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In Defense* of Atheism, Humanism & Neo-Paganism -Paul Busekist.

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Presentation on theme: "In Defense* of Atheism, Humanism & Neo-Paganism -Paul Busekist."— Presentation transcript:

1 In Defense* of Atheism, Humanism & Neo-Paganism -Paul Busekist

2 3 Focal Points 1.The GOD Question 2.DEpth Perception 3.Experiential, Knowledge

3 Atheism: an explicit position [that] either affirms the nonexistence of gods or rejects theism.  Seems an umbrella belief structure for (secular) humanism, naturalism, scientific skepticism, etc.  Also contains agnosticism, described by some atheists as “weak atheism,” that is atheism without deep [enough] discernment or research; “I don’t know.”  Broad atheism: lack of belief in just one God  Narrow[er] atheism: no God exists, and hence no spiritual or supernatural \ trancendental phenomena or beings  Recently, some atheists have posited that “children are born atheist” because they must be taught religion.

4 Humanism: “It is up to humans to find the truth, as opposed to seeking it through revelation, mysticism, tradition, or anything…that is incompatible with the application of logic to the observable evidence.” Core tenets:  1) affirms the dignity and worth of all people  (2) holds a variety of more specific philosophical systems religious schools of thought  (3) committed to the search for truth and morality through human means and interests  (4) focuses on the capacity for self-determination and rejects the validity of transcendental justifications  (5) endorses universal morality based on the commonality of the human condition, suggesting that solutions to human social and cultural problems cannot be parochial. ”

5 Neo-Paganism: “an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by historical pre-Christian European Pagan religions. Neo-Pagan religious movements are extremely diverse, with beliefs that range widely from polytheism to animism, to pantheism and other paradigms.” Core tenets: Most branches hold Earth as sacred and deity as imminent. Goddess spirituality widespread Environmentally active Pagans are a minority

6 Like the branches of life… (Notes from 4/15: “The Phylogenic Tree of Life”) 1.Bacteria 2.Archea 3.Eukaria: w/plants, animals at end of last branch with humans just a sub- branch

7 …so are the faiths.

8 The “Package Deal”

9 DEpth Perception Cornerstone of the 3 Religions \ Philosophies = “Deep Ecology”  First coined by Arne Naess in 1973 in his call for “environmental wisdom”  Deep Ecology (1985)] Bill Devall and George Sessions: rediscovery in a modern context that "everything is connected to everything else” and that “some ecologists and natural historians, in addition to their scientific viewpoint, have developed a deep ecological consciousness--for some a political consciousness and at times a spiritual consciousness.”

10 8 “DE” Tenets (quoting from wiki) 1.“The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: intrinsic value, inherent value) 2.Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves. 3.Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital human needs. 4.The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.

11 DE cont’d 5.Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening. 6.Policies must therefore be changed. These policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present. 7.The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent value) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great. 8.Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to try to implement the necessary changes.”

12 DE summation 1.intrinsic value of all life 2.diversity of life 3.only “vital human needs” should deplete resources 4.a “substantial decrease of the human population” necessary for all creation to flourish 5.human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive and worsening. 6.Policies must therefore be changed and deeply different from the present. 7.The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent value) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. 8.Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to try to implement the necessary changes.”

13 “Deep” Bandwagon…  Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why? - Laurence Gonzales  Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future - Bill McKibben  Deep Technology: article, October 1995…

14 Experiential, Knowledge CPE: could it be called Clinical Pastoral Environmentalism??? What gives YOU energy?? WIRED magazine, from the desk of an ex-IT geek…

15 WIRED snack culture

16 WIRED “switch” to ethynol (and the pipe dream we all fell for)

17 WIRED

18 The Major Issue: Ritual & Worship for Ath\Hum\NeoP  Jerry the Secular Humanist (funeral story)  The “heretical?” Lorax-ian Psalm  Finding ways for the river of life to cross between dams…(T.R.Lake, Lake T, and B.Shoals)  Not a question of defending the faith…

19 * …but defending a faith that defends all of creation.


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