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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Thank you! I was trying to articulate this thought in my head but I didn't want to fall into a pseudo-philosophical trap. My initial argument against them was that Pantheism doesn't adhere to one set consideration of what god is. Naturalistic pantheism is more of a philosophy in consideration that "God" can be encompassed within all matter and natural occurrences - so the poster was confusing an ideal with proof. They then responded with this:

"Well, you know in science, you have to clarify on what you mean and by what it is. One example is sexuality as there are so many disagreeing on what's sexuality is and hence why sexuality researchers should define sexuality before making their investigation. Nature is one of the definition of god whether you want to admit it or not as the viewpoint existed for over 2 millenniums, so if we're going by that definition, we have proof whether you like it or not. But if we're going for anthropomorphic definition, we don't have proof."

What do I say to that?

Alright, here's their response *facepalm x 1000000*

"Equated God with nature as a matter of identity.

-This would be a perfectly valid argument if and only that god haven't been defined as nature for such a long time which isn't what we're seeing. 

I'm attempting to conjure a god can exist or cannot exist depending on how it is defined. Bearing my argument, there's all different kinds of interpretations possible, can the big bang be called god, yes if the definition of god is the force that created the universe or something like that and that does fit the Macmillan British dictionary.

The problem you're overlooking is that history have already suggests god can be considered nature and hence why it can be considered another definition. Go ask the ancient pantheistic religious people and Spinoza and then the plenty of dictionaries which allows room for pantheists to claim that this is their god. 

Your argument that my statement is flawed is skewed from ignorance as you avoid looking at history and how people have already defined it as one of the possible definition for over 2000 years. Words can change over time and it has pretty much been established as one possible definition, you would have to argue against history to prove my statement is flawed. So, until you do, you got no actual argument."


What do I say to that?

Say it's nonsense. His response offers no support of his point, he merely repeats and insists upon it. 

A pepperoni pizza is one definition of God, whether you want to admit it not. This viewpoint has existed for the last 48 seconds. So going by that definition, a pepperoni pizza proves God exists, whether you like it or not.

It's not that you dislike or refuse to admit his point. He simply isn't making one. 

And he has the nerve to call ME ignorant. Here's his response:

"

And he's going on to call ME ignorant: 

"Equated God with nature as a matter of identity.

-This would be a perfectly valid argument if and only that god haven't been defined as nature for such a long time which isn't what we're seeing. 

I'm attempting to conjure a god can exist or cannot exist depending on how it is defined. Bearing my argument, there's all different kinds of interpretations possible, can the big bang be called god, yes if the definition of god is the force that created the universe or something like that and that does fit the Macmillan British dictionary.

The problem you're overlooking is that history have already suggests god can be considered nature and hence why it can be considered another definition. Go ask the ancient pantheistic religious people and Spinoza and then the plenty of dictionaries which allows room for pantheists to claim that this is their god. 

Your argument that my statement is flawed is skewed from ignorance as you avoid looking at history and how people have already defined it as one of the possible definition for over 2000 years. Words can change over time and it has pretty much been established as one possible definition, you would have to argue against history to prove my statement is flawed. So, until you do, you got no actual argument."


This would be a perfectly valid argument if and only that god haven't been defined as nature for such a long time which isn't what we're seeing."

For thousands of years, the sky was defined as a dome that held up an ocean and had stars stuck to the underside. If the definition is wrong it doesn't matter how long ago it was defined, or how many people believe it.

"I'm attempting to conjure a god can exist or cannot exist depending on how it is defined."

Of course you are. That's exactly why your position fails. Argument by definition is a classic logical fallacy

"The problem you're overlooking is that history have already suggests god can be considered nature and hence why it can be considered another definition. Go ask the ancient pantheistic religious people and Spinoza and then the plenty of dictionaries which allows room for pantheists to claim that this is their god."

Spinoza stated that God is nature, not a personal God, not a supernatural God, not a God that alters reality in response to prayers, not a God that lays down laws for humanity to follow, and certainly not a God that twiddles your imaginary soul to produce "something" beyond all possible explanation when you look at the sky.

Whatever you're defining as God, it's not from Spinoza. And even if it was, how does that make this definition correct? Where's the evidence? 

Your argument that my statement is flawed is skewed from ignorance as you avoid looking at history and how people have already defined it as one of the possible definition for over 2000 years. 

Be specific. What information do you have that I'm willfully ignoring or unaware of? Whatever it might be, it's not Spinoza's God or elementary logic, because you don't know much about either one.  

Words can change over time and it has pretty much been established as one possible definition, you would have to argue against history to prove my statement is flawed. So, until you do, you got no actual argument."

I'm not presenting an argument. You are. You say God is whatever he is defined to be. So that's the case you're attempting to make. I'm simply pointing out your failure to do so. 

"I believe in god, only I spell it N-a-t-u-r-e."
-- Frank Lloyd Wright --

I quess 'God' would have no issues with being considered equal to a 'freeze dried dog turd'? Atleast a  Pantheist god, might consider that the height of true honor. Now I know why my mulch pile feels like the ground of being, please don't tell any body! LOL!

Nature does not consider any human concerns and your mulch pile is the ground of being.  All hail the Nitrogen cycle!

To Reesie - your language-challenged friend is falling into the trap of trying to discuss pantheism as having a god in the sense that most atheists would use the word. On the subject of there being no proof that any god exists and the rebuttal by a pantheist that there's plenty of proff that nature exists - well, there is plenty of proof that nature exists.  The proper question to challenge pantheist belief is - is there proof that nature can be equated with divinity? Here's where things tend to break down. The general definition of divinity refers back to the concept of a deity.  There is no deity in pantheism - there is only nature, which is considered, within this belief system, to be sacred. you can then argue wheter or not nature actually is sacred, but your answers are likely to come down to a matter of opinion.

I am a pantheist, who was raised as an atheist.  I prefer a pantheist viewpoint because I would rather consider nature sacred, than not.  Does this mean that there is proof of the pantheistic god? Not really, because pantheism is a question of one's orientation to the universe, not whether or not something exists.

That's actually what I ended up trying to explain to him. He'd basically be rendering the divine properties of something being a "god" meaningless if his argument stands only by people's "interpretation". I could just as easily say that I worship my scented candle and since it exists, it is proof of my particular god. I think of the concept of gods is uniquely human, attributing the unknown to divine causes as a byproduct of our awareness of existence. It's just hard even trying to talk to people like him because he doesn't understand how his argument falters under very basic logic. 

I have waxed and whained with a 'sacred' consideration for nature, but I would like a little more warm and fuzzy from nature, before I can cross into a 'prissy white light' attitude.

Nature seems much too 'tooth and claw'. Sadly, most understandings about 'God', seem to gloss over the rougher parts. I quess having scraped maggets off an Imhof cone, and experienced some quiet ugly examples of existence, I just can't bring myself to knelling before 'NATURE', and building shrines! 

Having a deep consideration for nature, making sure that our impacts don't compromise stability, and using it responsibiliy, would be close to 'worship' with a small 'w'.

When I turn over our mulch piles, or spread the resulting soil created there of, I often am awhed by the amount of life, the prompness of waste dispatch, and how well our garden responds. Yes all hail the nitrogen cycle.....  

Who freeze dries dog turds?

This is a very good question! Maybe in preperation for the fabrication of synthetic coprolite? Would the federal grant program actual offer moneys for this? LOL

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