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Epic of Evolution


 Cornerstones for Religious Naturalism

Reason – thinking that makes facts intelligible, orderly thinking, objectivity. Existence is deciphered and understood by rational processes. The scientific method is such a means using deduction and evidence rather than unproven speculations. It is considered sufficient for explaining the facts of reality.

Reverence – deep respect. The cosmos is a basis for a naturalistic subjectivity/spirituality because nature is worthy of it. A religious feeling fulfills our innate desire for belonging and largeness beyond ourselves. It sees beauty in mystery. Reverence is not worshiping but a honoring relationship.

Courage - confidence in adopting a paradigm of belief that is not a traditional one. The guts to face reality, the heart to love it, the spirit to revere it. The audacity to think objectively, the moxie of moral strength, and the mettle to not rely on a god but face life boldly with exultation and song.    

Tolerance – acceptance of beliefs differing from one's own. Various viewpoints offer the best possibilities for forming a consilience of fact-based religious beliefs. Diversity is a necessary consideration for human destiny. Respecting diversity is rightful behavior. Respect begets respect. Tradition religions can supply tested ideas that need to be incorporated into Religious Naturalism. Our past commands respect for getting us to where we are today. Some of our past may not pretty but it's what we have so.

Wellbeing - the state of being happy, healthy or prosperous. Living one’s only life happily is downright good sense. Personal comfort and pleasure are a justifiable ethical goal, a rightfulness. Philosophers for thousands of years have endorsed it. Many religions have endorsed it in an afterlife but not in real life.


Rightfulness – in accordance with the laws of nature; fitting; equity; justice; correctness; legal; truthfulness. It can be the basis for a global ethos. Rightfulness is not a divine revelation but tested traditions, positive feelings, reason and common sense. These determine human values. Religious Naturalism contains within its philosophical base all that is needed to construct value and moral systems and that are both realistic and humane.

Consilience forming a unity of knowledge. The sciences, humanities, arts, and religions are brought together to give a united purpose to understanding and appreciating a world explainable by natural laws. Its roots are in ancient Greek philosophy. It is a defragmenting process recently revived.

Stewardship – the sensible and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. Partnership with nature is both wise and a responsibility. Care for the earth’s ecology is a rightful human duty. Humanity should have a symbiotic or cooperative relationship with nature as it is our creator, sustainer of life and home. It is necessary for our wellbeing and a big factor in our destiny. 

Destiny - future situations and being. There can be a purpose/goal for humanity if we so desire. An apocalypse need not be the future. Rightful directionality or karma plots a rational course for a noble outcome.  A world changing rapidly now needs new ideas going forward to provide a future different from the past. The above cornerstones are needed to continue the Homo sapiens narrative forward.

Narrative - story, history, report. There is a factual tale of our happening called the Epic of Evolution. It is a proveable account of how the universe and humanity have emerged. It is a scientific report written over the last 300 years by thousands of authors, not by a few unknown ancient sages. It accepts and incorporates the wisdom gathered over the history of mankind and the universe.

Michael Dowd - Religious Naturalist

Rev. Michael Dowd explains the Epic of Evolution


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