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In Praise of Pantheism
« on: October 02, 2013, 02:41:24 AM »

Off the keyboard of Ray Jason


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Published on The Sea Gypsy Philosopher on September 30, 2013


moonbow


Discuss this article at the Seasteading Table inside the Diner


ray-at-new-transmissionIt has been 23 years since a mystical experience jolted my consciousness. But the memory of that event remains so vivid, that it could have been only 23 seconds ago. AVENTURA and I were Westbound in the immense Pacific. There was no land within a thousand miles in any direction.


AVENTURA under waySeveral dolphins had surrounded us, but they were behaving in a strange manner. Instead of frolicking in the bow wave as they normally do, they were repeatedly circling from bow to stern. I tried to decipher this, and guessed that they were pointing out the majestic full moon looming directly ahead. Or perhaps they were agitated by the powerful rain squall that had just ended.


Suddenly, a particularly large dolphin approached to within a few feet, pivoted its body, and actually looked me in the eye. Mesmerized, I followed its path as it circled back behind the boat. And there, emblazoned across the sky in shimmering magnificence, was a moonbow! Bands of luminous silver, opaque white and misty lavender arched across the eastern horizon.


I shouted my thanks to the dolphins for alerting me to this phenomenon that very few people ever witness. And then a staggering awareness jolted me. I realized that of the billions of humans on Planet Earth, because of my mid-ocean isolation, I was probably the only one witnessing this exquisite spectacle.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Panth%C3%A9isme.JPGSoon the moonbow dissipated and the clouds dispersed. The universe dispatched its million twinkling messengers to remind me of its incomprehensible vastness. Lying on my back, on the deck of my tiny boat, in this gigantic ocean, on a small planet, in this immeasurable cosmos, I received my baptism as a pantheist. It was at that moment that I excommunicated myself from human-created gods, and embraced the sanctity of Nature and the glory of the Universe. This majesty – this mystery – this miracle – seemed truly worthy of human reverence.


https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/2603968105/0nkqyhmgbdarsdyw07mc.jpegAnd as I now peer at our world, 23 years later, the value of pantheism is even more evident, since humans continue to slaughter each other in the name of their multitude of “one true gods.” Whether it is muslims against christians or shiites versus sunnis or tamils battling hindus, our planet is awash in unnecessary bloodshed.


And yet it is all so easily avoidable. Name one war ever fought in the name of pantheism!!! But if I asked you to list some of the evils directly linked to human-spawned gods, the catalog would be long and horrible. It would include:



  • Religious wars and crusades

  • Witch-hunts

  • Persecutions of “infidels”

  • Torture

  • Jihads

  • Fostering the terrifying myth of Hell

  • Burnings-at-the-stake

  • Rejection of scientific discoveries

  • Suicide bombers

  • Demonization of our natural sexuality

  • Claiming that innocent babies are born “soiled”

  • Forcing unwanted children on poor, overburdened parents by threatening eternal hellfire

  • Justification for slavery

  • Reducing females to a subservient status to males


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/WondersoftheInvisibleWorld-1693.jpgWhat a dreadful cavalcade of atrocities has been visited upon the world and its creatures in the name of organized religions. The defenders of these faiths often justify these horrors by claiming that churches are necessary because they provide a moral foundation for the world. The absurdity of such a claim would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.


Look again at that litany of terrors and ask yourself this. “Could any of them be committed in the name of the love of Nature or in the name of basic human decency?” Of course not, but they ALL have been committed in the name of somebody’s favorite god. And this continues right up to this very moment. In fact, as I type this sentence, somewhere in the world an innocent child is probably being killed or mutilated because of religious fanaticism.


Let us consider the roots of religion. Our early ancestors were surrounded by inexplicable, terrifying forces such as thunder, lightning, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. Because of their limited knowledge, they suspected that these horrors were caused by invisible gods. And in order to obtain the mercy of these gods, they paid homage to them in various ways. So the original “religious impulse” was a survival strategy.


But with the arrival of what I call Conquest Agriculture about 10,000 years ago, religion changed from a survival strategy to an “exploitation strategy.” Food surpluses eliminated the hunter/gatherer lifestyle, and led to social hierarchies, divisions of labor and the disastrous emergence of rulers and priests. These early religious tyrants realized that if they claimed to be intermediaries between the gods and the frightened people, that they could gain enormous power and wealth.


But when reason and science were able to prove that thunder, lightning, floods, etc were not unleashed by unknowable behind-the-scenes gods, but through very knowable natural laws, the priests should have disappeared. After all, there was no longer a need for human emissaries to non-existent gods. But the bishops and mullahs and rabbis were not willing to surrender their wealth and power. So, in order to keep the “con” going, they played the “enemy” card. As long as the people could be convinced that other religions were a threat, then the need for priests could continue. It is a vile charade forced upon us by power-junkie psychopaths.


Allow me to demonstrate how pantheism can break the spell of these conjurers. But first I will clearly define what pantheism is for me. It is not the “god is everywhere” version. On the contrary, it is the “god is nowhere, but Nature is everywhere” variety. It permits me to exhibit reverence towards something that is indisputably authentic and evident as opposed to worshipping a being whose existence cannot even be proven. Now let me describe its many positive and powerful aspects.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8hGOzB5XokY/UZklg2Up0WI/AAAAAAABA2Y/9cmqOkcJw28/s1600/pantheism8.jpg


There is no “enemy” in pantheism. People don’t go to war over who has the most beautiful waterfalls. There is no need for all of the trappings of institutional religion. Who needs cathedrals and mosques on a planet lush with redwood forests and pristine shorelines? All of the money spent on such prideful glorification could be allocated to far more important needs such as universal clean drinking water or birth control that does not diminish pleasure.


Pantheists do not dictate how people should conduct their lives. There are no commandments from invisible sky bosses. Caring deeply about the planet and all of its creatures is a far wiser ethical foundation than rules supposedly imposed by a dictator in the clouds who is paranoid that his human pawns might worship false idols.


Pantheists enjoy fuller and richer daily lives because they don’t view this existence as a dress rehearsal for some heavenly paradise. This is it, so we embrace it with vibrant enthusiasm. We are also not obsessed with the “How did this all happen?” issue. The wonders of the Cosmos are no less magical and amazing just because we cannot fully comprehend them. They are still holy, and worthy of our reverence.


http://bbsimg.ngfiles.com/1/22805000/ngbbs4dd44b8b90f0b.jpg


Pantheism also provides a fulfilling alternative for the many borderline atheists out there who recognize the absurdity and evil in organized religion, but are troubled by the lack of spirituality in atheism. Although Richard Dawkins is a pre-eminent atheist, when I hear him speak about the wonders to be found through the microscope and the telescope, he sounds to me like a pantheist poster boy.


Finally, let me revisit the title of this essay – In Praise of Pantheism. I have tried to convince you that pantheism is the ideal spiritual practice for our present, troubled era. It eliminates all of the horrors of institutional religions that I listed earlier, and yet it fulfills our need for something outside of ourselves that is extraordinary and worthy of adoration. At a time when human activities are destroying our very life support system, how can we not turn to a sacred path that reveres our great mother, the Earth, and worships her great mother, the Universe?


http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kalw/files/styles/card/public/201202/Pantheism.jpg


 



Offline Eddie

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 06:27:58 AM »
Whatever you want to call it, Ray, I think you're on the right track.

To me, the spiritual path you're describing is no different than what I hear John Michael Greer talking about...and it resonates with all of us who understand that this planet is the most beautiful jewel in the universe, and that its resources might have better uses than fueling happy motoring for the American middle class.

One thing is for sure, the human race has not prospered under the guidance of our authority figures, either religious or secular. It therefore is incumbent for each of us to try to find the path as best we can, based on our own intelligence, experience, and intuition.

The story about the dolphins and the moonbow...I could write a lot about that. How it's a metaphor, and the stuff on which myths are based, because it is. But you know what it meant to you. I don't have to explain it. Anyone who reads it will get it immediately, or they won't.

I think and hope that more young people are coming around to the kind of spiritual POV that you're describing, although not many of them would necessarily recognize it as Pantheism, or even be able to put a name on it at all. Regardless, it gives me some hope to see it.


« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 07:54:15 AM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 06:39:56 AM »
Look again at that litany of terrors and ask yourself this. “Could any of them be committed in the name of the love of Nature...?”
Sorry, Ray, I'm afraid the answer is YES, even more so than in the name of "love your neighbor".  While not specifically pantheistic, an illustrative example comes from India, where two men were murdered for killing and eating a cow.  The investigation focused on whether the COW was dead before they ate it, the implication being that if they waited until it died naturally, they did nothing wrong, but if they killed it, they deserved to die.

No, the reason why none of those atrocities have been committed in the name of pantheism is because pantheism has been a fringe religion.  I have seen vegans be as fervent as evangelical Christians in trying to convert people.  If and when pantheists become organized, they definitely have the potential to start committing atrocities.

The key is not the belief system, the key is recognizing the individual nature of spirituality.  Once we recognize that each person has to take his or her own path, then organized religion and its atrocities truly do become impossible.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline Ashvin

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 07:10:03 AM »
height=\"167\" />Soon the moonbow dissipated and the clouds dispersed. The universe dispatched its million twinkling messengers to remind me of its incomprehensible vastness. Lying on my back, on the deck of my tiny boat, in this gigantic ocean, on a small planet, in this immeasurable cosmos, I received my baptism as a pantheist. It was at that moment that I excommunicated myself from human-created gods, and embraced the sanctity of Nature and the glory of the Universe. This majesty – this mystery – this miracle – seemed truly worthy of human reverence.</span></p>

What's worthy of reverence is the unseen Artist who is uniquely capable of creating such majesty in a manner that allows us to reflect on it and appreciate it.

Psalm 8
"Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?"


Quote
<p><span style=\"font-size: large;\">And yet it is all so easily avoidable. </span><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Name one war ever fought in the name of pantheism!!! </span><span style=\"font-size: large;\"> But if I asked you to list some of the evils directly linked to human-spawned gods, the catalog would be long and horrible. It would include:</span></p>

Your solution "to end all wars" is to ban all non-patheistic religious traditions cultivated over many millenia? Meet the New Pantheist, same as the Old Atheist.

Quote
<ul>
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Religious wars and crusades</span></li>
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Witch-hunts</span></li>
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Persecutions of “infidels”</span></li>

I would say these are "straw men", but I think we need a different word. The actual religious tradition (i.e. the NT) is one of the few ancient works to speak out against such things... so perhaps you are attacking "inversed holographic images"?

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Torture</span></li>

Torture is a product of religion? What?

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Jihads</span></li>

Yes, false revelations do have consequences.

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Fostering the terrifying myth of Hell</span></li>

i.e. positing the rational idea that justice demands that moral evil has consequences (not unique to theism)

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Burnings-at-the-stake</span></li>

Did you know that drug cartels will sometimes put tires doused in gasoline on their enemies and set them ablaze?

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Rejection of scientific discoveries</span></li>

Ignoring how the scientific revolution developed in the first place is convenient for your Anti-Theist narrative, isn't it?

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Suicide bombers</span></li>

See above about false revelations.

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Demonization of our natural sexuality</span></li>

Again, what?? Did you miss the part where God created Adam and Eve as sexual beings?

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Claiming that innocent babies are born “soiled”</span></li>
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Forcing unwanted children on poor, overburdened parents by threatening eternal hellfire</span></li>

So it's better to put innocent babies in the "unwanted" basket and murder them in the womb than to claim they are conceived fallen yet WORTHY of life? WTF!

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Justification for slavery</span></li>

Apparently you are also ignorant of how large a role Theists played in the abolitionist movements. There is no slavery in the Bible that even remotely resembles pagan imperial slavery or the trans-Atlantic enslavement of Africans.

Quote
<li><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Reducing females to a subservient status to males</span></li>
</ul>

I guess you also missed the part in the Gospels where Jesus conversed with and took on female disciples and then made those females the sole witnesses to His empty tomb, perhaps the second most important event in all of human history.

Quote
In fact, as I type this sentence, somewhere in the world an innocent child is probably being killed or mutilated

Yes, in an abortion clinic somewhere with a doctor the likes of Kermit Gosnell severing their spinal cords with scissors...

Quote
<p><span style=\"font-size: large;\">Finally, let me revisit the title of this essay – In Praise of Pantheism. I have tried to convince you that pantheism is the ideal spiritual practice for our present, troubled era. It eliminates all of the horrors of institutional religions that I listed earlier, and yet it fulfills our need for something outside of ourselves that is extraordinary and worthy of adoration. At a time when human activities are destroying our very life support system, how can we not turn to a sacred path that reveres our great mother, the Earth, and worships her great mother, the Universe? </span></p>

As shown above, you have done nothing of the such. The horrors your listed are common to all human societies, including ones in which the population is dominated by "pantheists". Worshiping and revering "Mother Earth" (i.e. the Creation) has been the chief obstacle for human spiritual growth and maturity for centuries. It is the ultimate expression of human-created gods which serve to idolize and corrupt the image of the one true living God.

Romans 1
"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen."


Romans 8
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 07:16:05 AM by Ashvin »

Offline Sea Gypsy

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 12:32:03 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Eddie,

Thanks for your thoughtful response once again.  As always my efforts are to persuade or inspire and not to dictate.

JDWheeler,

Huh, you call up an atrocity of HINDUISM and somehow use that to discredit Pantheism.  And even though vegans can go over the top with their zealotry, remind me of how many Vegan Wars have been waged.

Ashvin,

When I lived in San Francisco I went to a major traveling exhibit of ACTUAL torture implements from the christian Spanish Inquisition.  These were invented by priests to do "god's work."  You are such a slave to your dogma that you would probably look at this display and excuse it as being the work of a few "bad apples."  Trying to liberate you from your programming is as hopeless as my digesting a cement pie.   

Ray

Offline Ka

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 01:29:21 PM »
Well, yes, nature sure is pretty, though all the mosquito bites I got while admiring the stars is a bit of downer. Even more if they give me malaria or dengue fever. But aside from that, there is the question: is this version of pantheism true?

First off, it is an abuse of terminology to call what is expressed here 'pantheism'. Actual pantheism, such as that of Spinoza, lives up to saying "the Universe is God". To be God, the Universe has to be understood as psychic, as embodying Logos. Without that, this talk of treating Nature as sacred is just sentimental crap.

But even beyond that, there remains the question: is there more to reality than the physical universe, whether it is an embodiment of Logos or just beautiful matter? To point out the failings of institutional religion doesn't get us anywhere. It is, of course, just empty rhetoric, trying to get the audience to focus on Torquemada rather than Francis of Assisi. Then there are modernist dogmas like the following, asserted without any support:
Let us consider the roots of religion. Our early ancestors were surrounded by inexplicable, terrifying forces such as thunder, lightning, floods, volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. Because of their limited knowledge, they suspected that these horrors were caused by invisible gods. And in order to obtain the mercy of these gods, they paid homage to them in various ways. So the original “religious impulse” was a survival strategy.

This account of the origin of religion, called 'animism', has no basis in fact. The only reason to believe it is due to the unwarranted assumption of physicalism. Consider the alternative, that early peoples didn't "suspect" spiritual forces in nature, but actually experienced them. But if so, why then do we moderns not experience them? There is an answer to this objection, which can be found in Owen Barfield's Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry, which shows that there has been an evolution of consciousness within recorded history. Unfortunately, to understand his argument requires a great deal of thinking, and questioning of naturalist dogma.

But there are simpler ways to understand why naturalism is not true. We are aware of time passing. That is only possible if, in some manner, we transcend time. Therefore, the eternal (outside of space and time) is real.

Quote
Trying to liberate you [Ashvin] from your programming is as hopeless as my digesting a cement pie.

Then there is your programming.

Offline RE

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 03:10:28 PM »
When I lived in San Francisco I went to a major traveling exhibit of ACTUAL torture implements from the christian Spanish Inquisition.  These were invented by priests to do "god's work."  You are such a slave to your dogma that you would probably look at this display and excuse it as being the work of a few "bad apples."

Almost, but not quite the excuse Ashvin uses.  His argument is that the folks who ran the Inquisition weren't Christians at all, because they fail the WWJD test.

RE
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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 03:15:24 PM »

Quote
Trying to liberate you [Ashvin] from your programming is as hopeless as my digesting a cement pie.

Then there is your programming.

Now for the BARField programming...

RE
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Offline Ka

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 03:35:19 PM »

Now for the BARField programming...

I am aware of errors in Ashvin's programming, and in Ray's programming, and in yours, and have pointed them out. It is up to you to point out the errors in mine/Barfield's. So far, no one has done so. The best you can do, apparently, is make, and endlessly repeat, a silly pun on his name.

Offline Ashvin

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 03:43:19 PM »
Ashvin,

When I lived in San Francisco I went to a major traveling exhibit of ACTUAL torture implements from the christian Spanish Inquisition.  These were invented by priests to do "god's work."  You are such a slave to your dogma that you would probably look at this display and excuse it as being the work of a few "bad apples."  Trying to liberate you from your programming is as hopeless as my digesting a cement pie.   

Ray

You claimed that torture was one of the "evils directly linked to human-created gods". Could you at least put forth a minimum effort at making a coherent argument here?

Instruments of torture can be directly linked to many organizations over many periods of time that have used them to serve many different ideologies and many different ends.

It has absolutely nothing to do with theism vs. "pantheism" (or your modernist perversion of it). It further defies reason (and common decency) to make the faith centered around the penultimate victim of torture (Jesus Christ) the one that is responsible for it.

It really takes a lot of arrogance and nerve for you to presume that your readers should digest that one piece of moldy incoherent reasoning on your word alone, never mind the numerous other ones I pointed out and you failed to make any response to. Hopefully most of them don't!

Your "pantheism" is nothing more than a thoroughly discredited rhetorical ploy (used often by radical atheists), one without the slightest bit of nuance, coherent reasoning or effort at being informed about the religions you attack. It also promotes a mindset that eradicates personal moral responsibility by dumping all "evils" onto worldviews that you don't agree with instead of the people who actually commit those evils.

(btw, "liberating" people from logic and reason is not a good thing)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 03:45:45 PM by Ashvin »

Offline Ashvin

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 03:55:02 PM »
When I lived in San Francisco I went to a major traveling exhibit of ACTUAL torture implements from the christian Spanish Inquisition.  These were invented by priests to do "god's work."  You are such a slave to your dogma that you would probably look at this display and excuse it as being the work of a few "bad apples."

Almost, but not quite the excuse Ashvin uses.  His argument is that the folks who ran the Inquisition weren't Christians at all, because they fail the WWJD test.

RE

My argument is that I don't need to make an argument, because you guys haven't even crossed the threshold of making a reasonable assertion.

Besides that, my theology is not at all inconsistent with the fact that Christians regularly commit sins, and perhaps some have even committed torture and murder. An unrepentant, repeat offender, however, has clearly decided to reject Christ rather than follow Him.

Either way, the actions of those people have no bearing on the truths revealed by Christ.

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 04:01:18 PM »

Now for the BARField programming...

I am aware of errors in Ashvin's programming, and in Ray's programming, and in yours, and have pointed them out. It is up to you to point out the errors in mine/Barfield's. So far, no one has done so. The best you can do, apparently, is make, and endlessly repeat, a silly pun on his name.

It's a GREAT Pun!   :icon_mrgreen:

Quote
This account of the origin of religion, called 'animism', has no basis in fact. The only reason to believe it is due to the unwarranted assumption of physicalism. Consider the alternative, that early peoples didn't "suspect" spiritual forces in nature, but actually experienced them.

There's no evidence that early people actually experienced spiritual forces.  That idea is as much a supposition as animism is.  If this idea fits your philosophical outlook, you make this assumption.  Nobody can disprove it since nobody has Mr. Peabody's WAYBAC Machine.

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 04:08:57 PM »

My argument is that I don't need to make an argument, because you guys haven't even crossed the threshold of making a reasonable assertion.

It's unreasonable to assert that Christians ran the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials?

Quote
Either way, the actions of those people have no bearing on the truths revealed by Christ.

This is a convenient way to ditch any responsibility for the outcomes of Christianity.  What his followers did has no bearing on the truths he revealed.  :icon_scratch: OK.

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Offline Ka

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 04:52:32 PM »

Quote
This account of the origin of religion, called 'animism', has no basis in fact. The only reason to believe it is due to the unwarranted assumption of physicalism. Consider the alternative, that early peoples didn't "suspect" spiritual forces in nature, but actually experienced them.

There's no evidence that early people actually experienced spiritual forces.  That idea is as much a supposition as animism is.  If this idea fits your philosophical outlook, you make this assumption.  Nobody can disprove it since nobody has Mr. Peabody's WAYBAC Machine.

Neither position can be proven, in any scientific sense. But I don't just "make this assumption". To accept that there was actual experience is the more consistent choice when the history of language, art, and ideas is examined, and by the philosophical demonstration of the falsity of naturalism.

All early (and some contemporary) peoples of which we have record say they experience spiritual realities. The naturalist rejects what they say because the naturalist has no such experience, and because it would deny the naturalist's metaphysical assumptions. Barfield shows how it is that the naturalist has no such experience, yet the early peoples did. Meanwhile there are other reasons, based on an examination of consciousness, to conclude there is a spiritual reality (which I have given, but have yet to see you or anyone else refute). Thus, I conclude that it is more reasonable to accept that there was experience of spiritual realities, rather than that all those people just made it up. In sum, I don't just assume the former -- it fits the facts better.

So I reject the charge that I "assume" it to fit my philosophical outlook. Rather, it (and other things) shape my philosophical outlook. On the other hand, I do accuse you (and Ray) of rejecting it to fit your outlook.

Offline Eddie

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Re: In Praise of Pantheism
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 04:58:44 PM »
Well, yes, nature sure is pretty, though all the mosquito bites I got while admiring the stars is a bit of downer. Even more if they give me malaria or dengue fever. But aside from that, there is the question: is this version of pantheism true?

Ka, I read today that the windward shore of the big island is getting much drier. Maybe that will help with the mosquitoes. Not to mention that coffee cultivation possibility I mentioned.

When you say that a true pantheist believes that the universe is "psychic, embodying Logos"...is that a way of saying the universe has a soul, or that everything in the universe has a soul or perhaps is part of a collective soul? I ask that, because that seems to be where my understanding takes me when I try to get past my habit of viewing things from my western dualistic POV. If, at the molecular or atomic level, one cannot truly discern where self stops and other begins, does it not follow that objects that we might view as inanimate might not be truly any different than what we call "alive"? Or that they might be sentient and sapient on some level we fail to perceive? That they might be part of the Divine?

We are aware of time passing. That is only possible if, in some manner, we transcend time. Therefore, the eternal (outside of space and time) is real.

I have difficulty understanding this argument for the existence of the eternal. Is there a way to explain this so that I can grasp it better. An example?

I realize that I have a limited understanding of many things...but what Ray is saying...to me he is just saying that he had this epiphany, and realized that the earth and the universe and everything in it is sacred and completely connected and part of a whole. To me that seems like a basic truth and a good foundation for beginning one's spiritual inquiry.





What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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