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Featured Non-Anthropomorphic Immanent God = Atheism?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Vestigial Member
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    It was suggested in another thread that a belief structure that views God as non-anthropomorphic and non-transcendent (immanent) is sexed-up atheism.

    What are your thoughts on this?
     
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  2. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Richard Dawkins in a gimp suit?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Gut reaction is "No" but I am coming from a materialist position, so I'm probably going to be much more hard line. I'm sure many of the "lack of belief" atheists will give a variety of answers to this one and it will be interesting to see how it goes. Pantheism (the belief that reality is identical with divinity) could well be technically a form of atheism but only to the extent that you privilege the Christian God as the definition of a deity.

    For me, Atheism would apply to all religions including Pagan ones because Man creates God and the divine, so there can be no divinity existing inherently in nature. Divinity is something we project on to nature and is more of an error of abstracting reasoning but doesn't exist in nature itself. Divinity is the alienation of our humanity in that we project a form of "consciousness" on to nature when consciousness can only be the product of matter/the brain (if you were to accept the basic dogma of materialism).

    So even something like Animism as a belief that nature is "animated" by a form of consciousness or spiritual essence is not atheism because it does not recognise the source of consciousness as material. I'd qualify that with recognising animals have brains and possess consciousness to an extent but they lack the capacity for abstract reasoning that humans possess. If we start saying nature "intended" to do something, we are given it human attributes.

    That's certainly one of the most original "define Atheism" threads I've seen in a while and really did make me think. Thanks for sharing. :)
     
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  4. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Actually what is meant by non-anthropomorphic? Is it lack of consciousness or is it lack of a form? A particular form can never be immanent -- all pervading. And, lack of consciousness is contrary to definition of God/Brahman, in Hindu, and in all other religions as per my undestanding.

    OTOH, regarding immanence, I think that what is immanent in the whole system ought to be transcendental too. Like, suppose, air. It is within and without all forms, yet it is distinct from all forms.
     
    #4 atanu, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Vestigial Member
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    Lack of attribution of human characteristics.
     
  6. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I think that any belief system that includes a belief in anything that the believer considers a god isn't atheism in the strict sense.

    ... but I do see the underlying point the quip is trying to express: if your god-belief implies no testable claims and has no implications for the reality you observe, why believe in it? If your god is so irrelevant that it's indistinguishable from no god at all, why assume that it's even there?
     
  7. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    The concept of an apophatic unknowable God, as in the Baha'i Faith lacks any attribution of 'human' characteristics.' The undefinable Source some call God(s) in Vedic traditions called the Brahman, and in Taoism the Tao also lack attribution of human characteristics.

    i disagree with the Dawkin's description of sexed up atheism, and part of the problem is that atheists and strong agnostics object to any 'ism that uses the word God. I believe the use of the word 'God' in this view is allegorical or figurative. I prefer Spinoza's description which is relatively simple and to the point.

    From: Panentheism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
    For Spinoza the claim that God is the same as the cosmos is spelled out as the thesis that there exists one and only one particular substance which he refers to as ‘God or nature’; the individual thing referred to as ‘God’ is one and the same object as the complex unit referred to as ‘nature’ or ‘the cosmos.’ On such a scheme the finite things of the world are thought of as something like parts of the one great substance, although the terminology of parts is somewhat problematic. Parts are relatively autonomous from the whole and from each other, and Spinoza’s preferred terminology of modes, which are to be understood as more like properties, is chosen to rectify this.
     
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  8. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Deist, rather.
     
  9. idav

    idav Being
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    Spinoza isn't saying "God" is allegorical. "the world are thought of as parts of one great substance", that's belief in something higher.
     
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  10. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    IMO, anything called "God" has been attributed with human characteristics. It comes along with the term.

    If someone uses the terms "God" or "god" only in a non-literal way, then they're likely atheists. Using "Old Man Winter," "Mother Nature" or "Lady Luck" in a figurative way doesn't make a person a polytheist; in the same way, using "God" figuratively doesn't make a person a theist.

    In general, I've found that most people who say that "God" is "the cosmos" or "nature" or the like don't actually mean that "God" is nothing more than the cosmos or nature. Generally, they're imbuing the cosmos or nature with attributes over and above the their conventional meaning.

    For instance, defining "God" apophatically doesn't make much sense if all you mean by "God" is "the cosmos."
     
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  11. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Ok! . . . but nonetheless this reflects an extreme view as I described from the perspective of many atheists and strong agnostics, and does not reflect the beliefs of those I cited..

    You are more or less restating the views I expressed in my previous post concerning pantheism.
     
  12. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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  13. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    No. Givin the root word means, "Without God's".
     
  14. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    Everyone thinks about it to much.
     
  15. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Then we need to know what are the true enduring human attributes. In any case, a notion of God as non-anthropomorphic and non-transcendent (immanent) is vague.
     
  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    My view is that it's mostly just weak-minded sophistry. If God is not transcendental, then God must be anthropomorphic, as it must exist within and through us. Yet, existence, itself, and including ourselves specifically, manifests inexplicable degrees of transcendence: from matter to life, and from life to conscious self-awareness. So to claim that God is a lesser form of existence, by claiming that God is not transcendental, defies the definition of a even a man, much less a "god".
     
  17. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    man-staring-at-computer1.jpg man-staring-at-computer1.jpg man-staring-at-computer1.jpg
    Oh I am confused. I thought belief was dolled up atheism irrelevant!!!! Apparently I have my arrow of truth backwards. Which irrelevant is relevant? In fantasy land this all makes sense!!! Sees above. In REALTY it is dead. I believe dead I don't believe dead I am agnostic DEAD. SEES BELOW.
    Sylvain-Guintoli-Jerez-Test-2016.jpg
     
    #17 David T, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  18. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    I think I kind of agree with the statement. What do these people actually believe (as opposed to just what they don't believe)?
     
  19. idav

    idav Being
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    Of course you don't agree with pantheism if your panentheist. Just the same pantheism doesn't completely agree with panentheism or atheism. Far as I am concerned pantheists are the true monotheists.
     
  20. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member
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    Eh, people have argued over how to define a god (and by extension, who is or isn't a theist) for some time now. In my opinion, It's as unwinnable as trying to define what is or isn't art.

    Rule of thumb: if somebody prefers to consider themselves a theist, refer to them as a theist. Same goes for atheists. Arguing the point is rarely productive in my experience.
     
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