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  #1  
Old Jan 15, '12, 4:49 pm
jfritz42 jfritz42 is offline
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Default Arguments against pantheism?

I have a friend with very serious personal problems right now that is seeking answers. He is very attracted to the idea that God is nature (i.e. pantheism).

Can you please provide me with some philosophical arguments or other arguments against pantheism?

I have already used the contingency argument with him: that nothing gives itself its own existence and everything is dependent upon something else. He's not convinced by this argument, thinking that we simply just don't know enough yet to understand.
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  #2  
Old Jan 15, '12, 5:11 pm
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DexUK DexUK is offline
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Default Re: Arguments against pantheism?

Nature is of God. God is not of nature.

Without a God outside all that can be seen and understood, the conditions for the Universe to get started in order to make all that is to be seen and understood would not have existed.

We and the Universe are made according to the mind of God. When you boil everything down, it could not be any other way. No amount of scientific 'rationalisation' can get away from the fact that nothing comes from nothing. God HAS to exist in order for anything else to exist.
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  #3  
Old Jan 15, '12, 7:35 pm
MidnightSun12 MidnightSun12 is offline
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Default Re: Arguments against pantheism?

I think equating God as nature fails to take into account the fall of Adam and Eve. The truth is that us humans have both good and evil within our nature (that's why we are said to be living in a "fallen" world). To presume that God is nature presumes that all things that happen in the world happen because God wills it to happen (including the evil actions such as abortion, fornification, etc...). As a follower of Pantheism, it would be morally praiseworthy for your friend to then rejoice at an act of abortion since it (among everything else in the world) is an act of God.

This is precisely why I disagree with Stoicism (a subset of Pantheonism). To be Stoic, is to show no disdain or emotional response towards any evil act since everything that happens is God's will. You need to ask your friend what the world would be like if the pravailing religion in the world was Pantheism instead of Christianity (for example, would anybody have tried to stop Hitler??).

Hope this helps!
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  #4  
Old Jan 16, '12, 10:57 am
jochoa jochoa is offline
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Default Re: Arguments against pantheism?

Rather than attempting to argue against pantheism, perhaps the argument for Christ based on Reasonable Wisdom:

Please consider the following:
Each one of us wants happiness on some level, and in order to have happiness there must first be peace.
In order to have peace, there must be patience, for the instance there is impatience, there is a loss of peace.
In order to have happiness, there must be kindness, for the instance there is a lack of kindness, although there may be peace, there is no happiness.

Therefore if a person wants to live in a society of unbreakable peace and limitless happiness for everyone, s/he must help her/himself and others strive to perfect patience and kindness.

Since...
This can be gracefully and wisely stated as: "The Greatest...is Love."
And the depths of unconditional patience and kindness (Greatest Love), even in the face of unjust impatience and meanness, is first demonstrated by Jesus Christ in His Crucifixion.

This was enough for me, however, if it is not enough for your friend, as one dives deeper into mastering patience and kindness: the brilliance of the Greatest Commandments is revealed, along with the order of the Beatitudes and the Sacraments, as well as the Catechisms of the Catholic Church.

Thoughts?
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  #5  
Old Jan 16, '12, 4:34 pm
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MarcoPolo MarcoPolo is offline
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Default Re: Arguments against pantheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfritz42 View Post
He's not convinced by this argument, thinking that we simply just don't know enough yet to understand.
I would ask him why he doesn't come to that conclusion with Christianity then. Or at the least, on what basis would he say pantheism is true that he disregards its logical flaws on the basis that he will someday understand it.
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  #6  
Old Jan 18, '12, 8:18 am
Cirdan XII Cirdan XII is offline
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Default Re: Arguments against pantheism?

C.S. Lewis put forth the interesting proposition that the panthesitic gods of the pre-Christian period were not wholly false or fictional but that they were angels of God who had merely been misintrpreted and misunderstood by early Mankind.

This idea was later also picked up by Tolkien.

Lewis develops these thoughts in his Space Trilogy in which the main protagonist, Ransom, meets Mars in the first book, Venus in the second while learning they are angels of God. He also learns that Satan ws once an angel just like them before rebelling against God and in the third book Ransom sees how Satan traps the hearts of men and he becomes active in preventing this.

Maybe rather than rebutting your friend outright, why not encourage him to read the Space Trilogy and then when he's done that, come back and discuss its meaning with him.
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  #7  
Old Jan 18, '12, 10:32 am
David David is offline
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Default Re: Arguments against pantheism?

Nature is measurable.
Measurable is finite
God is infinite

Peace
David
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