What is Naturalism?
We reject the idea that anything can be above, beyond or separate from Nature.
Thus we reject supernaturalism, but also any conception that violates the physical laws of the universe or that posits a separate reality beyond nature. Examples of the latter would be Cartesian dualism and acausal freewill. Humans are firmly embedded in their bodies and in nature and differ from other animals in degree but not in kind.
What is Apex Naturalism?
We recognize the need to move beyond simple atheism and to the formation of a positive naturalistic community, culture and philosophy.
How can we create a strong naturalistic community?
This can be done in several ways.
The first and most important way is by delineating and dedicating ourselves to shared values and shared moral intentions.
By dedicating ourselves to these shared moral intentions, we can trust each other implicitly and be welcomed as brothers and sisters no matter where in the world we travel.
Another way to strengthen the bonds that make a community is through shared experience. Atheists need to move beyond interacting on only an intellectual level.
What are the shared moral intentions?
Our highest moral intention is to help our fellow humans develop; to help them grow. In order to do this we need rational knowledge and goodwill.
So far we have identified 5 spheres of self development.
1. Naturalism – knowledge, reason
2. Basic human needs – food, shelter, safety
3. Internal motivational environment – self esteem, emotion, motivation
4. Social bonds – interactions with other humans
5. Immanescence (spirituality)
Can there be such a thing as a naturalistic spirituality?
Yes, at the core of “spiritual” experience is the subjective experience of unity with all things. This can be actively fostered through practices such as meditation. Since Nature is all there is, immanescence is the subjective experience of unity with nature (reality). Naturalism is a necessary precondition to this experience. This paradigm effective demolishes the traditional antagonism between rationalism and spirituality. A fully developed rationalism leads to spirituality.
Nature is all there is!
Nature is sufficient to explain the phenomena around us.
Nature is sufficient to provide meaning in life.
This group seeks to fulfill three needs:
1. To more fully cement the bonds of a naturalistic community.
Morality is the key to attaining this objective. The emotional bonds between members of a society are based upon a shared value system or moral contract. Through this moral contract, members understand the limits of acceptable behavior and therefore can trust each other implicitly. The shared exemplification and exposition of these moral values create strong bonds of fellowship. The purpose of this group will be to delineate those moral values which we hold in common with theists but also those values that are unique to a naturalistic community. The result will be an organization whose core attribute is a system of ethics.
2. To create the basis for a positive Atheistic philosophy and culture.
This can be achieved by asking questions about what we do believe in instead of what we don't believe in. By defining and delineating our shared ethical values we achieve unity. The expression and celebration of this unity will result in a naturalistic culture.
3. To create those conditions by which Atheists will be accepted and trusted in mainstream society.
Achieving the first two objectives will naturally lead to accomplishing the third.
Stage 1: Delineating our shared moral values
Stage 2: Creating symbols to represent those values
Stage 3: Meeting with like minded individuals to exemplify our shared values through art, music, oratory, writing etc.
Stage 4: Letting the world know who we are
Apex Message Board
|Page title||Most recent update||Last edited by|
|About Worcester Atheists||June 16, 2006 8:31 AM||Will|