Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Favorite quotations, etc.
7Wannabe5
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Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:16 am

This thread is earmarked for discussion and celebration of Scientific Pantheism. The reason why this is appropriate topic for this forum is readily revealed by Wikipedia list of famous Scientific Pantheists, inclusive of Einstein, Jung, Thoreau, Sagan, and assorted Stoics. Adherents to other core Truths are welcome :)

daylen
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by daylen » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:34 am

AKA naturalistic pantheism and poetic naturalism. [Some] hail to the many-faced god.

I believe in Christianity and Satanism equally, and I do not discriminate between equally plausible theistic metaphors in general, amen.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:47 am

Various comments by the very intelligent people on this forum have been quite helpful in allowing me to come to the sudden realization that towards this Truth is where I have been headed along my complex, muddled path. For instance, daylen's note that ENTPs often take a long time to center in on what is important in life. Also, Jason's note that everybody does have a core Truth- Pick 1. Also, peanut's intuition that I was attempting to circle back to something inherent in my former relationship with practicing Muslim.

I remembered that just before I entered into that relationship and attempted to revert to Islam, I was thinking that I needed to find some spiritual practice for my old age, and I was vaguely considering attending a blessing of the animals service at the Episcopal Church. The tragedy of that relationship was that we were very compatible except in the, obviously, most important matter of core truth, and that division ended up eventually ripping us apart in terrible fashion.

The recent experience of accompanying my BF in attendance at a nearby Catholic Church has also been helpful, because I noticed that some things about the environment were making me feel spiritual, but none of them had anything directly to do with Catholicism or even Christianity. I kept averting my eyes from the crucifix, making polite token mumbling of prayer response, while focusing on the graceful, lofted high wooden ceiling, the view to the sky through the stained glass windows, and the sound of the music.

Anyways, obviously, Permaculture and Polyamory are almost perfect subsets of Scientific Pantheism. One linked to food and the other linked to sex. Also, Systems Theory is so directly aligned with Scientific Pantheism, you could almost just call it Systems Theory Pantheism or Spiritual Systems Theory and mean the same thing.

So, now I have ordered several books on the topic and I am making plans to attend the next meeting at the closest Unitarian Universalist Congregation because that is where most Scientific Pantheists hang out.

Question for group debate: Kurt Vonnegut -> Scientific Pantheist?

Jason
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:19 pm

Einstein is claimed by deists/materialists and pantheists. He cannot be claimed by Christians as he made his views clear on that matter. He believed in Spinoza's God, which is also claimed by those three groups as Spinoza was the first one to come out opposed to the trinity and all it entailed and is therefore the father of Christian heresy and all groups in that camp claim him. It's the political equivalent of Abraham Lincoln. Everyone takes their picture in front of the memorial claiming they are the rightful heir to his legacy. When I see the term Scientific pantheism I think of of Emerson/Thoreau in an unqualified manner because its tethered to romanticism. I know Einstein had a woman in every lab but I don't know if he was a Romantic. Once you move overtly away from Christian trinitarianism and a personal God to which one is morally obligated to, it's often hard to know what camp you are in because words like "God" and "nature" can be interpreted in various ways, people's views change and the terminology itself is fluid throughout history. I always classified Carl Sagan as Mr. Rogers for adults and the cosmos was just his sock puppet. I think its sometimes easier to do it by who is not a pantheist and is strictly a materialist. Christopher Hitchens comes to mind. That was one ruthless, relentless atheistic mofo.

chenda
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by chenda » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:23 pm

Is this what Dawkins called 'sexed-up atheism' i.e. the material universe as inherently divine but rejecting any notion of any personified god, afterlife etc ? I got quite into this in the late 90s, as I was an odd girl with dial up and read lots of Paul Harrison's essays, don't know if he is still active ? I think though I've found my spiritual home in Advaita Vedanta, which is kinda similar but kinda very different as well.

Jason
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:52 pm

chenda wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:23 pm
Is this what Dawkins called 'sexed-up atheism'
I think of this.

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/ar ... ts/352530/

7Wannabe5
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:59 pm

A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts
BY WALLACE STEVENS

The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur—

There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk
And August the most peaceful month.

To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
The cat forgotten in the moon;

And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light,
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;

Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of itself;
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full

And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,

You become a self that fills the four corners of night.
The red cat hides away in the fur-light
And there you are humped high, humped up,

You are humped higher and higher, black as stone—
You sit with your head like a carving in space
And the little green cat is a bug in the grass.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:13 pm

@Jason:

I agree that Einstein is somewhat dubious. I would put him into the same ? category as Vonnegut and other thoughtful mid-20th century pacifists.
chenda wrote:Is this what Dawkins called 'sexed-up atheism' i.e. the material universe as inherently divine but rejecting any notion of any personified god, afterlife etc ?
Maybe, but that's not how I would describe it. Atheism is more like NO GOD! It first needs the concept of God to make any sense of itself. Scientific Pantheism does not require God as first concept to be rejected. IOW, I grok that "sexed up atheism" is how an atheist would see Scientific Pantheism, because God -> No God -> Sexed-Up No God is what would make sense from that core perspective.
I think though I've found my spiritual home in Advaita Vedanta, which is kinda similar but kinda very different as well.
Cool. I am unfamiliar with the practice, will have to look into it.

Jason
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:42 pm

Thinking of it historically is helpful. I would recommend A Secular Age by Charles Taylor. It's the dissolution of Christian hegemony in distinct stages. If you look at the "science" its Galileo to Newton to Darwin. Intellectually its Christianity (Catholic Church/Luther) to Deism (Continental rationalists -Descartes/Spinoza/Leibniz) to radical atheism (Voltaire) of which materialism and pantheism are two sub-sets. In simple form its three distinct moves- God to god to nature with the "god to nature" move having a variegated interplay.

On a side note if you look at the change in how the interpretation of the US constitution has changed since its origination, it aligns with the move from a Newtonian view to a Darwinian view of science.

chenda
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by chenda » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:48 pm

@7 - a good summary of the various Vedanta schools from Dr Nick Sutton: https://youtu.be/5vzkOhHHaIg

@jason - Does he talk about western mysticism/estocrism ? I have read this is considered to be the third current in western intellectual history, along with Christianity and Rationalism/Science.

Jason
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:29 pm

He doesn't talk about it per se. What he talks about are the major changes in the intellectual landscape of the West where at first it was not permitted, to it next being entertained to it ultimately becoming the new hegemony.

The problem with bifurcating Christianity with science/rationalism is that it presents a false dichotomy. It's cliche to think of them as inherently oppositional. Galileo was a Christian and scientist and rationalist but the shit hit the Church fan with his post-Ptolemic interpretation of the cosmos.

That's why Taylor addresses it through the Trinitarian/Deism/Atheist progression because what you are talking about is not the replacement of Christianity with rationalism but the change in the relationship between Christianity and rationalism. Until Spinoza, rational thinking was subordinate to Christian faith. After Spinoza, Christianity was subordinate to rational thinking. After Voltaire, rationalism precluded the possibility of Christianity. Now of course we live in a world where all these systems exist, but the bottom line was that in the 15th century no one is celebrating scientific pantheism while the black plague was dripping out of their asshole. If that type of thought crossed your mind, you kept it to yourself because you'd be considered possessed and subsequently burned at the stake. What you did see was the change in the depiction of Jesus Christ. Look at the artwork. It's like the transition from heavy metal music to grunge. In the ancient period he was painted like a divine Bon Jovi. In the Medieval world he looks like Kurt Cobain on his last day. From King of the Universe to suffering savior.

chenda
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by chenda » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:15 pm

@jason very interesting thanks. I heard a guy argue that western philosophy is in some sense now bankrupt because it can't go beyond the discursive and meet our soteriology needs. Whereas eastern philosophy uses reason as a method to take you to the edge of enlightenment. I'm not entirely sure I fully understand what he meant but it makes some intuitive sense to me, and maybe explains the attraction of eastern thought in the west today.

Jason
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by Jason » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Taylor's ultimate argument is that it is a result of Christian soteriology being removed and the void left in its wake needing to be filled.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:13 pm

@Jason:

The Taylor book sounds interesting. Put it on order.

But, why not Pre-Christian or even Proto-Human Pantheism -> Science -> Scientific Pantheism ?

When we look at the world around us, we find that we are not thrown into chaos and randomness but are part of a great order, a grand symphony of life. Every atom in our body was once a part of previous bodies-living or nonliving- and will be a part of future bodies.
In this sense, our body will not die but will live on, again and again, because life lives on. Moreover, we share not only life's molecules, but also its basic principles of organization with the rest of the living world. And since our mind, too, is embodied, our concept and metaphors are embedded in the web of life together with our bodies and brains. Indeed, we belong to the universe, and this experience of belonging can make our lives profoundly meaningful.- "The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision"- Capra and Luisi
I think deep or core recognition of the embodied mind forms a division between 21st Century Scientific Pantheism and 20th Century Atheism. For instance, an Atheistic Materialist might think of mathematics as being something eternal that exists outside of the eco-system, but a Scientific Pantheist would likely believe that both the concepts of mathematics and the concepts of God emerge from life within the eco-system.

Jason
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by Jason » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:34 pm

Greco Roman influence is always there. In early Christendom there was the Jerusalem vs. Athens debate. But by the Medieval period the philosophical/metaphysical backdrop of Western Civilization became thoroughly Judeo Christian. However, Greek thought came back in two stages - when Aristotle's metaphysics were found during the crusades and brought back from the East and influencing the church through Aquinas, and once again during the Renaissance with the return to the classics and the influence of neo-platonism on the humanists and the creeping enlightenment.

Your distinction between 21st Century Scientific Pantheism and 20th Century atheism seems to be a recapitulation of the Plato vs. Aristotle debate depicted in the famous Raphael painting of the School of Athens with Plato pointing upwards towards his forms and Aristotle pointing downwards towards his particulars.

If you don't have time to read the entire Taylor book there is a handbook. If you do decide to read the book, I would suggest getting the handbook as well.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:39 pm

Jason wrote:Your distinction between 21st Century Scientific Pantheism and 20th Century atheism seems to be a recapitulation of the Plato vs. Aristotle debate depicted in the famous Raphael painting of the School of Athens with Plato pointing upwards towards his forms and Aristotle pointing downwards towards his particulars.
Yeah, I had the same thought after I typed it. Makes sense that I would be arguing on the "earthier" side of Aristotle since god knows my ideal has never been Platonic ;) This would also seem to take us right back round to Dawkin's claim of "sexed up Atheism", but...eh, no. Maybe something kind of like Aristotle is to 21st Century Scientific Pantheism as stock is to flow plus gravity, or as goal is to process plus motivation.

A rooster know how to count because a rooster will strive to give the same number of worms to each of the 4 hens in his harem. A modern polygynous human distributing money to each of his wives might look at his bank account statement, divide the total by 8, and keep 4 shares for himself while sending 1 share electronically to each wife, but basically it is the same process. The sex drive (or in more general terms, "life force") comes before the number 4, whether the number 4 is as concrete as 4 hens or as abstract as a human can make it with his relatively big wrinkly brain.

IOW, every thought, however idealized, that you have is of necessity in reference to the specific living structure you inhabit and its purpose. On one level, it might be most correct to consider Scientific Pantheism to be Modern Sun Worship, but inclusive of full recognition of the sun's composition and that there are some life forms that rely on energy from the core of the Earth.

Jason
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by Jason » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:39 pm

All philosophy, from the pre-Socratics with their life is fire, water, etc. to Heraclitus with his introduction of flux to Plato with his form/matter distinction to Aristotle with actuality/potentiality, Christianity with its trinitarianism, and onwards and upwards is an attempt to confront the foundational question of "the one and the many" - that the universe being one thing, what is the one thing that unites it. In both a facetious and non-facetious way, your polyamory vs. monogamy musings are just a reflection of that question.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:24 am

True, but asking what is the nature of man is not exactly the same as asking what is the nature of woman, especially if you are a woman.

Industrial Era Scientific Atheism obviously had almost as much self-interest engaged in the promotion of selling bullsh*t about the nature of woman as some 7th Century Dude Prophet magnanimously offering up some junior league property and divorce rights. Obvious example being the notion that differing economic incentives in the realm of sexuality and reproduction ought be prescript once described.

Intelligent 21st science recognizes that even the notion of species membership is a bit antiquated. Every individual is an agent full of potential, capable of impactful cognition with environment.

So, I asked myself “Is it within the bounds of the nature of a woman to love three men? I also asked myself “Is it within the bounds of the nature of a woman to do this without assuming position of dominance?” My answer to the first question is “Yes” from every perspective along the continuum from concrete to abstract. My answer to the second question would be “It’s complex.”
Last edited by 7Wannabe5 on Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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fiby41
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by fiby41 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:19 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:39 pm
On one level, it might be most correct to consider Scientific Pantheism to be Modern Sun Worship, but inclusive of full recognition of the sun's composition and that there are some life forms that rely on energy from the core of the Earth.
This maybe the utility based outlook. Corresponding visualization is the sun personified, riding his chariot drawn by seven horses with twelve spoked wheels, with Ushas (Dawn) and Dusk sitting on either sides.

Other outlook is property based. The solar disk is Surya whose other names* have greater common usage that the diety itself.

Yet another outlook is more generalised than just our sun. But the idea of a sun itself, the diety Savitṛ , is worshipped regardless of if life forms rely on it for energy or not.

* Ravi is used as in Sunday
Mārtanda as in the (now destroyed) Martand Sun temple
Literally means dead egg but used to refer to a dead sun
Savitā, nominative singular of Savitṛ
Âditya brought out of Aditi
Sarang where rang means colour and prefix sa is used
the same as in Russian to denote summation/with, ie. Mixing of all colours gives the colour of the sun
Himaghna, destroyer of snow
Tvaṣṭaṛ
Bhanu, referring to the rays
Bhāskar/Divākar, illuminate
For complete list https://youtu.be/O00BFBR6hoM

daylen
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Re: Celebration of Scientific Pantheism!

Post by daylen » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:51 am

Jason wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:39 pm
..and onwards and upwards is an attempt to confront the foundational question of "the one and the many" - that the universe being one thing, what is the one thing that unites it.
My Ti primary frame [monism] agrees with this description in general. My Ne attempts to differentiate and expand upon this idea (iterated dualism) and it has come up with the idea that introverted functions are more monistic and extroverted functions are more dualistic. S, N, T, and F are like meta-categories or categories of categories that result in distinct structures in an individuals mind from a birds-eye view.

The best analogy I can come up with for T-structure is an electronic circuit which requires a somewhat different approach of study and engineering than say a crystal which is more N-like. So, to keep myself integrated I must sustain a monistic circuit-like structure while searching for dualistic crystal-like structures to back it up. That is one way to represent it anyway.

I suppose my point [if I have one] is that Christianity, Taoism, and several other religious structures seem to utilize a dialectic between a monism to unite it and a dualism to spit it apart (to infinity as a limiting process). Touching on the basic systems theoretic idea that wholes have parts and parts have wholes.
Last edited by daylen on Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:04 am, edited 4 times in total.

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