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View Full Version : does pantheist equal "nature lover"?



*oonagh*
October 27th, 2009, 12:34 PM
because i am and i don't (not in the "tree-hugging" sense).

green aventurine
October 27th, 2009, 01:13 PM
Yeah, I think that's reasonable. I don't think 'tree hugger' and pantheist are synonymous/interchangeable although in some cases someone might be both.

*oonagh*
October 27th, 2009, 01:24 PM
Yeah, I think that's reasonable. I don't think 'tree hugger' and pantheist are synonymous/interchangeable although in some cases someone might be both.

so, you are saying that in order to be a pantheist one has to be a "nature lover"?

why?

green aventurine
October 27th, 2009, 01:33 PM
no, I was agreeing with you lol I thought what you wrote in post one was reasonable, not the title/question of the thread. I think the two terms can coincide but they're independent of each other.

TygerTyger
October 27th, 2009, 01:33 PM
I love nature but not in a sentimental fashion.

I accept that predation and disease are necessary functions within nature. Other behaviours that we might find unacceptable, such as cannibalism, are also natural functions.

Tree huggers also have a tendancy, in my view, to be somewhat patronising towards nature, they may think that they love it but they often show a distinct lack of respect for the more destructive power within nature.

*oonagh*
October 27th, 2009, 01:47 PM
no, I was agreeing with you lol I thought what you wrote in post one was reasonable, not the title/question of the thread. I think the two terms can coincide but they're independent of each other.

oy vey...sorry...now...about that coffee... :)

*oonagh*
October 27th, 2009, 01:50 PM
I love nature but not in a sentimental fashion.

I accept that predation and disease are necessary functions within nature. Other behaviours that we might find unacceptable, such as cannibalism, are also natural functions.

Tree huggers also have a tendancy, in my view, to be somewhat patronising towards nature, they may think that they love it but they often show a distinct lack of respect for the more destructive power within nature.

i think this is what i think. i mean, everything that exists is divine. but to say that i, as a mere unevolved human, love things that will kill me (and...ya know...of course...doody)...well...it just wouldn't ring true to me.

green aventurine
October 27th, 2009, 05:37 PM
oy vey...sorry...now...about that coffee... :)

no worries! it wasn't that clear from my post, anyway :)

MoonBreath
October 27th, 2009, 06:34 PM
I agree, i don't think pantheist equals "nature lover" or "tree hugger". Being in awe of Nature and feeling a sense of wonder towards the Universe yes, but not necessarily in the stereotypical "hug a tree, frolick (sp?) in a field of flowers while chasing butterflies" way....on second thought doing that doesn't sound quite so bad! lol! ;) It's important to be realistic about the world, to recognize and acknowledge it's beautiful and harsher aspects. I do enjoy reading beautiful poetical pieces about "Mother Nature" , but i don't forget that "she" can be violent and not so nice as well. I was reminded of this kind of duality a week or two ago, when i walked outside my house and stumbled upon a snake in the process of killing a toad. I felt bad for the toad, but at the same time reminded myself that the snake was only doing what came natural and essential for his or her survival...but i still felt sad for the toad :(

TygerTyger
October 28th, 2009, 03:53 AM
Feeling sad for the toad whilst not condemning the snake is what sets us apart from other animals; we can empathise with both. At the same time we can also put the scene into a proper context, predator and prey, a spur to evolutionary development.

Accepting this duality of both beauty and horror seems to me to be beyond the tree-hugger mentality. In truth I find a kind of beauty in both the peace and the violence of nature and they are equally awe inspiring.

Another consideration is that I love nature because I know that I am an essential part of it too.

Aeon Flux
October 28th, 2009, 04:33 AM
Tree huggers also have a tendancy, in my view, to be somewhat patronising towards nature, they may think that they love it but they often show a distinct lack of respect for the more destructive power within nature.

Hey! I hug trees quite frequently... well, not in Australia so much because of the creepy crawlies, but back in Sweden I hugged trees at least once a week! :toofless::smileroll:uhhuhuh:

Seriously, I did.

TygerTyger
October 28th, 2009, 05:10 AM
Hey! I hug trees quite frequently... well, not in Australia so much because of the creepy crawlies, but back in Sweden I hugged trees at least once a week! :toofless::smileroll:uhhuhuh:

Seriously, I did.

Okay.

Well, the criticism wasn't against people who enjoy going out and genuinely hugging trees, so much as the people who are presented as loving nature in a fluffy bunny sort of way and generally labelled as 'tree huggers'.

I can see how using such inappropriate labelling can lead to misunderstandings however, so perhaps we need a better definition of the people we are talking about?

(P.S. Of course England will win!)

Windsmith
October 28th, 2009, 03:53 PM
I'm going to go with "Pantheist = 'unconditional lover of Nature.'" As others have said, we try to see the world as free from bias as we can, loving not just the bunnies and the sunsets but the termites and the viruses, too. I don't think of Nature as being "not so nice;" that's a judgment I don't feel qualified to make. It's just What Is. The way things have to be. And I love the way it is.

TygerTyger
October 29th, 2009, 04:16 AM
I'm going to go with "Pantheist = 'unconditional lover of Nature.'" As others have said, we try to see the world as free from bias as we can, loving not just the bunnies and the sunsets but the termites and the viruses, too. I don't think of Nature as being "not so nice;" that's a judgment I don't feel qualified to make. It's just What Is. The way things have to be. And I love the way it is.

Accepting that Existence is what it is constitutes for me the first step in Pantheism. There is no judgement inherent in the universe, therefore, we should not pass judgement on the universe either.

As a Pantheist when I say that I love nature I'm not just talking about the cute or the obvious, I'm talking about Existence and all that it contains, even the destructive and dangerous.

I can make this statement because I understand that the universe is exactly what it needs to be to exist and, by extension, for me to exist to.

*oonagh*
October 29th, 2009, 04:50 PM
Accepting that Existence is what it is constitutes for me the first step in Pantheism. There is no judgement inherent in the universe, therefore, we should not pass judgement on the universe either.

As a Pantheist when I say that I love nature I'm not just talking about the cute or the obvious, I'm talking about Existence and all that it contains, even the destructive and dangerous.

I can make this statement because I understand that the universe is exactly what it needs to be to exist and, by extension, for me to exist to.

this is as close to the way i feel about it as i've heard (read)...bearing in mind that i don't have to *like* it all (just because i'm not evolved enough to get past my own opinions/judgements) in order to love/accept/appreciate it.

spiral
October 30th, 2009, 08:29 AM
I'm a pantheist and a tree-hugging nature lover but I agree that the terms don't define each other.

I think that maybe I can be a bit sentimental about nature, I do tend to focus on the beautiful stuff that makes me feel happy, and I find it difficult to watch some things. For example, in one of the Planet Earth documentaries a baby elephant gets separated from its mother and turns around to follow her tracks in the direction they'd been coming from. He's basically going to die and it upset me when I watched that.

As a pantheist I recognise that death, suffering and destruction are as valid and necessary as everything else, but it's something I struggle with sometimes.

TygerTyger
October 30th, 2009, 08:47 AM
I think that empathy is one of humanity's better qualities.

If you think about it rationally you weren't feeling for the elephant, but rather in response to the image of an elephant captured some time before in a country far away and recently shown to you. However, your imagination was able to jump across time and space and respond to the plight of the animal and, in this instance, even recognise the outcome.