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Comment on Pantheism

June 14th, 2010 · 5 Comments

James comment on Pantheism

James said,
June 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm ·
“Of all religious or spiritual traditions, Pantheism – the approach of Einstein, Hawking and many other scientists – is the only one that passes the muster of the world’s most militant atheist.”

Actually, I still don’t think Pali Buddhism has been bested here. The almost Kantian critique directed at the Upanishads obsession with “oneness” and “manyness” by the Buddha should remind us that Pantheism didn’t hold up in ancient times either.

(We should probably bring in Stuart Kauffman here, with his badly flawed Reinventing the Sacred, if only to skewer his version, also)

I am suddenly a little uninformed here, as to your reference to a critique of the Upanishads. More homework needed, or give us some leads. But your basic point is good.
But in general modern pantheism is a favorite lifeboat for refugess from strict monotheism. Disillusion tends to set in after a brief or long marriage. It is all a replay of the Spinoza/Kant duet, wherein Kant ‘redualized’ the monistic flavor of Spinoza by stubbornly demanding free will from causality, and pulling transcendental idealism out of hat to make his point. The result is a severe challenge to Spinozism. And yet Hegel seems to have re-‘monized’ Kant and resurrecterd Spinoza. But I think Kant’s point is profound despite the howls of protest over his ‘dualism’.
I might note that, strangely, the same protest over the dualism of Samkhya animated the ancient Indian traditions. It is an old game, the sparring for and against such dualisms.
The problem is the way in which the New Atheists have made anything but a narrow kind of scientism the basis of their views. They are incapable of appreciating the ‘atheism’ of the Buddhists or Jains (what to say of the Hindus, before a public front of queer monotheism was concocted to save their skins from monotheists). That atheism of the primordial Indian tradition was also a strange kind of agnostic polytheism.

Tags: Kant · religion

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stephen // Jun 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Panentheism provides a good alternative to Pantheism, and finds agreement with trinitarian philosophy and vitalism. Here is a good resource:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Panentheism/?yguid=93132757

  • 2 Stuart Kauffman // Jun 14, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    This is the to be skewered Stuart Kauffman of Reinventing the Sacred: 1) If you are going to skewer me, do so by argument not by innuendo. 2) If you actually bother to read the book, you will find in Chapter 12 a serious, if scientifically improbable, but no longer impossible, hypothesis that the mind-brain system is quantum coherent, decoheres to classicity (for all practical purposes) the recoheres to quantum and can recycle in this way many times. Very recent physics supports this as does chlorophyll’s behavior. If this is true, mind can “act” on matter acausally by decoherence, possibly answering a question since Descartes. More recently I have struggled with a responsible free will, on line
    at http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7 . Don’t criticize until you understand the make your points clearly.

  • 3 nemo // Jun 15, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Your work was cited in passing as an afterthought in a discussion about other things.
    If you wish to write up an essay on your views we would be delighted to post them here.

  • 4 Stephen // Jun 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

    All laws are two-sided, even the 2nd law. What holds two-sided laws together is a middle-term that is strangely felt. Otherwise, comprehensible laws would remain incomprehensible, as Einstein sensed. Therefore, feeling transcends law, finding agreement with natural law while making new law. Therefore, Panentheism is more on the mark than a Pantheism that is found hung-up on law with little to reconnect with feeling.

    And to the skewered, it was noted that Chaper 12 was important here:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R27Q9V8NZN8CF8/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

    Amit Goswami`s “Creative Evolition” and “God is not Dead” deserve close reads, at least I find myself agreeing more with Goswami. Here again are my reviews of his books:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R38PMOI3MBZ7X6/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R29GOXZ6JRNT8Y/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

  • 5 Darwiniana » More on Pantheism // Jun 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

    […] Comment on Pantheism Stephen said, June 15, 2010 at 10:42 am · All laws are two-sided, even the 2nd law. What holds two-sided laws together is a middle-term that is strangely felt. Otherwise, comprehensible laws would remain incomprehensible, as Einstein sensed. Therefore, feeling transcends law, finding agreement with natural law while making new law. Therefore, Panentheism is more on the mark than a Pantheism that is found hung-up on law with little to reconnect with feeling. […]

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