Naturalists and Religious Naturalists
Who are naturalists?
Naturalists share some basic perspectives and convictions about the world, humans’ place in the world, and the human-world connection. Below we identify some perspectives held by naturalists:
- of the scientific view of reality: all that exists and occurs is due to natural processes, with nothing supernatural involved.
- of Big Bang cosmology, or of our world beginning billions of years ago with a massive expansion of energy (a “Big Bang”), which, over time, took form as galaxies, stars, planets, and life on Earth.
- of humans evolving from earlier forms of life , and as finite, natural beings.
- of the many forms of life on Earth that are dependent on one another, and that varied and healthy ecosystems are needed for all life to survive.
- that apart from acts of nature, human destiny is in our own hands; that, individually and communally, the values we hold and the choices we make will determine what occurs.
Who are religious naturalists?
Religious Naturalists accept and embrace the naturalist worldview described here. We are committed to the naturalist view that nature is ultimate. We also represent all walks of life, different cultures, and professions, and hold diverse perspectives on how best to live out our basic convictions as religious naturalists.Amid such rich diversity of human life and experience, we identify some of our shared perspectives, commitments, and values:
- appreciate the best available insights of science and religion; we also affirm the naturalist view of how things are and why things happen as they do.
- value spiritual perspectives or religious values that point to ideals, inspire hope, and often evoke deep feelings of appreciation for the natural wonders of our lives and our world.
- aspire to respond ethically to the amazing beauty and power of nature; we value life, and seek to act in ways that enable varied forms of life, in balance, to continue.
- consider what matters most in our lives, and are committed to acting in ways that are good for ourselves, for our families and communities, and for our planet.
- affirm Big Bang cosmology as a narrative that can be shared by all people; we affirm it as a vital point of reference for sustained human reflection on the big questions of life.