Talk:Naturalistic pantheism

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Removal of many of the more recent additions[edit]

Naturalistic removed several of the important points claiming that they had nothing to do with naturalistic pantheism. This is not the case. What was written was well researched and eloquent. I am going to do some more research on my own and add to the previous posts. Please do not remove things you do not understand. Several of the additions had very clear mistakes. @Naturalistic please do not let your personal feelings interfere with the quality of information on this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:10, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

I understand the material I removed very well. It's you who lack understanding of the consistently physicalist and metaphysical naturalist character of Naturalistic Pantheism, as well as of Wikipedia policies. Wikipedia is not a place for people to indulge their own personal researches or their own personal speculations and judgments about what independent ideas fit under the term Naturalistic Pantheism.
The material you had added was largely what's termed "original research." It is backed up by sources relating to the specific belief you are discussing, but there are no acceptable sources that categorize these beliefs as Naturalistic Pantheism - this is counter to Wikipedia policy.
It was also expression of your own personal opinion that this or that theory represents a form of Naturalistic Pantheism and therefore violated Wikipedia Neutral Point of View policy. There are no reliable sources that categorize the theories you added as Naturalistic Pantheism.
Quite apart from the above, your additions included non-physicalist idealist notions which do not at all fit the Naturalistic Pantheism physicalist paradigm. Naturalistic (talk) 15:42, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I do not agree with naturalistic either. What was there previously goes with the standard North American definitions and categorization. The stuff from naturalistic reads like a new age cult advertisement. We need at the very least to say something about mathematics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Well one thing is sure, we need to include how the variouse interpretations of funamental reality manefest themselves in patheism. If there are no good scholarly works then I suppose it would be best to refer to another page which deals with model theory and the seporation of physical reality and mathematics. However it has been discussed and documents in the papers of Max Tegmark. It looks as if it was written pretty well originally but too much has changed for me to untangle it and get back to how it was before naturalistic messed it up. It is pretty absurd to assume that Naturalistic Pantheists do not have opinions on such things so it can't be left out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:05, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I did not say Naturalistic Pantheists should not have opinions on such subjects. The question here is: is the assertion that the Universe is made up of purely mathematical objects pantheistic? If so where's is the external evidence for it being pantheistic? Has any authoritative source said this is a pantheist view? Is Tegmark said he is a pantheist? We can't just stick theories in here just because we are interested in discussing them, or because we personally think they are pantheistic. Doing that is called either "Point of View" (POV) - ie the contributor's own opinion without evidence that anyone else has that view; or "original research" (OR) ie the contributor and their addition is the first to put together the claim and the evidence. Wikipedia is not for this type of material.
Is Tegmark's view even naturalistic? Mathematical objects are by nature abstract rather than physical. It's more like Plato than like modern science. Hardly any scientists have gone along with Tegmark on this - even his own wife thinks he's crazy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Naturalistic (talkcontribs) 00:46, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

The origin of the term[edit]

Does anybody have a source on the origin of the term "Naturalistic pantheism"? My best research see that it starts to appear in the media and on blogs around 2002. This seams very recent so it is possible that it just got rediscovered. (talk) 10:04, 27 January 2011 (UTC)


I am nominating this article as NPOV. I just found this article randomly as I was surfing wikipedia and I found that it has: 1) Very little factual description of what Naturalistic pantheism actually is 2) No references to any source material 3) A voice (especially the critique section) that looks a lot like a critique written by someone and not a summary of critiques of others. I was also supprised that the critique section was longer than the actual description of the religion.

I would say that this article is biased in both directions, both for and against Natural Pantheism, this is not the same as being NPOV.

I can not fix this as I am not an expert on Naturalistic pantheism and am also not a very good writer but I hope someone can fix this article.

bobprime 16:02 26 July 2006 (EST)

I will try to fix this article so it is accurate, well referenced, non POV and non OR. It should not be merged with naturalistic spirituality, which is more of an umbrella term. --Naturalistic (talk) 20:56, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

(cur) (last) . . 16:47, 5 Apr 2004 . . David Gerard (you should try to make it less POV, not more)

What are you disputing as being more POV verses NPOV?-PV

As far as I can see the article isn't particularly NPOV. The only thing I found that I think needs addressing was this sentence:

The WPM (founded by former UPS vice-president Paul Harrison), on the other hand, has expanded more considerably due to its promotion of "scientific pantheism", which many critics claim is essentially no more than "atheism for nature lovers"

Who are these 'many critics' who say this? It sounds like a very specific quotation, but no indication as to who it's come from. I've added a cite tag for anyone who's able to provide this info.

Other than that, I've made some very minor tweaks by capitalising the word 'God' where it's used as a proper noun in reference to a single being (even if that being is the Universe itself) because it's a name or title. Where it's used to describe a type of being ("a god") I've left it lower-case. If I've missed any - sorry.

Personally, bearing in mind the existing article on Pantheism as a whole, I'm quite happy this article as an explanation of a kind of Pantheism is as NPOV as an article on religion is going to get without deleting all the content (I'm joking), so I'll stick my neck out and remove the tag. - Dreilyn 12:15, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Good article[edit]

Disagreements of previous contributors aside, this is a pretty good article. While it does spend a lot of time on criticism, Wikipedia has lots of articles with detailed criticisms of traditional theism, and other belief systems, as well. These just have been spun-off into their own articles. RK

Strange to see us agreeing. I created the page out of the old pantheism article. The author of much of this content doesn't like either of those, nor classical pantheism, and is currently engaged in an extremely protracted (since last Nov., when I first came to the wiki) debate w myself. Just thought I'd give you a bit of background for the heck of it. Feel free to flame me, or reccomend I review back issues of "the humanist" ;) Sam [Spade] 05:14, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
How is it a good article? It doesn't even have complete sentences and all the content bangs on about UPS or WPM instead of just explaining concisely what Naturalistic pantheism is. I suggest this page should just be fused with the main Pantheism page with a redirect. Ultima 22:13, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
"Despite a history of controversy ignited by the WPM's appearance as a sect within the UPS and its eventual secession from that organization, the WPM approach has met with some acceptance, even while critics claim it may not actually constitute any strict or authentic or classical pantheism." This sentence makes no sense... how does a theism have authenticity other than how a group of people use a term to describe their belief system? What critics? And I assume the last part should just have the or taken out? Naturalistic pantheism doesn't claim to be classical pantheism, hence the naturalistic prefix? Ultima 22:13, 4 November 2006 (UTC)


There seems to be some misunderstanding of Spinoza in this article (possibly among the subjects of the article). I've just posted this to Talk:Pantheism (in response to an editing disagreementthere), and my attention was drqawn to this article:

Spinoza's god certainly wasn't unconscious, and calling it non-sentient needs argument; he talks in different ways in different places, but the most central notion is of god as being substance conceived under the attribute of thought (substance as conceived under the attribute of extension being the world; hence "deus sive natura" (Ethics IV, Pref.). Sometimes, however, he talks of god as having the attributes both of thought and of extension). From the Ethics, for example:
  • I, p.16, cor.2: "God alone is a free cause"
  • II, p.1: "God is a thinking thing"
  • II, p.3, d.: "For God (by p.1) can think infinitely many things in infinitely many modes"
  • II, p.3, sch.: "God acts with the same necessity by which he understands himself"

Now, this was fairly hurried and allusive, but much more evidence could be brought against the claim that "the universe, although unconscious and non-sentient as a whole", though I'd agree that Spinoza believed that it "is a meaningful focus for human spirituality. Accordingly, Nature is seen as being "God" only in a non-traditional, impersonal sense." Any thoughts? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:39, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Here is a link to some previous debate: Talk:Pantheism/Critique. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 18:34, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Interesting, though it doesn't touch on what I was discussing above. Incidentally, I'm surprised that you find the difference between "god is the world" and "god includes but is more than the world" to be too subtle to be significant; most pantheists and panentheists take the difference to be crucial. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:44, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Actually its the very heart of what you spoke of before, because this article was created as a compromise with a prominent member of a number of "pantheist" organisations, User:Naturyl. The link I provided gives a snapshot of the debate we have had. In essense, he feels that God = Nature inherantly presumes that God is unconscious, since he feels that nature is inherantly unconscious. Thats my assessment anyhow. I, being an animist of sorts, among other things, feel all things are conscious/sentient/possessed of a soul, at macro and micro levels.
As far as what your getting at, pantheism vrs. panentheism vrs. transcendance, thats actually a crucial matter for metaphysical theists such as myself. Negative theology and tatt vam asi are articles worth reading on the subject. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 21:44, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Is the key question for this article to describe what Spinoza believed, or what Naturalistic Pantheists believe (with reference to Spinoza as an influence or inspiration)? If Spinoza's beliefs and those of Naturalistic Pantheists in general differ, which should we be describing in detail in an article on Naturalistic Pantheism? - Dreilyn 12:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Spirituality or Mysticism[edit]

I changed the first sentence to describe Naturalistic Pantheism as the belief that the universe is a meaningful focus for mystical fulfillment rather than spirituality. I realize both terms are not quite appropriate since they were invented in relation to religions that believe in (anthropomorphic) deities, but at least mysticism doesn't necessitate belief in spirits or other dualistic nonsense.

Criticism and response[edit]

The first paragraph of "Criticism and response" seems like original research (if I've got that term right). At any rate, it's not sourced. I'm not sure if this is a problem, given that it's stating some people's opinions, but someone should take a look at it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:52, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Fundamental revision[edit]

This article used to be acceptable about 5 years ago. Since then it has been totally corrupted with inaccurate, unsourced OR and POV material, primarily by critics of this version of pantheism. In its state prior to Feb 2 it was highly misleading. I am undertaking a complete rewrite making this article a worthwhile source, accurate, adequately referenced, and neutral (ie simply describing what it is). --Naturalistic (talk) 22:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Removal of external links covered by internal links[edit]

Jon Harder: IMHO this is tidying up taken beyond beyond anything I can find in the suggested Wikipedia rules and policies. People may well want to go straight from Naturalistic Pantheism to the main organization for this form of pantheism. Or, they may want to go to the Wikipedia article about the organization. With only the Wikipedia link, they only have one option. Why should they not be offered both options? Leaving both in gives users greater freedom and more information.--Naturalistic (talk) 00:42, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Generally Wikipedia prefers linking to its own content whenever possible. If there is something important about the organization, that information can be incorporated into the prose of this article. The link is off-topic here, particularly because there is an article that is more specific to its content, and it is contrary to the WP:ELNO guidelines #1, #13, #19 and possibly #4. Links to promote naturalism-related sites have been added to dozens of articles that only tangentially relate to the topic. Directing users to other websites is not a substitute for writing comprehensive articles. Finally, disputed links should be excluded by default. JonHarder talk 11:16, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Natural Pantheism is the wrong term.[edit]

What is being described in this article is not natural pantheism. People need to stop making up new terms and start checking if a term already exists. In this case, natural pantheism is pandeism and nothing but that. In addition to that, you should know that the "theism" in pantheism implies the existence of an active God while scientists like Einstein rejected this idea. Therefore Einstein was a pandeist. --Trickymaster (talk) 02:54, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Trickymaster, you need to do quite a bit more checking yourself. First off, this article is called NATURALISTIC Pantheism, not "Natural Pantheism," and Naturalistic is absolutely the right term for a viewpoint that "Nature is all there is." Second, pandeism is the belief that some being called God created the Universe out of himself and became the Universe. This is not at all the same as Naturalistic Pantheism. Third, you need to research Pantheism, which does not at all imply an active God but identiifies the Universe as "God" or the highest object of reverence. --Naturalistic (talk) 16:19, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, I will consult some religious scholars regarding this term. I'm very convinced that the term was created by the unknowing big media and thus article can be incorporated into pandeism. It could also be a branch of transtheism. I also know a handful of people who would say that naturalistic pantheism is an oxymoron. --Trickymaster (talk) 08:04, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Merge page with World Pantheist Movement (Update: Page nominated for deletion)[edit]

In its current state, this page should be merged with the World Pantheist Movement page. I have found no credible sources using this term in the way Harrison and his World Pantheist Movement organization use that term. This expression as defined by Harrison's book and organization doesn't seem to have any precedence before this decade defined in the same way. So is this term just a created term by Harrison and does it warrant its own article? Have any philosophers or theologians used this term as it has been defined on this page? (Allisgod (talk) 07:45, 21 August 2012 (UTC))

The term has clearly seen scholarly use prior to that - more than Classical Pantheism, which is your relative preference. We can debate exactly what these people meant by it, but if any of these sources demonstrate a different meaning, the correct action would be to add it, rather than removing a page with a long-established usage. The term has certainly become more prominent since the movement's formation, but was not coined by it. (edit: fixed link)--Martin Berka (talk) 08:32, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Allisgod, you should abandon your campaign against the term Naturalistic Pantheism, which has four times more scholarly and book references than your favorite, Classical Pantheism.
Search results:
  • Google Books: 351% more (1720 for Naturalistic Pantheism against 381 for Classical Pantheism)
  • Google Scholar: 145% more references (118 against 48)
  • Books & Scholar combined: 328% more (1838 against 429)
Thus, Naturalistic Pantheism has far stronger scholarly credentials for a separate article than does Classical Pantheism. No doubt some of the references are new coinages, or application of one well-known term "Naturalistic" to another "Pantheism." As for Classical Pantheism, I would suggest that a far greater proportion are repeat new coinages, and mean Pantheism in classical times, or various people's (not just Hartshorne's) ideas of archetypal pantheism. --Naturalistic (talk) 00:42, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Martin, every single use of the phrase that I have found has nothing to do with the way the org. uses the phrase. The main use of the phrase in those books have been a way to reference Spinoza's philosophy. Naturalism in philosophy (and Spinoza) does not refer to nature as in trees, it refers to nature as in natural laws. "Naturalistic pantheism" is used by scholars referring to Natural Law Pantheism - i.e. cause and effect pantheism and even deterministic pantheism. In other words, "Naturalistic pantheism" is similar or the same as "Classical pantheism" according to these works you are referencing. Yet, the way it is presented on this page (and the Pantheism page) is the complete opposite of how those references use the phrase.

It's time to be honest about this. WPM started out with the created phrase "Scientific pantheism" which, like others who have coined phrases to describe their own personal version of pantheism, describes what Harrison and Co. believe. Now, you are using a phrase that has been used in the past, but in a completely opposite way, which makes this page misleading in its current state. If I don't challenge this page on this someone else eventually will. (Allisgod (talk) 19:14, 25 August 2012 (UTC))

I've done more research on the phrase "naturalistic pantheism" and have found the following:

  1. did not find a single source that uses it in the way Harrison uses it (revering nature, respecting scientific method, etc).
  2. Philosopher Tillich is the most prominent user of the phrase, using it to describe Spinoza's pantheism which "denies finite freedom" (i.e. deterministic pantheism; Classical Pantheism) which has nothing to do with the way Harrison uses the phrase.
  3. Out of 11 sources that define "naturalistic pantheism", 6 specifically attribute it to either Tillich (who cites Spinoza) or Spinoza.
  4. The rest and pretty much every source uses Naturalism to describe natural laws and all the philosophy/theology scholars emphasize extreme monism (good and bad are both holy, man lives forever, God does not roll dice, non dualism, all of which are aspects which Harrison does not seem to emphasize or even endorse).

In other words, the phrase "naturalistic pantheism" is being used incorrectly or in its own unique way by Harrison and his World Pantheist Movement org. One could argue that Harrison has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the word "naturalism" and/or has just completely ignored the word's previous usage, especially by philosopher Tillich, which I find surprising for a person with an academic background. I think a better phrase might have been "Nature Pantheism" (or Environmentalist Pantheism, or Nature Worship Pantheism, or Green Pantheism..) but that's just my personal opinion. In any case, this page as it stands now has absolutely no relevance other than its association with Harrison and the World Pantheist Movement and should be deleted/merged. (Allisgod (talk) 06:32, 27 August 2012 (UTC))

I don't think they use any of those Nature names - it's always Naturalistic, or Scientific, or World Pantheism (mostly branding, that last one). Myself, I find "Nature Worship" a bit insulting. While I can't be sure, it looks like they consider "naturalistic" to mean "physical, monist," and thus fully describable with science. The Naturalism article says it's about the "laws of nature" (not supernatural), and we would have to decide how different that is from "natural laws" (I wonder if you and Naturalistic have not exaggerated your differences). You have reasonably shown different meanings of a phrase used by different groups, but the earlier statistics suggest it is still relatively prominent for Pantheism. I would then suggest bringing those other meanings into this article, instead of deleting it (which would make WPM the lead source for defining "naturalistic pantheism", at the wiki's loss). It would become more diverse and better-sourced, like Classical Pantheism with its multiple meanings. --Martin Berka (talk) 20:58, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

In fact, every one of those 11 sources I located describes my version of pantheism. So by expert definitions, I am indeed a naturalistic pantheist. However, the stuff on this page sounds like it's from an environmentalist cult. It should be entirely removed at minimum. There is not a single reputable source that would agree that "naturalistic pantheism" = most of the points made on the page. (Allisgod (talk) 02:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC))

"At a minimum"? ;) More seriously, I would say the WPM is the leading user and promoter of this phrase. They should not be the sole source, but ignoring them completely would make the article less useful. We can cut out anything resembling advertising and leave the article with sections for each concept, but I consider organizations very relevant to whatever ideas they promote. --Martin Berka (talk) 10:20, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

11 sources are precious few - that's only 0.6% of the 1780 refs in Google Books. In addition, most of those you cited in the AfD page are consistent with Naturalistic Pantheism, only the Tillich ones are not.--Naturalistic (talk) 01:39, 30 August 2012 (UTC)


I have added a definition section, made the history section so it's about history, and greatly reduced the focus on World Pantheist Movement. I did not create that focus, and I thought it was inappropriate.
I have removed most of the references to environment, which I agree is not part of any proper definition of Naturalistic Pantheism. FYI I did not insert that material and I don't know who did.
I have removed the references to the WPM to matters not strictly related to naturalism (eg about loving nature etc). I am not sure what to do about the material related to natural rights, which relate to one meaning of the term naturalism, in ethics.
I have also removed the "Characteristics" section which repeated material about the WPM - here too, I did not insert this material, nor was I at all happy with the focus on the World Pantheist Movement here.
I will continue to work on improving this article including a look at some of the other uses, gleaned from the 1780 book results and 119 Google Scholar results.--Naturalistic (talk) 01:39, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

To avoid disputes, we must agree that ALL statements must be sourced by experts. The article as it stands now is highly inaccurate and unacceptable according to my research. This was listed as a C quality article and that is generous. I'm going to begin by removing all contentious material and we will go from there.(Allisgod (talk) 18:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC))
To avoid disputes, normal editing etiquette should be followed and (citation needed) inserted rather than blanket deletion of any unsourced or allegedly unreliably sourced material. You are supposed to give the inserting editor time to add or improve a source. That's the way Wikipedia encourages and it's obvious that it's the only way to avoid really embittered edit wars.
Toland, Haeckel and Jeffers were well sourced in the material you removed. The World Pantheist Movement website is a reliable source for the World Pantheist Movement's beliefs. Your own edits do not follow the standards that you are expecting of me.--Naturalistic (talk) 18:33, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Re your point in AfD that "Tillich's definition is the most prominent and main one repeated", this is nonsense. A Google books search for "Naturalistic Pantheism" gives 1780 results. A Google Books search for "Naturalistic Pantheism" -Tillich returns 1710 mentions of NPM that do NOT include the word Tillich. Ie, 96% of usages do not include Tillich at all.--Naturalistic (talk) 18:51, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

I am working my way through the Google Books results, in the order they show up. Out of 13 so far, I have not encountered a single one that did not coincide with the characterization in my original intro. Including Tillich himself! Tillich contrast Naturalistic Pantheism ("by necessity God is merged into the finite beings, and his being is their being") with Idealistic Pantheism "which identifies God with the universal essence of being." It is this contrast that makes it naturalistic - not the determinism part.--Naturalistic (talk) 01:13, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Major Conflict of Interest[edit]

User "naturalistic" should refrain from editing this page and especially from adding references about his group. The organization, "World Pantheist Movement" under direction by the aforementioned user began using the phrase "naturalistic pantheism" to describe their beliefs (replacing their unique coined phrase Scientific Pantheism). However, those beliefs have little to do with the historical meaning of the phrase "naturalistic pantheism" which has often been used to describe Spinoza's philosophy. (Allisgod (talk) 19:38, 30 August 2012 (UTC))

You need to read Wikipedia's conflict of interest policies: nowhere do they say that a person with an interest should not edit an article related to that interest.
  • Wikipedia:Conflict of interest
  • Conflict of interest editing on Wikipedia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Wikipedia:Plain and simple conflict of interest guide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
What they are concerned about is NEUTRALITY of editing, something I have ALWAYS adhered to. As for reliable sources, I am a world expert on Pantheism, I am the author of the currently best-selling book on Pantheism, my website on the History of Pantheism is the largest on the Web, it is very well sourced, and ranks number one in most Google searches both for History of Pantheism and for individual thinkers. I have not included any refs to the book here and have no financial interests in the references included.
By contrast your own editing is DEMONSTRABLY not neutral. We don't know who you are because you will not say, so your own prima facie conflicts cannot be assessed. My guess from your behavior would be that you definitely have some, even if that conflict consist in no more than an obsession with highlighting certain aspects of Pantheism that coincide with your own beliefs and enthusiasms. Your own stated enthusiasms and extremely biassed editing patterns are clear evidence that you have a conflict of interest and are not editing Wikipedia articles in a neutral manner.--Naturalistic (talk) 19:47, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
If you're an expert on pantheism, then I'm an expert in rocket science. Maybe I'll start a website about rocket science and call it the science of shooting up toy rockets and then come to Wikipedia and edit the page to make sure it reflects my view. Sir, you have obviously never done serious research on terms such as naturalistic pantheism, where you choose to define it in the complete opposite way of how it was used historically, and classical pantheism, where you completely denied its existence despite a prominent philosopher using that phrase extensively; you show a weak understanding of concepts of pantheism such as determinism, where you think its a minor issue in pantheism; you make up distinctions in pantheism that have never been made and make ignorant and promotional edits on Wikipedia that support personal views that have no historical basis. You sir are no expert on pantheism. You are a promoter of your own personal version of pantheism and perhaps a megalomaniac in calling yourself an expert in a subject which you have no credentials to back up. Nobody is out to get you, nobody is attacking your views. But your views in many cases do not represent scholarly work on the subject matter. If you insist we can go straight to dispute resolution or higher and get some immediate help. They will also tell you that you are not an expert and they will be able to see that your view of naturalistic pantheism is not what that phrase means. (Allisgod (talk) 21:34, 30 August 2012 (UTC))

Personal insults like the above are factually worthless and merely add more examples of your bias against me. Hmm, I wonder how I managed to put together the web's largest site on the history of pantheism, which is the number one Google search result, which is packed with direct quotations and all very well sourced and no way focuses just on my own preferred form of pantheism?
You by contrast seem fixated on determinism, block time and Hartshorne and a determination to "own" all the Pantheism-related articles. I made some very reasonable attempts to accommodate those of your edits that were compatible with accuracy and neutrality. You are now deleting every single thing I write regardless of accuracy, sourcing or accuracy.
You have no idea what the majority of scholarly views says. Here are some examples of your "scholarship":

  • You are on record presenting just 11 samples out of 1780 Google Books results as representative of what Naturalistic Pantheism means. Basically you only mention your own preferred ones - and most of those you cited are quite compatible with Naturalistic Pantheism, as is much of Spinoza.
  • You have claimed that Tillich's is the most common definition even though 96 percent of Google Books results for Naturalistic Pantheism do not include any mention of Tillich.--Naturalistic (talk) 22:41, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia and your website are two different subjects. You can use your website as a platform to satisfy your desire to be looked on as a "world expert" and to make up whatever you wish. You cannot do that on Wikipedia, especially as an environmentalist with a degree in Geology and a major conflict of interest regarding promotion of your site. Regarding sources and Naturalistic Pantheism, you have presented none for years and now are presented with 11 but that is not enough for you. Tillich is the most prominent expert to use the phrase with extensive discussion of his definition of the phrase in scholarly work. You did not bother to research the phrase when you used it to term the beliefs of your org. Now, I can present you with dozens and dozens that cite Spinoza, Tillich, determinism, etc. and that will still not be enough. Why? Because you have a conflict of interest that obviously needs to be addressed. (Allisgod (talk) 23:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC))

Here you go again. The above comment demonstrates very clearly that your goal is to make Naturalistic Pantheism mean exactly the same as your favorite, Classical Pantheism and is more evidence of your bias in editing. You are the person doing conflict of interest editing and almost everything you say and do demonstrates that.
By contrast my additions mention genuinely Naturalistic Pantheist thinkers. I can easily assemble as many or more examples as you did - and in any case yours failed totally to prove your point. I added quite a few sources to the article, but you deleted them.
The goal of my website was not to satisfy any ambition to be regarded as a world expert, but to provide information about the history of pantheism - it's the number of other sites that find my site useful, plus Google measures of relevance etc, that gain me the top result for history of pantheism. How exactly do you explain that?
My editing is always focussed on neutrality and accuracy. PS I also have a summa cum laude Cambridge degree in European languages and literature so I can and do read many works in the original. My qualifications are better than those of Picton (a preacher and politician) or Worman (an author of language learning books)
. We have no idea what your background or qualifications are since you refuse to disclose them.
However, you are missing the point. Anyone off the street with zero knowledge or research background can edit Wikipedia, and that's okay as long as what they add is accurate, neutral, relevant not OR etc.--Naturalistic (talk) 23:32, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

I am working my way through the Google Books results on Naturalistic Pantheism. 13 so far. I have images of all the relevant sections. Not one of them is in conflict with my original intro - not even Tillich. You are simply misinterpreting what you read. Sources are useful, but only if you understand what they mean and represent what they mean accurately, which you frequently do not. You see everything through deterministic spectacles.--Naturalistic (talk) 01:16, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

I have found ZERO expert sources that agree with "Reverence, awe, wonder and a feeling of belonging to Nature and the wider Universe" and your other listed items regarding your version of naturalistic pantheism. That would apparently be 0 out of 1780 sources.
You are obsessed with the idea that this is a 'me vs. you' debate. I'm nobody. And if you had any idea what pantheism really meant you wouldn't be calling yourself a "world expert". Please. This is not about you and me. This is about getting the facts correct on Wikipedia.
Tillich's view is that naturalistic pantheism denies finite freedom. If that is compatible with your view, great. But your view is irrelevant and you should stop imposing it on this page.(Allisgod (talk) 01:35, 31 August 2012 (UTC))

You are completely ignoring the matter of interpretation of sources. You are interpreting what you see in a specific way and to me it seems that you are not even carefully reading what you see. Tillich contrasts Naturalistic Pantheism (God merged into finite beings, his being = their being) with idealistic pantheism (God=universal essence of being). [Paul Tillich: Theologian of the Boundaries. By Paul Tillich, Mark K. Taylor, Mark Lewis Taylor p165]. Both of these may be deterministic. And that's just Tillich and I presume the 4% of Naturalistic Pantheism occurrences that mention him.
"And if you had any idea what pantheism really meant you wouldn't be calling yourself a "world expert". That's a highly presumptuous statement. So you know what Pantheism means, based on your obsession with Hartshorne, Spinoza and determinism? That's just your preferred viewpoint. All the major dictionaries agree on two points about Pantheism. 1. God = Universe/Nature/Existent things 2. There is some kind of unity of all things. Very few of the reference books mention determinism as being an essential characteristic of pantheism. I do not pretend to espouse all types of Pantheism, nor do I claim that my type is the only type, nor do I go interfering with Classical Pantheism trying to make it look like Naturalistic Pantheism. Pantheism is a complex subject - William Reese lists seven types in his Encyclopedia Britannica article. However, you have given every sign of believing that only your version is the "true pantheism" and you have been editing in that spirit. That's a dangerous attitude for a Wikipedia editor.
By the way, if it's not about you v me, kindly stick to the facts and stop taking every opportunity to try to discredit me personally. We would also be on fairer ground if you informed people who you are. For all anyone knows, you may have an interest as significant as mine and you appear to let your personal viewpoint affect your editing far more than I do.--Naturalistic (talk) 02:21, 31 August 2012 (UTC) --Naturalistic (talk) 02:17, 31 August 2012 (UTC) Normal 0 false false false

Are you guys going to keep this farce, this orgy of reverts, going forever more? Time you put the weapons and insults away and agreed to collaborate like grown ups. Peter morrell 06:38, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

This is not a farce Peter, there is meaning to the changes and the conflict is of great importance in maintaining the accuracy and neutrality of Wikipedia's Pantheism articles. Allisgod tried to get the Naturalistic Pantheism article completely deleted (see Having failed in that, he is now aiming to transform Naturalistic Pantheism into a version of his favorite Classical Pantheism. He is really on a crusade to do this.
He confuses inserting sources carefully selected to endorse his viewpoint with accuracy and neutrality. Look at his latest version of the intro which once again introduces determinism and theistic/panentheistic authors. I have tried to compromise on many occasions but Allisgod is determined to impose his determinism-focused version of Pantheism on every article related to this subject. He has been hurling insults at me the whole time and removing references to the largest Pantheist organization in the world, which expressly espouses Naturalistic Pantheism. His insults against me are part of the campaign. I know the phrase "He started it" is something from school playgrounds - nevertheless it is true in this case, and I don't respond in kind. My comments on his behavior relate specifically to the issue in hand.--Naturalistic (talk) 13:46, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion: reread the comments of others on our dispute resolution for the Pantheism page. In there everyone agreed that 1) you are not an expert, you are a promoter; 2) your primary sources are unreliable; 3) the naturalistic pantheism page was inaccurate (Allisgod (talk) 18:04, 31 August 2012 (UTC))
FWIW I think it is a farce and the least compromising should back down. I think you should both stop editing the article and bring your proposed edits here at talk so folks can discuss them. That would include reverting again to a position before this farce started. Just a bunch of ideas. Peter morrell 18:53, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree; both of you please put the edits here first for discussion. As an aside to Naturalistic: Leave citing your own work to other people. If your work is notable, it will (eventually) get cited. If it's not quite that notable you're spared the embarrassment of having other people tell you that. (I'm speaking as a World ExpertTM who has the good sense not to edit wikipedia articles that fall within the balliwick of my expertise.) GaramondLethe 20:11, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Garamond, your advice is sound and your own example persuasive and I guess by now I have learned the lesson too. I will stop citing my own book and website and leave that to others.--Naturalistic (talk) 22:04, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


Out of the four references here: One is completely independent (re Toland) One is the top entry in Google searches for Haeckel pantheism. One is by the vice president of Tor House - a Robinson Jeffers focused foundation One is from the World Pantheist Movement website - which is a reliable source for what its own beliefs are. They are all informative and short, descriptive and accurate, there's nothing being promoted here.--Naturalistic (talk) 01:28, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

All of the above have little or nothing to do with what is sourced by scholars as naturalistic pantheism. (Allisgod (talk) 01:38, 31 August 2012 (UTC))

All the sources in the current history section are books that use the term naturalistic pantheism of the individuals concerned.--Naturalistic (talk) 21:16, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


This official-looking tag inserted by Allisgod is unnecessarily discouraging of new contributions.--Naturalistic (talk) 19:11, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

  • FWIW, I think the article would benefit from a little less editing and a little more calm, rational discussion. It is starting to look like edit warring to the outside world. We are all wanting proper, accurate and properly sourced information, and for the article to be as informative as possible, no doubt. Now lets discuss what that means before it gets Full Protection so that no one can edit it. Remember, there are no bad guys here, just a simple difference of opinion. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:19, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Dennis, I have tried many times here and more so on the Pantheism entry talk page to have a rational discussion with user Allisgod but all I get in return is personal insults, reverts, deletes and attempts to get Naturalistic Pantheism deleted. Allisgod claimed that I invented this term, till I came up with 1800 books using the term. My ideals are neutrality, accuracy, good sourcing and adherence to Wikipedia policies. Sourcing alone is useless if the source is misinterpreted or the selection of sources is biassed. It merely gives a scholarly appearance to inaccuracy.--Naturalistic (talk) 20:28, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The key is to move forward, you have demonstrated it is notable, you don't need to reprove that point. Now we just concentrate on defining the subject, forgive the past, move forward. I'm too involved in deism/theism topics to comfortably act as an admin here (although I get grab one in 2.3 seconds) so my participation is just a fellow editor who isn't an expert on this topic, but wants an article that is worthy of note, highly readable, well sourced and informative. Let's put personal differences aside, no matter who is wrong or right, and just try to accomplish this together. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 20:48, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


The intro section should not be OR nor single out one or two individual usages - it should exemplify the range of typical uses.
The previous version started unsuitably with an idiosyncratic definition by Quentin Smith, referring to his own philosophy. I have retained Smith while emphasizing how he defined naturalistic pantheism.
Tillich uses the term Naturalistic Pantheism (focusing on finite beings) in contrast to idealistic pantheism (focusing on the essence of being) - that is very clear from the page cited: "Spinoza establishes a Naturalistic Pantheism, in contrast to the idealistic type which identifies God with the universal essence of being, which denies finite freedom." Grammatically it is idealistic pantheism which Tillich appears to be calling deterministic, but in any case determinism is not the reason he uses the word naturalistic, it's the contrast with idealistic that dictates the choice.--Naturalistic (talk) 20:24, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Tillich is the most prominent secondary source on the subject of naturalistic pantheism. Your reading of his grammar is incorrect and expert citations (which you removed from my edit) confirm that. Your speculation on why he used the term "naturalistic" is your POV without reference. What he said is that naturalistic pantheism denies finite freedom. Many references that use the term naturalistic pantheism refers to the work of Spinoza, who highlighted the word Nature. Tillich does the same. Below was a well sourced intro I added which you just about entirely removed in order to redefine this phrase to suit the purposes of promoting your environmentalist organization:
Naturalistic pantheism is the belief that everything is holy and intrinsically good in that it exemplifies a kind of nature.[1] Thus, God is seen as the aggregate of all unified natural phenomenon.[2] It is a term that was also used by famed philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich and by others discussing his presentation,[3][4] describing a pantheism which "denies finite freedom".[5] The term often relates to the monist and deterministic philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, who equated the laws of nature to God.[6][7]
Here's your introduction:
Naturalistic pantheism is a form of Pantheism that identifies God or divinity with all concrete things[8], all finite beings[9], the substance of the Universe[10], or Nature. Thus, God is seen as the aggregate of all unified natural phenomenon.[11]. It is frequently contrasted with idealistic pantheism in which God and the Universe are identified with the essence of being[12], mind or consciousness.
You want to pretend Spinoza is no big deal, Tillich is no big deal, but the World Pantheist Movement and your version of pantheism is what this page should be all about. This is just not reasonable. (Allisgod (talk) 22:03, 31 August 2012 (UTC))

Thankyou for placing these side by side so visitors can compare them. Mine covers the broad range of uses. Yours starts with one idiosyncratic quote, and brings in determinism (again) and Spinoza (again) your two favorites.
1. Spinoza is there, in the text. I don't pretend he is no big deal, I just don't think his name needs to be dropped absolutely everywhere along with statements that he is the big kahuna. There have been many outstanding naturalistic pantheists starting with the Stoics.
2. You have seriously misread the Tillich reference, which does not say what you say it says.
3. Tillich still there in the intro as a reference.
4. Tillich is mentioned in only 4% of 1800 books in a Naturalistic Pantheism search - how does that make him the most important secondary source? He's a panentheist - how can his extremely brief critical mention of Naturalistic Pantheism be taken as part of its introductory section? The reason you highlight it is because he mentions determinism which you have been trying to push and prioritize in all three articles about Pantheism.
5. The World Pantheist Movement is currently only one short mention. I have cut it back 95% or more from what was there - and I did not place that long section there in the first place. You instead wish every mention of it to be expunged, even though it's the biggest pantheist organization in the world and the fact that it promotes Naturalistic Pantheism is highly relevant to this article.
--Naturalistic (talk) 22:17, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Lets not worry or focus on what we think the other person is thinking, but on the merits here. There are always options that incorporate both versions but expand a bit. The lede should be general enough to cover the broad and differing definitions of naturalistic pantheism, as well as contrast with Pantheism, to give a better understanding. The lede doesn't need to be overcited, as long as the cites are within the body of the article. They can be distracting. Neither version is optimal but both have worthwhile elements. Naming people is not so necessary in the lede here, although my limited understanding is that the first version here has a more comprehensive first sentence. It needs to be a summary in the most general way, not a narrowing down to one or two people's interpretation. The whole point of the lede is to give enough information so that if that is all they read, they understand the concept, even if not the specifics. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 02:46, 1 September 2012 (UTC)


I am personally sick of the constant reversions, sick of arguing, sick of responding to the personal insults, but I don't really have any option but to continue, if I am concerned with the accuracy and neutrality of this article. Anyone reading Talk:Pantheism starting at the end will see that I have repeatedly tried to reach compromises, and have been rebuffed every time. I have accepted many of Allisgod's changes and shortened many of my own additions.
I am concerned about Allisgod's pushing and prioritizing of determinism and Spinoza all the time and everywhere. It's all over Pantheism and Classical Pantheism, now he wants it all over Naturalistic Pantheism also. True, he uses sources now, but he does not present them correctly, and he selects them solely to back up his own ideology. Since he has been doing this for three months now I am not at all confident it will stop. But I am willing to try discussing changes here first.--Naturalistic (talk) 22:44, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion the article as of 21:09 Aug 31 is in good shape now, short, accurate and well-sourced. The intro is representative of a wider range of uses, and not biassed. The history section mentions a good selection of important examples which have been called Naturalistic Pantheism. The sources all mention Naturalistic Pantheism and I have removed references to my own work.--Naturalistic (talk) 22:44, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the relevance of determinism in this article, out of 1812 Google Book results for Naturalistic Pantheism, only 62 mention determinism and less than half of those 62 have the words in any near proximity.--Naturalistic (talk) 22:53, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

First of all, please stop overwhelming this Talk Page with the same complaints and content in new sections, over and over. You're a "world expert", I have a conflict of interest, not you, I am "pushing" Spinoza, determinism etc. Great. Thanks. Got it.
Anyway, your 'statistical analysis' in Google Books about mentions of Spinoza, the concept of determinism and such is irrelevant because the vast majority of those 1800 results of "naturalistic pantheism" cannot be researched through the internet and are mentioned in passing without being defined. Also many of the results repeat the same book over and over. Only a portion of those results are available to research. From what can be sampled, any neutral party will be able to see great many mentions of Spinoza with the mentions of "naturalistic pantheism" by philosophers/theologians out of those results that are available for research and at least partly define the term. As for determinism (free will, fatalism, freedom, God does not play dice..) and monistic concepts (good and bad are the same, etc) those results are also prevalent in the material that discusses naturalistic pantheism in depth.
The problem here is the subjects of pantheism are abstract philosophical and theological discussions, yet you approach it as if it is politics (your specific politics). You brush off the deep monistic subjects because either you don't understand it, you don't care to understand it, or you want to pretend they have low relevance because you want to get back to engaging in supporting environmentalism and using a phrase - naturalistic pantheism - in support of your effort to promote your org, despite the fact that there is little or no historical basis for that kind of usage. "Naturalistic pantheism" is a phrase chosen by many scholars to describe a specific type of pantheism. Spinoza emphasized the word nature, as in natural laws. Every scholar knows that. Naturalistic pantheism is a synonym for Spinoza pantheism for many of the samples I have read. You are attempting to redefine it in your own way and that is not what Wikipedia is for. People come to this website to get accurate information, not information from one self proclaimed "world expert" who has a website and a specific agenda. (Allisgod (talk) 00:24, 2 September 2012 (UTC))

Issues to be mediated[edit]

All aspects of article content over which there is disagreement should be listed here. The filing party should define the scope under "Primary issues", which is used to frame the case; other parties to the dispute can list other issues under "Additional issues", and can contest the primary issues on case talk page.

Primary issues
  • Noelander has provided an excellent neutral summary of the dispute here.
  • Sorry Anthony. Essentially, the core content issue that the two parties cannot agree on how to detail on the definition of pantheism and naturalistic pantheism in the articles, nor can they agree on which sources to use given the sources they have on hand (which also need to be reliable, and that's in dispute too).

Some more thoughts: The question is how much weight to assign to the various definitions of "naturalistic pantheism" within the articles Naturalistic pantheism and pantheism. The term is not a widely used term (compared to, say, plain "pantheism") but where it is used, each authority tends to assign to it a unique meaning. There are some older uses of the term dating back to early 20th century (and perhaps late 19th century); and in the late 20th century, there emerged some modern pantheism movement(s) that adopted the term, and turned it to their own belief systems. The question is how much emphasis to place in the article to the various meanings of the term. The dispute has a bit of a conflict-of-interest aspect to it because one of the editors, user Naturalistic, who has stated he is Paul Harrison (pantheist), is a leader of a modern pantheism movement, World Pantheist Movement, and has published a book on the subject - Elements of Pantheism. I have not detected any significant violations of WP policy by Naturalistic ... at worst, he is a bit enthusiastic about emphasizing his own movement's view of pantheism. But he is well-informed and well-intentioned. User Allisgod is also a helpful editor, and (I believe) has the view that the older/historical definitions of "naturalistic pantheism" should carry more weight than modern meanings. It should be a simple matter to enumerate the various sources that have used the term, to group them into a handful of major groupings/definitions, and then decide how much weight each should get. --Noleander (talk) 21:44, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I disagree with Noleander's assessment above. Primarily it is not up to date. In the current version of Naturalistic Pantheism I have personally removed all references to my own book and I intend to stick to that policy in future. In have cut a long section on the World Pantheist Movement inserted by someone else (not by me) to a single line.
The article as of my last edit of 00:16, 1 September 2012‎ now covers the widest range of uses of the term in the intro. Please note that the uses are in the great majority of cases consistent with the seperate meanings of the two words of the term - "naturalistic" and "pantheism" - which is precisely what one would expect.
Moreover, I am not pushing the World Pantheist Movement's interpretation of Naturalistic Pantheism at all. I am concerned with accuracy and neutrality. Nor am I concerned primarily with more modern interpretations but also with classical and oriental examples and indeed from all periods. Spinoza is always included. Allisgod's approach is far more limited and he wishes to focus every Pantheism article heavily on Spinoza and determinism. He has made it plain many times in talk sections that he believes that pantheism implies determinism, and he has repeatedly attempted to insert this point in articles.
There are other conflicts of interest besides having published a book on the subject and running an organization related to the subject. I have never allowed these interests to affect my dedication to neutral and accurate editing.
Having a strong personal belief about a topic is also a conflict of interest, and editing in line with that strong personal belief is POV editing. This occurs in religious and political articles all the time. Allisgod's conflict is that he has expressed in the talk pages a strong personal view of what Pantheism means (determinism, Spinoza, Hartshorne's Classical Pantheism and he has allowed that personal view to shape his edits in a very dramatic and clear way. He also has a strong bias against even the expression Naturalistic Pantheism, even though it's been around for 120 years. He began by saying that I invented the term, then he tried to get the whole article deleted and failed, then he set out to make Naturalistic Pantheism look exactly like Classical Pantheism - deterministic and focussed on Spinoza.
As for a method of proceeding, enumerating and categorizing the various sources would be a Herculean task - Google Books gives 1640 or 1830 book results for the phrase "Naturalistic Pantheism" (depending on whether you have additional search words) which can only be copied as images, not as text.
Interpreting sources is not always straightforward. We have already witnessed that Allisgod and myself are looking in many cases at exactly the same sources, and not agreeing as to what those sources say. And with so many sources it is very easy to select the ones that fit one's own viewpoint. Personally I started at the first result and worked through the next four of five pages, and I have images of each citation that I can share with anyone who would like to see them.
I have been using a search method at Google Books that identifies how many of the 1830 results for the phrase "Naturalistic Pantheism" mention the issues that Allisgod claims are central. The method is easy, you just enter the following search (removing the ? marks) ?"Naturalistic Pantheism"?; then ?"Naturalistic Pantheism" -Spinoza?; then ?"Naturalistic Pantheism" -determinism -deterministic?; then ?"Naturalistic Pantheism" -Tillich.
These are the results:
Total for "Naturalistic Pantheism": 1640
Of which, number which DO NOT mention:
Spinoza: 1290(82%)
Tillich: 1580(96%)
Determimism, determinist or deterministic: 1455 (89%)
The determinism number is likely an underestimate, in that I added together the separate results for each one of the three words. In fact some texts may use one, two, or all three of the words.
To summarize: the Google Book search results show that, out of the books that mention the phrase "Naturalistic Pantheism," 82% do not mention Spinoza; 89% do not mention any variant of the word determinim; and 96% do not mention Tillich. It's very clear from the above that to highlight the Naturalistic Pantheism article with stress on determinism, Spinoza or Tillich in the intro would be a very misleading view of the concept as it has been used over the past 120 years or more.
There are now three diverse competing attempts at mediation about the Naturalistic Pantheism article. The first one started here in Talk: Naturalistic Pantheism on August 31 following involvement by editor User: Dennis_Brown. Instead of taking part in this User: Allisgod on September 1 lodged a request in Dispute_resolution_noticeboard#Naturalistic_pantheism for dispute resolution, asking not for dispute resolution but for an editor to help with sources. On September 2 User:Steven Zhang lodged a proposal for mediation at Requests_for_mediation/Naturalistic_pantheism.
Since these will certainly repeat material three times over, and possibly result in confused on conflicting results, I think we should be mediating in a single place, not in three places. Where will that place be?--Naturalistic (talk) 00:59, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe there is a big underlying problem here when it comes to attempting to mediate between users. The problem is user:naturalistic simply has too big of a conflict of interest. His promotion agenda leaves him mostly incapable of sincere editing of these pages (and even sincere discussion about the editing). If there were more active editors on these pages (especially scholars), perhaps he would not be able to keep up with trying to redefine words and carefully promoting his org. But look at the history of these pages and for YEARS he has gotten away with these pages being vehicles of promotion and advertising for his org and his personal ideas. Is mediating with this really what I should be going for? What can be done about conflict of interest? (Allisgod (talk) 03:36, 3 September 2012 (UTC))

There is no Wikipedia rule against someone with an interest editing subjects within that interest, otherwise many science or history of tech articles would be very much the poorer. The rule is "Where advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest." It relates to actual behavior: is the editing done in a neutral and accurate way free of bias? I have never edited in a conflict of interest-influenced way, I have always aimed at accuracy, fair coverage of the various types of Pantheism, and strict neutrality. These days I have removed all trace even of the appearance of it. I have already stated that I will not include references to my own book Elements of Pantheism. I am moving towards the view that I should not edit material related to the World Pantheist Movement - however what is one supposed to do if one sees another editor blatantly inserting critical, unsourced POV and OR material about the World Pantheist Movement based on his own COI biases?
The same cannot be said for Allisgod, who in certain comments (like the above) tries to appear neutral, but has his own blatant conflict of interest in the form of a advancing a very strong attachment to a personal view of pantheism (including determinism, hero-worship of Spinoza, and Classical Pantheism) and strong dislike of the Naturalistic Pantheism and the World Pantheist Movement. Such a strong preference is in itself an "outside interest" which he has regularly and invariably placed ahead of accuracy and neutrality.
In his prior statements he has revealed this bias and his editing follows that pattern closely. He has removed all mention of Naturalistic Pantheism in the Pantheism article (and keeps reverting every mention of it), while giving great priority to his own obsessions with Spinoza and "Classical Pantheism." How to explain this other than by biassed editing? Naturalistic Pantheism has four times more Google book and scholar references than Classical Pantheism.
We simply do not know if he has any other conflict of interest, because he refuses to state who he is.
If anyone wants an excellent example of his non-neutral editing, look at his Pantheism edits September 1-3 of what used to be the section "Pantheist Organizations", and his reversion of my very reasonable removal of his unsourced POV and OR evaluations of the UPS and WPM. Look at his egregious renaming of that section as "Green religions."
In his manouverings he is simply trying to exclude me completely from any editing of Pantheism-related articles, so that he can persist in his own biassed editing free of any balancing input.--Naturalistic (talk) 18:55, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Again, you both need to get off the personal observations. Having a conflict of interest isn't a ban to participation, nor is having a strong belief. I'm neither, not being an expert in the field nor even a pantheist, I'm just a layman who has read a fair amount on deism and theism, in all their varieties. In the end, I don't particularly care which version makes the lede as long as it is balanced. I have my opinions, but they aren't expert, so I will defer to consensus, which is something we all should do. I'm open minded enough (or perhaps ignorant enough, you choose) to not be fixed in my ideas on the article, which is why I came here to just offer some balance and maybe find compromise. My concerns are about balance, not giving any idea undue weight, and keeping it neutral, and the content in a very general way. I have no preferred version, just preferences that we cover the topic broadly and fairly. When it comes to specifics, you two have likely forgotten more than I know, but I do understand mediation and compromise and will try to help you two find a resolution. But we have to first except the fact that you both have your own conflicts or deeply held beliefs, and the final result isn't going to necessarily be the first choice for either of you, but will be neutral and reflective of the subject matter. Dennis Brown - © Join WER 19:23, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I'll try the mediation. I'm just not so sure this will work because just look at how this user overwhelms these pages like he's trying to exhaust everybody into capitulating to a full time job defense/promotion of his organization and their beliefs, calling it 'egregious' that his org is associated with environmentalism. Right. What a travesty. The conflict of interest is not about strong beliefs, it's about working for a donation based organization that is actively and carefully marketing itself. Nevertheless, I will put that aside for now and see if we can work for agreement. (Allisgod (talk) 20:28, 3 September 2012 (UTC))

What's egregious is that in the Pantheism article you recently:

  • changed the title of "Pantheist organizations" to "Green religions," a title that contains within itself both OR and POV.
  • today removed the heading "Pantheist organizations" so that these organizations now come under the heading "Other religions."
  • inserted unsourced negative comments and evaluations both of the World Pantheist Movement and the Universal Pantheist Society
  • repeatedly remove every reference to Naturalistic Pantheism from the Pantheism page, even though this term has been in use at least 120 years, has been used mainly in a fairly consistent way as described on this page, has FOUR TIMES more Google Books results than Classical Pantheism, and was accepted as a notable concept by the AfD board.

All the above manouevres are blatant and flagrant examples of your stated bias against Naturalistic Pantheism and the World Pantheist Movement.
"Overwhelms these pages" means provides objective evidence of the relative importance of different concepts in relation to the phrase "Naturalistic Pantheism." Since you cannot answer the evidence, you resort to ad hominem attacks on me the entire time. I have always edited in a neutral and accurate way, and these days am even more scrupulous about sourcing.
--Naturalistic (talk) 22:59, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Sources for Article Improvement/Re-write[edit]

This article in its current form does not accurately reflect the various ways in which "naturalistic pantheism" has been used in academic sources. Instead, it mostly reflects a narrow view of this expression from a website (sourced twice). I am going to list every source I have found with the expression "naturalistic pantheism" and invite anyone to help edit the article to better reflect the meaning of this phrase. I will note that the expression is most often associated with Spinoza's philosophy (20 out of 41 sources).

  • Smith, Quentin (American Philosopher), “Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language”, 1997; Yale University Press, p 22
“This differs from naturalistic pantheism, which implies that all is holy and that all ways of living are in accordance with the holy or “the divine,” both good ways of living and morally bad ways of living because each thing, no matter how it lives, is just as much a constituent of the holy as any other thing. Levine’s pantheism is nonnatural because the holy is identified with a morally good order rather than with the natural universe.”
  • A History of Ideas About the Prolongation of Life By Gerald Gruman, MD, PhD (History) Section II Apologism, American Philosophical Society, 1966
"Naturalistic Pantheism as in Taoism, supports pro longevity because it "breaks down the division between man and gods"
  • Sufi Wisdom By Mariėtta Tigranovna Stepani︠a︡nt︠s︡ (Philosophy prof), p 32
Naturalistic Pantheism: “dissolves God in nature, its maxim being ‘God is all’”
  • Is Our Vision of God Obsolete? By G. R. Pafumi, 2010 p 153
Spinoza = naturalistic pantheism - universe as a "single, interconnected, and solely natural substance."
  • Paul Tillich: Theologian of the Boundaries By Paul Tillich (theologian/philosopher), Mark K. Taylor, Mark Lewis Taylor, Collins, 1987 p 165
Naturalistic pantheism "denies finite freedom" as in Spinoza (as opposed to idealistic type of pantheism which identifies God with the universal essence of being)
  • The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament By John J. Thatamanil (Theologian), p 142 2006 Fortress Press
Naturalistic pantheism is negation of freedom; references Tillich and uses his definition
  • Panentheism--The Other God of the Philosophers: From Plato to the Present By John W. Cooper (Professor of Philosophical Theology), p 17 2006 Baker Academic
"Einstein's quip "God does not roll dice" and Carl Sagan's quasi-religious view of the life giving cosmos are popular examples of naturalistic pantheism." Stoics are naturalistic pantheists – “physical universe is ordered and animated by an immanent Logos or divine Reason. The diversity of nature exists within a single unity.” Quotes Aurelius: “all things are mutually intertwined, and the tie is sacred…For there is both one Universe made up of all things and one God immanent in all things, one Substance, and one Law, one Reason common to all intelligent creatures, and one Truth.”
Naturalistic pantheism anticipates Bruno, Spinoza, Toland, Einstein (not Schelling, Hegel) Defining God in terms of Nature should not be construed as naturalistic pantheism. By “Nature” Eriugena means something like “Reality” rather than the mere physical universe. “But his position is in fact closer to the naturalistic pantheism of ancient Stoicism. The World-Soul is not a higher reality that generates the physical world but the rational causal agent immanent in the world”
  • The Middle Works of John Dewey, Volume 2, 1899 - 1925: 1902-1903, Essays on ... By John Dewey (philosopher)
naturalistic pantheism "identifying God with the forces of nature"
  • Goethe, Nietzsche, And Wagner: Their Spinozan Epics of Love And Power By T. K. Seung, p 11
“The second function of the Earth Spirit was to clarify Goethe’s own version of pantheism. With the revival of Spinoza’s philosophy, naturalistic pantheism became a groundswell for the German intellectuals of Goethe’s generation. Although they rejected the other world, many of them subscribed to an idealistic or Romantic view of Nature, which Goethe regarded as an unreal view of reality…”
  • Turner, William, (prof of philosophy at the Catholic University) “History of Philosophy”, 1903 p 429
“Bruno’s philosophy is a system of naturalistic pantheism: its pivotal thoughts are the doctrine of identity of God with the world and the Copernican idea of the physical universe.
“God, he teaches, is identical with the universe, for the universe is infinite, and there cannot be two infinites. God is, therefore, the sum of all being, and the phenomena, or accidental forms of being, which exist, are merely the unfolding of the immensity of God. He is the original matter of the universe, as well as the primitive form, the world-soul, which vivifies the original matter. Indeed these two, matter and form, not only interpenetrate each other, but are absolutely identical. God is also the final cause of all things; for to Him, the God-universe, all things are constantly returning.”
“The universe is, therefore, essentially one: the Aristotelian distinction between celestial and terrestrial matter can no longer be maintained. The stars are part of our solar system, or are themselves suns surrounded by planets and forming part of the one great system which is the universe. It is in this portion of his philosophy that Bruno makes use of the discoveries of Copernicus.”
“The universe is ruled by law: there is no place for human freedom in this system of determinism. The soul is an emanation from the Divine Universe, and all organisms are composed of living monads each of which reflect all reality.”
  • Integrative Theology By Gordon R. Lewis, Bruce A. Demarest
“In a system of naturalistic pantheism God has been reduced to the factor of order and value within the evolutionary process.”
  • The five great skeptical dramas of history By John Owen (theologian) 1896 p 13
“If he could be said to have owned a master of philosophy it was Spinoza. Of none other does he speak in such terms of commendation … In all probability Spinoza found his greatest disciple on the road to a naturalistic pantheism.”
  • Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes By Richard Watson, p 64
“Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome for professing a naturalistic pantheism and for supporting the heretical Copernican thesis that the earth revolves around the Sun.”
  • American journal of theology & philosophy, Volumes 12-13, 1991, p 147
“Perhaps the best way to denote the position of naturalistic pantheism is to borrow Sankara’s term, non-dualism”
  • Nothingness in the theology of Paul Tillich and Karl Barth By Sung Min Jeong University Press of America, 2003, p 24
“Spinoza establishes a naturalistic pantheism. Tillich considers Spinoza’s substance as a category”
  • George Finger Thomas (prof of religious thought), “Philosophy and religious belief” 1970 p 92
"“..two forms of pantheism we have distinguished, idealistic monism and naturalistic pantheism. Here we shall consider only the naturalistic pantheism we have been describing, especially that of Spinoza.”
“The monism of naturalistic pantheism is necessarily accompanied by determinism”
  • The Encyclopaedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, and ..., Volume 23 p 299
“[Boehme’s] speculation turns…into a naturalistic pantheism that denies the reality of the distinction between good and evil.”
  • Introduction to philosophy; a handbook for students of psychology, logic ... By Oswald Külpe (Psychology) p 170
Naturalistic pantheism: a pantheism which regards external nature as the equivalent of the idea of God.
  • Christian Ethics, By Adolf Wuttke (Theology) 1876, p 289, p 327
“Spinoza exerted in his own age but little influence. Notwithstanding the deep spiritually-moral declension of that dark period, the religious God-consciousness was as yet too vital to fall in with this naturalistic pantheism.”
“Naturalistic pantheism gave validity simply to the objective significancy of the moral, -absolutely annihilated the freedom of the will, and conceived by the moral law as a mere fatalism unalterably determining every individual… [goes on and on]
  • The history of European philosophy: an introductory book By Walter Taylor Marvin, Macmillan Company, 1917, p 325
“Naturalistic pantheism had already made its appearance in the sixteenth century and most notably in the writings of Giordano Bruno; but its most famous teacher was the seventeenth century philosopher Benedict Spinoza.”
  • Concepts of Philosophy By Alexander Thomas Ormond, p 593
"Ernest Haeckel ..develops a species of naturalistic pantheism which might be characterized as Spinozism turned inside out”
  • A history of modern philosophy: (From the renaissance to the present)By Benjamin Chapman Burt, p 104
“naturalistic pantheism of Spinoza”
  • History of modern philosophy By Alfred William Benn
Schelling’s early philosophy – naturalistic pantheism
  • The Philosophy of Religion: Spinoza to Schleiernacher By Otto Pfleiderer
Toland – naturalistic pantheism
  • Systematic Theology: A Compendium and Commonplace, Volume 1 By Augustus Hopkins Strong
“Watts adduces instances of Spinoza’s giving up the form while claiming to hold the substance, and in this way reducing revelation to a phenomenon of naturalistic pantheism.”
  • The groundwork of a system of evangelical Lutheran theology By Samuel Sprecher 1879 p 260
“Naturalistic pantheism gave validity simply to the objective significancy of the moral--absolutely annihilated the freedom of the will, and conceived by the moral law as a mere fatalism unalterably determining every individual..” ...“Or it would result in the naturalistic pantheism which absorbs all divine power into the world..”
  • The riddle of the universe By Edward Douglas Fawcett 1893 London, p 30
“Spinoza carried philosophy into the realms of a naturalistic pantheism.”
  • The Catholic encyclopedia: an international work of reference on ..., Volume 2 By Knights of Columbus. Catholic Truth Committee
“The naturalistic pantheism of the Italian Giordano Bruno…”
  • Elements of general philosophy By George Croom Robertson p 282
“The pantheistic element in Descartes’ thought viz. the tendency to conceive the notion of substance in the truest sence as being only One, and the naturalistic element, viz. the tendency to conceive the One Substance of God as Order of Nature, were brought together and set in the front of Spinoza’s thought as the mother-idea of it all…Spinoza’s philosophy remains as yet and is likely to remain, the very type of a Naturalistic Pantheism.”
  • Introduction to philosophy By Friedrich Paulsen, Frank Thilly
“In Schelling, moralistic pantheism is followed by a naturalistic pantheism … demonstrate[s] the whole of nature as a unified system govered by inner logical and aesthetic necessity, or to reveal the reason inherent to nature.”
  • Spinoza and religion: a study of Spinoza's metaphysics and of his particular ... By Elmer Ellsworth Powell
Spinoza ~ naturalistic pantheism
  • Christian philosophy, God: being a contribution to a philosophy of theism By John Thomas Driscoll, Benzinger 1904, p 190
“In the criticism of his system we meet with the same difficulties that we find in Spinoza, i.e., the nature of the mind and of matter, the character of their interaction and the doctrine of determinism. Both Spinoza and Spencer teach a pure Naturalism … The two theories set forth are phases of Realistic or Naturalistic Pantheism.”
  • The Review of Religion: Volume 5 Raymond Collyer Knox, Horace Leland Friess - 1940
“This kind of naturalistic pantheism found in Spinoza”
  • From the unconscious to the conscious Gustave Géley - 1921
“Now it is quite certain that the classical naturalistic pantheism, or Monism, does not aid us here. ' This supreme law of Nature,' writes Haeckel…”
  • The philosophical theology of Jonathan Edwards Douglas J. Elwood - 1960
as in Spinoza, is coextensive with the world of objects. His employment of what Tillich calls a "symbolic use" of substance and causality enabled him to overcome both naturalistic pantheism and rationalistic theism.
  • Philosophies of History: Meeting of East and West in Cycle-pattern ... Grace Edith Cairns - 1962
This attitude is close to that of Spinoza's naturalistic pantheism in the West although Spinoza reached it by the more characteristically Western method, rationalism, versus the intuitive way of the Taoists
  • GREEK and MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY contributions to the development of ... John Paulinus Kenny, O.P., P.h.D. – 1974 p 291
Bruno's philosophy can be summarized in two words — naturalistic pantheism. He held that God caused the universe and is identified with it. Giordano reasoned that both God and the universe are infinite in time and space.
  • The New scholasticism: Volumes 9-10 American Catholic Philosophical Association - 1935
Bruno taught a system of naturalistic pantheism in which God is the sum of all being, the original matter of the universe.. He likewise applies the tern natura naturata…”
  • Science and monism William Persehouse Delisle Wightman - 1934
The reason for this failure to achieve logical thoroughness may be due to his desire to keep on good terms with the Church, which had shown scant sympathy with the naturalistic pantheism of Bruno.
  • Matthew Arnold: Between Two Worlds, AJ Lubell - Modern Language Quarterly, 1961 - Duke Univ Press... Page 5
"the naturalistic pantheism he then or somewhat later learned from Spinoza"
  • St. Thomas and Tillich on the Names of God, JA Martin (Philosophy of Religion prof) - The Journal of Religion, 1957 - JSTOR
Naturalistic pantheism as defined by Tillich
That's great Natura. I admire your attention to detail regarding these sources, but I think lumping all the sources into one giant list over-simplifies the issue and implies some sort of grand orthodoxy. The collected quotes contain so much more information than what they have been used for, to the point that we should probably write a new section based on this treasure trove. Note that a long list of sources about "Spinoza" and "naturalistic pantheism" is not a source for what a phrase is "most often [...] associated with" - that takes a source that says what is predominant. I think the article's structure has become rather confused with separate sections for usage, definition, and another definition. I will try to break this list up into individual sources and parse out which one says exactly what. Good research!--Martin Berka (talk) 17:05, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
I like your organization. But the result of this research was the opposite of any kind of grand orthodoxy regarding this phrase. The phrase has been used in many completely different ways and half of them reference Spinoza directly as "naturalistic pantheism", meaning that Spinoza's weight in this article should be higher than being buried in the body. It can be emphasized that the phrase is used in many different ways, but that doesn't mean Spinoza should be removed from the lead when half the sources use him as the primary example of naturalistic pantheism. Also, it is a phrase that is clearly used by academics in "many different ways" and cannot be said to be 'one' specific kind of pantheism. These are ALL the sources I could find using the phrase so feel free to study them. NaturaNaturans (talk) 20:26, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
I have added World Pantheism's views on Spinoza from its website. On another page within that website, he is identified as a panentheist rather than a pantheist. Clearly, by the standards of that group, Spinoza is not a naturalistic pantheist, which must be mentioned given how often Spinoza is called a naturalistic pantheist. The implication is either 1) a demonstration of the extreme variety of ways in which this phrase is used or 2) that World Pantheism's "Naturalistic Pantheism" [capitalized] is a fringe WP:FRINGE view, or 3) that information about World Pantheism should not be on this page and should be considered for a different page altogether, something like: Naturalistic Pantheism of The World Pantheist Movement. My opinion is I think it's fine to be in this article because the contrasting view on Spinoza is helpful to demonstrate how views on this phrase vary, but I do believe a valid argument can be made for the other options as well because on the one hand we're talking about academic uses of a phrase and on the other hand is something akin to a brand name specific to an organization. NaturaNaturans (talk) 21:43, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Ah, my mistake. I thought the massive source was the result of some kind of conflict over the article. With all the summarized information, Spinoza has a generous section. The World Pantheism website is a bit tricky, but I found their article policy. Apparently, Harrison's writing is not an official view of the organization. Unless you want to discuss him specifically, I think they sound fairly generic.--Martin Berka (talk) 21:57, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Nice edits. Thank you for going through the sources. I didn't know that about their article policy, although it still raises questions. I added that it's their "unique" view of pantheism, but I also want to add quotes around "Naturalistic Pantheism" specifically because the organization capitalizes that phrase as if it's their own rather than as a general term, from what I understand. What do you think? NaturaNaturans (talk) 22:07, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I've generally understood that philosophies use lower case while religions use capitals. They do seem to treat it more as a religion, and perhaps we could mention the overlap somewhere. I don't know if it's that important - maybe just say they see naturalistic pantheism as a rational religion compatible with science? Otherwise the paragraph gets longer.--Martin Berka (talk) 22:13, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language By Professor Quentin Smith (American philosopher), 1997; Yale University Press, p 22
    • ^ Lectures on Divine Humanity By Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov 1995 Lindisfarne Press p 79
    • ^ The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament By John J. Thatamanil (Theologian), p 142 2006 Fortress Press
    • ^ St. Thomas and Tillich on the Names of God, JA Martin (Philosophy of Religion prof) - The Journal of Religion, 1957 - JSTOR
    • ^ Paul Tillich: Theologian of the Boundaries By Paul Tillich (theologian/philosopher), Mark K. Taylor, Mark Lewis Taylor, Collins, 1987 p 165
    • ^ Matthew Arnold: Between Two Worlds, AJ Lubell - Modern Language Quarterly, 1961 - Duke Univ Press Page 5
    • ^ A Concise Dictionary of Theology By Gerald O'Collins, Edward G. Farrugia, 2000 Paulist Press p 188
    • ^ Ethical and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language By Professor Quentin Smith (American philosopher), 1998, Yale University Press, p 226
    • ^ Paul Tillich: Theologian of the Boundaries By Paul Tillich (theologian/philosopher), Mark K. Taylor, Mark Lewis Taylor, Collins, 1987 p 165
    • ^ Panentheism--The Other God of the Philosophers, John W. Cooper, Baker Academic, 2006 p39
    • ^ Lectures on Divine Humanity By Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov 1995 Lindisfarne Press p 79
    • ^ Paul Tillich: Theologian of the Boundaries By Paul Tillich (theologian/philosopher), Mark K. Taylor, Mark Lewis Taylor, Collins, 1987 p 165