The theme for the rest of this month at HP is “Finding Meaning”.
As a Naturalistic Pantheist, I have a naturalistic and non-supernatural worldview. So the question has to be asked –- is it possible to still have a sense of meaning and purpose in the universe.
There are really two ways to answer this question: You can either take the route and say, “No, there is no inherent purpose in the universe, but we can make our own purposes and meanings for life.” After all, who really wants their whole life purpose decided by someone or something outside of them and giving them no real say in the matter?
There is also another possibility…and that’s to use a sleight of hand and change the language from “purpose” to “calling.” Calling is perhaps a softer way of saying that there is something we need to do with our lives. Are there things that we are “called” to do? Evidently there is no supernatural guide, but are there still things we “ought” to do with our lives?
Perhaps we receive our calling from our very genes, if we discover that we are endowed with a natural innate talent, e.g. writing, singing, making people laugh; perhaps we could say that nature, through our genetics, or the universe, through our upbringing, has endowed us with something, and we have a duty or responsibility to nature/existence to develop and use it.
Perhaps we can take this concept a bit further and say we have been brought into existence by nature/universe and, therefore, does that gives us a responsibility towards nature…to look after it and all who dwell in it? To celebrate it and feel gratefulness?
These are just a few preliminary thoughts I’ve had on the issue of meaning and purpose in a world without the supernatural. What do you think?
Source: First published at Naturalistic Pantheist Musings.
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NaturalPantheist: A former Christian, I now see myself as a Naturalistic Pantheist with an interest in Druidry. I blog at Natural Pantheist Musings on issues relating to scientific and naturalistic approaches to spirituality. I’ve lived in both China and the UK and I love to travel. I’m a country boy at heart but also strongly believe in getting involved in my local community here in Devon, UK. My interests include religion & philosophy, social media & technology, current affairs and walking. My blog is at naturalpantheist.wordpress.com
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Next Sunday, we continue the theme of finding meaning with “A Meditation on the Ancestors” by Jon Cleland Host.
The theme for late autumn here at HP is “Death and Life”. Send your writing and art to humanisticpaganism [at] gmail.com by November 6, 2013.