Statesboro, GA, USA
Yeah, Pantheism calls the universe "God", and lands us right back into the tenets of naturalism. Everything is nature still, a part of the age-old interlocking chain of events, it's just a nature we are now going to grant the title of "Deity" to. This however runs into the same problem naturalism has, of not being able to ascribe any purpose to nature at all. Is nature, or "god" if you will, good or evil? In Pantheism, since the universe is God, and exhibits both good and evil qualities, grows both apples and anuerisms, who can say if it is good or evil in purpose? If this point were to be argued, wouldn't the very brains and vocal cords of those arguing be both parts of the divine? What standard would there be to give one thing any precedence over another? If someone answers "will to Power", I am not surprised, as Pantheism leads us right back to the blind materialism that drove Nietzsche to his conclusions. Why seek to cure Cancer, as it is just as much part of "god" as humans are, according to Pantheism.
At least the Judeo-Christian worldview offers an explanation of evil, while asserting that God is good and has given purpose to the universe. It does so through the assertion that the creation is derived from the Creator, not the same as, and by introducing the concepts of the fall, and sin, to explain evil. As you say, the Judeo-Christian worldview offers no attempted explanation of God being created. In fact, it unembarrasingly declares him to be uncreated and so opaque (the most real and wholly underived being) that no explanation is needed or given.
As I have mentioned before, both naturalism and Christianity involve presuppositions. One presupposes God, the other a locked nature. This is the question, so when it comes to question begging, no one can escape it. The thing I see that the Christian worldview has going for it, is that it is the presupposition which actually provides a base for human knowledge, logic, existence, science, and inductive reasoning. All of these things in the context of naturalism, end up subjected to and philosophically destroyed by Hume's skepticism (He was absolutely right if only nature exists). That's why the most honest and logically consistent naturalists were also nihilists. When one presupposition explains all knowledge and provides a framework, and the alternative presupposition destroys it, and thus itself, to me the choice is clear. Of course the choice is yours to make, and everyone's. But question begging is part and parcel of having a worldview at all. Though IMHO certain worldviews have quite a hard time justifying even having the question to beg.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-02-2003 12:55 AM).]