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Is an agnostic closest to being a pantheist


Active member
The word "pantheism" has more than one definition. One meaning (which is also very common) is acceptance of God by any name/form and I use the word in that sense alone. The thread about "Hindus celebrating Christmas" did digress as someone pointed out and this thread is motivated by that digression.

Monotheism appears reasonable but in practice it does not seem to be just about worship of a generic supreme omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient power (also) acting as a dispenser of justice (how else can we have swarga/naraka/karma/moksha etc). My concept of infinity is the same as that of many others in this forum but mathematically speaking infinity is not equal to infinity (though zero equals zero and googol equals googol). I wonder if these religious differences are like this mathematical comparison.

It would seem that polytheism should foster a more liberal approach but in practice many people have over the ages become fanatical about their "Ishta Deva" with the propagandists even shamelessly creating and spreading filthy stories about rival Gods foolishly and thoughtlessly granting boons to wicked demons who used the power to persecute and kill good people and their God eventually proving to be the saviour! And there are so many educated people who subscribe to these stories even today as if these are facts of history! (Incidentally, there are many articles/ posts on the net by theologians of different faiths that Hindu religion is not truly polytheistic but that the various forms are representative of the many functions).

What about atheism and atheists? Even atheists seem to be fanatical and aggressive about their view and like to ridicule believers as irrational beings who hinder scientific advancement. If they read the history of progress of science, they will come to know that over the ages most of the contribution to scientific advancement has come from believers (there are remarkable minds like Dr. Bertrand Russel and Dr. S. Chandrasekar and I am not saying that atheists have not contributed). When Karl Marx said that "Religion is the opium of the people" he meant that just as opium provides relief to a person in great physical pain, so also religion (faith in God) is a healing balm to people suffering in many ways. This statement of Marx has been misinterpreted (deliberately?) and propagated that religion is a harmful drug which puts people in torpor and that those who accept Marxist ideology should be atheists. We know from recent history the kind of persecution that practitioners of various religions have faced and are facing in communist countries whose rulers are committed to die hard atheism. Intolerance of atheists!

An agnostic holds that we can never know whether God exists or not. So, his idea of God (if one exists) is most likely "a supreme omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient power acting as a dispenser of justice". It is my opinion that the average agnostic comes closest to being a pantheist in comparison to the average monotheist/polytheist/atheist.

(This is not related to the above but I am asking this only out of personal interest:
I heard in a discourse on "Hiranya Vadam" that Kambar says that he likes to think of God as Vishnu and in particular as Narasimha though he (Kambar) knows that Vishnu is not the name of God nor is there any incarnation as Narasimha. Kambar says that we will never know the name or form of God but as long as there is devotion in our heart God will accept us without care for the name or form we assign the supreme power. I will be grateful to know if there is any literary evidence of this pantheistic view of Kambar - in the Kamba Ramayanam or in any other work by Kambar. Someone who has read works by Kambar can cite the source (book) with chapter and verse number(s). Thanks!)
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Honestly any form of " ism" is just a humans way of exerting their claws/fangs/talons on Reality.
Reality is just BE and nothing else but it can be a devastating blow to the ego to experience the state of BE.
The human loses his position, his stake, his rank and whatever cock and bull adjectives he had given himself.
Its like being stripped in public and finally Reality is your only garment
There is nothing superior or inferior in monotheism or pantheism or Advaita or Vishistadvaita or Dvaita or any Abrahamic faith....atheism or being agnostic or mannangatism...all are capable of accessing the state of BE and all can be a source of delusion.

The God principle technically has no name but becos the human mind needs articulation we end up calling The God Principle in many names or even deny It in many ways.
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A true agnostic doesn't need all encompassing theories to explain reality. Reality is what he experiences as is. If there is a God, he doesn't care since that doesn't matter in his reality. Pantheism is still a conclusion, agnostics can't be bothered to conclude.

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