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Ancient One 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,925
In Reply To

Member Since: Thu Nov 11, 2021
Subj: Re: LGBD, please clarify this dispute
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2022 at 05:44:48 pm EST (Viewed 201 times)
Reply Subj: Re: LGBD, please clarify this dispute
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2022 at 04:42:16 pm EST (Viewed 191 times)

    So then remind me again: a) what I’m wrong about, and b) how this differs from what Jerry Coyne believes about pantheism.

You're wrong to automatically equate pantheism with atheism. They are by definition different things.

I can't speak for Coyne or what he believes, but judging solely by what I've read his view isn't a million miles from my own. So here's my view, and I'm going to give it in the form of an analogy in the hope of making it clearer.

So, you meet guy A. He identifies as a Christian.

You ask him how his Christianity manifests in his life, and he says 'I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour. I read the bible and pray every day. I attend my local church evening service every day, and attend twice on Sunday'.

All well and good. You're in no doubt that he's a Christian.

Then you meet guy B. He also identifies as Christian.

But when you ask him the same question he says: Well, I don't pray. I've never read the bible. Don't really go to church except for weddings and funerals. I think many of the biblical stories I've heard are probably apocryphal. I don't really think about Christianity unless I'm asked questions like this, it's not really a part of my life. But I'm a Christian'.

Is guy B REALLY a Christian? For all intents and purposes he may as well be an atheist. Religion isn't a part of his life even though he identifies with it through some vague feeling of a higher power and cultural learning.

It's these kind of 'Type B' pantheists I think Coyne is referring to. The ones who for all intents and purposes are atheists, despite their vague feelings of a higher power. This is why he's careful to use the adverb 'often' rather than 'always'. If you presented him with a 'Type A' pantheist, I think you'd get a different reply from him.

I hope that made sense?

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