• Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    Actually, solipsism is pretty hard to escape in a pantheistic universe. You can use the Barcan formula to prove this even in a universe with a near infinite amount of possible worlds.Wallows

    I'm not convinced. Applying formulae to God is never a good idea, IMO. God isn't like that. :wink:

    But, out of curiosity, how does the Barcan formula ("If everything is necessarily F, then it is necessary that everything is F") lead us from pantheism to solipsism? If God is part of everyone, and vice versa, how does this become "the philosophical theory that the self is all that you know to exist"? [The latter is how WordWeb defines "solipsism".]
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    So re definitions, when it says "Pantheism is the belief that reality is identical with divinity, or that all-things compose an all-encompassing, immanent god," or "a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God," they really mean, "Well, just some of reality/just some parts of the universe, not all of it, but we didn't write that instead because we want to be more poetic" or something like that?
  • Shawn
    12.1k
    But, out of curiosity, how does the Barcan formula ("If everything is necessarily F, then it is necessary that everything is F") lead us from pantheism to solipsism?Pattern-chaser

    So, it's my understanding that the Barcan formula imposes epistemic closure in a modally quasi-infinite universe. Meaning, that the domain of discourse cannot just keep on multiplying out infinitely so modally. Hence, certainty for the scope of quantifiers in a modal sense. Therefore, solipsism? Of course, this in some sense implies some form of essentialism, I think.
  • ernestm
    1k
    This is essentially the Gaian perspective,Pattern-chaser

    I couldnt say exactly where this Gaian perspective came from except perhaps Star Trek

    In anceint Greece, pantheists believed there was one god for everything, called Pan, who didnt care much what people did. There is one epiphany, for Pheiddipes, otherwise, Pan just played with wood nymphs and left people alone.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    I couldn't say exactly where this Gaian perspective came from...ernestm

    The Gaia Hypothesis by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. I thought it was quite well-known. :chin:
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    In anceint Greece, pantheists believed there was one god for everything, called Pan, who didnt care much what people did.ernestm

    That's a new one on me.

    Early traces of pantheist thought can be found within the theology of the ancient Greek religion of Orphism, where pan (the all) is made cognate with the creator God Phanes (symbolizing the universe), and with Zeus, after the swallowing of Phanes. — Wikipedia

    No mention of Pan, the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs. :chin:
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    I couldnt say exactly where this Gaian perspective came from except perhaps Star Trekernestm

    I wonder if you are getting confused by Guinan, Whoopi Goldberg's character? "Gaian" refers to Gaia, the Greek God of Nature.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    Truly sorry. I have no grounding in academic philosophy, and I haven't a clue what you just said.
  • ernestm
    1k
    Yes, modern iditots impose many suppositions on the beliefis of the ancient greeks, among them, ideas of cults of panthesists and gaians. There were many cults, but pan and gaia were part of a mythology and were not worshipped. It would be like worshipping Q in star trek. They didnt do anything for people and so they werent worshipped. But its been convenient money maker to say so since.
  • ernestm
    1k
    Early traces of pantheist thought can be found within the theology of the ancient Greek religion of Orphism, where pan (the all) is made cognate with the creator God Phanes (symbolizing the universe), and with Zeus, after the swallowing of Phanes.
    — Wikipedia

    No mention of Pan, the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs. :chin:
    Pattern-chaser

    What I said is that Pan and Gaia were not worshipped. What I said was there were no pantheists or gaians. There were no temples to Pan and Gaia. They had no acolytes or priests. Pan was some kind of amusing quirk, like Santa Claus more than anything else, even the Greeks did not take him very seriously. Gaia was part of the cosmogeny, but neither of them particularly cared what human beings did so no one worshipped them. I know thats not what you want to hear, but thats the way it was.

    the NEAREST to it was a large number of degenerate Dionysian cults who took drugs and had orgies in forests in the very late years of ancient greece, who said anything whatsoever and no one paid any attention or bothered writing any of it down. Im sure some of them decided they were Pan or Gaia when they were drunk. Otherwise, no.

    The point about Pheidippides epiphany was that it signified how important what he did was, because it was the only time Pan ever did anything with humans, and it must have been made up by other people, because when Pheidippedes got to Sparta, multiple records, including Thucidides, said he died from exhaustion immediately, without saying anything.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    I know thats not what you want to hear, but thats the way it was.ernestm

    At least I heard it from someone who actually knows how things were, back then. :wink:
  • Shamshir
    857
    a large number of degenerate Dionysian cults who took drugs and had orgies in forestsernestm
    That's just a misinterpretation.

    Any cults devoted to Dionysus were merely people trying to live in harmony with nature, as the ancient eastern tradition proposes, and paints the Garden of Eden.

    The drugs and orgies were barbaric tendencies of migrants who assimilating with locals formed The Greek. Now guess which direction they came from.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    Good luck then.ernestm

    Thanks. But what are you going on about? You don't seem to know much about the ancient Greek Gods, nor are you aware of the modern Gaia Hypothesis, which merely uses the name of an old Greek God as a label for something new (but related to the original role of Gaia).

    In anceint Greece, pantheists believed there was one god for everything, called Pan, who didnt care much what people did.ernestm

    No, the "pan" in "pantheist" is not "Pan", the name of an old God. You seem to have no idea what pantheism is. :chin:
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    Pantheism is "a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God". But what exactly does this mean when taken literally?Michael McMahon

    Very little. The mistake is to take a spiritual declaration "literally". It normally leads to problems of misunderstanding. Perhaps the following quote will be useful?

    Pantheism is the belief that God = the universe. The word “God,” on this view, is just another word for “Nature” or “Everything that Exists.” If you take everything in the universe – all the humans, planets, stars, galaxies, alien creatures, dirt clods, etc., and add it all up, what you get is God. In this sense, pantheism has only one god, and therefore it’s a form of monotheism; however, since pantheism implies that every part of nature is divine, most pantheistic religions recognize a variety of nature spirits.

    Pantheism is a kind of nature-worship, but in a very special sense. To pantheists, Nature doesn’t just mean wild mountains, lakes, and trees. Nature includes everything that exists— human beings, cities, computers, asteroids, songs, nuclear waste, and supernovas. In pantheism, God is the sum total of all these things, not just the pretty or unpolluted parts.

    Pantheism is often confused with pan-EN-theism, but they’re actually quite different. Panentheism is the idea that God is in everything, whereas pantheism is the idea that God is everything. You may believe that human beings, trees, and physical objects have a divine spirit or a “spark of the sacred” within them. Technically, this wouldn’t be pantheism:

    Panentheism: God is in the tree, the rock, and the river.
    Pantheism: the tree, the rock, and the river are in God.

    However, a lot people with these beliefs don’t think carefully about this difference, so, practically speaking, pantheism and panentheism tend to overlap or blend, as they do with polytheism.

    Link to original article. For myself, I would go with the definitions of pantheism and panentheism (above), blending and accepting both.
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    Panpsychism is "the doctrine or belief that everything material, however small, has an element of individual consciousness". This might be a relevant definition in terms of nature worship.

    I may have been trying to focus on pantheism's effect on our understanding of consciousness in general. I wasn't necessarily trying to exclude nature and the physical world.

    I mentioned monopsychism as well but I can't find too much information about it on the web.
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    Some of these concepts (such as panentheism, collective unconsciousness, etc.) might be interrelated through the idea of an impersonal god. An impersonal god contrasts with a personal one in that it is unemotional and not really able to be prayed to. It seems to be more of an energy that connects us rather than any specific personal god or individual.
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    Omnipresence is "the presence of God everywhere at the same time". An impersonal God would have this attribute as everyone and everything (including nature!) would be linked.
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    However, I don't think this entity would have any of the other characteristics associated with a personal god.

    I don't think pantheism is immutable as everyone dies which is indeed the biggest change of all.

    It's not omniscient or omnipotent as it contains many distinct parts. This would also preclude a god that judges people.

    Omnibenevolence is missing as some people are kind and some unfortunately are immoral or even evil.
  • Michael McMahon
    344
    I think pantheists, deists, agnostics and so on should try more to integrate and find common ground. They could form a stronger middle position that is separate from atheism and theism.
  • ernestm
    1k
    What I tried to tell you, which you don't seem particularly inclined to hear, was that Pan, who was the God of everything, was not worshipped because Pan didn't care much about human beings, he just did his won thing. So what you actually did, despite trying to tell me I am wrong, was agree with me. There was no such thing as pantheism in ancient Greece, as you say.

    the romans did have a thing called the pantheon. It was not a place for pantheists, however, it was simply a temple for all gods. The romans didnt care at all who people worshipped as long as they got taxes, and by the time of the middle empire, there were so many gods they gave up trying to make temples for them all and just built the pantheon for everybody to use as they wanted.
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    That depends how you approach the concept of God. Deists see no need to worship or interact with God personally because ‘his’ involvement in the universe was only in the initial formation.

    But the idea of a personal God (as opposed to God as a person) is still possible for pantheism in my view. David Bentley Hart once explained ‘personal’ as the notion “that God really knows and loves and is related to us”, and he recognised that God doesn’t need to be a person to fulfill this description. What he didn’t recognise was that the very act of realising or actualising potentiality - as the capacity to develop, achieve and succeed - is an act of unconditional love. God as the potentiality that underlies every process in the universe (past, present and future) not only points to its necessary being and its fundamental involvement in the ‘creation’ of the universe, but also its continual involvement and necessity in the unfolding of the universe across spacetime.

    God as potentiality then encompasses omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence - it is our own individual and collective ignorance of that potentiality in our day to day interaction with the universe that impairs its current physical realisation. This is not something we can blame on God as a person in pantheism, because we are included in that notion of God, and therefore equally culpable. That as humans we are falling well short of our potential to understand, to achieve and to do good for the universe is not something we can simply ask the God of pantheism to fix. We are that God, and more so than animals and trees and the forces of nature because we are aware of that truth.
  • Willyfaust
    21
    God is a label/concept used to simplify and pacify one's definition of self to this label. We do not seek God we seek relevance of self. Pantheism just slices up an imagined pizza.
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    ‘God’ as a label is unnecessary. As a concept, God allows us to conceive of ‘self’ beyond our physical existence: as encompassing all aspects of the universe across spacetime. But as a label, ‘God’ also tempts us to separate our physical, social, genetic, ideological, etc existence as ‘self’ from the pantheistic concept of God, and act in conflict with ‘God’ to protect a more limited notion of ‘self’.
  • Willyfaust
    21
    What is is, it can not be said to be God. God is an attempt to explain and justify our existence, or if u will, allow conceptualization of what is, with a definition we label as God. To attempt to explain the "awe" of God, defeats the explanation by futile attempt.
  • TheArchitectOfTheGods
    62

    Do you see a difference in definition between deists and theists?

    I am for my part happy to live in a time in human history when science has come to the point of a theory that everything in the observable universe is really connected, basically consisting of the same energy. This is a great consolation. I could of course be discontent that we do not know more about the ultimate nature of this reality (energy), and the nature of 'dark' energy or matter. But that is what we currently have, and we have come to know so much more about the natural world than our ancestors before the scientific age did, it should console us and reconcile us to this great nature we are part of. To keep on calling it God has become now a mere matter of taste, but I think we are safe if we state that God is neither an interventionist, nor bene-/malevolent, being when it comes to us as the human species. The physical phenomenon called energy that has generated us and that we consist of is indifferent to us as living beings, as indifferent as it was to the dinosaurs and is to Pluto.

    Nice discussion by the way, and thank you for bringing the topic of Pantheism up.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    What I tried to tell you, which you don't seem particularly inclined to hear, was that Pan, who was the God of everything, was not worshipped because Pan didn't care much about human beings, he just did his won thing.ernestm

    You said this before, but it wasn't correct then, either. Pan was not the "God of Everything". You're getting confused with the Greek word "pan", usually translated as "everything", or something close. All of the Greek Gods were worshipped, or they wouldn't've been Gods, would they? That Pan had no temples probably reflects his position as a Nature God (not the "God of Everything"). But I fail to see why you're so keen on this "no-one worshipped Him" idea. What does it have to do with this topic, which is about pantheism, not Pan:

    Pantheism is "a doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God". But what exactly does this mean when taken literally?Michael McMahon

    Do you actually believe that "pantheism" describes the worship of Pan? Is that why you keep saying "Pan wasn't worshipped"? :gasp:

    Anyway, if you have some evidence of your strange beliefs, post a link. Wikipedia is not infallible, but it's generally pretty good, and its entry on Pan makes no mention of the 'facts' you keep quoting. So, do you have evidence to back up your assertions? :chin:
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    We are that God, and no more so than animals and trees and the forces of nature because even though we are aware of that truth.Possibility

    [My corrections.]
  • ernestm
    1k
    ou said this before, but it wasn't correct then, either. Pan was not the "God of Everything". You're getting confused with the Greek word "pan", usually translated as "everything", or something close.Pattern-chaser

    That's why he's called Pan. Just like Eros was called Eros. And what I tried to tell you is, the Greeks did not think a God of everything was particularly important, because a God of everything would not care about human beings very much. People these days think of the Greek 'PanTHEON' - collection of all Gods, which was a collection and not a conscious entity - as far more powerful than the Greeks did themselves too. Zeus was not the God of everything, just the God of Hellenic Gods. Aphrodite was not the God of all love, and Ares was not the God of all war. They were just the pantheon native to Hellenic Greece, centered in Athens and Delphi.

    Sometimes other pantheons had different Gods with the same name too, for example, Artemis was a Goddess of hunting in ancient Greece, but a Goddess of fertility with a thousand breasts in Turkey.

    but Pan was always Pan, that was the point of him. there were not different versions of Pan. The Hellenic gods looked down on Pan as a satyr, but in other pantheons he was considered more important than the Hellenic Gods. But nowhere ever worshipped Pan. For reason first stated.
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