Scientific Pantheism is the belief that the universe, as revealed by science, is sacred and is worthy of the deepest reverence. It holds that science tells us what exists and how it works, but Pantheism tells us what it means, its value, and our emotional, ethical, and spiritual relationship to it.
Pantheism is from two Greek words, pan meaning “all” and theos meaning “God.” So Pantheism literally means “all is god.” But god, in this context, is the god of the scientists, that is, the universe and its natural laws. As Richard Dawkins explains, “Pantheists don’t believe in a supernatural God at all, but use the word God as a non-supernatural synonym for Nature, or for the Universe, or for the lawfulness that governs its workings.”
Albert Einstein was a Scientific Pantheist by definition. He said, “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” When asked if he believed in God, he said, ““I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”
What was Baruch Spinoza’s God? Baruch Spinoza wrote, “Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived. God is the indwelling, and not the transient cause of all things.” To him there was one substance, and that one substance was “God or Nature.” He was a Scientific Pantheist.
Many have a problem with calling the universe God because of the connotations, and so prefer to call Nature sacred. As Daniel C. Dennett has said, “This world is sacred.” In other words, it is worthy of the deepest reverence. It is the most powerful thing that we know, it created us and can destroy us. We arose from it and will return to it in death.
Carl Sagan once wrote, “A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.” Could that be Scientific Pantheism?