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Dawkins' definition of pantheism

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  • Dawkins' definition of pantheism

    In this video Dawkins defines theism, deism, pantheism and atheism, so it could have been posted in a few different forums... I put it here because I'm particularly interested in his definition of pantheism.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl7ll...layer_embedded

    Do you agree with him? Is pantheism simply 'sexed up' atheism? Is that necessarily a bad thing?


  • #2
    i'm not really sure what he means by "sexed up atheism". what does that mean?

    but, i do agree with his definitions.

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    • #3
      Meh. His definitions are highly framed around the Judeo-Christian god, which is what his definition of "theism" is of. It's somewhat understandable, as deism and pantheism, in the original terms they develop as, sprang from a Judeo-Christian understanding of deity. However, the strict adherence of those definitions to their original forms is somewhat anachronistic.

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      • #4
        Dawkins is an idiot, he is to atheism what Phelps and Robertson are to christianity.
        There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. H.L. Mencken

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        • #5
          Originally posted by memnoch View Post
          Dawkins is an idiot, he is to atheism what Phelps and Robertson are to christianity.

          If Dawkins really is the Atheist equivalent to Phelps, we have a distinctly mild variety of fanatics by comparison.

          Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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          • #6
            Dawkins isn't an idiot, by any means; the man did a lot for modern evolutionary biology. He's a very intelligent guy.
            He's just a loudmouth jerk sometimes. Comes with the territory.

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            • #7
              His definition of Pantheism reflects his agenda as an atheist, nothing wrong in that but it was too throw-away for me. More like a soundbite than an appraisal.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TygerTyger View Post
                His definition of Pantheism reflects his agenda as an atheist, nothing wrong in that but it was too throw-away for me. More like a soundbite than an appraisal.
                yeah, soundbite is exactly the word I would have used. I would imagine from the perspective of some pantheists, Dawkin's atheism could be described as "castrated" pantheism :hahugh:

                oonagh - I've run out of internet download for this month but when it refreshes on the 26th, I'll have a look at the video clip and hazard a guess at what he means by "sexed up".

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TygerTyger View Post
                  His definition of Pantheism reflects his agenda as an atheist, nothing wrong in that but it was too throw-away for me. More like a soundbite than an appraisal.
                  i'm not sure it is meant to be anything other than a soundbite.

                  @ green adventurine
                  thanks. yeah...what is "sexed up" atheism or "castrated" pantheism?

                  does it mean "humanized"? i'm just not getting it.
                  Last edited by *oonagh*; June 24th, 2009, 10:35 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by *oonagh* View Post
                    i'm not sure it is meant to be anything other than a soundbite.

                    @ green adventurine
                    thanks. yeah...what is "sexed up" atheism or "castrated" pantheism?

                    does it mean "humanized"? i'm just not getting it.
                    Soundbites are just throw-away quips meant to sound profound but are ultimately shallow.

                    "Sexed up atheism" means nothing but sounds good.

                    "Castrated Pantheism" is equally meaningless but sounds just as good, perhaps because it carries with it a barb seemingly directed at Dawkins himself! Well that's my interpretation of it anyway.

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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure exactly what he means by sexed up either, lol. Maybe atheism that is sort of romanticised, or made more appealing to people who don't want to call themselves athiests?

                      I read someone's comment on it who interpreted it in a positive sort of way... pantheism is 'sexed up atheism' in that atheism is about what you don't hold to be true, and pantheism is about what you value instead... So the description 'pantheist' gives more information about the way a person views and feels about the universe.

                      I think that's the point he was making, I'm not sure if I explained it very well. I guess for me it's like this... an atheist is technically what I am, but the term pantheist is more meaningful to me because it describes a way of perceiving nature that is very important to me. I also feel that the term pantheist is more accepting of practices which might be called 'spiritual' (e.g. feeling deeply connected to the earth, ritualistic celebrations, conceptualising nature using deities are metaphors etc).

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                      • #12
                        That's actually a very good explanation Spiral.

                        However, for my part I don't accept the close similarity suggested by such a phrase as "Pantheism is just sexed-up Atheism".

                        I'm not an Atheist, I do believe in a God. This may not be a traditional God, it has no homonoid form, neither is it revealed in sacred texts, in fact I think God is so far removed from us that we are almost imperceptible to it, but we still both exist and there is a connexion.

                        I don't think that Atheism would allow for that concept but Pantheism, or at least my Panthesim, does

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TygerTyger View Post
                          That's actually a very good explanation Spiral.

                          However, for my part I don't accept the close similarity suggested by such a phrase as "Pantheism is just sexed-up Atheism".

                          I'm not an Atheist, I do believe in a God. This may not be a traditional God, it has no homonoid form, neither is it revealed in sacred texts, in fact I think God is so far removed from us that we are almost imperceptible to it, but we still both exist and there is a connexion.

                          I don't think that Atheism would allow for that concept but Pantheism, or at least my Panthesim, does
                          I'm not sure what Dawkins said in the linked source - but in the past he describes pantheism as "sexed up atheism" simply because in a practical sense there is a little difference. Deism to. There are fundamentally no doctrines, nothing taking a personal interest in our behaviour or deeds, no rewards or punishments after death. In a day to day life, the differences between a pantheist, a deist and an atheist are negligible.

                          Of cause, Dawkins is being a bit of git in phrasing it thusly - but in this case he is talking mainly to militant atheists and pointlessness of debating people that are essentially on the same side.

                          Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Infinite Grey View Post
                            I'm not sure what Dawkins said in the linked source - but in the past he describes pantheism as "sexed up atheism" simply because in a practical sense there is a little difference. Deism to. There are fundamentally no doctrines, nothing taking a personal interest in our behaviour or deeds, no rewards or punishments after death. In a day to day life, the differences between a pantheist, a deist and an atheist are negligible.

                            Of cause, Dawkins is being a bit of git in phrasing it thusly - but in this case he is talking mainly to militant atheists and pointlessness of debating people that are essentially on the same side.
                            I see your point. Even though I believe in God it's not the judgemental god of Abrahamic religion.

                            Unfortunately the link did not identify either the context in which the statement was made or the audience to whom it was presented.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TygerTyger View Post
                              I see your point. Even though I believe in God it's not the judgemental god of Abrahamic religion.

                              Unfortunately the link did not identify either the context in which the statement was made or the audience to whom it was presented.
                              That comes with knowing what Dawkins is about on a whole - I've never read any of his books (I do not see the point really)... but I've listen and watch a few of his lectures and debates. He tends to talk to the audience as if they were atheists; not the best of tactics, but never-the-less there you have it.

                              Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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