Saturday, October 09, 2004

How I know I'm a Pantheist

  1. I take both pride and humility knowing that I'm made of the same stuff as the rest of the universe.
  2. And that this stuff was make in the stars. As Carl Sagan would say, we are starstuff contemplating starstuff.
  3. Attempts to anthropomorphize the universe, or suggest an anthropomorphic source behind it all, are incredibly irritating to me.
  4. The suggestion that events like eclipses happen for our benefit alone also irritate me. They happened long before we were here and will continue even if someday there are not humans to see them. Though I am very pleased and honored to have seen a few for myself.
  5. I have two favorite places on the UofL campus: in the administrative building next to the Foucault Pendulum, and the Planetarium. These feel more sacred to me than any church building.
  6. I can't help thinking of stargazing as a form of worship.
  7. The universe is sacred to me. And humanity is no less sacred. We are all, after all, part of the universe. (I'm also a humanist, this is part of the reason why.)
  8. I feel humbled and awed when I look at the Andromeda Galaxy and think about how the light we see from its far edge is older than humanity.
  9. I do not see human Evolution as degrading to humanity, as so many people I know see it. I think that if you say it is insulting to humanity to say we are animals, and that we are made of matter, then you have seriously underestimated the wonder in both animals and matter. The human evolutionary tree is only further acknowlegement that we are a natural part of the universe.

If anyone thinks that I must be an atheist and I'm just hiding behind pantheism, you are wrong. At least you are wrong if you think I'm hiding. As far as all the religions that believe in a literal supernatural god that has human qualities (mind, love, anger, self-awareness, etc), I am most definitely an atheist. I believe in no god higher than the natural world. Pantheism to me is the simple acknowledgment of positive attitudes about the natural world that compliment my atheistic viewpoint. I think this is what it means to be a Scientific/Naturalistic Pantheist.

1 comment:

Lawrence Jonathan Rhodes said...

I would say you're a naturalist with a touch of spiritualism. :) I believe in the big bang theory, but I also believe that something, somewhere, outside this particular existence, put all the laws together that would govern the evolution of this universe after its inception.

I don't think this is intelligent design, mind you. I think it was simply deliberate preparation. But, who the hell knows where that organizing force came from? Does it even know?

I guess it's better for us and our limited mental abilities just to stick to admiring and enjoying being a part of the only universe we know and somewhat understand. :)