Pantheism is older than Buddhism or Christianity, and may already count hundreds of millions among its members. Most Taoists are pantheists, along with many Chinese, Japanese and Western Buddhists, deep ecologists, pagans, animists, followers of many native religions, and many Unitarian Universalists. The central philosophical scriptures of Hinduism are pantheistic. Many atheists and humanists may be naturalistic pantheists without realizing it.

Scientific or natural pantheism is a modern form of pantheism that deeply reveres the universe and nature and joyfully accepts and embraces life, the body and earth, but does not believe in any supernatural deities, entities or powers.

For Scientific Pantheists, nature is every thing past, present, and future. Nature is “security, mother, home, and peace” . How did the world, which we reside in, come to be? The universe creates, preserves, and destroys all. Human beings are made of the same matter and energy as the universe. Every aspect of this universe – matter, energy, and life – is inseparably interconnected with every other aspect. Even when human beings die, their carcasses will be reabsorbed back into nature from where they originated – there is no reincarnation, according Scientific Pantheists.

This universe is human beings’ home – not a place of exile. There are no other “imaginary worlds”; therefore, there is no heaven or hell. Separation from nature is the only hell, which is more of a state of existence rather than a place. Even if a human being were to become separated from nature, there is no judgment – no punishment by supernatural agencies. For that matter, there is no reward by supernatural agencies for staying connected with nature.

Instead of explaining human beings’ existence through a mystical/mysterious approach, Scientific Pantheists adopt a scientific approach to Reality. Reality is divine. Reality encompasses “power, mystery, awe, creation, [and] omnipresence”. Human beings are supposed to honor reality and keep their minds in tune to what their senses tell them and keep up-to-date with science’s quest for deeper understanding. According to Scientific Pantheists, human beings’ purpose while alive is to try to know Reality better by continuous encounter and study of nature. Empiricism, the idea that in order for some unknown to be accepted it must be repeated by others and verified by others.


Related Pages:
Deep Ecology

3 Responses

  1. The Question of God and Religion can be a very difficult topic to discuss. When people ask me about my faith, I tell them that I am a pantheist and I get a lot of questions and sometimes even mockery. Pantheism to me is the only form of religion that makes sense, and in this article I will try to explain why.

  2. Hi Gary,

    I enjoyed reading your wonderful description of a lifestyle and belief system that is so consistent with Scientific Pantheism…I also share your feelings about this spiritual perception and its relationship to contemporary science…the ancient sages seem to have a deep understanding which science is now only finding in their recent searches.


  3. It is difficult for me to believe that in my decades of exploration of the contours of my own atheism, the result of an epiphany hiking behind Half Dome in Yosemite Valley at age 15, where I studied with care the beliefs of others, finding a form of Japanese Zen Buddhism the most valuable and sensible thing that might be called a “religion,” I never contemplated the concept you describe here as scientific or naturalistic pantheism.

    It resonates with me immediately because of my lifelong, passionate love of wild places, where Nature reveals herself in a way which both sides of our brains experience with biological intimacy. Where the infinite detail in Nature, the unfathomable complexity is all tied together in a way we evolved to experience.

    When I sit by a small fire of paper birch and “squaw” wood, built in a ring of rocks picked from ground where they lay a – small, hot fire, that will quickly burn to a clean pile of ash – out there alone, except for my dogs, who see what I see and more, there is little doubt that I belong to this earth.

    The Ojibwe, Lakota, Dakota have lived on this particular land for hundreds of years before the first Europeans arrived. They are a very generous people, and have always freely offered their wisdom. Their world view is empirical and nature-based. They respect their Creator but are humble enough to recognize that Creator offers, and the rest is up to you. They observed the behavior of the animals here: bear, wolf, deer, rabbit, eagle and, of course, the great Buffalo. They saw how each had a way to teach us about how to live. And, despite our Nation’s best efforts to exterminate Indians, their religion, and their culture, we failed.

    It makes more sense to me, from a scientific pantheistic point-of-view, why I as an atheist would feel very comfortable with the Indian perspective on Mother Nature. And even if the quantum universe appears probabilistic, there is an asymmetry somewhere that is evident everywhere, through our own eyes. We should be thankful to this Creator, whatever it is.

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