Pantheism and the Argument from Design

Pantheism is a form of theism in which one does not believe that God is the omnipresent creator of the universe as he is depicted in the Bible. Rather, a pantheist regards God as everything there ever was, is, and will be; as identical with the universe. Nature is central in this form of theism, and man is seen as one with it, so we must care for it. Pantheists support scientific reasoning as a means of understanding the universe and believe in theories of evolution and climate change. Thus, they are not religious, but spiritual, as they do not believe in God as a supernatural entity but rather as one with space, Earth, and nature. Many pantheists’ driving force behind their beliefs is a deep reverence for and feeling of belonging to nature. They feel that they are close to God, as he is present in everything around them. Others rely on philosophical reasoning that leads to pantheism being the logical conclusion of theism. They argue that if God created the world and it is dependent upon his existence, it cannot exist as an autonomous entity; it is therefore one with Him.

There are many variations to this form of theism as it is a “diverse family of doctrines” (Mander) rather than a rigid set of beliefs, so there are several different sets of reasoning and beliefs leading up to one’s devotion to pantheism. The question of this article is whether or not a pantheist’s beliefs would be on the grounds to support the Argument from Design, which is summarized as follows.

  1. Many natural objects appear to have been designed for a purpose.
  2. Natural objects are ultimately the product of an intelligent creator.
  3. Therefore, it is reasonable that God exists.

This argument assumes that God is independent from the universe, Earth, and nature, as he is its creator- an entity that is all-knowing and eternal- and existed prior to Creation. Therefore, if one argues that all that is, was, and will be is not autonomous from God, they would be obligated to disagree with the Argument from Design. Unless a pantheist assumes that God, as one with the infinite universe, designed and created Himself, one must conclude that they could not support this argument.

AEC

References:

“Is Your Spiritual Home Right Here on Earth?” World Pantheism. 1997-2017 Web. 28 Jan. 2017.

Mander, William. “Pantheism.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 01 Oct. 2012. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

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