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Humanistic Paganism

Category: Blogs

Website Profile: HumanisticPaganism (HP) is a blog devoted to a naturalistic way of life rooted equally in science and myth. This is a home for those who identify as Naturalistic Pagans, Religious Naturalists, Spiritual Humanists, Agnostic Pagans, Atheist Pagans, Pantheists, and Enchanted Agnostics.

Each post explores spirituality from a naturalistic point of view. Submissions to the blog are welcome from any authors who feel a resonance with the overall spirit of HP.

HP is a path grounded in modern science and enriched with mythic texture. Values include curiosity, responsibility, courage, and wisdom. The chief goals are self-knowledge and celebration of this earth, this body, and this life.

Much is shared with many other philosophies and religions. Examples include some forms of Neopaganism, Wicca, Druidry, Heathenry, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Pyrrhonism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Confucianism, as well as varieties of Pantheism, Naturalistic Paganism, Religious Naturalism, Existentialism, Skepticism, Secular Humanism, and Spiritual Humanism (the latter is so close that HP may be considered a variety of Spiritual Humanism) . These traditions may overlap partially or completely with HP. Many forms of Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology are also closely aligned.

Things HP does not share with certain other paths include literalism, fundamentalism, dualism of spirit and matter, a view of humanity as “fallen” or impure, a claim to Truth with a capital “T”, environmentally-irresponsible ideologies, or an overly-exuberant need to convert others to the same viewpoint. Ultimate authority is not placed in scriptures, prophecies, revelations, psychic or magical visions, or charismatic leaders of various kinds.

What makes this way of life unique is its particular combination of science and myth. We reject neither scientific method as a valid means of obtaining knowledge, nor spiritual metaphors as valid ways of enriching quality of life. Rather, it affirms empirical science as the best source of knowledge currently available, and spiritual endeavors as practices yielding psychological benefits. Tension between the two, if there is any, is taken as impetus for investigation and self-discovery. Two aphorisms from the ancient world may aid in explicating this view:

*In the absence of compelling evidence for or against a proposition, the rational thing to do is suspend belief either way and carry on in the spirit of inquiry. – Pyrrhonist principle of epoché

*From the strain of binding opposites comes harmony. – Heraclitus

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