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Sub-paradigms Explained

  Note: Individual Religion Naturalists may define these terms differently or not use them at all. There is nothing outside, above, beyond nor super to the natural world so non-naturalism is used as the antonym to naturalism replacing supernaturalism.

agnosticism: God’s existence has never been proven and cannot be disproved rationally so a neutral position is taken on belief in God. Usually devoid of non-naturalism.

atheism: disbelief in the existence of God or gods and non-natural realms. The atheism within Religious Naturalism is of the soft or non-militant variety respecting the cornerstone of tolerance.

environmentalism: commitment to the improvement and preservation of the earth’s environment and ecology. Normally not a religious position but has many of the attributes of one. It may be a person’s primary or secondary moral focus.

individualism: non-categorical advocates autonomous in their beliefs, highly independent and do not fit easily into defined sectors. Many would not align themselves with the beliefs listed here but are self-proclaimed Religious Naturalists.

humanists: reject non-naturalism stressing human dignity, worth and capacity for self-realization via rational thinking.

minimalism: very sparse in doctrine, structure, and definition. Usually does not rely on a concept of god for explanations because nature can explain itself. Religious Naturalism itself can be called a minimalist paradigm.

Pantheism: Greek for ‘all is God’, probably the world’s oldest religion. Most of the concepts of Religious Naturalism are acceptable to modern Pantheists. Historically Pantheism has been a theistic concept that has become atheistic for some advocates. Religious Naturalism can be considered a broader, more inclusive, more modern form of Pantheism or a neo-Pantheism.

Theistic Naturalism: a modern, liberalized god belief in which God is defined in a naturalized way – as creativity, the ground of being, the forces of nature, love, etc. A number of prominent scholars, theologians, and clergy are in this sector. Process Naturalism is a similar approach but uses no divine 'Subject' relying on the world of finite creatures.

traditionalism: traditional congregations (Jewish, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist) openly naturalistic in their beliefs. May include some Evolutionary Christians. Also, individual Religious Naturalists may remain active in their churches and see their naturalistic perspectives as compatible with modern church teachings.

Carl Sagan - Religious Naturalist

Carl Sagan proposed we are stardust, a Religious Naturalism concept. We came from it and return to being it again.

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