Worldview #2 - Pantheism:
"God is All, and all is God!"
The word "pantheism" comes from two greek words, "pan" and "theos", meaning "all" and "God". So, in a nutshell, we see that pantheism is the worldview that believes that "all is God, and God is All." Pantheism includes the world religions of Hinduism, some forms of Buddhism, and the New Age Movement as well.
Pantheism is also the popular religion of "Star Wars" and "Master Yoda", it forms the central beliefs of "Neo and Morpheus" in the box-office hit trilogy "Matrix", and has also been made populer in the animated TV series "Avatar" for teens, where "Aang" is seeking spiritual enlightenment in his quest to save the world.
A summary description of pantheism, would include the following beliefs:
- God is All, and all is God.
- All that exists in reality is one Mind, the All.
- The universe was created, not by, but rather "out of" the All itself.
- Reality is ultimately mental and spiritual, not physical.
- God is ultimately impersonal and unknowable.
- Human individuality and personal minds is only an illusion.
- Physical reality is an illusion that must must be abandoned.
- Logic and Morality are only illusions of human consciousness.
- Evil and suffering are human illusions that must be overcome.
- Our lives are an endless cycle of reincarnation and rebirth, until we attain enlightenment.
- There are many spiritual paths that lead to God, the All.
- The destiny of the mankind, is to become conscious that they are one with, and apart of the All.
If you've ever come across a pantheist, you've more than likely heard them say things like:
"Everything is God, man! We're all connected! We're all One."
"You can't really know God. He's waaaay beyond us."
"God is way beyond logic and morality. They don't apply to Him."
"There's not just one way to God. Everyone finds their own path."
"Free your mind, man. Realize that it's all just an illusion."
Some famous representatives of the worldview of pantheism include, as I've already mentioned, the "Jedi Masters" from "Star Wars"; "Morpheus and Neo" from the "Matrix" trilogy; and "Aang" from the popular "Avatar" animated series. But it also include real life cultural figures such as the Beatles, Deepak Chopra, Shirley Maclaine, the Dalai Lama from India, and the "gurus" of the Far Eastern religions and movies.
Once again, if we examine the worldview of Pantheism, how does it stand up? As we saw with the worldview of Atheism, there are also a large numbe of logical inconsistencies, self-contradiction, and just plain old absurdities within the worldview of Pantheism.
First of all, Pantheism is guilty of a major self-contradiction: It tells me that what I experience through my physical senses just isn't real. However, pantheists seem to constantly use their physical senses to find and share the truth of pantheism! So, we see that right away, Pantheism is engaged in a major self-contradiction.
Secondly, Pantheism is guilty of another self-defeating idea: It claims that human being can "change" from a state of illusion to a state of "enlightenment", in which we realize that we are "one with the All." However, this just won't work logically. God, by definition, must be unchanging and eternal. But Pantheism claims that if we change our perceptions, we can realize that realize that we are indeed the unchanging and eternal All!
Thirdly, Pantheism believes in something that is a blatant violation of a fundamental Law of Logic: the Law of Non-Contradiction. The Law of Non-Contradiction states that "A cannot be -A at the same time, and in the same way." However, Pantheism seems to think this principle doesn't apply to reality. It claims that all religions are equally true and valid, that "all roads lead to God", while these religions believe in fundamentally opposite ideas. Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism all believe very different things about God, humans, sin, salvation, Heaven, and Hell, to name just a few. Is it possible that all these religions could be true, even though they believe total opposites? No! This is impossible, because it would violate the Law of Non-Contradiction.
Fourthly, Pantheism engages in the self-defeating practice of claiming that the "Laws of Logic" don't exist in reality, but actually uses the Laws, in order to deny them. As you can plainly see, this is an intellectual blunder at the most basic level. Since the Laws of Logic do exist and apply to all of reality, the pantheist cannot help but use them. Pantheism uses logic to deny logic, by saying that the Law of Non-contradiction isn't real. Problem is, he just used the Law of Non-Contradiction to say that!
Fifthly and finally, Pantheism believes in different concepts of god at the same time. For example, Hinduism alone believes in 300 million seperate "gods", while also claiming that "God is All, and all is God." This really shouldn't surprise us, as we have already seen that self-contradictory beliefs aren't a problem for the pantheist. However, it's just one more reason to remove this concept of God and reality from consideration. Pantheism truly seems to be a system of belief that is shot through with a huge number of logical contradictions and self-defeating beliefs. Not only is Pantheism false, it's impossible that it could ever logically be true!
It seems that the only place Pantheism is good for is "in a galaxy, far, far away" that is home to intellectual absurdities and logical impossibilities!
- Pastor J.