I don't think Arthur´s concept of megatheism means that there is no God to talk about.
It just means that we leave the issue of Godness to Science.
God is whatever science finds out about the universe. And science becomes a sacred activity rather than a secular curiosity which constantly has to hide behind claims to benefit mankind etc.
If Science is the only way to God, then why not put great resources in the hands of science since science becomes the ultimate theological activity.
Should we perhaps refer to megatheism as "the theology of science"? Build temples next to particle accelerators???
My band BWO is making a new album for release later this spring called "Big Science". I feel like talking about megatheism already in my promo interviews this spring. The more I think about it, the more GENIUS the concept is.
2009/1/12 Special Kain
- Dölj citerad text -
But is your aim not to discuss god anymore, since it's pointless from a megatheistic point of view?
--- Arthur Pearlstein
Von: Arthur Pearlstein
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Megatheism
Datum: Montag, 12. Januar 2009, 2:14
Yes, I agree, an important distinction. Indeed, the Muslims ascribe very specific qualities to the "greatness" of God: Allah is the most merciful, most compassionate, most gracious, etc. The very attempt to ascribe such qualities limits the concept and makes god into something much smaller. Not to mention ironic in the sense that the notion of such qualities "most this, most that" implies that this is a better god which in turn implies that there are other, albeit lesser gods, a very polytheistic idea which is blasphemy to the Muslims.
Of course, the "something rather than nothing" quote has been (illogically) used to justify claims of a designer god, but again, the megatheism concept turns this around and says the notion of god as a designer is an attempt to ascribe a quality which is itself very limiting.
On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 4:37 PM, Alexander Bard
Mega actually means great as in "large" or even "huge" in Greek.
It is a quantitative term and not qualitative.
Allah-o-akbar means God is great as in qualitatively great. As in Cyrus The Great.
So what we mean with megatheos is not that God is great but rather that GOD IS LARGE, actually so large, so huge that it transcends all possible explanations.
It makes complete sense, it is a very Zoroastrian Pantheism rather than just any Pantheism.
That's my vote, I like the term. Especially thought of as a contemporary version of the classic Zoroastrian creed. God is large! Indeed!!!
It's like Heidegger's famous quote: "Why is there something rather than nothing?". To which I would like to add: "And why is that something so enormously huge and intensely complicated?".
That's the divine.
2009/1/11 Arthur Pearlstein
Dear Parviz and other friends,
"Megatheism" as I construe it is not at all the same as "Allah-o-akbar." I have much experience with the constant Muslim refrain"god is great" (I lived in the Muslim world for a few years, including a stint teaching at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur) but they do not really mean it, even as they (and other Abrahamists) tend to brand many of us as "atheists." (The word "atheism," needless to say, in the American and Muslim worlds at least, carries enormous baggage and can be quite misleading as well). Part of the idea in introducing "megatheism" is to take the wind out of the sails of those who use atheism as a pejorative by declaring that "god" is far larger, far greater than anything typical theists or anyone else can imagine. In fact, it involves beating them at their own game by asserting that Abrahamic attempts to describe god are, in effect, very disrespectful of god because it makes "him" smaller and more insignificant than "he" must truly be.
In other words, the notion amends "god is great" to "god is great—greater than anything you can possibly imagine." And thus god—which btw does not go beyond that which really exists—defies description and to define him and supply him with human characteristics (other than in poetic/metaphoric shorthand) is to disrespect him (I use "him" only as a convenience, since needless to say, god has no gender). It is to acknowledge that there is ever more to the story of reality in the boundlessly creative universe (to borrow from Kauffman's concept in "Reinventing the sacred" which was mentioned in a post here a few weeks ago). It is to put a limit on the conversation about god and force the focus to be on the making of distinctions in the real world that we can know, understanding that there is no end to our search for whatever god may be. In a sense, it is not different than the core of Taosim that "the tao that can be told is not the eternal tao." And I think it is perfectly consistent with the core of Zarathushtra's teachings. Indeed, I think the contemplation of Ahura Mazda, in the sense that it dramatically moves beyond the limitations of "theos," is the best living example of "megatheism."
In part, I think we can be successful in using megatheism as a kind of linguistic jiu-jitsu to put the theists in their place and move the conversation on to a radically new level.
On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 12:20 PM, Parviz Varjavand
It would be great to hear from Arthur once again, he has a great mind.
About Megatheos, Mega means Big and Theo means God. I would love to hear what Arthur's explanation about the word he has coined is. Mega-Theo sounds the same as Allah-o-Akbar.
--- On Sun, 1/11/09, Alexander Bard
From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] The concept of megatheism
Date: Sunday, January 11, 2009, 3:26 AM
Arthur Pearlstein has suggested a concept called "megatheism" as a way of getting around the recurring problems with different theisms.
Perhaps it is the human attempt to understand a divinity which is far too big/great for human understanding that has made humanity create the limiting concept of "theos" and we need to get beyond this concept radically.
I agree. At least, the Ahura part of Ahura Mazda is reassuringly a "megatheos", and as Zoroastrians we should all be megatheists. What do you think?