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Post By
Late Great Donald Blake 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,566
In Reply To

Member Since: Thu Nov 11, 2021
Subj: Well for one...
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 at 11:44:41 pm EST (Viewed 196 times)
Reply Subj: Re: oh so you don't think pantheism and atheism are the same thing?
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 at 09:56:50 pm EST (Viewed 193 times)

Previous Post

What’s the difference, other than scale, if I believe a rock in my front yard is “God” than the entire universe? Pretend that for some reason, I believe that this rock is “God” but don’t believe it has any powers or is anything special from any other rock. I can’t explain why I think it’s “God”, what godhood characteristics it has, but I’m willing to ream somebody who says I don’t believe in “God”. So, would I really believe in “God”; or, more likely, misunderstand what “God” means?

...the idea that all things are immanent in God doesn't imply that God wouldn't be somehow greater than the sum of his parts. Nor does it imply that God doesn't also transcend the world such that all of the world is a part of God, but God still exceeds the world's worldly limits. You're conflating here the idea that all things are a part of god versus the idea that God is ONLY a mere collection of all things. Those have different cosmological implications.

A pantheistic God situation also wouldn't have to be completely inert: it wouldn't mean God wouldn't have power to act on the world in certain ways that are inside of him, similar to how every anatomical body part of yours is part of you as a whole, but you still have in some sense control over your various body parts and could still act on them, like when you clip your own toenails for instance \(lol\) . This can also be analogous to your own person: in the way that you are composed of a bunch of discrete parts (they're all in you) but in some ways your consciousness "stands above that" as a kind of gestalt that can't be fully reduced to a heap of disparate objects.

Basically, the ideological history of things like pantheism and deism (and similar ideas) come out of the kind of theological apologetics where the theologian is trying to explain the various (apparent) paradoxes where God is somehow omnipresent but also apart from the material universe. In other words this idea is developed out of a tradition of philosophical and theological conversations that mean to explain HOW God exists, not that he doesn't. They're not just vain attempts to redefine God for some arbitrary reason. It's about trying to make our understanding of the world and our understanding of God commensurate and coherent.

It's not really my philosophical wheelhouse, but I respect it.

---the late great Donald Blake

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