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The Awe-some Argument for Pantheism

T. Ryan Byerly

Abstract

Many pantheists have claimed that their view of the divine is motivated by a kind of spiritual experience. In this paper, I articulate a novel argument, inspired by recent work on moral exemplarism, that gives voice to this kind of motivation for pantheism. The argument is based on two claims about the emotion of awe, each of which is defended primarily via critical engagement with empirical research on the emotion. I also illustrate how this pathway to pantheism offers pantheists distinctive resources for responding to persistent objections to their view, and how it might lead to more exotic views incorporating pantheistic elements.

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