Monday, July 20, 2015

The Mereological Argument for Pantheism

It should be clear that I am not a pantheist, but a classical theist.  Just three arguments in favor of classical theism I support are the First Way, the Fifth Way, and the Argument from Desire.  Nevertheless, I'd like to defend pantheism for the sake of argument.

1. I exist. (Premise, contingent a priori

2. (Hence) Some--i.e. least one--thing exists. (From 1) 

3. Whenever some things exist, there is some thing of which they are all parts. (Premise, from mereology) 

4. (Hence) There is exactly one thing of which every thing is a part. (From 2, 3) 

5. The unique thing of which every thing is a part is God. (Definition, pantheism) 

6. (Hence) God exists. (From 4, 5)

The argument is logically valid, but it is unsound.  The defeater is found in the arguments of classical theism.


  1. This is a bad argument. You say that you are going to "defend pantheism". The title of your post advertises a mereological argument for pantheism. But your conclusion is not pantheism. Your conclusion is that God exists. Obviously, that is not the same thing as pantheism, for one can be, as you say you are, a theist without being a pantheist. Instead, you use pantheism as a premise (namely, premise 5), and conclude that God exists. So either your argument is not a defense of pantheism at all, since its conclusion is not in fact pantheism, but theism, or it is circular, since pantheism shows up as a premise in an argument in support of it.

  2. Definitions are not premises, so there is no circularity in which the conclusion is presupposed. In any case, I don't think the argument is sound or even that the definition is correct. This is an argument I was introduced to by reading Graham Oppy. If you want to say the argument is unsound, then I would expect you to say which premise is wrong or whether you disagree with the definition (I assume it's the latter). The logic of the argument is valid, after all.