I need some feedback on the assertion that Pantheists have proof of their god because their god is nature. This was brought up by someone on a forum after my response to a Creationist when I said that there is no proof for any gods (and alluded specifically to Abrahamic gods). The poster said that there is no proof for ANTHROPOMORPHIC gods - but then suggests that Pantheists have proof of their god because nature is god to them and nature exists.

Thoughts? Counter-arguments?

Tags: argument, evidence, existence, god, nature, pantheism, pantheists, proof

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 I would tell him he wins. You believe in Nature.

The Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English term god is a broad one. The Bible mentions many gods. Moses, the Judges of Israel, Jesus, Satan, Angels, Jehovah, Dagon, Molech, Baal, Ashtoreth, Tammuz the Sumerian King. The word simply means anything or anyone who is attributed might in as much as the might is greater than that of the beholder; or anyone or thing that is venerated. Thus, Eric Clapton is a god. Frodo is a god. Clapton is real, Frodo is fictional but they are both considered gods. Clapton, Jesus, and the Judges of Israel were all anthropomorphic gods, which makes the argument for the existence of gods lame at best. It's pointless and only reveals an ignorance of the simple definition of gods.

Do Naturalistic Pantheists believe God is self aware? If not, then they don't actually believe any different than atheists,they just choose to call reality God.

It's true that it can be hard to distinguish pantheists from atheists, given that pantheists explicitly deny any anthropomorphism to their concept of the sacred. But it's not exactly right to say that pantheists simply "call" reality god.  Whatever one's definition of god, it implies something that inspires awe, wonder, and is a greater reality than oneself deserving of a humble and worshipful attitude.  Not all atheists feel that way about nature so there is a difference.

As for the issue of self-awareness - I would say requiring that of god is anthropomorphic because the concept of self-awareness is entirely human. Is nature self-aware the way a human is self-aware? I doubt it, but then I think the human conception of self-awareness is largely an illusion produced by the way our brains function. See leading neuroscientist Antonio  Damsio's "The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness" and "Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain".


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