Tao and the Laws of Nature

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The Chinese word Tao and Western phrase the Laws of Nature refer to largely the same thing: that which is responsible for the regularity, complexity and organization we find in the universe. They do so, however, from nearly opposite perspectives. Tao emphasizes what we don’t know, the mystery of this phenomenon; science emphasizes what we [Read More...]

Ancient Philosophy Meets Darwin: Can Science Offer a Way of Life?

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In the age of Darwin, what do we still have to learn from philosophers like Socrates or the Buddha? Ancient philosophers differed from those today in one crucial way: For them, philosophy was a way of life. Can science, too, be a way of life?   Philosophy as a way of life All the ancient [Read More...]

Atheist: Why God is Important

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FYI to our readers: Many Spiritual Naturalists do not use a concept of God or gods in their practice. But some, (for example, naturalistic Pagans and Christian naturalists) find such themes useful – all without literal belief in the supernatural. Sigfried Gold has a unique take on atheist prayer. We are happy to learn about [Read More...]

The Ultimate Context

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Our life exists in a context. In naturalistic terms we might say that this context is comprised of intertwined, open systems. Our physical system is intertwined with the great ecological systems of the earth, which depend on the solar system, which is itself intertwined with the galactic system, which is involved in systems that extend [Read More...]

Compassion hacking: rooting out the attribution bug

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Have you ever had a friend who just seems to make one bad decision after another? As smart as they seem to be in most ways, they insist on doing stupid things that mess up their lives. It’s hard to understand because you can see the inevitable train wreck coming from a mile away–but they [Read More...]

Living in a world without cosmic justice

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It isn’t easy living in reality. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. And sometimes bad people not only get away with being bad, they are rewarded for it. It is very comforting to think that there might be some form of cosmic justice that would cause all these bad people to get their comeuppance [Read More...]

Naturalist Practice: the Big Picture

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We are at the beginning of an important movement to gather again, a spirituality that is fully natural and rational, yet not shallow or merely technical and descriptive – one that engages all of what it means to be a full and complete human being; not merely an intellectual exercise. Within Spiritual Naturalism, or Religious [Read More...]

An Atheist Plea for Preserving Thanksgiving

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I don’t often use the term ‘atheist’ to describe myself, because my lack of someone else’s belief is not something I see as important, and because those who choose that term as their primary moniker are often focused on making a statement about being without a belief in a God. I prefer the term Spiritual [Read More...]

Religious Freedom from the Inside Out

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We generally think of religious freedom in terms of coercion by others, political or social imposition of certain religious or irreligious beliefs and practices on people who would choose to believe and practice differently. That’s not what I’m talking about here. My concern is with the internal freedom people feel to practice and believe as [Read More...]

What you think and how you feel: it matters

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The more I’ve learned about naturalistic spirituality and spiritual practice, the more I’ve come to regard ethics as irrelevant – and the more ethical I’ve become. It has been common to look at ethics as a set of rules. More importantly, a set of rules regarding your behavior; what you say, what you do, how [Read More...]


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