, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Pantheism, strictly speaking, is the belief that the universe is "God." On the surface, this doesn't sound like anything close to atheism because the word God is there. However, it really means "a religious attitude, respect and reverence towards the universe and nature." Pantheists don't believe in a personal or supernatural God like that of the Abrahamic religions or in the existence of an afterlife. They value science, reason and logic.

As an atheist, I do feel that nature is infinitely transcendent, awe-inspiring and mysterious. So, I can definitely relate to these aspects of pantheism.

So, can a person be a pantheist atheist?

I do believe they can be--what you've described above is very much in alignment with my own ideas, and I consider myself by strict definition to be an atheist as I've understood the definition to be a person who denies the existance of a supreme being. Nature is the God (for lack of a better word ) that I believe in. This pantheism may be something which very closely encompasses the beliefs I have developed over time; thanks for bringing it up.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:23 AM
 
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I agree that using the word "god," is not only loaded, it's misleading. I think "god" and all the variations on that word and idea imply something besides "nature." Usually, "god" means something that rules over human life or with whom/what one had a personal connection, i.e., prayer.
We are all the same stuff of the universe on a molecular level. However, I wouldn't want to muddy the waters by calling this "god."
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