Pantheism (was Re: virus: RE: Future of Man)

David McFadzean (
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 13:02:07 -0600

At 06:25 PM 29/03/96 -0600, John A wrote:

>the universe) What I acknowledge as "god" is completely different than
>that of any spiritual or religious viewpoint that I am aware of. God is
>the ultimate statement or Theory of Everything that encompasses all
>physical goings on.

What you describe sounds a lot like Pantheism. Here's an article from
Microsoft Encarta:


Pantheism, doctrine that identifies the universe (Greek pan, "all")
with God (Greek theos). The thinker may start from an awareness of
the divine reality and then begin to speculate on the relationship
of the nondivine to the divine; this position is commonly called
acosmic pantheism. Conversely, the thinker may start from an
apprehension of the full reality of finite, changing entities and
give the name God to their all-inclusive totality; this is called
cosmic pantheism.

The most typical presentations of acosmic pantheism come from the
Hindu tradition, the greatest philosophical exponent of which was
the Indian philosopher Sankara (flourished 8th? century AD). The
difficulties of acosmism are visible in his system: tendencies to
deny the full reality of the changing finite, to deny the reality
of evil, to deny the reality of freedom and chance, and to see
individual personality as ultimately unreal.

In Western thought, the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza is the
greatest exponent of a position that is almost unqualifiedly
pantheistic. His view represents an important criticism of the
"orthodox" view, that God's reality is somehow external to the
reality of the world.

In fact, simple equations of "God" and "world" are hard to find
in the major writings in philosophy or theology. Usually
qualifications abound to cope with such traditional problems as
those of the one and the many, good and evil, necessity and
accident, and permanence and change. A view recently termed
pantheism has been espoused by some philosophers, including the
American Charles Hartshorne, who seek to overcome at once the
paradoxes of pantheism and of "classical" theism.

"Pantheism," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation.
All rights reserved.


David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Merak Projects