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The idea of pantheism

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    I was reading about Spinoza on wiki and wondering what others think.

    Is the idea of pantheism or whatever it's called, that God-Nature is the same thing, really all that incompatible with the anthropomorphic idea of God as a being?

    I tend to take Karl Jung's route to understanding God/divinity in terms of cultural archetypes. Basically, I'm thinking that one could view Spinoza's God-Nature as the overall existence of the creation (i.e. nature) as self-perpetuating divinity and regard the personification of anthropomorphic images of a God-creator as part of God-Nature, i.e. the part that facilitates human identification with divine creative-power as provided to them by God-Nature.

    I know there are rules on religious discussions, so hopefully I'm not violating these by initiating a thread by mentioning Spinoza's philosophy of divinity. If so, I don't mind if people disregard this aspect of Spinoza's philosophy and discuss other aspects instead.

    I am not looking to have a debate about what God is - just studying the philosophical ideas and trying to learn some more about Spinoza in the process.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2
    Re: Spinoza

    Joseph Campbell, a mythology scholar and Jungian, summed it up:

    "God is a metaphor for that which trancends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that."

    God is your greatest potential, your deepest indentity.

    I think Campbell and Jung are the best on this subject.

    "Mythology is often thought of as other people's religions, and religion can be defined as mis-interpreted mythology."

    -Campbell

     
  4. Apr 30, 2010 #3
    Re: Spinoza

    Yes. Spinoza clearly defines attributes of G-D and clearly proves G-D exists.
    But it's not the monotheistic G-D.

    Spinoza's G-D is only pantheistic if you define everything to be only a part of G-d (a mode).

    Otherwise no.

    you need to thoroughly read http://www.yesselman.com if you want a deeper understanding of his work.
     
  5. May 2, 2010 #4
    Re: Spinoza

    Wouldn't that be panentheistic? Pantheism tends to identify nature and the universe with God, whereas panentheism sees this as only a small part of God.
     
  6. May 2, 2010 #5
    Re: Spinoza

    Is that the term? As I said Spinoza's G-D is only pantheistic if you define everything to be only a part of G-d (a mode).

    People often mistaken pantheism for Spinozist's G-D. This is also why Einstein never considered himself to be a pantheist but endorsed a Spinozist G-D.
     
  7. May 3, 2010 #6
    Re: Spinoza

    Well I'm not particularly familiar with Spinoza' philosophy, but what you wrote above sounded like what I have read on panentheism. There is a section on his wikipedia page called "Panentheist, pantheist, or atheist?", which seems to argue that he was a panentheist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Spinoza#Panentheist.2C_pantheist.2C_or_atheist.3F).
     
  8. May 3, 2010 #7
    Re: Spinoza

    Would a god not need to be encompassing all of the universe, and be outside of it? To compute the universe and set it in motion, a creator would have to be apart from it, and a part of it. For us, is this not the same as saying the universe is god? This to me, seems a way to believe in something bigger, without assigning a real identity; Occam's Razor should cut that away, leaving us with nature alone.
     
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