Dr. Kaku mean by god of order?

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Garth

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A Pantheist believes that everything around us, i.e. the universe, is God. Therefore if it can be conceived that the universe might not, in certain conditions, exist e.g. 'before' the Big Bang, then God would not exist. So "what breathed fire into the equations?" If Einstein could say, "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.” then surely he could not have been a Pantheist?

Garth
 
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selfAdjoint

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Garth said:
A Pantheist believes that everything around us, i.e. the universe, is God. Therefore if it can be conceived that the universe might not, in certain conditions, exist e.g. 'before' the Big Bang, then God would not exist. So "what breathed free into the equations?" If Einstein could say, "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.” then surely he could not have been a Pantheist?

Garth
Well, do we know for sure what Einstein believed about "before the initial singularity" (I don't know if he ever heard the term Big Bang, which was coined around the time he died)? Did he even believe in an initial singularity?

Spinoza distinguished two senses of nature; one is passive nature that we see around us, the other lies behind that appearance and is nature creating itself. As you might say from Einstein's point of view, the process of instantiating the laws of physics.
 
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Great variations in opinion! Seems many actually read Dr Katu's book, his written point of view and yet a spectrum is reflected on what he meant.

Same with Einstein .... (definitions) his definitions of words were different ... Wow! Relatively speaking ..... i needed that one

Maybe you mean the various definitions are flat out fibbing like our friend Galileo during his inquisition

Valid points and each a point of view.

So let's get to the meat an potatoes .... Spinoza's wrote .....


"Men would never be superstitious, if they could govern all their circumstances by set rules, or if they were always favored by fortune: but being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being often kept fluctuating pitably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune's greedily coveted favours, they are consequently, for the most part, very prone to credulity. The human mind is readily swayed this way or that in times of doubt, especially when hope and fear are struggling for the mastery, though usually it is boastful, over-confident, and vain.
"This is a general fact I suppose everyone knows, though few, I believe, know their own nature; no one can have lived in the world without observing that most people, when in prosperity, are so over-brimming with wisdom (however inexperienced they may be), that they take every offer of advice as a personal insult, whereas in adversity they know not where to turn, but beg and pray for counsel from every passer-by. No plan is then too futile, too absurd, or too fatuous for their adoption; the most frivolous causes will raise them to hope, or plunge them into despair; if anything happens during their fright which reminds them of some past good or ill, they think it portends a happy or unhappy issue, and therefore (though it may have proved abortive a hundred times before) style it a lucky or unlucky omen. Anything which excites their astonishment they believe to be a portent signifying the anger of the gods or of the Supreme Being, and, mistaking superstition for religion, account it impious not to avert the evil with prayer and sacrifice. Signs and wonders of this sort they conjure up perpetually, till one might think Nature as mad as themselves, they interpret her so fantastically."

—Benedict Spinoza
from "Preface" to Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, 1673

SO as the Laws of Nature show us facts to explain. Religion's interpretations vary in history whereas no facts of the events can be varified but I would like to add an earthquake is a natural occurance just like an eclipse so the results can be explained.

let's point out that although we learn each day an answer to many specific questions the same questions that have purplexed the best minds are still with us today.

I think the monks hidden in the temples high above have the best answers for religion but be sure to keep your eyes clear because the altitude is thin on oxygen and effects each a little differently. Everybody has that link to __________ but what to call it? I don't think Kaku had the answer either as each opinion is still reflecting questions within the posts
 

Garth

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treat2 - Your assertion that Einstein was a closet atheist who only used the word 'God' instead of 'laws of nature' to save his career is absurd. Many atheists have had successful (especially scientific) careers even (especially)at the beginning of the Twentieth century. The fact that the Vatican was interested in how his theory might affect their teachings does in no way imply that they had some kind of 'hold' or authority over him.
Spinoza was a monist. His assertion was that there were not two kinds of fundamental essence, matter and spirit, but one. His position and Einstein's, I believe, is best described by the word 'Panentheism', that the world is created out of the very being of God and is part of God but God is 'over, under, above and beyond' the totality of the physical world.
- Garth
 
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If Pantheism is the belief that the universe or physical world is God, when asked, “do you believe in God?” the question then becomes “do you believe in physical existence?” Any sensible person would answer yes without a doubt. (Well if you were a Pantheist) Therefore can one really say the physical world is God? Or use the physical world as proof of the existence of God? I don’t think so. What purpose would it serve if I were to go around asking people if they believed in the physical world around them? This is why I’ve never understood Pantheism.
 

Garth

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Vast said:
If Pantheism is the belief that the universe or physical world is God, when asked, “do you believe in God?” the question then becomes “do you believe in physical existence?” Any sensible person would answer yes without a doubt. (Well if you were a Pantheist) Therefore can one really say the physical world is God? Or use the physical world as proof of the existence of God? I don’t think so. What purpose would it serve if I were to go around asking people if they believed in the physical world around them? This is why I’ve never understood Pantheism.
Pantheism arises out of an Eastern (i.e. Hindu/Buddhist) spirituality rather than Middle Eastern (i.e. Jewish/Christian/Islamic) spirituality. It might be argued that the Eastern view is more ancient and itself arises from an Animist spirituality in which all objects, especially living ones, are endowed with a 'soul'. Hence they worship trees/animals/mountains/Sun Moon and stars etc. In the Hindu worldview these multiple spirits were codified into a series of gods and unified in the Vedic principle that 'Reality is one, but different religious teachers speak of it differently'. Buddhism then develops this idea into Nirvana as the final liberation from the pain of repeated embodiment (reincarnation) and does not require a god as such at all.

A pantheist not only believes in the existence of the physical reality but that it has some kind of 'soul' or 'personality' that can be worshipped. An atheist may not understand this need to worship something but it seems to be quite a common human trait!


- Garth
 
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selfAdjoint

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Garth said:
Pantheism arises out of an Eastern (i.e. Hindu/Buddhist) spirituality rather than Middle Eastern (i.e. Jewish/Christian/Islamic) spirituality. It might be argued that the Eastern view is more ancient and itself arises from an Animist spirituality in which all objects, especially living ones, are endowed with a 'soul'. Hence they worship trees/animals/mountains/Sun Moon and stars etc. In the Hindu worldview these multiple spirits were codified into a series of gods and unified in the Vedic principle that 'Reality is one, but different religious teachers speak of it differently'. Buddhism then develops this idea into Nirvana as the final liberation from the pain of repeated embodiment (reincarnation) and does not require a god as such at all.

A pantheist not only believes in the existence of the physical reality but that it has some kind of 'soul' or 'personality' that can be worshipped. An atheist may not understand this need to worship something but it seems to be quite a common human trait!


- Garth

The more you refine the definition of pantheism, the more we see why it is incorrect to call Einstein, or Spinoza for that matter, a pantheist. It isn't the intellectual opinion, but the spiritual response that makes the pantheist.
 

Garth

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selfAdjoint said:
The more you refine the definition of pantheism, the more we see why it is incorrect to call Einstein, or Spinoza for that matter, a pantheist. It isn't the intellectual opinion, but the spiritual response that makes the pantheist.
As I have posted above, given his use of 'God language' perhaps pan-en-theist describes Einstein better.
Panentheism = "The belief that the being of God includes and penetrates the whole universe, so that every part of it exists in God but (as against pantheism) that God's being is more than, and is not exhausted by, the universe."
- Garth
 
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Hi all,

I think a quote from the Buddha is in order here. And I quote:

"Believe nothing because a wise man said it...
Believe nothing because it is generally held as true...
Believe nothing because it is written...
Believe nothing because it is said to be divine...
Believe nothing because someone else believes it...
Believe only what you yourself judge to be true."

juju
 
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Garth said:
A Pantheist believes that everything around us, i.e. the universe, is God. Therefore if it can be conceived that the universe might not, in certain conditions, exist e.g. 'before' the Big Bang, then God would not exist. So "what breathed fire into the equations?" If Einstein could say, "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.” then surely he could not have been a Pantheist?

Garth
Garth said:
A Pantheist believes that everything around us, i.e. the universe, is God. Therefore if it can be conceived that the universe might not, in certain conditions, exist e.g. 'before' the Big Bang, then God would not exist. So "what breathed fire into the equations?" If Einstein could say, "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.” then surely he could not have been a Pantheist?

Garth
Garth, PantheistSpeak is a bit difficult to understand, but what is not, is Pantheism itself!

Let's look again at what Einstein said (according to your post):

"What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.”

OK. The #1 thing to understand about Pantheism is that
"God" = "The Laws of Nature".

What Einstein actually meant is that the Laws of Nature hold true at all times. We certainly do not know all of the Laws of Nature, but even before the Big Bang, the Laws of Nature stilll hold. We may say that Laws of Nature are
true here on Earth, and even under circumstances before the Big Bang, as well.

The thing to understand regarding Pantheism and Physics too, is that whether or not we understand all The Laws of Nature, under all circumstances, the The Laws of Nature still apply. It is UNimportand what the circumstances are.
Whatever the circumstances are, The Laws of Nature still exist. Things behave as The Laws of Nature permit them to behave. That also means that whatever appears to be "Chaotic" or "Random" is STILL abiding by the Laws of Nature. An electron flying around an Atom is influenced by the things that influence it. The path APPEARS random, and we can not predict it, because it is too complex for us to accurately predict. However, the electron is not just flying around the Universe. It is flying around an Atom.
Even when time itself has stopped, time is obeying the Laws of Nature.

The Laws of Nature may be different for some particular obbject under difference circumstances. However, that object is STILL obeying the laws of nature, in EVERY circumstance.

This is the point..... The Laws of Nature determine how things behave. It does not matter if that thing is nothing.
0 = 0. OK So, whatever the case. The Laws of Nature EXIST. If time is can be stopped. Then it is doing so in accordance with the Laws of Nature that apply to time.

Getting the hang of it??? OK. Now, let's look again at the Einstein thing....

"What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.” - A. Einstein.

What A.E. is saying is that The Laws of Nature have determined the way the Universe has formed. OK.

What Einstein is saying is that because the Laws of Nature have determined that the Universe is the way it is, there is no reason to believe that if the Big Bang were to happen again, as some (or many) believe it may, from what we have seen, and understand about the way that the Universe formed, there is no reason to believe that if it happened again and again, that there would not be planets, stars, galaxies, life, etc..

The Laws of Nature have show their behavior. It shows that "the world" or planets occur. Einstein is saying planets are formed because of the Laws of the Universe having created them. In other words, there is no reason to think that if the Bag Bang happened again, that no where in the Universe could there be a planet like our world.

It's a simple thing, conceptually. There's no reason to think that completely different Laws of Nature would exist if there was another Big Bang. In that respect, A.E. is saying "Hey. The Laws of Nature created the Earth. There's no reason to think that if creation of the Universe happened all over again, that another world like our our would not be created, when your dealing with the same kinds of elements, forces, etc. that have a generally predictalbe way of behaving. (For example we can see the creation of Stars within another Galaxy. Well, there's no reason to think that we should net find the same thing again, particularly because we know that there are many Stars, and have a basic understanding of why and how they are forming.)

More specifically, when A.E. said "whether God had any choice", in the quote above, he's saying that The Laws of Nature are not totally random, nor do they seem illogical, when they are understood. Because the Laws of Nature are not random, they are a set of Laws that occur when the Universe is in the form that it is. That being the case,
there's no reason to say (when speaking of the Universe as we know it and see it and understand it), that another world like our own would not be created, if the Universe is recreated by another Big Bang.

In other words, there's "no choice" (i.e. no randomness)
for the Universe to behave as it does, because everything is determined by the Laws of Nature, regardless of how random something seems to be.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
Well, do we know for sure what Einstein believed about "before the initial singularity" (I don't know if he ever heard the term Big Bang, which was coined around the time he died)? Did he even believe in an initial singularity?

Spinoza distinguished two senses of nature; one is passive nature that we see around us, the other lies behind that appearance and is nature creating itself. As you might say from Einstein's point of view, the process of instantiating the laws of physics.

We can know what Einstein would say about it, because we can understand what he means by "Spinoza's God". As mentioned in my post just above this one, regardless of the circumstances, everything behaves according to the Laws of Nature that "govern" the behavior of everything, under any circumstances.

Einstein made it very clear that he believed that nothing exists without obeying some Law of Nature. Everything is governed by Laws of Nature, under any circumstances.
If the displayed behavior changes, then the displayed behavior is in accordance with the Laws of Nature under the circumstances which is being referred to.

It's like the famous quote about "God" not playing "dice"
with the Universe. The Universe is the way it is, because everything behaves according to the Laws of Nature that govern everything.

Again, the question is easily answered by researching Pantheism. It's very easy to understand. What is very difficult, at first, is to understand what a Pantheist means
when using the PantheistSpeak version of English.
 
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Garth said:
treat2 - Your assertion that Einstein was a closet atheist who only used the word 'God' instead of 'laws of nature' to save his career is absurd. Many atheists have had successful (especially scientific) careers even (especially)at the beginning of the Twentieth century. The fact that the Vatican was interested in how his theory might affect their teachings does in no way imply that they had some kind of 'hold' or authority over him.
Spinoza was a monist. His assertion was that there were not two kinds of fundamental essence, matter and spirit, but one. His position and Einstein's, I believe, is best described by the word 'Panentheism', that the world is created out of the very being of God and is part of God but God is 'over, under, above and beyond' the totality of the physical world.
- Garth
Nope. You do not understand Spinoza and Pantheism when you start talking about "spirits" and the "being" of an entity.

You're totally misinterpretting Spinoza, when you begin speaking of his definition of "God" as a Spiritual being, or something divine, or something that is worshipped.
"Spinoza's God" is nothing more than the laws of nature.

That is not my opinion alone, it is the opinion of all Pantheists that understand "Spinoza's God", as well.

Spinoza, being the "Father of Pantheism", and "Spinoza's God" is well understood by Pantheists.

Spinoza does not mean that "God" is spiritual, nor that "God" is any kind of entity from which everything is made.

All Panthests can explain this to you, but to discuss it or debate it, one needs to understand what "Spinoza's God" is all about.

There is no better way to do that than checking out a few Pantheist Sites to understand what is meant by "God".

------
Do you find it absurd that George Bush Sr. said that Atheists are not be Citizens of the U.S., because we live in "One Nation Under God"!???

No. It is not absurd. Even today, the intense anger with Atheists that is shown by the statements of Christians in positions of power, is seen. During Spinoz's time, he was persecuted as an Atheist, and driven out of his native land.

No. it's most definitely not absurd. The media hounded Einstein. They dogged him, to tell them, what his belief in "God" is.

I tried to impress that point upon everyone reading that post, by intentionally relating the Vatican's request for Einstein to go to Rome and explain to them, the implications of his latest writings, that were soon to be announced.


There is no better approach to understand Spinoza, than to research what the Pantheism is, if you'd like to debate what "Spinoza's God" actually means, I recommend it.


I must tell you that Spinoza's writing is awful. His idea of developing a Philosophy was to use mathematical approach
that I won't bore you with, except to say that it was a miserable failure, in that his writings to create his Philosophy are easily misunderstood.
 

selfAdjoint

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Your account of Spinoza and Einstein is substantially as I understand it too. Just two cavils:

First, Spinoza was not perscuted by Christians, AFAIK, but by his own people, the Jews of Amsterdam.

Secondly Spinoza's more geometrico or mathematical style was and is offputting to people who "just can't stand math", but it's attractive to the minority who like math. Einstein, who found Euclid's geometry a wonder as a young person, was bowled over and remained respectful of Spinoza all his life.
 
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Vast said:
If Pantheism is the belief that the universe or physical world is God, when asked, “do you believe in God?” the question then becomes “do you believe in physical existence?” Any sensible person would answer yes without a doubt. (Well if you were a Pantheist) Therefore can one really say the physical world is God? Or use the physical world as proof of the existence of God? I don’t think so. What purpose would it serve if I were to go around asking people if they believed in the physical world around them? This is why I’ve never understood Pantheism.
I was just reading a quote from Einstein yesterday, in a book about Patterns. He said, something like: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Well, that's why you're having a problem understanding "Spinoza's God" (Pantheism). Believe me, when I read an interpretation of Pantheism, it was so wacky that I couldn;'t figure out what the whole thing is about. (Remember? I'm not a Pantheist.) OK. This will clear up the problem you're having...

To the Pantheist: "God" = "The Laws of Nature".

Now, here's the problem you had. You simplified "The Laws of Nature", to mean somethinig physical.

"The Laws of Nature" are the SET OF RULES which GOVERN the BEHAVIOR, CHARACTERISTICS, & PROPERTIES, of EVERYTHING in NATURE. (no. i'm not yelling. lol)

OK. To Spinoza and Pantheists, "God" is "The Laws of Nature" >>NOT<< Nature itself.

That should explain the what would he have said about "God" before the Big Bang post, and help you to understand that your previous understanding was an attempt to simplify what I said too much. lol. That then created a scenario for a question and an answer, that of course, is kinda silly. Don't be offended. There are many people that have no clue as to what Pantheism is.

Understanding what a Pantheist believes is extremely simple, believe me.

Understanding what a Pantheist is saying is totally impossible, without having a English language Dictionary for Pantheists, by you side, IF you knew nothing about the meaning of a few words used by Pantheists, and a bit of help with an Eglish interpretatiion of what a Pantheist is saying. There are a few Pantheist Web Sites that do have this. It's a matter of finding a few of the right Sites.

Pantheists are like Atheists that have a need for a religion, but don't like doctrine.

Here's a too small Glossay to just give you an idea of what Pantheists do to English!

LISTED BELOW, IS A COLLECTION OF, AND INTRODUCTION TO THE PANTHEISTIC MEANING
OF A FEW COMMONLY USED WORDS THAT CONVEY A DIFFERENT MEANING TO A NON-PANTHEIST.

This collection was extracted from an essay located on a Web Site that promotes the “World Pantheist Movement” :

http://members.aol.com/Heraklit1/science.htm [Broken]


1) WHAT IS RELIGION - For the Pantheist, Science can be a deep expression of Religion.

2) WHAT IS DIVINITY - Pantheism asserts that Reality - the visible, audible, touchable, tasteable world of nature and the universe - is divine. … if we accept that the cosmos is divine, we have to admit that the divinity of the Real has other traits which most religions do not acknowledge. These include: Constant flux. Destructivity. Randomness.
Unpredictability. Immensity.

3) WHAT IS REALITY - Scientific pantheism is called scientific not because science endorses pantheism but because scientific pantheism adopts a scientific approach to Reality.Pantheism asserts that Reality - the visible, audible, touchable, tasteable world of nature and the universe - is divine. That is, it possesses most of the qualities that believers in God claim for God and therefore should be revered and celebrated. These qualities include power, mystery, awe, creation, omnipresence. Nature and the universe possess these qualities indisputably and empirically,

4) WHAT IS FAITH - Faith means accepting the unbelievable, unprovable or illogical on the basis of evidence that no scientist would accept in science, and no prudent person would accept as the basis of a contract (see Faith.)

5) WHAT IS SACRED - With scientific pantheism, empiricism is one of the most sacred and binding duties. A pantheist who ignores evidence, or who is in any way closed to new evidence, is guilty of turning away from Reality. By evidence we mean the sort of evidence that science and the senses deal with. We mean direct experience of the sensible world, rather than the "experience" of unconfirmed hallucination or imagination, however powerful these may be for the individual. We mean experience that can be repeated by others, verified by others, rather than private experiences which are inaccessible to others.

5) WHAT IS MYSTERY – The rule of simplicity applies in religion too.
For as long as there has been religious speculation, gods have been used as an explanation for the existence of the universe. Moses and Mohammed applied Occam's razor to religion, and reduced a pantheon of Gods to one God.
Yet monotheism still retained two entities: God and the universe. Nor was it an explanation, since God's existence was accepted as a "mystery." Pantheism asserts that the universe is self-sufficient, and accepts its existence as THE ULTIMATE MYSTERY. It seeks for the most simple hypothesis, and replaces two universal entities with one, two mysteries with one.

6) WHAT “GOD” IS NOT - Sometimes people who believe in God or heaven cite personal experience as "evidence." But they are not talking about the sort of evidence that science would accept, or that ordinary people would accept before signing a contract. They are talking about individual emotions or imaginations, experiences that cannot be repeated or verified by others at will.

7) WHAT A PANTHEIST MEANS BY AN IMPERSONAL “GOD” - The cosmos is impersonal in any human sense. These forces, processes and scales are not in any way friendly to the human race. They CANNOT be squared with the idea of an omniscient, loving, forgiving and personal God, concerned with each one of us, who metes out our fates according to careful justice. Indeed belief in such a God can only be maintained if these facts and their true import are ignored.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER, TO UNDERSTAND WHAT A PANTHEIST MEANS BY NATURE, AS A “DIVINE BEING”.

Now that several terms have been defined in terms of how a Pantheist would use them, such as: divinity, an impersonal God, a non-transcendental view of reality, and the equating of “god” to the Laws of Nature, the following statement, made by a Pantheist, takes on a completely new meaning to a non-Pantheist:

“When theists look at a forest, or at a cell, or at a galaxy, they feel that they are contemplating the reflected glory of an invisible Creator, or they are staring at God's impenetrable veil. When pantheists do so, they are directly witnessing the glory of divine Being. They are gazing on the unveiled face of divinity.”

Pantheists redefine what are otherwise commonly understood words. IF you do not know how a Pantheist defines what “Divine” or “Divinity” means, you will misunderstand what a Pantheist has said.

The Pantheist notion of Divinity, and Divine, as well as, the non-Transcendental a.k.a. Spiritual world of the Laws of Nature is nothing more that what an Atheist would say about the subject, except that the Atheist has no reason to replace the meaning or the words “The Laws of Nature”, with the word “God”.
 
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Garth said:
Pantheism arises out of an Eastern (i.e. Hindu/Buddhist) spirituality rather than Middle Eastern (i.e. Jewish/Christian/Islamic) spirituality. It might be argued that the Eastern view is more ancient and itself arises from an Animist spirituality in which all objects, especially living ones, are endowed with a 'soul'. Hence they worship trees/animals/mountains/Sun Moon and stars etc. In the Hindu worldview these multiple spirits were codified into a series of gods and unified in the Vedic principle that 'Reality is one, but different religious teachers speak of it differently'. Buddhism then develops this idea into Nirvana as the final liberation from the pain of repeated embodiment (reincarnation) and does not require a god as such at all.

A pantheist not only believes in the existence of the physical reality but that it has some kind of 'soul' or 'personality' that can be worshipped. An atheist may not understand this need to worship something but it seems to be quite a common human trait!


- Garth

100% WRONG.
Sorry.

1) Pantheism came from Spinoza, who was raised with the Judeo-Christian idea of "God".

2) Patheists do not believe in "Spirits", "Souls", Animism, nor mysticism, nor invisiblity of a Divine Spirit, within anything!

To understand what a Pantheist means by "DIVINITY", "FAITH", "SACRED", "MYSTERY ", and a few other words, see my response to Vast, above, for a very tiny Glossary.

The problem you are having is understanding what Pantheism is, and what a Pantheist means, when s/he speaks about "God", "religion", creation of the Universe, etc.

I assure you, that an Encyclopedia, will simply not do.

To understand Patheism, you will need to go to a Pantheist Site, or read a book on it, written by a Pantheist.

I'm sorry, but as for debating, Pantheism, or others about it, they must at least be as familiar with it as this Atheist is. My only intention in this response is to hopefully undo the unintentional misinformation in the post above.
 
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The theme of what this thread is about, is Pantheism, and what understanding people have of it. Few people have a clue, because they are totally unaware of how the Pantheist has redefined English, and it is (if anything), a religion with few members. However, some of them have been quite well-known.

Pantheism is the personification of "The Laws of Nature", into a religion.

Pantheism itself is incredibly simplistic. It is no different than what any educated Atheist would believe, with one oxymoronic small big difference.

Pantheists redefine well known English words.

Atheists do not redefine well known English words.

Both, Pantheists and Atheists would answer questions about the Universe and everything else in the exact same way, EXCEPT, the Pantheist would respond with DIFFERENT WORDS that mean the SAME THING as the Atheist the would respond.

Both Pantheists and Atheists mean the exact same thing, when the are talking about the same subject or answering the same questions. Only the WORDS USED are different, because the Pantheist redefines them to mean something completly different that what ANY Dictionary would state that certain well defined words mean, with the exception of the word "God", as there are too many definitions of it, to put in a Dictionary.

The essential question that Vast posted above, was why would anyone bother to be a Pantheist.

I can give only two reasons.

First, some people have a need for a community, which Pantheism can help create, with some effort. BTW. This is not myu opinion, it is the opinion of Pantheists, as well, and you can find such statements on some Pantheist Sites.

Second, some people want to speak using the same words that are used by Judeo-Christians, and be thought of, as saying the same thing, even though they are saying something completely different.

As there is nothing that has ever been written, to indicate that when Einstein was speaking of believing in "Spinoza's God", he was spending any time with a Community of
like-minded people, and had that need to do so. That leaves the second reason, which is to speak as if one believes in somnething divine, and has faith, and is religious.

Einstein's own statement about being a very religious man, is yet another entirely misunderstood quote!

What he was really saying is that he has the utmost belief in Sciences, from which we can study and learn the Laws of Nature. By saying he is a very religious man, it simply means that he believes in Science and the Laws of Nature, and not in the notions held by the followers of a Judeo-Christian "God", or any other religion's "God".

(An earleir post quoted Spinoza, in which he talks about the irrational belief that is also called "Faith" and is held with regard to the Judeo-Christian notion of the existence of "God" and what it is responsible for.)

Personally, I find Pantheism a bit comical. It always cracks me up, when I read anything Einstein wrote on the subject, since he would have a Judeo-Christian audience, and be speaking PantheistSpeak English, which sounds as if he was part of any Congragation that almost all of his public audience would have been.

BTW. The most complete collection of Einstein's orignial Papers/Manuscripts/Writings, are going to be displayed in a new museum in Israel, in the very near future. About a dozen Papers that Einstein wrote on the subject of "God" and religion, will be amongst the Papers in the museum.
Information about it can be found via a decent Search Engine.
 
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selfAdjoint said:
The more you refine the definition of pantheism, the more we see why it is incorrect to call Einstein, or Spinoza for that matter, a pantheist. It isn't the intellectual opinion, but the spiritual response that makes the pantheist.
Sorry, but you have redefined Pantheism.

The Pantheist does not believe in what you call "spiritual".

The Judeo-Christian notion of anything spiritual relates to "worship". Pantheists do not worship "God". When a Pantheist speaks of "religiion", "faith", and "divinity",
it is NOT even remotely related to what your idea of
"spiritual" means.

There is no transcendental notion of a "God", in Pantheistm. The notion of "mysticism" as in something thought of as "sacred" or "holy", is also absent from Pantheism.

I find it rather frustrating to speak about Pantheism, as I am always having to correct people on the subject. As an Atheist, I'm not religious, yet I do feel obligated to correct the oxymopronic misunderstood understanding other people have of Pantheism, and Pantheists. There are three reasons for Pantheism being so badly misinterpreted and so poorly explained and misunderstood.

First, Pantheists, such as Einstein, WANT to be be misunderstood! Pantheists do not want to be thought of as Atheists, and go to great lengths to ensure that happens, by redefining English!

Second, the explanations of Pantheism that can be found in some references, are often an interpretation of Pantheism, rather than an actual explanation of Pantheism, which is actually much shorter than the average size of my posts in nthis thread! lol I often find someone such as in this thread, that attempts to create a transcendental notion of "God", not unlike Hinduism and many of the religions of Native North and South Americans, oftehn referrred to as "Indians".

Lastly, even today, it is very important for many people to believe that Einstein's notion of "God" is not terribly unlike their own, ion the sense that it at least has a kind of transcendental qulitey referred to above. Often the authors of sources on religion are from people with a
Judeo-Christian background. When a number of these authors describe Pantheism, they overlook and do not mention that Pantheists redefine many words in the English Language. Those authors either intentionally or unintentionally create descriptions of Pantheism that are,
completely wrong, or filled with interpretations that suggest a transcendental notion of "God", being hld by Pantheists. However, that interpretation is completely false.
Yet another factor that (IMO) influences these same authors, is the legacy of Einstein, and that he not be understood as holding the exact same beliefs about "God" that an Atheist would have.

If asked, do you believe in "God" the open Pantheist would say, my word for "The Laws of Nature" is "God".

If asked, do you believe in "God" the Atheist would say, I have no use for the word "God", or the belief in any.

Yet, The Pantheist has only said, "Sure, I believe in Science
and the laws of nature".

There is a reason Pantheism has no "Personal God", that reason is that the Pantheist is speaking about what s/he has learned and can learn from Science.

The notion of any kind of higher being, transcendental spirit, or ANYTHING THAT HAS intellect and an "intent", is completly absent from Pantheism.

Few people take the time that this Atheist did, to do some amount of research on it, by going to Pantheist Sites, and reading everything about it that was available, to get a good understanding that Pantheists are no different than Atheists, but Pantheists have redefined the English language, so that they can not be understood by anyone without a decent amount of familiarity with Pantheism can understand.

It is quite obvious why Pantheists have redefinefd words, since the oxymoronic misunderstood understanding of what a Pantheist is saying does achieve its purpose!!!
 
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treat2 you may want to try being more concise in your posts. You repeat yourself quite a bit and keep posting over and over continuing the repetition. Also some of the statements you make may not set well with some as much as you seem to be attempting to be polite.

I'd say personally that I understand very well what you mean by pantheism and it has more or less been my "belief system" if you will for sometime though I have never read anything pretaining directly to pantheism before and I don't restrict my thoughts to being purely atheistic. Perhaps you may say that I can't really be a pantheist if I believe in anything spiritual but I also consider myself model agnostic when it comes to just about anything.
 
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Garth said:
As I have posted above, given his use of 'God language' perhaps pan-en-theist describes Einstein better.
Panentheism = "The belief that the being of God includes and penetrates the whole universe, so that every part of it exists in God but (as against pantheism) that God's being is more than, and is not exhausted by, the universe."
- Garth
I understand exactly what you are saying, G. I also understand why.

I too, thought that Pantheists had a transcendental notion of "God".

However, after going to any good Pantheist Site, you will find, just as I did, that your current understanding, (which is exactly the kind of misunderstanding that is written in so many sources), is in fact, completely wrong.

Again, your interest in the subject, makes it worth your while to actually visit of few good Panatheist Sites. You will really be surprised at what you find after a few hours of study.

One thing I am certain of, is that the authors of sources, such as you must have read, and I have seen myself, have
not actually any idea what Pantheism is.

That's both funny and sad, at the same time. I encourage you to take that time to do so, as I did. BTW. I was not shopping for a religion. I was studying a subject as a good subject for a thread. I came away with 4 different threads from it, and a very clear understanding of Pantheism. I assure you, that the author(s) your reading from, are not Pantheists, and those that are, are not defining Pantheism
in plain vanilla English, but are using the Pantheist version of English that you and the rest of the World do not understand.

The thing about Pantheists, is the don't want to be understood. So, reading something written by a Pantheist
who is not giving you the English interpretation of what he is saying, would leave everyone including myself, thinking that s/he is of a traditional religion, IF the Pantheist author do not state that they are a Pantheist!

The BEST Pantheist Sites will have a Glossary! They will also have a few paragraphs written about "God" and using PantheistSpeak, and below that, they will have an interpretation into English and an explanation of the interpretation. They will also explain Scientific Pantheism, which is what Einstein was, as he was a "Scientist".
 
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selfAdjoint said:
Your account of Spinoza and Einstein is substantially as I understand it too. Just two cavils:

First, Spinoza was not perscuted by Christians, AFAIK, but by his own people, the Jews of Amsterdam.

Secondly Spinoza's more geometrico or mathematical style was and is offputting to people who "just can't stand math", but it's attractive to the minority who like math. Einstein, who found Euclid's geometry a wonder as a young person, was bowled over and remained respectful of Spinoza all his life.
On the first point, I know that my memory of whether Spinoza was a Jew or a Christian and which of the two groups he was persecuted by, is not present. I paid particular attention to it, as I used a phrase like "people of
his own land", rather than say which group.

If I did say which group persecuted him, that was I mistake, on my part to have said so. It's possible that I did post it. My appologies to all Christians that may have been offended, it I did post that. I only remember it was one ot the two groups. Earlier tonight when I posted I made certain not to mention which group, as I recall posting on this subject, and being unclear on which group he belonged to as a youngster, and which group he was persecuted by.

Actually, I have found a new respect for Math, several years ago, and have in my free time been learning beyond where I left off in High School, approx. 35 years ago. By the time I'm done reading all the books I want to, I'll be near 70, and have forgotten it all, anyway! lol

I am aware of Spinoza's respect for mathematicians, as being his motive. Yet, although the book describing his Philosophy was written in the style of using terms like Axioms, etc. the Philosophy was not targetted for Mathethmaticians, and as such, it was by all accounts I have seen, a miserable failure to convey any intelligble
the anyone other than a Mathematician, and I would be that a good deal of Mathematicians would find it more of a curiousity, than an intelligble Manuscript. lol

Again, my appologies, if I posted that, to any Christians.
The Jews got to this one before you guys could!!! LOL!
 

Garth

Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,572
105
Oxford Companion to Philosophy:
First used by John Tolland in 1705 the term 'pahtheist' designates one who holds both that everything there is constitutes a unity and that unity is divine"
Spinoza (1632-77) was a philosopher whose phrase for God "Deus sive Natura" encapsulated his definition of God - "the being who possesses infinite attributes; therefore a single substance, which is identified with Nature conceived as a whole, is also properly identified with God" (Spinoza - Stuart Hampshire Pelican 1967)

Of course he was a Jew - but his thinking lies in a tradition of a way of looking at God that can be traced back to the Greek Philosophers and beyond them to an Eastern approach to the divine.


If
"God" = "The Laws of Nature".
Why use God language at all?

Garth
 
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TheStatutoryApe said:
treat2 you may want to try being more concise in your posts. You repeat yourself quite a bit and keep posting over and over continuing the repetition. Also some of the statements you make may not set well with some as much as you seem to be attempting to be polite.

I'd say personally that I understand very well what you mean by pantheism and it has more or less been my "belief system" if you will for sometime though I have never read anything pretaining directly to pantheism before and I don't restrict my thoughts to being purely atheistic. Perhaps you may say that I can't really be a pantheist if I believe in anything spiritual but I also consider myself model agnostic when it comes to just about anything.
True. I find the same misinformation, over and over again.
Not surprising though. The answers to each of the mistakes are usually quite similar, as the subject is quite simple, as long as you know what a Pantheist is talking about. lol

Nothing I said was a personal attack, I was careful about it.
As to whether it sites well, I'm wondering why after making 18 posts you feel the need to post to advise me.
All I can tell you is I've been on close to 200 boards, over several years, and I am seriously unconcerned.

A suggestion for you. If you want to make a personal post,
of some kind, it would be best to send it in a PM, it would have avoided my reference to your 18 posts here, and being an advice giver to someone you don't know anything about. I do appreciate that correction about the Christians not having persecuted him. (Assumning I did say Christians, which is entirely possible.)

In any case, you are correct in that when there is a belief in something that acts with purpose, as in ""intent", or a belief in an entity, intellect, higher being, animism, invisible spirits, souls, etc. any and all of it are not part of Pantheism. Rightly so, you would not be a Pantheist, as Pantheists define it, but HEY! They redefined English, no reason you can do a bit of redefinition of Panthiest beliefs if you want to!! LOL!

(This is a contraversial topic, in many Forums. I hoped to add to the Pantheistic theme and interest in the thread, by bringing my assertion into the equation. My assertion is certain not to sit well with some people, but there actually is quite a bit to be learned on the subject, as the traditional sources of information that I've seen provide awful descriptions of Pantheism. Moreover, I hope to educate, not to misinform. I encourage people to got to seom Pantheist sites. The definition of Pantheism is very simple. It is the redefined language that they use, which accounts for why it is so badly understood. As I mentioned to Garth tonight, his understanding was exactly the same as my own! I got that kind of understanding from whatever sources I could find, until I went to some Pantheist Web Sites.)

If people can understand my posts, that's an accomplishment, and I don't even expect most people will.
To understand my assertion it does require some time to find good sources. I'm always happy to discuss or debate
a subject I'm reasonably well informed on. The irony of my
argument, is as you can see, that Spinoza said he's not an Atheist, Einstein would have said the same, as their definition of "God" is Nature itself. Yet, after a few hundred years after Spinoza, there's someone still calling im no different than an Atheist. However, despite believing the exact same things, I'm fully willing to refer to Pantheists as Pantheists. I only want to clarify that Pantheism, such as having no transcendental notions whatsoever, and point out that the only difference is what Dictionary one happens to use for the English Language.

Perhaps that's unfair to Pantheists, since they're in a minority, and the Definitions were set by a majority, but that happens to be the way people that speak English communicate to avoid misunderstanding each other.
 
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Garth said:
Oxford Companion to Philosophy:

Spinoza (1632-77) was a philosopher whose phrase for God "Deus sive Natura" encapsulated his definition of God - "the being who possesses infinite attributes; therefore a single substance, which is identified with Nature conceived as a whole, is also properly identified with God" (Spinoza - Stuart Hampshire Pelican 1967)

Of course he was a Jew - but his thinking lies in a tradition of a way of looking at God that can be traced back to the Greek Philosophers and beyond them to an Eastern approach to the divine.


If Why use God language at all?

Garth
Last, first. There is no transcendental notion in Pantheism of "God" or anything else. It is not related to Hinduism. If anything it would be closer to Buddism, but that's an argument I really wouldn't like to make. The point is that there is no notion of anything transcendental.

As I ahve been saying, the sources on Pantheism are badly misinformed. They do not understand even what a Pantheist means by the word "DIVINE".

I assume that you do not, either, as you are using it in the context of the notion of a transcentdental "GOD".

You can refer back to a very tiny Glossary, in one of my posts, it should be enlightening. However, it is not enough
to intelligently discuss Pantheism.

Your best source are Pantheists, not some bozo that wrote the Oxford Companion to Philosophy. As I pointed out, earlier, several times, I was givien to the saem mistaken belief as you. You will need to look at sources written by Pantheists. However, those sources must also include a Glossary to explain their definition of certain words.

You see, a Pantheist can talk about "God", just like a Jew or a Christian, when speaking of "God" as "divine",

The problem is, you do not know what the Pantheist means
by "divine", nor by "God". The too small Glossary I posted
earlier will at least give you a CLUE as to what I am trying to tell you. It is a matter of your being willing to spend some time checking out some good Pantheist Sites, with Glossaries, and clear explanations of what Pantheism is.

It would take about 10 sentences to state what Pantheism is!!! It's a matter of your willingness to go and look at it on any Pantheist Site, and NOT from a source that I can tell you is misinforming you.

This is rather pointless to discuss further, until and unless you do so. Regardsd - T2
some Pantheist sites.
 
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Garth said:
Oxford Companion to Philosophy:
........
If Why use God language at all?
Garth
I gave several reasons for why one would be a Pantheist in a response to someone's post. You'll need to refer back to get my response. - T2
 

Garth

Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,572
105
Tom Mattson said:
Let's keep on topic, folks. This thread is about Dr. Kaku's concepton of god.
Would this quote be timely?

AFAIK the thread in Dr. Kaku's thinking goes back to the way Einstein, and back through him, Spinoza, use the word 'God'.
We could argue for hours about a modern Pantheists beliefs, or otherwise, but that's not the topic of this thread.

Returning to Einstein; if in saying "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world" Einstein was using the word 'God' to mean 'Laws of Nature' in what way did they have a "choice"?

In saying, "I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details" why did Einstein use a theological word? Whose thoughts? Whose act of creation?

treat2 your
First, Pantheists, such as Einstein, WANT to be be misunderstood! Pantheists do not want to be thought of as Atheists, and go to great lengths to ensure that happens, by redefining English!
I would be interested in a reference to Einstein own words to back up this assertion. I find the notion that Einstein deliberately wanted to mislead people disingenuous and my own suspicion is that it is a device used by some atheists (pantheists?) to cover up any embarrassament they might have over Einstein's use of the 'God' word.

Garth

BTW, as a point of information, the "some bozo that wrote the Oxford Companion to Philosophy", actually the author of just the article I quoted, was Professor Philip L. Quinn of the University of Notre Dame. (It is always good to be precise about references.)
 
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