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My Ten Principles of Religious Naturalism

by V.V. Raman

1. To regard the variety and range of the world around as manifestations of Nature and her laws: This to me is the philosophical perspective of Religious Naturalism.

2. Not just to observe and explain, but to revel in the manifestations of the Natural World: This to me is the experiential aspect of Religious Naturalism.

3. To feel the wonder of the illusory rainbow and the multicolor of the beautiful butterfly: These to me are parts of the aesthetic aspects of Religious Naturalism.

4. To regard the religions of the world as unplanned fruits of human cultural evolution: This to me is the perspective on religions of Religious Naturalism.

5. To partake of and rejoice in the feasts, festivities, and celebrations of cultures: This to me is the community aspect of Religious Naturalism.

6. To share in the sorrows of fellow humans in times of sadness and suffering, even while recognizing that all this is an evitable part of life on the planet: This to me is the empathetic aspect of Religious Naturalism.

7. To hope that with all our shortcomings and vices human wisdom and ingenuity will ultimately succeed in establishing peace among nations and harmony among belief systems: This to me is the hope aspect of Religious Naturalism.

8. To look upon our presence on this planet as an opportunity to actualize some at least of all the potential of human life, and to act in responsible ways for the wellbeing of others and for the safety of future generations: This to me is the moral dimension of Religious Naturalism.

9. To recognize the unfathomable nature of ultimate questions such as the why of human existence on the planet and to acknowledge our finitude in the presence of Cosmic Infinity: this to me is the humility aspect of Religious Naturalism.

10. To feel deep in the heart a sense of having received so much for a slice of time in Cosmic history without any asking: This to me is the gratitude aspect of Religious Naturalism.