Pantheism The Mother Spirituality

Most theists (believers in God) will not want to hear this but all theisms (beliefs in God) are forms of pantheism. Panpsychism too necessarily leads to pantheism. Consider this argument:

  • The Universe is all there is.
  • There is no way that a supreme being could be less than all there is or more than all there is.
  • God can only be the Universe.

The first statement is a simple fact. The second statement though requires some clarification. Logically, barring supernatural beliefs, God cannot be more than All there is. God is a thing and therefore cannot be outside the set of all things. But can God be less than all there is? Now consider this other argument:

  • All mind is shaped by matter interaction.
  • All matter is mind.
  • All matter interacts with all other matter through gravity for one.
  • The totality of mind is Mind or God the Universe.

For the first two statements refer to our article on Proving the Existence of God. For the third statement refer to Newton’s law of universal gravitation. If all matter interacts with itself, all matter will form the ultimate mind, God. So God cannot be less that all there is. God clearly is all there is.

All claimed supernatural properties of God are unjustified and even unjustifiable and so can be flatly ignored. What is left clearly and logically shows that all forms of theism including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Deism and any others as well as panpsychism, are forms of pantheism. Truly it seems that pantheism is the mother of all theistic spiritualities.

A Rational Morality

Rational pantheism should involve a rational system of ethics or morality. The rational spiritualist should have some objective universal guidelines to help navigate the moral problems that they face. That system is a simple equation: M = B – H.

M = B – H

M = B – H or Moral action = Benefits to all Harms to all. So if a given action you perform results in more good than harm, it is the correct or moral action to take. Note that this does not limit itself to just people. All beings should be represented as well. A being’s moral worth is determined by a combination of their complexity and the benefits they provide others.

Subjective or Objective?

Many naysayers persist in the belief that morality is subjective. But that’s like saying science is subjective. Science involves following an objective method. The fact that some are too ignorant to understand that method or too self-centered (“evil”) to conform to it, is irrelevant to the method’s objectiveness. Similarly, morality is objective when conscientiously and competently following an objective moral method like M = B – H.

Some will say that determining what constitutes Benefits and Harms are subjective. Again though, benefits and harms are only useful when they are viewed objectively. If a perceived benefit is based on an unfounded belief, that is a subjective belief not an objective one. When harms and benefits are supported with appropriate justification they are evaluated objectively. Saying that morality cannot be objective is like saying science can’t be objective.

Is the Universe Divine?

One way in which pantheism has been improperly characterized is by claiming that it is the idea that “reality is is identical with divinity”. This is from the current Wikipedia entry on pantheism. Now on the one hand, this seems fine since one definition of divine simply refers to being a deity. The God of classical pantheism definitely is a deity. The other definition though refers to being supremely good. Here is the problem. By associating pantheism with divinity, we are associating with the irrational idea that God is only good.

Clearly though, God is not only good. God’s existence involves horrific things like disaster, wars and plagues. A good God would not partake in evil things like this. You might say “well God is just deterministic”. Even if God were largely or even completely deterministic, God is still doing bad things and so clearly is not divine.

We are not wholly good or bad. The most stable people are in a balance of good and bad. Rationally then, we should allow God the same interpretation. God is not good or bad but a balance of the two. God is not divine. God is simply the Universe, good and bad, yin and yang.

The Atheist Delusion

Is atheism irrational? It definitely is. No matter which flavor of atheism you look at, you’ll find it’s based on fundamentally flawed beliefs. For the sake of simplicity we’ll look at atheism as split into two camps: soft and hard (AKA negative and positive). Also we’ll be dealing with lay definitions. In philosophy, atheism generally refers to hard atheism.

Hard (positive) atheism is the purely faith-based belief that there is no God. Believing something doesn’t exist without having proven its nonexistence is completely irrational. A rational person is convinced in the truth (or falsity) of something commensurately based on the evidence available to support its truth (or falsity). A rational person knows something is false only if it has been logically proven false. This includes falsification by the scientific method.

Soft (negative) atheism is the lack of belief in God because of a belief that there is no evidence (knowledge) to support any God’s existence. In other words, soft atheism is simply agnosticism. Why would soft atheism exist when we already have the concept of agnosticism? Further, rational people also do not align themselves with very irrational people when they don’t have to unless some other motive is afoot.

Now why would soft atheists align themselves with atheism despite being associated with the glaringly obvious irrationality of hard atheism? If they truly were rational, why wouldn’t they distance themselves from the hard atheists? Why don’t they criticize the irrationality of hard atheists instead of welcoming them with open arms? Why also would they not simply call themselves agnostics since that is supposedly what they really are? Maybe it’s because they’re not really agnostics at all. The only plausible explanation is that soft atheists are simply hard atheists masquerading as soft atheists because they are unable to explain away the irrationality of their faith based position of hard atheism. By fraudulently posing as agnostics they can still publicly call themselves atheists without having to answer hard questions about their irrational faith.

Imagine someone who strongly believes in science. She’s looking for a group to join that shares these views. She finds two groups “Friends of Science” and “Science Friends”. “Friends of Science” is picky and very strictly allows only highly science oriented people to join. “Science Friends” however is astonishingly open and counts among its members flat earthers, astrologers and channellers. None of these three areas are valid areas of science at all. Someone who values science would always choose “Friends of Science” and never want to join such a group such as “Science Friends”. Someone who values science would criticize the “Science Friends” for allowing such irrational members. Anyone who claimed to value science but rejected “Friends of Science” and joined “Science Friends” willingly and without criticism could only be a fraud.

Some “weak” atheists try to sidestep the issue by claiming that the existence of God is of low probability. But probabilities can only be computed when there is data and no data is ever produced. Claiming to have computed probabilities when such a thing is impossible is incredibly irrational.

Argument Summary
Positive Atheism

P. Irrational people believe in unprovable claims.
P. X believes that there is no God but cannot prove it.
C. X is irrational.

Agnosticism

P. Rational people withhold belief in something when there is no evidence for that thing.
P. Z is unconvinced of the existence or nonexistence of any god due to lack of evidence.
C. Z is rational.

Negative Atheism

P. Rational people do not belong to groups of irrational people if they have an rational alternative.
P. Y claims to hold the same position as Z but instead choses to belong to a group with X as a member.
C. Y is irrational.

P. Rational people understand that probabilities cannot be computed when there is no data.
P. Y claims that any god is improbable but cannot produce any data.
C. Y is irrational.

Atheist Criticisms

This argument has elicited several weak atheist “criticisms”.

  1. “Atheism is about belief while agnosticism is about knowledge. “
    Knowledge is justified true belief, so both agnosticism and atheism are about belief.
  2. “You don’t get to choose what the definition of atheism is!”
    We’re not in any way changing definitions. We’re showing, using sound logic, what atheists believe despite their lies to the contrary.
  3. “Your argument is childish, is full of fallacies and proves nothing at all!”
    When believers cannot refute criticism that threatens their blind ideological faith, they lash out with emotional pronouncements. This happens with cult members, religious fundamentalists and atheists.
Conclusion

As we can see, whichever way you look at atheism, it is a belief system that is fundamentally irrational. Couple this with the undeniable reality that the God of pantheism is a logically established fact. Rational people accept established facts, they don’t ignore them or belittle them. If a purported fact is not actually established, rational people will explain why rather than simply issue empty pronouncements of faith.

Proving the Existence of God

In rational pantheism, God is synonymous with the Universe. So, the Universe is a supreme being. Can such a notion be proven? Yes it can. To accept the reality of God’s existence you simply need to understand a simple logical argument.

The Argument

From biology we understand that thinking humans are collections of individual living entities called cells and that these cells are composed of molecules. From chemistry we know that molecules are composed of atoms. From physics we understand that atoms are composed of subatomic particles which ultimately are composed of elementary particles. Elementary particles are excitations of quantum fields.  The Universe itself is composed only of such fields.

Everything that a human does can be traced down to interactions of these fields. Nothing we do can be caused by anything else unless you believe in the existence of magical paranormal forces. So, the only logical conclusion is that human mental states result from the interactions of fields. The Universe itself is one massive system of interacting fields and therefore must also have some kind of mental life, however primitive. Thus the God of pantheism is an established fact.

It’s important to understand that interacting fields wouldn’t cause a mental state to magically arise out of nowhere. Fields themselves must have the simplest possible default mental state. Field interactions would then shape this state. Interactions in a complex system would give rise to complex mental states.

All complex physical states in a complex system result from the shaping of simpler physical states in the simpler subsystems. It would involve special pleading to claim that mental states are somehow an exception to this process.

So to summarize, we have one very important assumption: there is no magic. Matter cannot be magically created from nothing nor can mental states. Simple forms of matter can be organized into complex structures. Similarly, simple mental states can be organized into complex mental phenomena. Since the simplest form of matter we know of elementary particles, these particles must contain the simplest kind of mental state. So mentality is a property of particles just as mass is.

Argument Summary
  • Humans are composed of elementary particles or excitations of quantum fields.
  • Human mental states result from these field interactions.
  • Every complex physical property results from the shaping of simpler forms of that property in a system’s interacting subsystems.
  • It would involve special pleading to claim that mentality works dramatically differently from physicality.
  • It is therefore irrational to assume that a property like mentality would magically arise from nowhere when fields interact.
  • Therefore fields have simple mentality.
  • Field interactions shape this mental state making it more complex.
  • The more and sophisticated the interactions, the more complex the states.
  • In a complex system advanced forms of consciousness emerge.
  • The Universe is composed only of interacting fields.
  • The Universe is the most complex system there is.
  • Therefore the Universe must have some kind of mental life.
  • Ergo God.

Rejecting the above argument banishes you to an irrational netherworld where the absurd assumption is made that mental states magically arise out of nowhere at a certain point in human development. We never see this magical creation out of nothing anywhere else in any of our scientific investigations so why would a rational person assume it happens with mental states? We do see complex physical systems composed of smaller simpler physical systems, so a rational person would assume that mental systems probably work in a similar way. One better, a rational person would see mental and physical as the same thing; monism as opposed to dualism.

Rejecting the God of pantheism involves: ignoring science, rejecting logic and accepting a plethora of impossible supernatural assumptions. So even Ockham’s Razor is telling us that atheism is an absurd belief system.

Atheist Criticisms

The above argument has received several weak criticisms from members of the atheist community.

  1. “You are pronouncing that God exists but provide no proof whatsoever!”
    The argument providing the logically derived proof of God is found under the section entitled “The Argument”.
  2. “Simply calling the universe god is no different that calling a rock God!”
    We’re not simply equating god with an inanimate object. We are actually saying that the Universe, the sum total of all things, is a being with some form of mental life.
  3. “Your argument is childish, is full of fallacies and proves nothing at all!”
    This is the most ridiculous “criticism” of all. It is simply a pronouncement of faith. Atheists claim to be reason based but when presented with an argument proving their position wrong, most just fall silent and return to their faith. Some of them however, possess only the rudimentary intellect to simply proclaim their faith in atheism by insulting the threatening argument and its proponents. If an argument has problems in it, reasonable people would point out specifically what those problems are and support their case with reason, not faith based claims.

The best atheist response to our argument is the claim that it commits the fallacy of division. That argument is easily dealt with here.

What is Rational Pantheism?

Pantheism is an ancient spirituality with the basic tenet that all is God. Pan means all and theos means God. There are many forms of pantheism. Rational pantheism (RP) is an attempt to reinvigorate classical pantheism while being strictly aligned with science and reason.

Is Rational Pantheism Deterministic?

Determinism is the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. Classical pantheism is generally regarded as deterministic. Since everything is God, God alone determines everything. Is this a rational outlook though? From science we know that a great many things are determined by forces outside our control. But simply because many things are deterministic this does not mean that everything is.

Our bodies are composed of tiny living creatures, cells. We don’t control every aspect of their existence so why would God control ours?

By claiming that everything is determined because everything we have looked at this far is determined, is a sweeping generalization fallacy. Pronouncing that the pantheistic God controls every aspect of our existence is a faith-based belief with no evidence to support it. Thus determinism is an irrational outlook that must be rejected by RP. Until the concept of free will can be falsified, it is a possibility that rational minds must remain open to.

Is Rational Pantheism Compatible with Atheism?

Atheism is a belief system that, at the very least, rejects a belief in any concept of God. Since the existence of God or the Universe is a fact under RP, atheism is completely incompatible with it. Atheism and RP do have a common ground in that both reject the notion of a personally involved god, i.e. a supreme being having a personal relationship with people.

Is Rational Pantheism Compatible with “Scientific Pantheism”?

The misnomer “scientific pantheism” is atheism’s dismal attempt at assimilating pantheism into its irrational fold. “Scientific pantheism” claims to have a reverence for the Universe while denying the reality of the pantheistic God. So “scientific pantheism”is neither scientific nor pantheism, it’s merely a pathetic disguise of atheism.

Is Rational Pantheism Compatible with Religion?

Most if not all religions entertain the notion of a personally involved god, a god that is concerned with the activities of humans. Since there is no evidence that such a god exists and no rational basis for such a belief, rational people must reject this notion until evidence is forthcoming. Thus, all known religions are incompatible with RP. All religions do have a common ground with RP in that RP recognizes the existence of a supreme being, the Universe.