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Religious Naturalism

Taking Nature to Heart


Interdependent Existence

“The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on the small planet.”

Dalai Lama

The problems facing the world today are many and varied. Each one urgently needing attention. But these issues do not exist independently.

These issues stem directly from the hubris of western culture, which emphasizes: dominion over the Earth; personal ownership; competition over cooperation; “progress” in the form of out-sourcing our work onto animals, other people, or fossil fuels, and; a stubborn blindness to our dependence on a healthy Commons. The underlying assumption behind this way of being in the world is the view that people exist independently from one another and from nature.

Conversly, religious naturalists understand the interdependence of people, things, and situations. Highlighting interdependence can contribute to views that, as some suffer, all have types of harm; and that, for us, individuals, to be well, the whole must also be well (or, in more pragmatic terms, that we, ourselves, can’t be secure when others suffer wrongs that will prompt responses). In this, we can come to think of ourselves as part of a global family, with kinship to all people (not just in our closer-in tribes) along with connections to animals, ecosystems, and the cosmos.