Sunday, January 30, 2011

Toward a Naturalistic Spirituality

The following text is copied from the World Pantheist Movement web site.

In the WPM we revere and care for Nature, we accept this life as our only life, and this earth as our only paradise, if we look after it. We revel in the beauty of Nature and the night sky, and are full of wonder at their mystery and power.

By spirituality and spiritual we don't mean any kind of supernatural or non-physical activity - we use the terms in a wider sense. We mean that part of our lives that relates to our deeper emotions and aesthetic responses towards Nature and the wider Universe - to our sense of our place in these, and to the ethics that these feelings imply.

We take the real Universe and Nature as our starting and finishing point, not some preconceived idea of God. We feel a profound wonder and awe for these, similar to the reverence that believers in more conventional gods feel towards their deity, but without anthropomorphic worship or belief that Nature has a mind or personality that we can influence through prayer or ritual.

Our ethics are humanistic and green, our metaphysics naturalist and scientific. To these we add the emotional and aesthetic dimensions which humans need to cope with life's challenges and to embrace life's joys, and to motivate their concern for Nature and human welfare.

Our beliefs and values reconcile spirituality and rationality, emotion and values and environmental concern with science and respect for evidence. They are summarized in our Belief Statement, which embodies the following basic principles:

Reverence, awe, wonder and a feeling of belonging to Nature and the wider Universe.

Respect and active care for the rights of all humans and other living beings.

Celebration or our lives in our bodies on this beautiful earth as a joy and a privilege.

Realism - acceptance that the external world exists independently of human consciousness or perception.

Strong naturalism - without belief in supernatural realms, afterlives, beings or forces.

Respect for reason, evidence and the scientific method as our best ways of understanding nature and the Universe.

Promotion of religious tolerance, freedom of religion and complete separation of state and religion.

No comments: