Formal debate on pantheism

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Jobar
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Formal debate on pantheism

Post by Jobar » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:47 am

I'd like to take part in a discussion on pantheism, and its relation to atheism.

As most know, I've been identifying myself as an atheist/pantheist for many years. In the past, I've had believers and skeptics both who found this contradictory- usually atheists.

Ideally, I should like to do this with both a believer and a skeptic simultaneously, but I don't really see that happening.

If anyone is willing to defend the proposition that pantheism is essentially different from atheism, that the two are completely incompatible, then please PM me.

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aria
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Post by aria » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:52 am

"Jobar" wrote:I'd like to take part in a discussion on pantheism, and its relation to atheism.

As most know, I've been identifying myself as an atheist/pantheist for many years. In the past, I've had believers and skeptics both who found this contradictory- usually atheists.

Ideally, I should like to do this with both a believer and a skeptic simultaneously, but I don't really see that happening.

If anyone is willing to defend the proposition that pantheism is essentially different from atheism, that the two are completely incompatible, then please PM me.


This is a good link: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pantheism/

I think pantheism closly resembles the agnostic more than atheism.

http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/agnostic-2.htm

I have been wondering about these things myself.

I hope this helps and would be interested to know more myself.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:48 am


Valheru
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Post by Valheru » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:44 am

I figure pantheism is like being a goldfish able to grok its bowl, but cannot have any perspective of what lies outside, because it groks that there isn't anything outside. The goldfish groks that the bowl, and everything in it, including itself, is part of a whole, and that the whole is indescernable.

Its a form of atheism, in my view. I just don't like the word itself, it suggests a form of theism, which it definitely isn't.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:10 am

No argument- I've said before I don't use the word 'God' to describe this, though in other cultures and languages it might be appropriate.

The article on pantheism in the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia states

Taken in the strictest sense, i.e. as identifying God and the world, Pantheism is simply Atheism.


I would put it that pantheism is not *simply* atheism, but is atheistic. Pantheism can be looked upon as a complete philosophical paradigm, but atheism cannot.

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Post by Politesse » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:21 am

"Jobar" wrote:I'd like to take part in a discussion on pantheism, and its relation to atheism.

As most know, I've been identifying myself as an atheist/pantheist for many years. In the past, I've had believers and skeptics both who found this contradictory- usually atheists.

Ideally, I should like to do this with both a believer and a skeptic simultaneously, but I don't really see that happening.

If anyone is willing to defend the proposition that pantheism is essentially different from atheism, that the two are completely incompatible, then please PM me.


Out of curiosity, what would you be expecting the "believer" to argue? Simply that pantheism=/=atheism?
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:33 am

I've seen theists argue for panentheism, which is the view that the universe is contained within God and is of the same being as God- but that God is still greater than the universe. I've spoken to believers who see no difference between pantheism and panentheism, so it's possible that might be a way to defend a theistic interpretation of pantheism.

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Post by Politesse » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:22 am

Ah yes, Krause's term. My own beliefs curve more to the historical mystic than his, I fear. And though as a pantheistic Christian I'm no atheist, the term "theist" has always given me almost equal pause; I'd rather simply occupy my own position, with Spinoza and many other friends. Still, I think describing pantheism as essentially panentheistic would be perhaps more reasonable than your own position, so I'd be willing to debate the point you describe, particularly if you also find a skeptic to argue the point, as you describe in your proposal- there's a certain classical elegance about a three-partied dialogue.
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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Post by Redshirt » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:25 pm

Hi Jobar/Politesse,

Here are some parameters to think about in your formal discussion (perhaps more so a formal debate, since there will be arguments asserting or refuting a particular postion, rather than a sharing of perspectives).

(1) Topic
(2) Participants, positions and sequence
(3) Scope
(4) Length in rounds
(5) Maximum statement length
(6) Maximum duration between statements
(7) Start date
(8) Additional criteria (optional)

Perhaps the debate resolution could be something like "Resolved: atheism is incompatible with pantheism."

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:34 pm

There was an atheist at II, years back, who argued that pantheism was not atheism; see here. Although I thought that ReasonableDoubt (AKA ConsequentAtheist) was rather an ass, and his position weak, I haven't found anyone else who I felt argued that position as well as he did. IIRC there were one or two others who contributed to that thread- maybe one of them is still active on the net, and might be interested. I'll look into it.

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Post by RexT » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:11 am

Well, Pantheism is not Atheism. Atheism is the antithesis of Theism. Without theism, atheism would be a meaningless term.

My own pantheism permits a god, a natural one instead of a god that works via magic.

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Post by BWE » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:06 am

[quote=""Jobar""]I'd like to take part in a discussion on pantheism, and its relation to atheism.

As most know, I've been identifying myself as an atheist/pantheist for many years. In the past, I've had believers and skeptics both who found this contradictory- usually atheists.

Ideally, I should like to do this with both a believer and a skeptic simultaneously, but I don't really see that happening.

If anyone is willing to defend the proposition that pantheism is essentially different from atheism, that the two are completely incompatible, then please PM me.[/quote]
I will. do I still have to PM you?

Will you define each of them first? As vague or general as you like.

I would also be willing to make a case for pantheism over atheism. If you are curious about my basic position, there's a thread at TR I could post a link to here.

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Post by BWE » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:08 am

I should learn to read before I post.

Anyway, if this doesn't work out, I'd be willing to be a substitute

I'm looking forward to reading politesses take. do you have peanut galleries for your formal debates?

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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:58 pm

[quote=""BWE""]do you have peanut galleries for your formal debates?[/quote]

Yes, we do have them here. I'll start one in the appropriate forum when a formal debate/discussion gets underway here.

To Rie, I moved your post to the Religions forum. D/DP is meant for setting up exclusive engagements (i.e. formal or informal debates or discussions between usually 2 people).

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Post by BWE » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:42 am

any sort of a timeline yet?

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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:16 am

[quote=""BWE""]any sort of a timeline yet?[/quote]

You may want to send Jobar a PM, just to give him a nudge.

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Post by BWE » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:23 am

done cap'n

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Post by Jobar » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:34 pm

OK, nudged. :)

So are we going to be able to do this as a 3-way discussion, with an atheist who doesn't think that pantheism is atheistic, a theist who thinks pantheism and panentheism are basically the same, and me defending the view that pantheism is essentially atheistic?

I would say that we might start with a fairly short statement from each of us, delineating our individual positions and definitions; from there, we can see if we have enough actual disagreement to justify a debate.

I want to do this fairly slowly, giving us all lots of time for consideration and careful explanation. So, I will try to put together a concise declaration of my own philosophy/belief within the next ten days; from that we can decide our next steps. Satisfactory?

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Post by Redshirt » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:08 pm

We may want to give Politesse a nudge as well, if (s)he is still interested.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but here are the persectives and positions so far:

Jobar: an atheist who claims that atheism and pantheism are not incompatible.
BWE: a pantheist who claims that atheism and pantheism are incompatible.
Politesse: a panentheistic Christian who claims that atheism and pantheism are incompatible.

Jobar, I'm not sure if this is quite the situation you're looking for. BWE and Politesse may have very similar positions here. Perhaps it might be better to have a two-way debate between you and BWE?

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Post by BWE » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:50 pm

No. I claim they are not compatible and jobar claims they are.

I think.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:41 am

BWE is correct; I say that pantheism is a worldview/belief which can be held atheistically; the two are compatible. More, I say that those who try to claim any sort of supernatural god cannot be pantheists; and I am willing to argue that pantheism (which allows no supernatural ultimate being) is distinct from panentheism (which allows for a supernatural ultimate being which includes the natural world within itself.)

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Post by Redshirt » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:49 am

Read a little more closely. I guess my use of a double negative made things a bit confusing... :o

"...are not incompatible." I'll rephrase that later...

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Post by Redshirt » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:01 am

Here are the positions, reworded a bit:

Jobar: an atheist who claims that atheism and pantheism are compatible.
BWE: a pantheist who claims that atheism and pantheism are not compatible.
Politesse: a panentheistic Christian who claims that atheism and pantheism are not compatible.

Is this correct?

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:57 am

I'm also claiming that the theism of Western monotheists is incompatible with pantheism; that is, pantheism precludes any sort of omnimax being which is apart from what it creates (the observable, natural universe).

I foresee considerable discussion refining the common understanding of 'natural'.

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Post by BWE » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:19 am

[quote=""Jobar""]I'm also claiming that the theism of Western monotheists is incompatible with pantheism; that is, pantheism precludes any sort of omnimax being which is apart from what it creates (the observable, natural universe).

I foresee considerable discussion refining the common understanding of 'natural'.[/quote]
I see a single unknown, :

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