RESPONSE TO A QUESTION ON THE PANTHEISM WEBSITE
"Some of us may use the phrase "The Earth is Sacred, the Universe is Divine" or similar phrases to express our Pantheism.
But what does a Pantheist really mean by using these words?
Although the Pantheist Credo (the WPM Belief statement) states "We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present and future" and speaks of " our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality", nowhere does it contain the words "sacred" or "divine".
This discussion forum is the place for us to discuss whether the terms "sacred" and "divine" are meaningful in the context of Naturalistic Pantheism, and if they are, just what do they mean.
And my response is?
I have never been a friend of creeds of any kind, and when you ask me about "words" in relation to my behavior system, I'm brought into a personal struggle. As far as I can see, my affiliations have never been based in a shared belief system. I'm a regular on this website because I recognize the intelligence here. I'm a member of the Greater Portland Humanists, but I barely tolerate the reading of Humanist principles with which we begin our Sunday meetings 52 times a year. I identify with the people I see there and with whom I share interesting lunchtime discussions. I love interacting with people who have reached a certain level of self-awareness and Cosmic consciousness even though so many of them leave my piddling consciousness in the dust.
Since I believe that the human animal is a robot whose language life is an adaption for survival by passing on basic information but which plays little role in the minute to minute regulation of human behavior, I guess I act as if intellectual life is really of little importance, and, so, I pay little attention to creeds while I do pay close attention to human behaviors. Thus my infatuation with evolutionary psychology rather then in the study of religious beliefs and creeds.
The study of creeds and the emphasis on creeds would, I think, tend to make someone more or less rigid in his behavior. He would be emphasizing the intellectual rules for his behavior rather than his behavior itself. He could quote from and believe in Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount and, yet, in all his behavior act in a very different manner. A recent study showed that atheists know more about the Bible than do Christians. This is good for us atheists, because it means most Christians are decent folk generally interested in their neighbors rather than in the dogmas of their multitudinous faiths. The dangerous dogmatists are those TV evangelical folk who spend all their time awash in the language of the Bible looking for meaning there rather than in the daily life of America among fellow citizens who all love the Constitution.
I don't know why I am as I am when it comes to my inability to orient my life toward the words of creeds or dogmas as opposed to feeling my way along, because I do delight in a good debate, but when you ask me about the words sacred and divine in the context of pantheism, the question is hard for my brain to get its synapses around.
PS: I mean no disrespect by my response. I am truly puzzled by my interest in debate while not being so much interested in the material with which to debate.