1. Donationrwingett
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    02 Dec '12 01:18
    The time has come to start a thread on the topic of Pantheism. Here are the Basic beliefs of Naturalistic Pantheism/Scientific Pantheism as quoted from pantheism.net

    The World Pantheist Movement's basic orienting beliefs which we call Naturalistic Pantheism or Scientific Pantheism are set out in the WPM belief statement. This is not a creed in the Christian sense. It is not something we recite, or that we are obliged to accept every word of. It is a guide to what the WPM is about, and it is the set of beliefs that the WPM seeks to make widely available as a religious option to as many people as possible.

    The central belief is that the universe and nature should be regarded with the deepest reverence, and nature should be treated with the deepest respect. These beliefs and values are of course shared by many people who do not call themselves pantheists, but prefer terms such as religious humanist, religious naturalist, religious atheist, or other combinations. The WPM is a natural home for those who have the same orientation, whatever terms they use to call themselves.

    When we say WE REVERE THE EARTH, we mean it with just as much commitment and reverence as believers speaking about their church or mosque, or the relics of their saints. But again we are not talking about supernatural beings. We are saying this:

    We are part of nature. Nature made us and at our death we will be reabsorbed into nature. We are at home in nature and in our bodies. This is where we belong.

    This is the only place where we can find and make our paradise, not in some imaginary world on the other side of the grave.

    If nature is the only paradise, then separation from nature is the only hell. When we destroy nature, we create hell on earth for other species and for ourselves.

    Nature is our mother, our home, our security, our peace, our past and our future. We should treat natural things and habitats as believers treat their temples and shrines, as sacred - that is, to be revered and preserved in all their intricate and fragile beauty.

    When we say WE REVERE THE UNIVERSE we are not talking about a supernatural being, because we do not believe in supernatural beings. We are talking about the way our senses and our emotions force us to respond to the overwhelming mystery and power that surrounds us.

    We are part of the universe. Our earth was created from the universe and will one day be reabsorbed into the universe. We are made of the same matter and energy as the universe.

    We are not in exile here: we are at home. It is only here that we will ever get the chance to see paradise. If we believe our real home is not here but in a land that lies beyond death - if we believe that the true object of reverence is described only in old books, or found only in old buildings, or inside our head - then we will see this real, vibrant, luminous world as if through a glass darkly.

    The universe creates us, preserves us, destroys us. It is deep and old beyond our ability to reach with our senses. It is beautiful beyond our ability to describe in words. It is complex beyond our ability to fully grasp in science.

    This wonder is everywhere inside you and outside you and you can never be separated from it. Whatever else is taken from you, this can never be taken from you. Wherever you are, it's there with you. Wherever you go, it goes with you. Whatever happens to you, it remains with you.
  2. Donationrwingett
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    02 Dec '12 01:23
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The time has come to start a thread on the topic of Pantheism. Here are the Basic beliefs of Naturalistic Pantheism/Scientific Pantheism as quoted from pantheism.net

    The World Pantheist Movement's basic orienting beliefs which we call Naturalistic Pantheism or Scientific Pantheism are set out in the WPM belief statement. This is not a creed in the ...[text shortened]... you. Wherever you go, it goes with you. Whatever happens to you, it remains with you.
    I frequently refer to 'Pantheism' as 'Gaian Pantheism' in my threads, due to my in James Lovelocks' "Gaia Hypothesis." From Wikipedia:

    The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.

    The hypothesis was formulated by the scientist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970s. While early versions of the hypothesis were criticized for being teleological and contradicting principles of natural selection, later refinements have resulted in ideas highlighted by the Gaia Hypothesis being used in disciplines such as geophysiology, Earth system science, biogeochemistry, systems ecology, and climate science. In 2006, the Geological Society of London awarded Lovelock the Wollaston Medal largely for his work on the Gaia theory.

    Gaian hypotheses suggest that organisms co-evolve with their environment: that is, they "influence their abiotic environment, and that environment in turn influences the biota by Darwinian process". Lovelock (1995) gave evidence of this in his second book, showing the evolution from the world of the early thermo-acido-philic and methanogenic bacteria towards the oxygen enriched atmosphere today that supports more complex life.

    The scientifically accepted form of the hypothesis has been called "influential Gaia". It states that biota minimally influence certain aspects of the abiotic world, e.g. temperature and atmosphere. They state the evolution of life and its environment may affect each other. An example is how the activity of photosynthetic bacteria during Precambrian times have completely modified the Earth atmosphere to turn it aerobic, and as such supporting evolution of life (in particular eukaryotic life).

    Biologists and earth scientists usually view the factors that stabilize the characteristics of a period as an undirected emergent property or entelechy of the system; as each individual species pursues its own self-interest, for example, their combined actions may have counterbalancing effects on environmental change. Opponents of this view sometimes reference examples of events that resulted in dramatic change rather than stable equilibrium, such as the conversion of the Earth's atmosphere from a reducing environment to an oxygen-rich one.

    Fringe science versions of the hypothesis claim that changes in the biosphere are brought about through the coordination of living organisms and maintain those conditions through homeostasis. In Gaia philosophy, all lifeforms are considered part of one single living planetary being called Gaia. In this view, the atmosphere, the seas and the terrestrial crust would be results of interventions carried out by Gaia through the coevolving diversity of living organisms. However, the Earth as a unit does not match the generally accepted biological criteria for life itself, for example, there is no evidence to suggest that "Gaia" has reproduced.

    The Gaia theory posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.

    Gaia evolves through a cybernetic feedback system operated unconsciously by the biota, leading to broad stabilization of the conditions of habitability in a full homeostasis. Many processes in the Earth's surface essential for the conditions of life depend on the interaction of living forms, especially microorganisms, with inorganic elements. These processes establish a global control system that regulates Earth's surface temperature, atmosphere composition and ocean salinity, powered by the global thermodynamic disequilibrium state of the Earth system.

    The existence of a planetary homeostasis influenced by living forms had been observed previously in the field of biogeochemistry, and it is being investigated also in other fields like Earth system science. The originality of the Gaia theory relies on the assessment that such homeostatic balance is actively pursued with the goal of keeping the optimal conditions for life, even when terrestrial or external events menace them.
  3. Donationrwingett
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    02 Dec '12 01:26
    Alright, that's enough to get us started. I apologize for relying exclusively on quotes from other sources, but if I had waited until I composed my own, independent composition, it never would have come to fruition.
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    02 Dec '12 01:37
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The time has come to start a thread on the topic of Pantheism. Here are the Basic beliefs of Naturalistic Pantheism/Scientific Pantheism as quoted from pantheism.net

    The World Pantheist Movement's basic orienting beliefs which we call Naturalistic Pantheism or Scientific Pantheism are set out in the WPM belief statement. This is not a creed in the ...[text shortened]... you. Wherever you go, it goes with you. Whatever happens to you, it remains with you.
    Seems reasonable enough other than verbiage such as this:
    We are talking about the way our senses and our emotions force us to respond to the overwhelming mystery and power that surrounds us.

    ...It is beautiful beyond our ability to describe in words. It is complex beyond our ability to fully grasp in science.

    This wonder is everywhere inside you and outside you and you can never be separated from it. Whatever else is taken from you, this can never be taken from you. Wherever you are, it's there with you. Wherever you go, it goes with you. Whatever happens to you, it remains with you.


    Is that really integral to the "basic beliefs" or embellishment by the author?
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    02 Dec '12 01:441 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    I frequently refer to 'Pantheism' as 'Gaian Pantheism' in my threads, due to my in James Lovelocks' "Gaia Hypothesis." From Wikipedia:

    The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintainin nditions for life, even when terrestrial or external events menace them.
    I only quickly skimmed it, but the following raised an eyebrow for me:
    The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.
    ...The originality of the Gaia theory relies on the assessment that such homeostatic balance is actively pursued with the goal of keeping the optimal conditions for life, even when terrestrial or external events menace them.


    Can you elaborate on this?
  6. Donationrwingett
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    02 Dec '12 02:241 edit
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I only quickly skimmed it, but the following raised an eyebrow for me:
    The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, [b]seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.
    ...The originality of the Gaia theory relies on the assessment that such homeostatic balance is actively pursued with the goal of k .. ...[text shortened]... .., even when terrestrial or external events menace them.


    Can you elaborate on this?[/b]
    It appears that there are some who attribute a kind of intelligence to Gaia as a whole. That it has intentionality. Or that it is in the process of acquiring intelligence via some sort of 'omega point' scenario. Naturalistic Pantheism does not condone these questionable beliefs. The universe, for them, has no intelligence and no intentionality, although it its regulation of the system may make it seem as though it did.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    02 Dec '12 02:30
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Seems reasonable enough other than verbiage such as this:
    We are talking about the way our senses and our emotions force us to respond to the overwhelming mystery and power that surrounds us.

    ...It is beautiful beyond our ability to describe in words. It is complex beyond our ability to fully grasp in science.

    This wonder is everywhere ins ...[text shortened]... u.


    Is that really integral to the "basic beliefs" or embellishment by the author?
    As pantheism has no fixed dogma, every iteration of it is, to some extent, an embellishment of the practitioner's particular viewpoint. In other words, there are no integral beliefs, apart from a general reverence for the universe as a whole. If those particular sentences offend you, then feel free to drop them. You won't be excommunicated.
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    02 Dec '12 02:311 edit
    Was Ben Frankling a pantheist? I could google that question I guess.
  9. SubscriberProper Knob
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    02 Dec '12 10:37
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The time has come to start a thread on the topic of Pantheism. Here are the Basic beliefs of Naturalistic Pantheism/Scientific Pantheism as quoted from pantheism.net

    The World Pantheist Movement's basic orienting beliefs which we call Naturalistic Pantheism or Scientific Pantheism are set out in the WPM belief statement. This is not a creed in the ...[text shortened]... you. Wherever you go, it goes with you. Whatever happens to you, it remains with you.
    That has been my view for years, i didn't know it had a name. 🙂
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    02 Dec '12 10:501 edit
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    That has been my view for years, i didn't know it had a name. 🙂
    you people are intent on rendering respect and admiration for the creation, but not to
    the one who created it. Same old.
  11. SubscriberProper Knob
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    02 Dec '12 10:54
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    you people are intent on rendering respect and admiration for the creation, but not to
    the one who created it. Same old.
    Evidence my dear boy, evidence.
  12. Donationrwingett
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    02 Dec '12 11:08
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    you people are intent on rendering respect and admiration for the creation, but not to
    the one who created it. Same old.
    In a pantheist view, there is no creator. There is no God that exists separately, apart from, or outside the universe.
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    02 Dec '12 11:131 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    In a pantheist view, there is no creator. There is no God that exists separately, apart from, or outside the universe.
    Yes i understand this, from the text. It appears to me to be naturalism with a kind of
    green twist.
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    02 Dec '12 11:163 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    In a pantheist view, there is no creator. There is no God that exists separately, apart from, or outside the universe.
    How do you propose to regulate these systems in the face of exploitation,
    contamination, greed and excess? because clearly such practices are not only upsetting
    the balance but may in fact have irrevocable consequences. At which point is the point
    of no return? I do not deny that the earth, its its awesomeness has the ability to heal
    itself, but these traits are endemic.
  15. Donationrwingett
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    02 Dec '12 12:08
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Yes i understand this, from the text. It appears to me to be naturalism with a kind of
    green twist.
    You could say that. But it takes ecological stewardship from being just one concern among many to being the central concern. It becomes a moral imperative.
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