Religionists vs Naturalists

I think we need to drop atheism and let the religious people have the term.

Hey, maybe if we give them atheism to define, they’ll ease up on the ownership of the word marriage?

Religionists can then define atheism  any way they want and we can just say, whatever, we’re not atheists: we’re naturalists.

We think that the universe is natural and has natural underpinnings, and just because we haven’t figured it out yet doesn’t mean that we won’t – we just need enough time and technology advances. Accumulated changes over time seems to be how the universe works, anyway.

So the answer to how the universe started is left blank until we have enough information to form theories.

Life isn’t about about the answers, it’s about the process we arrive at answers.

Religion provides no process by which to arrive at answers – religions with deities, start and end with Goddidit.

Religions without deities, that deal with spirits, forces of nature, that are a journey of inward discovery to understand Will and The Way, are compatible with naturalism – as they are both about the journey, not the answers, which may well be unknowable.

But these types of religious thinking and naturalism, understanding the world around us and taking a journey of discovery within, are compatible with each other – they show us the way we can co-exist by allowing each their own processes and allowing answers to become apparent, through the fullness of time.

Deity Religionists think that they already understand the universe and how to be in it.

Naturalists – whether from a naturalistic spiritualism or a scientific framework – don’t yet understand the universe and we’re working out how best to be in it, as new information becomes available and infrastructure and technology adapts with us.

Secular Law and Commandments

I’ve been meaning to write a post for a while about the claim that Western Democracies are founded in Judeo-Christian religion – in particular, that the so called 10 Commandments are the basis for western law.

Considering that there are many different versions of the commandments, even rolling them into a comprehensive version shows that most of the commandments have no reality in law.

Most of the commandments are about blindly worshipping authority, be it a god or your parents. Not having jealous or envious feelings about other people and their property and some behavioural guides.

But the only commandments that have any reality is law is not killing and not stealing. Do we really need to go outside of human experience to know that stealing and killing are bad things to do to each other?

I mean, if the commandments are supposed to represent how to be the best kind of person – why isn’t not raping or not assaulting people on the list?

In any event, Austin Cline has a good breakdown of why the commandments are not the foundation for any secular laws – but shows the relationship of how religious thinking did make some of the commandments into laws that were rolled back, because there was no secular social need that was served by such laws – for example, no retail stores open on Sunday – since how we spend our days are our own concern and not the state’s concern to restrict our options based on some people’s religion.

After all, you can stay home and not shop any day of the week you want, but there’s no justification for a religion group’s rest day to be imposed on businesses and shoppers who are not adherents to said religion. Or at least, not strict followers of the archaic rules of their given religion.