Wednesday, May 14, 2008

As the fundamental basis of modern science, Naturalism is a very powerful paradigm. In its strong form, the central belief of Naturalism is very simple and basic: Nature is all there is, and we are part of Nature. Everything that we are and do is fully encompassed in Nature - there are no supernatural beings, forces or realms. There are phenomena that we do not yet understand, but that doesn’t mean they are supernatural.

Naturalism has been primarily a philosophical movement as well as an axiom underlying the scientific method. But could there also be a naturalistic religion or naturalistic spirituality - focused entirely on the natural world, without belief in any supernatural beings, realms or forces? A religion of science, a religion of reason, fully compatible with science, evidence and logic?

Towards a naturalistic spirituality
Strong Naturalism is at the heart of World Pantheism’s outlook. World Pantheism offers a completely naturalistic spirituality. We direct our deepest feelings towards Nature, just as it is presented to us by our senses and explored by science. Nature alone is powerful, beautiful and mysterious enough to be the object of our deepest reverence, and Nature provides us with realistic ways of coping with stress, anxiety and bereavement.

Our forms of celebration are also completely naturalistic. They may involve nature hikes and appreciation of natural objects and photographs; natural sports such as surfing, skiing, mountaineering or whitewater rafting; or simply the quiet contemplation of nature. Some pantheists enjoy symbolic rituals but these are done for fun or self-expression, not because we think we can control the elements and magically manipulate natural laws.

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