Why Religious Naturalism?
So, why might someone want to align with this, and describe themself as a religious naturalist?
A focus on nature
Focus on nature encourages us to spend time in and learn about the natural world. As this reminds us of the wonders and beauty of life and adds depth to our understanding, it helps us enjoy and gives reasons to care about the environment and people that sustain us.
A way of looking at important questions
As we all, at times, face questions (about why things happen as they do, what seems important or right, or how to deal with uncertainty or loss), religious naturalists look for answers by drawing from the best of what we can understand about ourselves and our world – in respecting what can be shown with evidence, and also in appreciating wisdom that can be found in stories, symbols, art, and ideals.
Something we can believe
As it accepts that some things cannot be “known” and looks at “belief” as a view of what seems-to-be for things that can’t be proven, a naturalist view gives a way of understanding that can avoid the struggle to believe or suspension of disbelief that can come when important aspects of a religion don’t fit with what is understood through science.
A way of saying we care
Describing ourselves as religious naturalists is a way of saying – to ourselves and to anyone who may be looking – that, in addition to having a naturalist worldview, we also care about meaning and values; and that, beyond the practical things we do to get by and make a living, we appreciate our lives and the world that makes it possible, and we try to do what we can to be good people.
The company of like-minded folks
For people whose views don’t fit with those of traditional religious groups, it’s nice to know that we don’t have to be on our own. As religious naturalists share ideas and teach and learn from one another, we can enjoy and gain from the company of others who have similar interests.
An option that can be good for ourselves and our world
As individuals explore and form their own personal sets of beliefs, and as cultures wrestle with moral questions as rapid change presents new challenges, it can be good to have religious perspectives that focus on modern ways of understanding, along with those that have greater emphasis on tradition.