Re: Personal and impersonal deity
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, DT Strain <dtstrain@...> wrote:
>This pretty much puts into words my view as well. The Spiritual
> For me, 'impersonal deity' would also be nonsensical.
> But I don't hold a belief in the existence of a
> 'personal deity' either. I think of the Logos as an
> 'impersonal phenomena' - a rational order pervasive
> throughout the universe, and look on it as part of
> Nature; a part that allows me to have come into being.
> As such, I think it is beneficial to find it beautiful
> and appreciate it. I wouldn't call that a 'deity' or
> consider my attitude one of 'worship' though. That's
> one reason why I don't use words like 'god', 'zeus',
(Logos) for me is something I am a part of and something which is a
part of me. It is visible and discernible in nature, and in the
wonder of our existence.
Have you ever studied anatomy? There is an amazing "intelligence" in
even the smallest of our cells. Each part works together with all
the other parts to achieve life and excellence. Each
particle "knows" what other particle to join with to achieve its
purpose. I cannot see one "overperson" directing all this. Each
purposeful thing directs its own purpose, and it is a part of the
All. And the All is a part of me, all substance being composed of
the elements. What once was fish is now bear, what once was rock is
now tree, in a neverending cascade of development, activity and
decay. Perhaps that could be called Pantheism, but I don't think so.
It is merely rational observation. There is so much wonder and
excellence in our existence, there is no need to infuse it with
I'm usually pretty quiet here, I know, but Grant at least indirectly mentioned something that just boggles my mind- that some people seem to consider things without minds, that couldn't possibly be construed as persons, to be deities.
I'm well aware that the ancient Stoics used the words Logos and Zeus interchangeably, but, to tell you the truth, at first I entirely passed it of as an example of their school's being jargon happy. This is one of the things I find minorly annoying about the Stoics... it took me awhile (and quite a few footnotes, end notes, introductions, and the like) to figure out what they were actually saying. In my late teens/very early twenties, I ran across the works of pantheists, like Spinoza, wondering why they were calling the universe God, and thinking something along the lines of "Man, they must be really desperate for God to exist. If I can face unpleasant truths, then , darn it, so can they." (Mind you, I had just walked away from Christianity for reasons of integrity- i.e. I felt really guilty about standing up in church and reciting the Nicene Creed if I couldn't make myself believe even the first line of it. I'll admit to being young, wounded, and bitter at the time.) I now recognize that at least not all of the people who have impersonal gods adopt that position for reasons other than just being desperate for something to call god, and I would kind of like to know why one would attach that label to an inanimate object. Could anyone explain this to me?
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