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Is Pantheism Just Sexed-Up Atheism ?


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Guest Spinoza

Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion gave Naturalistic Pantheism increased

credibility among atheists by describing it as “sexed-up atheism. ...

 

Really ?

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Show me where the sex comes in

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Also, I have a hard time believing that Dawkins describing it as that had a massive effect on atheists taking up the Pantheistic banner. He's not the Atheist Jesus, you know?

 

Coked up atheism may be a better way to describe it.

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I wouldn't say it is coked up atheism.

 

http://www.pantheism.net/

 

http://www.pantheist.net/

 

I think it is more of a way of life. My only problem with it is that they call nature et al god, but there are no creeds or alike.

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Don't think I intend for "coked up atheism" to be taken as an insult or anything, it's just a similar kind of reaction. It's like taking a lack of religion or a belief that there is no God and just totally tripping it out.

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Or maybe it is an extreme love of nature. You sometimes nature gives some people a similar natural high just as religion gives people a natural high. The only difference is pantheism maybe much less harmful.

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Guest Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza, the great Pantheist, Atheist Rationalist once said.....

 

 

" Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived."

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^I'd argue that if the nature of it leads to quotes like that then it's more dangerous than it appears. People get a high from posting profoundly "deep" quotes to puff up themselves, but when you really think about it there's not much that backs it up. It takes the "But where is the PROOF?" of religion and tries to hide behind bloated, supposedly intellectual thoughts that only "deep" people understand..

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Guest Spinoza

^I'd argue that if the nature of it leads to quotes like that then it's more dangerous than it appears. People get a high from posting profoundly "deep" quotes to puff up themselves, but when you really think about it there's not much that backs it up. It takes the "But where is the PROOF?" of religion and tries to hide behind bloated, supposedly intellectual thoughts that only "deep" people understand..

 

It means that "God" is a sunset. It's the basic understanding of most Indigenous people..... The "Creator" is creation itself. Not very deep really.

 

"God" or the Laws of the Universe created the Universe from the Laws of the Universe. How do you draw that ?

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^I'd argue that if the nature of it leads to quotes like that then it's more dangerous than it appears. People get a high from posting profoundly "deep" quotes to puff up themselves, but when you really think about it there's not much that backs it up. It takes the "But where is the PROOF?" of religion and tries to hide behind bloated, supposedly intellectual thoughts that only "deep" people understand..

 

Not really, because it deals with nature, taking care of our home, a profound love for the environment, as well as others, and it based on inner feelings that have nothing to do with religion, but rather science and nature.

 

^I'd argue that if the nature of it leads to quotes like that then it's more dangerous than it appears. People get a high from posting profoundly "deep" quotes to puff up themselves, but when you really think about it there's not much that backs it up. It takes the "But where is the PROOF?" of religion and tries to hide behind bloated, supposedly intellectual thoughts that only "deep" people understand..

 

It means that "God" is a sunset. It's the basic understanding of most Indigenous people..... The "Creator" is creation itself. Not very deep really.

 

"God" or the Laws of the Universe created the Universe from the Laws of the Universe. How do you draw that ?

 

Of course, you know they aren't actually talking about God, but god. In other words, it's not a god at all. I wouldn't call Stephen Hawkings indigenous. I THINK, emphasis on "think", what has kept him going this long is his profound love of science and nature. It excites him and stimulates him, as well as makes life worth living. Without it, I don't think that man would have the drive to continue as he does. So in that respect, going back to the previous comment, it is hardly dangerous if it makes like worth living and excites a person. It is a positive thing to be stimulated and excited by nature, esp if they find it life affirming. In some respects, I think it is science and nature that gives Hawkings what he sees as being quality of life, even if we do not agree. What is quality of life to one person, might not be to another, BUT there is obviously something about it that gives Hawkings meaning in life. How is that dangerous? Esp when you think about it from his perspective? Something about science and nature keeps the man going and makes him happy, even telling jokes, while others might be miserable in such a condition and would want to have their lives ended. So for Hawkings (and others) it is very meaningful and harmless. I see nothing dangerous in that, but rather everything right about that, esp if it makes them happy and gives their life meaning without harming others.

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Guest I Love Dog

Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion gave Naturalistic Pantheism increased

credibility among atheists by describing it as “sexed-up atheism. ...

 

Really ?

 

Pantheism to me is a movement or movements of people who are non-believers in gods but who have a profound reverence and respect for "nature". There are various forms of Pantheism, so I don't know which form RD was referring to.

 

http://www.pantheism.net/manifest.htm is the credo of the most modern form of Pantheism and could be the one that RD refers to as "sexed up".

 

Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism all contain elements of Pantheism, whereas Christianity sees humans as being "supreme", above all other life forms, a major difference to Pantheism,which sees all life forms as equal on Earth, each dependent on the other for continuance of life on the planet.

 

For people who don't believe in a personal or gods but need a group to belong to, then probably Pantheism suits them well.

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^I'd argue that if the nature of it leads to quotes like that then it's more dangerous than it appears. People get a high from posting profoundly "deep" quotes to puff up themselves, but when you really think about it there's not much that backs it up. It takes the "But where is the PROOF?" of religion and tries to hide behind bloated, supposedly intellectual thoughts that only "deep" people understand..

 

It means that "God" is a sunset. It's the basic understanding of most Indigenous people..... The "Creator" is creation itself. Not very deep really.

 

"God" or the Laws of the Universe created the Universe from the Laws of the Universe. How do you draw that ?

 

 

When WILL you types who think you know everything just shut up? Most of the stuff you have spat at us already is complete crap. You cannot tell anyone else what to think,believe or practice. Leave people alone to work it out for themselves instead of boring us all rigid with stuff we have heard a hundred times,as though it makes you some great guru, geez. Give it a break guy.

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Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion gave Naturalistic Pantheism increased

credibility among atheists by describing it as “sexed-up atheism. ...

 

Really ?

 

Pantheism to me is a movement or movements of people who are non-believers in gods but who have a profound reverence and respect for "nature". There are various forms of Pantheism, so I don't know which form RD was referring to.

 

http://www.pantheism.net/manifest.htm is the credo of the most modern form of Pantheism and could be the one that RD refers to as "sexed up".

 

Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism all contain elements of Pantheism, whereas Christianity sees humans as being "supreme", above all other life forms, a major difference to Pantheism,which sees all life forms as equal on Earth, each dependent on the other for continuance of life on the planet.

 

For people who don't believe in a personal or gods but need a group to belong to, then probably Pantheism suits them well.

 

That was one of the two sites I posted, but I didn't send anyone directly to that page.

 

 

^I'd argue that if the nature of it leads to quotes like that then it's more dangerous than it appears. People get a high from posting profoundly "deep" quotes to puff up themselves, but when you really think about it there's not much that backs it up. It takes the "But where is the PROOF?" of religion and tries to hide behind bloated, supposedly intellectual thoughts that only "deep" people understand..

 

It means that "God" is a sunset. It's the basic understanding of most Indigenous people..... The "Creator" is creation itself. Not very deep really.

 

"God" or the Laws of the Universe created the Universe from the Laws of the Universe. How do you draw that ?

 

 

When WILL you types who think you know everything just shut up? Most of the stuff you have spat at us already is complete crap. You cannot tell anyone else what to think,believe or practice. Leave people alone to work it out for themselves instead of boring us all rigid with stuff we have heard a hundred times,as though it makes you some great guru, geez. Give it a break guy.

 

I don't think Spinoza meant it that way. I think he was trying to give an example based on one of the quotes or statements from that site.

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Not really, because it deals with nature, taking care of our home, a profound love for the environment, as well as others, and it based on inner feelings that have nothing to do with religion, but rather science and nature.

Then go out, hug the trees, admire the sunsets and the seagulls eating burger wrappers. That's fine and all that jazz. However, there's no reason to sit there and try to jazz it up to make it sound as bad as religiosity.

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I prefer to see sunsets as sunsets, not as gods. I think it's quite possible to feel a sense of awe without resorting to superfluous woo-woo or anthropomorphizing the natural universe.

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Not really, because it deals with nature, taking care of our home, a profound love for the environment, as well as others, and it based on inner feelings that have nothing to do with religion, but rather science and nature.

Then go out, hug the trees, admire the sunsets and the seagulls eating burger wrappers. That's fine and all that jazz. However, there's no reason to sit there and try to jazz it up to make it sound as bad as religiosity.

 

That isn't what I was trying to say. I think you misunderstood.

 

 

I prefer to see sunsets as sunsets, not as gods. I think it's quite possible to feel a sense of awe without resorting to superfluous woo-woo or anthropomorphizing the natural universe.

 

I agree, but I don't think those who consider themselves pantheists are anthropomorphizing any of it. I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding of that site. I think if on looks it over, they are not exactly talking woo-woo or alike. I think it is a case of there not being the right words in the English language and people fall back on words in an effort to communicate and sometimes people do misunderstand because of that.

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I get the respecting nature part. I am just vehemently opposed to the idea of taking that and turning it into pseudo-"profound" quotes. I'm not particularly fond of having things that are/can be used as ammo by someone like the OP to push ideas that make about as much sense as the Christianity we have turned away from.

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I prefer to see sunsets as sunsets, not as gods. I think it's quite possible to feel a sense of awe without resorting to superfluous woo-woo or anthropomorphizing the natural universe.

Exactly. I can appreciate nature without thinking there has to be some god, magic earth spirit, or some other absurdity behind it.

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  • Super Moderator

I prefer to see sunsets as sunsets, not as gods. I think it's quite possible to feel a sense of awe without resorting to superfluous woo-woo or anthropomorphizing the natural universe.

Exactly. I can appreciate nature without thinking there has to be some god, magic earth spirit, or some other absurdity behind it.

 

Me too. I appreciate and feel that sense of awe and wonderment, but I certainly don't equate it with any kind of 'god'. Nor do I worship it.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

I consider myself quasi-pantheistic, I have great lot of respect and love for nature. Though I don't necessarily consider myself pantheist, maybe in the loosest of terms.

 

Richard Dawkins meant "atheism made beautiful" using a metaphor I think. I could be wrong. Though to an extent I'd agree with him, there are several forms of pantheism, and that definition wouldn't apply to all forms. Namely Hinduism and debateably Buddhism. As in Buddhism, there are beliefs regarrding the afterlife, something handled by religion, and that wouldn't really be atheism by the definition of lack of religion. Even though many forms of theism have no afterlife or no god, they're still theist because they're religions.

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Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion gave Naturalistic Pantheism increased

credibility among atheists by describing it as “sexed-up atheism. ...

 

Really ?

I'll use this topic here to discussion some of your views on Pantheism.

 

First, anything Richard Dawkins says about pretty much any religion or philosophy amounts to little more than the opinions of a college sophomore. I respect his mind as a biologist, but as someone speaking to religion and philosophies, he's deeply uninformed and I take it as just someone speaking out of reactiveness, rather than informed thought on them. He is popular because he speaks to frustrations. He's a figure-head product of culture like a Rush Limbaugh is as a political commentator.

 

As far pantheism as 'sexed up atheism' goes, I don't think so. I think the end effect upon those who view God as everything is there is a very real spiritual component, and embrace of the Divine in imminent nature. It recognizes and can experience the connectiveness of all through spiritual perception, rather than a strictly cognitive or rational understanding. Its advantage over atheism is seen as one which addresses the other areas of life we experience which science and reason do not take us into. It becomes an all enveloping embrace within "God".

 

Is that "sexed up atheism"? Or is atheism "dumbed down pantheism"? :) Or are they distinctly different things, with different focus and intent? I lean towards the latter. Dawkins' use of that phrase creates an illusion that Atheism is the scale upon which religious thought can be weighed. I wonder why he didn't say that atheism was dumbed down pantheism, or better still that it is, "Christianity without God"? Again, with my dislike of Dawkins. He starts with his new beliefs as the measuring stick of truth and judges everything against that. Although to be fair, it is what people do, but for someone who posits himself as an authority he offers no perspectives of balance from which to speak.

 

 

Now to my thoughts about Pantheism. I don't consider myself a Pantheist. Nor, do I consider those like Jesus, Buddha, the Gnostics, etc which "Spinoza" in these threads is claiming. (I use "Spinoza" in quotes like that to be clear I'm not talking about the Spinoza himself saying this, but the member who goes by the name "Spinoza" - it might not be clear in the context who I attributing the words to). I dislike the tendency of those who have found a new religion to hang their hat on to make positive claims, "Jesus was a pantheist", as bolsters to their new views. I can't tell you how many religions and their newbie adherents I've heard claim Einstein as one of them!! There's a pattern here.

 

I can say positively that I don't see Gnostics, nor Jesus as what Westerners call Pantheism because parts of it don't match. But I'm not going to turn around and say exactly everything Jesus or the Gnostics were as there simply isn't enough information. I can say that there are things that match pantheism, just as their is in many religious views, without actually being consider pantheism as such. People can see pantheism in my views, but my views go beyond pantheism and would not be embraced by a pantheist, like the atheist might not embrace the pantheist.

 

You could say my views are like "sexed up pantheism." :HaHa: I'm somewhat kidding. I would agree with seeing God in nature, and that is indeed imminent, but it is not equal, nor complete. I do not see the depth of the Divine in a tree to the degree as in a human. And furthermore, that there exists an Ultimate reality which transcends the imminent forms. So in the sense of God in manifest reality, yes that can be said to be pantheistic, but no in the sense of transcendence of forms, and no in the sense that the rock is not equal to the human, nor that the rock itself is God itself.

 

As far as the quote you like of Jesus from the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, verse 77,

 

"
Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there
."

 

I do not see this as a pantheism itself. It is much more in the vein of what Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna,

 

"
All these things are in me, but I am not in them
."

 

These are expressions of transcendence where you become All, but the forms are not Godhead. All moves from God to God, in ever emerging depths of the Divine. The rock is not God. Forms are manifestations, not God itself. Being in the world, being manifest in the world in all things, is not the world itself being "That" which Is. God is no thing and transcends all things, all concepts, all ideas. God is not nature, but transcendent infinite.

 

 

I'll leave it there as I'm out of time.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

Actually, being that a biologist would understand animals in their enviroment and how they behave, after neurologists, psychologists, and Anthropologists, they'd be next best or close to it to explain religion. In fact, Richard Dawkins, in "the god delusion" makes a pretty good case for how religion came about to begin with. It seems, even if he hadn't studied theology, he has a pretty good grasp on what religion is and does.

 

In order to understand religion, you need to understand the human animal. Religion would make no sense within the context of an orangutan.

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Actually, being that a biologist would understand animals in their enviroment and how they behave, after neurologists, psychologists, and Anthropologists, they'd be next best or close to it to explain religion.

Being a biologist doesn't make him a behaviorist, nor a sociologist, nor a systems theorist, nor a linguist, nor an anthropologist, nor a psychologist, nor a mystic, nor an adept, nor, nor, nor... all these things which must be looked at before making such sweeping judgments to an incredibly complex question. Dawkins' thoughts about it are pretty sophomoric. I look at it like this, "the more you know, the more you know you don't know". Dawkins speaks pretty conclusively and with much religious zeal. That to me speaks first about a lack.

 

In fact, Richard Dawkins, in "the god delusion" makes a pretty good case for how religion came about to begin with. It seems, even if he hadn't studied theology, he has a pretty good grasp on what religion is and does.

I've read the God Delusion, and it's for this very reason I am saying what I am. In fact I picked up again after several more years of my exploring these questions, and my impression back then was not only justified, but wasn't seeing it for really how bad it actually was. I couldn't finish a re-read of it because of that.

 

In order to understand religion, you need to understand the human animal. Religion would make no sense within the context of an orangutan.

Define the human animal.

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