The World Movement for Scientific Pantheism
Dale Botting is a member of the World Movement for Scientific Pantheism. As such, Dale is a strong believer in their Statement of Principles of Scientific Pantheism. It is certainly unlike most religious creeds. It is not intended to be recited by rote or read out in meetings. Nor is a subscription to every word of the statement a requirement of joining the World Scientific Pantheist Movement or its forums.
We know that people are not zombies. Everyone has a slightly different slant on the world. If we all thought alike, there certainly would not be much to talk about, nor would we generate any new ideas. But people associate in social and spiritual groups because they share certain beliefs. The beliefs articulated below have been shared for centuries, from the old philosopher Baruch Spinoza, to Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.
The basic concepts comprise:
Reverence for Nature and the wider Universe.
Active respect and care for the rights of all humans and other living beings.
Celebration of our lives in our bodies on this beautiful earth as a joy and a privilege.
Strong naturalism, without belief in supernatural realms, afterlives, beings or forces.
Respect for reason, evidence, and the scientific method as our best ways of understanding Nature and the Universe.
Promotion of religious tolerance, freedom of religion, and complete separation of state and religion.
The Statement of Principles of Scientific Pantheism is just one current expression of the above beliefs and values. Basically, it is intended as a reminder of the central points of my beliefs, and a guide for other people who are inclined to think like scientific pantheists. These Statement of Beliefs are not divinely inspired. They are composed of fallible humans. They are not immutable – and can be amended from time to time. The World Pantheist Movement (WPM) was created to promote these Naturalistic Pantheist beliefs as a rational alternative to supernatural beliefs and to celebrate and inspire people like Dale Botting who simply share these similar views.
The Statement of Principles of Scientific Pantheism
We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present, and future. It is self-organizing, ever-evolving, and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power, beauty, and fundamental mystery compel the deepest human reverence and wonder.
All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, celebration, meditation, empathy, love, ethical action, and art.
We are an integral part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere, and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We acknowledge the inherent value of all life, human and non-human, and strive to treat all living beings with compassion and respect.
All humans are equal centers of awareness of the Universe and nature, and all deserve a life of equal dignity and mutual respect. To this end, we support and work towards freedom, democracy, justice, and non-discrimination, and a world community based on peace, sustainable ways of life, full respect for human rights, and an end to poverty.
There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united.
We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of “afterlife” available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas, and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature.
We honor reality and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of science’s unending quest for deeper understanding. These are our best means of coming to know the Universe, and on them, we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality.
Every individual has direct access through perception, emotion, and meditation to ultimate reality – which is the Universe and Nature. There is no need for mediation by priests, gurus, or revealed scriptures.
We uphold the separation of religion and state, and the universal human right of freedom of religion. We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol, or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.