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Pantheism vs. Theism

GeoLaureate8
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12/31/2009 3:46:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There are people on this site who have a misunderstanding of what Pantheism is, and what the difference is between Pantheism and Theism. I intend to set the record straight.

Pantheism: The belief that nature is God. No supernatural deity is involved in this.

Theism: The belief in a personal God, generally described by religious doctrines. This God is a supernatural deity and is separate from nature (is that not what supernatural means?).

Some have had the urge to lump Pantheism with Theism, but this is pure equivocation of the term "God."

Does anyone else here see the difference? Or do you think they are the same?
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
Vi_Veri
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12/31/2009 3:50:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
lol, If there were no supernatural element to pantheism, then it wouldn't be a theism. God is a supernatural entity. By nature being god, pantheists suggest that nature has supernatural abilities.

If they didn't believe this, they'd just be atheists.
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Volkov
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12/31/2009 3:51:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Geo, the point isn't that there is a clear cut difference between pantheism and theism.

The point was that the majority of Christians are not that conclusive in what their idea of God is. You say that this isn't following Scripture, and only those that follow literally are Christians. I dispute this, because not only are you absolutely not in the position to choose another's beliefs for them, but you didn't respond to my request where in the Bible is specifically states that the Bible must be followed, word for word. But I don't dispute the difference between pantheism and theism.
Volkov
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12/31/2009 3:55:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Another thing; pantheism still fits into the idea that divine law and natural law are the same thing. If nature is somewhat of a divine presence, then the difference is semantic.
GeoLaureate8
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12/31/2009 3:57:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/31/2009 3:50:15 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
lol, If there were no supernatural element to pantheism, then it wouldn't be a theism. God is a supernatural entity. By nature being god, pantheists suggest that nature has supernatural abilities.

Pantheists either have a strong reverence for nature as it is, or some Pantheists believe nature is intelligent. There is nothing "supernatural" about intelligence. No Pantheist posits an extra element such as a supernatural being to the Universe.

Panentheists, however, posit that there is a God, and all things that exist are in God. That's different than Pantheism though.

If they didn't believe this, they'd just be atheists.

As Richard Dawkins quite rightly said, "Pantheism is sexed up Atheism." I don't believe in any God in the religious sense of the word. However, any other use of the word God is purely metaphorical, not literal. Kind of like how Einstein used the word God. He was an atheist with regards to personal religious gods, but he used the word God metaphorically or poetically.

For me, this is the bottom line:

"The trouble is that God in this sophisticated, physicist's sense bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible or any other religion." - Richard Dawkins
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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12/31/2009 4:01:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I don't see the point in pantheism though -- as Geo quoted from Dawkins, it's just sexed up atheism, a romanticized view of reality without any significant philosophical "meat" to it.
Vi_Veri
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12/31/2009 4:03:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
So what's the point of calling someone a pantheist then? Why not just say "I really like nature," if you don't believe that nature is a deity that can think intelligently?

LOL @ Dawkins. I've begun to chuckle every time his name is mentioned now a days. Sexed up atheism, yeah ok :) Atheists don't go declaring nature is a part of god - that would imply something supernatural.

A deity is supernatural. Pantheism begs of a universe that intelligently and consciously goes about it's business. That's a god. It's, in short, what you believe.
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
GeoLaureate8
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12/31/2009 4:24:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/31/2009 3:51:40 PM, Volkov wrote:
Geo, the point isn't that there is a clear cut difference between pantheism and theism.

The point was that the majority of Christians are not that conclusive in what their idea of God is.

Christians =/= Christianity. Like I said, there's a "Christian" Bishop who doesn't think the Bible is a legitimate book and finds no good reason to believe Jesus' resurrection. Does he represent Christianity? Probably not. Or that priest from Religulous.

You say that this isn't following Scripture, and only those that follow literally are Christians. I dispute this, because not only are you absolutely not in the position to choose another's beliefs for them, but you didn't respond to my request where in the Bible is specifically states that the Bible must be followed, word for word.

"If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance." - Deuteronomy 28:58,59

There you have it Volkov. The Bible requires that you follow every word of it.

But I don't dispute the difference between pantheism and theism.

You say that the Christian God is the Pantheist God. I dispute that.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
GeoLaureate8
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12/31/2009 4:41:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/31/2009 4:03:36 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
So what's the point of calling someone a pantheist then? Why not just say "I really like nature," if you don't believe that nature is a deity that can think intelligently?

But I do believe nature is intelligent as opposed to blind chemical reactions.

LOL @ Dawkins. I've begun to chuckle every time his name is mentioned now a days. Sexed up atheism, yeah ok :) Atheists don't go declaring nature is a part of god - that would imply something supernatural.

Not if he was referring to Naturalistic Pantheism.

A deity is supernatural. Pantheism begs of a universe that intelligently and consciously goes about it's business. That's a god. It's, in short, what you believe.

This does not follow logically.

P1. Deity = supernatural

P2. Pantheism = intelligent/conscious Universe

Therefore, the Universe is a deity.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
BruteApologia
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1/1/2010 12:48:41 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Pantheism as defined or conceived by Geo seems to advocate an elimination of the "supernatural" and instead asserts that "intelligence/consciousness" is what the universe is. That's not what atheism contends because it denies the existence of any conscious force as the ground of reality. So, both the pantheist and theist would agree that there is a conscious force at the ground of reality but differ on whether this force is in nature or outside of it. The atheist will of course see pantheism as nothing but a nonsensical attempt at bringing the supernatural to the natural realm. Most theists (myself included) would agree with this but I realize that if pantheism is true, then it will just have to be accepted as "natural" whether we like it or not.

I'm not sure if that clarifies anything, but that's at least how I would frame both the differences and similarities in my mind. I'd be quite open to any correction here and apologize if I have misrepresented anyone/anything. As for what I dislike about pantheism, well, that doesn't seem to be the topic so I'll pass on that one.
TheSkeptic
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1/1/2010 1:00:23 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
That's not what atheism contends because it denies the existence of any conscious force as the ground of reality.

A more appropriate term would be naturalist, or something along those lines.

But yeah, I agree with your assessment of pantheism. I would like to imagine that pantheists such as Geo are naturalistic pantheists (which are what is referred to as sexed up atheism :P), but it seems that he believes that nature is intelligent.

Care to explain Geo?
GeoLaureate8
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1/1/2010 1:09:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yes, I agree with BruteApologia. I don't assert anything supernatural, but that nature itself is intelligent/conscious. Of course, I realize that this isn't what Atheists believe, but both the Pantheist and Atheist deny a personal God, so Pantheism is Atheistic, but not synonymous with Atheism. However, Naturalistic Pantheism, I think is quite literally Atheism, because it doesn't assert anything at all.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
Cerebral_Narcissist
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1/1/2010 5:51:50 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Pantheism is a subdefinition of Theism. All Pantheists are Theists not all Theists are Pantheists.

However, I've never quite understood how Einstein's spinoza views are seperate from atheism so I may be wrong.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
omelet
Posts: 416
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1/1/2010 10:35:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/31/2009 4:41:43 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 12/31/2009 4:03:36 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
So what's the point of calling someone a pantheist then? Why not just say "I really like nature," if you don't believe that nature is a deity that can think intelligently?

But I do believe nature is intelligent as opposed to blind chemical reactions.

If the universe is intelligent, it sure runs as if it's not making any "choices" except those that happen to follow the deterministic laws of physics. Must be a pretty lame or repetitive intelligence, eh?

Geo, what leads you to believe the universe is intelligent and therefore has the capacity to actually make decisions?
wjmelements
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1/1/2010 11:21:05 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/1/2010 5:51:50 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Pantheism is a subdefinition of Theism. All Pantheists are Theists not all Theists are Pantheists.

Actually, if God is omnipresent, any Theist that denies that nature is holy is contradicting themselves.
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GeoLaureate8
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1/1/2010 1:24:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/1/2010 5:51:50 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Pantheism is a subdefinition of Theism. All Pantheists are Theists not all Theists are Pantheists.

No, it's separate from Theism, not a subdefinition of. You have Atheism, Theism, Pantheism, and Deism. Those are the four distinct areas of thought concerning God.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
GeoLaureate8
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1/1/2010 1:28:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/1/2010 10:35:34 AM, omelet wrote:
At 12/31/2009 4:41:43 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 12/31/2009 4:03:36 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
So what's the point of calling someone a pantheist then? Why not just say "I really like nature," if you don't believe that nature is a deity that can think intelligently?

But I do believe nature is intelligent as opposed to blind chemical reactions.

If the universe is intelligent, it sure runs as if it's not making any "choices" except those that happen to follow the deterministic laws of physics. Must be a pretty lame or repetitive intelligence, eh?

Geo, what leads you to believe the universe is intelligent and therefore has the capacity to actually make decisions?

I think of the Universe as a self-programmed virtual reality. Try to imagine Grand Theft Auto IV, except self-programmed. The game-world itself is intelligent because it programmed itself, and things like rocks or bricks are deliberately made to be apparently inanimate.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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1/2/2010 2:24:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/1/2010 11:21:05 AM, wjmelements wrote:
At 1/1/2010 5:51:50 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Pantheism is a subdefinition of Theism. All Pantheists are Theists not all Theists are Pantheists.

Actually, if God is omnipresent, any Theist that denies that nature is holy is contradicting themselves.

Isn't there a difference between claiming God is omnipresent, and claiming that he is within all things... no wait... I dont know...
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Cerebral_Narcissist
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1/2/2010 2:28:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/1/2010 1:24:12 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 1/1/2010 5:51:50 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Pantheism is a subdefinition of Theism. All Pantheists are Theists not all Theists are Pantheists.

No, it's separate from Theism, not a subdefinition of. You have Atheism, Theism, Pantheism, and Deism. Those are the four distinct areas of thought concerning God.

Atheist = No God.
Theist = A God or Gods.
Pantheist = God is the universe.
Deist = God's gone fishing.

These are not four distinct camps. Pantheists and Deists are both Theists.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
GeoLaureate8
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1/2/2010 2:49:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/2/2010 2:28:12 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 1/1/2010 1:24:12 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 1/1/2010 5:51:50 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
Pantheism is a subdefinition of Theism. All Pantheists are Theists not all Theists are Pantheists.

No, it's separate from Theism, not a subdefinition of. You have Atheism, Theism, Pantheism, and Deism. Those are the four distinct areas of thought concerning God.

Atheist = No God.
Theist = A God or Gods.
Pantheist = God is the universe.
Deist = God's gone fishing.


These are not four distinct camps. Pantheists and Deists are both Theists.

Let me revise your list.

Atheist = No God
Theist = Personal God
Pantheist = The Universe is God
Deism = Impersonal God

Pantheists and Deists are not Theists. To identify them as such, is equivocation.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
omelet
Posts: 416
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1/2/2010 7:49:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/1/2010 1:28:01 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 1/1/2010 10:35:34 AM, omelet wrote:
If the universe is intelligent, it sure runs as if it's not making any "choices" except those that happen to follow the deterministic laws of physics. Must be a pretty lame or repetitive intelligence, eh?

Geo, what leads you to believe the universe is intelligent and therefore has the capacity to actually make decisions?

I think of the Universe as a self-programmed virtual reality. Try to imagine Grand Theft Auto IV, except self-programmed. The game-world itself is intelligent because it programmed itself, and things like rocks or bricks are deliberately made to be apparently inanimate.

Okay, so that's what you believe. Is there a particular reason you think it's true, or does it just "feel" right to you or whatever?
tkubok
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1/2/2010 1:50:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/2/2010 2:49:01 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

Let me revise your list.

Atheist = No God
Theist = Personal God
Pantheist = The Universe is God
Deism = Impersonal God

Pantheists and Deists are not Theists. To identify them as such, is equivocation.

Theism is a belief in God. Period. It doesnt matter if you call the universe, God, or an apple, God, youre still a Theist.
GeoLaureate8
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1/2/2010 1:59:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/2/2010 1:50:20 PM, tkubok wrote:
Theism is a belief in God. Period. It doesnt matter if you call the universe, God, or an apple, God, youre still a Theist.

"Pantheism is sexed up Atheism." - Richard Dawkins
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
omelet
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1/2/2010 2:08:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Most pantheists don't think there is some sort of consciousness or intelligence that governs things in the universe.

See "Naturalistic Pantheism" here: http://en.wikipedia.org...
GeoLaureate8
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1/2/2010 2:09:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/2/2010 7:49:46 AM, omelet wrote:
At 1/1/2010 1:28:01 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I think of the Universe as a self-programmed virtual reality. Try to imagine Grand Theft Auto IV, except self-programmed. The game-world itself is intelligent because it programmed itself, and things like rocks or bricks are deliberately made to be apparently inanimate.

Okay, so that's what you believe. Is there a particular reason you think it's true, or does it just "feel" right to you or whatever?

It's just an analogy to explain how the Universe is intelligent, when you point out instances where the Universe appears unintelligent.

I do however, support the holographic principle which is supported by science. In fact, it is well known that atoms have no solidity and that quantum particles only appear solid when we look at them (they act as waves when we aren't looking.) The Universe is actually nothing but holographic waves which are decoded as solid by our brains. So this Universe is quite literally a virtual reality that is self-programmed. To assert otherwise, is to imply a designer.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
GeoLaureate8
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1/2/2010 2:15:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/2/2010 2:08:20 PM, omelet wrote:
Most pantheists don't think there is some sort of consciousness or intelligence that governs things in the universe.

We don't claim that it governs things. Pantheists don't separate the intelliegence/consciousness from the Universe. We don't assert anything except what there is. The nuance is that we assert properties to what already exists, in this case, intelligence.

See "Naturalistic Pantheism" here: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Which is probably what Dawkins was referring to. And I agree, that is a bit different than the Pantheism I am referring to. The Pantheism I identify with, is a form of Panpsychism.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
Volkov
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1/2/2010 2:17:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/2/2010 2:09:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I do however, support the holographic principle which is supported by science.

It's a hypothesis, there have not been any actual proven cases as of yet. No evidence - just ideas. Sounds familiar...
omelet
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1/2/2010 2:30:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
By asserting that the universe has a mind at a fundamental level, you're already accepting that the universe can have certain attributes fundamentally.

The laws and initial conditions of the universe could very well be explained this same way - they are simply fundamental aspects of reality, not caused by any other thing, certainly not caused by an intelligence.

There is no mechanism by which the universe might have the capacity to think. This is a tenet you hold as true with no evidence, even when it runs counter to science as we know it.

I do however, support the holographic principle which is supported by science. In fact, it is well known that atoms have no solidity and that quantum particles only appear solid when we look at them (they act as waves when we aren't looking.)
Your rhetoric about how solid objects are actually waves doesn't imply that solid things aren't "real" or aren't "solid." It simply means that whatever definition you're using for "solid" isn't a correct definition. You're literally saying that solid objects aren't solid.

You're taking statements about physical reality and somehow twisting it to mean that reality isn't "real." How does acting like a wave indicate that an object is not "real?" Heck, actual waves are real.

The Universe is actually nothing but holographic waves which are decoded as solid by our brains.
Holographic? Really? I don't think you know what that means.

So this Universe is quite literally a virtual reality that is self-programmed. To assert otherwise, is to imply a designer.
No. The universe need not have been "programmed." It could have simply existed with laws and initial conditions.
DevinKing
Posts: 205
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1/3/2010 12:39:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/2/2010 2:49:01 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

Atheist = No God
Theist = Personal God
Pantheist = The Universe is God
Deism = Impersonal God

--Wow... Ok... Let me explain what you just did to his list:

--You defined theism incorrectly, you restated the definition of pantheist with the exact same meaning as before, and you restated (again) what deism was previously defined as. The only thing you changed was the definition of theism in which your new definition is incorrect.

Theism= "belief in the existence of a god or gods" ~Webster's Dictionary

--You can argue with the dictionary all you want.

--There are EXACTLY two main catagories: Atheism and Theism

--Every belief concerning God can be put into one of the two catagories.


Pantheists and Deists are not Theists. To identify them as such, is equivocation.

--Equivocation would mean that it was stated that pantheists and deists are both the equivalent of theism and could be used synonomously. This was never said.

--Pantheists and Deists both believe in at least one God and are therefore Theists.
After demonstrating his existence with complete certainty with the proposition "I think, therefore I am", Descartes walks into a bar, sitting next to a gorgeous priest. The priest asks Descartes, "Would you like a drink?" Descartes responds, "I think not," and then proceeds to vanish in a puff of illogic.