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Author Topic: Pantheists


Alcuin
Administrator
Posts: 1007
Pantheists
on: September 19, 2018, 14:10

I don't see any harm in pantheism but it doesn't seem much different to humanism, really. Pantheists seem to think that one can be spiritual and not superstitious. Quote:
But so far atheism and atheist groups have focused on attacking conventional religions, especially the Western theistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It’s true that these religions often come with high costs: submission to written or priestly authority, belief in terrifying concepts such as demons, Apocalypse, Last Judgment and Hell, or the drive to impose one’s beliefs or religious values on other people. In many cases they give cachet and endurance to backward, repressive or destructive social values, developed in agrarian societies many centuries ago. And it’s valuable to highlight these costs.

The attractions of religion
But negative critiques will not suffice. There are many motives beyond fear or habit why people hold fast to old religions or convert to new ones. There are many reasons besides ignorance and folly why they make religion the center of their personal and social lives.

Religions are not just a confidence trick on the part of prophets and preachers, or a self-destructive aberration on the part of believers. They have had social survival value in the past, and they continue to provide individual and personal benefits today, and these benefits are the source of their continuing numerical strength.

Religions provide communities of mutual support.
They overcome existential isolation and alienation, giving people a meaning for their lives and a sense of their place in the universe and nature.
They provide remedies for grief at the death of loved ones, and for the fear of one’s own death.
They combat the feeling of helplessness in a threatening world full of crime, conflict and disaster.
These benefits show up in the form of better health and longer life....
Unquote.

I don't know about "attacking", but certainly religous beliefs and practices are best contradicted and (like religious courts, ritual animal sacrifice and child genital mutilation) actively opposed.

As for providing "communities for mutual support", that is being done by local volunteer and humanist groups as well as many others. I'm not sure another category called 'Pantheist' is especially helpful, but the more non-believer groups the better. "Spirituality" of any description doesn't appeal to me, personally.

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