The mother nature camp statement portrays nature as some form of deity and invokes religion. This seems to me antithetical to atheism. Perhaps the idea of those in the 'atheist' subcamp is that they do not believe in a supreme being as creator but do believe in the strong version of Gaia?
You say that "Mother Nature is 'sentient' in that it includes humanity and very intelligent animals." I have 2 problems with this.
1) That a class of things includes items that have a particular attribute, in this case sentience, does not entail that all members of the class have this attribute or that you can further claim that the class has that attribute.
2) The natural world is not maternal (or paternal). To use the term "mother nature" begs the question since it implies sentience if taken literally or is misleading if taken metaphorically.
I would also venture that that intelligence does not imply sentience, it is just that they appear together in the natural world.
One problem people have is due to in the past we only had very primitive gross methods for surveying and tracking what others believed. Just the way everyone talks about things also makes it very difficult - as we lack clear terminology to easily distinguish to this detail. Most people put others in very large and gross buckets, when in fact there is quite a bit of diversity within those buckets. One of the goals of canonizer.com, is to gain much more detail in what everyone believes.
I completely agree with everything you are saying, so evidently the wording in the [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2/20 Mother Nature camp statement] simply isn't clear enough, since you are asking these questions and thinking it believes in more than we do.
For me, the key term was only godly attributes "that we can all agree that we know." In other words, Mother Nature is 'sentient' in that it includes humanity and very intelligent animals. Everyone agrees with something like that. But, if you go beyond that, and say that there is some consciousness or sentience beyond that, many people would doubt such exists. Surely, there are Gia believes that believe the earth is more sentient, than the sum total of all its animals. If so, such a belief must be described in a sub camp, as I, and many people, would doubt that such exists. I hoped the can't statement made this clear, but maybe not?
I believe mother nature has some very powerful attributes, such as the ability to 'evolve' life, which is very god like. I believe this God will some do be all powerful, and get everyone and everything all that it truly wants. I just don't believe that mother nature has any more power to do this, than humanity (natures most advanced part) has yet achieved.
And most of all, I believe there is not some kind if intelligence that is conscious of us in a sentient way, and is also hiding from us.
Hopefully that helps? Perhaps you can suggest some ways for us to improve the wording in our statement, so it is more obvious to everyone what it is talking about?
I'd love to hear what others think!
1) What is a "non-sentient god"? This is a contradiction in terms!
2) In what way is "mother nature" non-sentient? Surely you're referring to the strong Gaia hypothesis (or some version of Paganism?) which claims that the planet is a live entity - a sort of super being?
I agree that atheism is a broad church (ho ho) but the bottom line is that if you are an atheist then you do not believe in god/gods.
Atheism is consistent with a belief in the weak/original Gaia hypothesis - that the planet consists in a web of interacting sentient and non-sentient entities that has a dynamic equilibrium characterised by stable periods of homeostasis. It is also consistent with finding nature wonderful. Mother nature seems to me to cross the line. The Mother Nature camp statement includes "pantheism" - surely the clue is in the "theism" part?
To those supporting this camp i would ask if you are sure that you believe ".. if it wasn't caring, nurturing, loving and motherly, none of us would be here." Surely these qualities can only be ascribed to a sentient being and therefore, if you support this all-things-bright-and-beautiful claim, you believe in god, the nature god, and so are not atheists.
There are a couple of divisions that may be worth exploring but neither has to do with mother nature. One arises from comparing agnosticism with atheism: it seem that the set of agnostics overlaps that of atheists. The other comes from Chalmer's zombies: some of us believe in them, some of us don't....
Thanks for checking into this. There really is good reasons for all this. I have noticed that in general there are two very different types of atheists, and having two parallel atheist POV branches is an attempt to capture these differences. In addition to some atheists accepting mother nature as a type of non sentient God, and some don't, the differences seem to also parallel the ones surveyed for in the [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/12 Does Evolution Want Something] topic. Steven J Gould and many others argue that evolution has no purpose, while many others argue that evolution does have goals, purposes, and wants in a Godly type way. Might I ask you what your feelings are in that topic?
I see you've moved from the atheist camp that supports Mother Nature, as a type of non sentient God, to the parallel atheist camp that feels uncomfortable with that. So hopefully, after reading the above discussion and such this split makes sense? And it looks like you are now in the camp the more accurately represents the type of atheist you are.
Have just revisited this and cannot understand how athesim is compatible with belief in god as mother nature because it is not compatible with belief in any god or gods whatsoever by definition.
The camp title and statement seem to me clearly at odds with the parent camp.
Thanks for your participation! You're still new and it appears there are a few things about canonize.com you don't yet fully understand.
Last week I sent out an [http://canonizer.com/thread.asp/2/1/2 e-mail to all direct supporters] that I wanted to 'fork' the atheist camp structure to adequately represent the two different types of atheists: Those that feel comfortable having the atheist camp as a sub camp of the Mother Nature camp, and also at the same time, for those atheists that do not.
It's better to object to something, and to work to find something everyone can agree on, before someone actually does it, as that avoids a lot of extra submission, objection, and resubmission work on the camps.
Also, you gave as your reason for your proposal to move the camp back as: "There is already an atheist camp".
The way the point of view tree structure works, is to find the most agreeable and well accepted doctrines, such as there appears to be more people that accept mother nature as a powerful creator, with almost God like attributes. That is why the mother nature camp is at the top of the POV structure. Most camps are currently in a supporting sub camp to the most agreed on doctrines specified in that super camp.
Another good example of parallel POV structures branches are the quolophile [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/9 "Computational Functionalists"], and [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/37 Those computational functionalists that do not like Qualia].
So far, that I know of for sure, the only descenters, are a few of the people in the Atheists camp.
Also, since you are currently in a sub camp of the camp I just moved, you have the right to object to my proposed move. This would be better than proposing yet another move to move it back, as you have currently proposed.
So, I still believe we should fork the atheist camp, so those atheist that want to support the mother nature camp can, and so we can have a second Atheist camp for all the others.
Peerlinfinity, the question is, which camp would you like to be in? And / or how do you think we could best structure the POV tree to most concisely represent what everyone wants and believes?
Also, is there anyone else that the current structure doesn't adequately represent what you believe / want? If so, please help us restructure things so we can survey for and best represent exactly what everyone believes / wants. We can only get what everyone wants, to the degree they are willing tell us what you want so we can adequately represent all such. It's much better to participate in the discussion before changes are made, where we can easily find the best way to represent what everyone believes, than to just object or redo things after the after someone has put in the work.
It looks like there are some differences of opinion in the Atheist camp on this topic of What is God. If you recall, some time ago I attempted to move the entire [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2/2 "God Does Not Exist"] camp to be a supporting sub camp of [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2/20 "Mother Nature"]. However, a few people objected, preventing the change from going live.
In other words, some people in the camp believe their atheist beliefs support the idea of a Godly Mother Nature, while others do not. So, since the goal is to best represent what everyone believes, it would make sense to fork this camp structure to best capture what everyone believes.
To my knowledge, all of the people that objected, are currently supporting the highest level [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2/2 "God Does Not Exist"] camp.
So, my proposal is to attempt the same move, but only for the next level down [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2/4 "There is No Good Evidence God Exists"] camp. I also propose renaming this camp to be: "Atheist: No Good Evidence for God". I would like to make this moved camp generic enough so that anyone in the parent camp that failed the move attempt was supportive of the mother nature idea, we could word this camp so everyone would feel comfortable joining this new camp on the Mother Nature side. So any collaboration on any other changes to this camp statement would be appreciated.
If this camp moves, it will of course include the move of the "No Hope if God already exists camp", along with it still as a supporting sub camp.
So this is my plan. I'll probably attempt this sometime in the near future. So if anyone has any objections, or any other feedback or better way of concisely capturing what everyone believes, I'm all ears.