Pantheism vs Panentheism

Pantheism vs Panentheism
jubalsquirrelly
Initiate

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Dec 16, 2011

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 54
#1 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 1, 2012 - 8:24 PM:
Subject: Pantheism vs Panentheism
The pantheist believes that the totality of all that exists is God.

The panentheist believes that the universe is a part of God and that God is greater than the universe.

If all aspects of God are said to exist, including consisting of the world and being beyond it,how is this not pantheistic?

I don't see how one can make the distinction between pantheist and panentheist, as you can not transcend everything that there is.

Can someone help me?


Edited by jubalsquirrelly on Aug 1, 2012 - 8:33 PM
andrewk
Inexhaustibly Curious
Avatar

Usergroup: Moderators
Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia

Total Topics: 39
Total Posts: 2813

Last Blog: On Language and Meaning

#2 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 1, 2012 - 8:56 PM:

I think you're right jubalsquirrely. The distinction seems to require a well-defined notion of 'nature', which is different from 'everything there is'. Or coming at it from the other direction, it requires a well-defined notion of 'supernatural'.



Many people, myself included, are of the view that there is probably no definition of nature or supernatural that is not either incoherent, trivial (in the sense that it either consists of everything or nothing), or arbitrarily tied to the current state of scientific knowledge (eg 'nature is the set of all mass-energy that can be described by the physical laws of nature we know').
Goaswerfraiejen
I'm a PhD student.

Usergroup: Members
Joined: May 05, 2006
Location: Canada

Total Topics: 11
Total Posts: 111
#3 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 1, 2012 - 9:57 PM:

jubalsquirrelly wrote:
The pantheist believes that the totality of all that exists is God.

The panentheist believes that the universe is a part of God and that God is greater than the universe.

If all aspects of God are said to exist, including consisting of the world and being beyond it,how is this not pantheistic?

I don't see how one can make the distinction between pantheist and panentheist, as you can not transcend everything that there is.

Can someone help me?



Presumably, while the panentheist believes that the universe is just one part of God (like an arm, say), she need not be committed to God being just the totality of the universe. Perhaps God is something extra, and the universe is just one aspect of God's being. For the pantheist, on the other hand, the universe exhausts God, so to speak.

I take it that the difference really hinges on how one uses 'universe'. The pantheist probably uses it to denote everything tout court, abstract objects and all. The panentheist, by contrast, presumably does not.
transfinite
PF Addict
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Apr 25, 2010

Total Topics: 159
Total Posts: 1754
#4 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 1, 2012 - 10:12 PM:

Is there name when the universe contains god?
prothero
PF Addict

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Jul 24, 2007
Location: Lake Tahoe Nevada USA

Total Topics: 54
Total Posts: 1158
#5 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 1, 2012 - 11:58 PM:

If you think the world contains larger or universal inherent reason, values, meanings, experience or purposes, then that view would probably qualify as some form of pan-en-theism. The physical or material world would be a part of god but would not be exhaustive of god. The relationship between god and the world would be similar to the relationship between your mind and your body.

Panentheism vs. pantheism is largely+ a distinction based on notions of the relationship of god to the world. How you define the …world" and …god" does become key.

For the most part, the …world" in these discussions or notions is the physical material world. It should be remembered that a lot of religious thought centered on the notion of the material or physical world being profane (not part of the divine) and the spiritual world as sacred being separate (transcendent) from the physical world. This is a form of religious dualism. In these formulations, god is separate from, transcendent to the …world". God is not …immanent" does not dwell in the physical or material world which is not part of the sacred. God largely works through supernatural means and reveals …itself" by special revelation (scriptures, miracles, prophets, by taking human form, etc.)

Key concepts- physical vs. spiritual, immanence vs. transcendence.

A panentheist on the other hand sees the physical material world as part of the sacred or the divine. Panentheism is thus quite ecology friendly. Panentheists are also quite likely to view god as working through nature and natural process towards divine goals or divine purposes not by supernatural means. Panentheists also quite likely think the study of nature is in part a study of the sacred or the divine and that, nature partially reveals the divine nature. They have a worshipful or religious attitude towards nature but they also tend to imbue nature with attributes (reason, experience, purposes, values, etc.) which atheists and strict pantheists tend not to .

If you equate god with the …world" and limit the world to the empirical, the physical, the material and the scientifically verifiable then you might be a pantheist (worshipful attitude) or just an atheist. Or if you think that all notions of values, meanings and purposes are merely human projections onto a world which is largely devoid of any larger or inherent form of reason, purpose and experience but regard nature as sacred anyway.

Of course, this is a forum and pretty much a short answer forum, so all such discussions suffer from lack of depth, lack of fine distinctions and can be accused of gross generalizations and inaccuracies.
locked
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



This thread is closed, so you cannot post a reply.