Where do we come from?
What are we?
Where are we going?
The first two questions in this painting by Paul Gauguin can be answered, largely, with science. But the third presents a challenge and choices to be made – in how to move from what we’re able to understand about ourselves and the natural world to a sense of what we should be pointing toward and doing.
Conversation at RNAnet this month looked at aspects of these questions:
- How values can be drawn from a natural world that is uncaring and often harsh
- How morality can be grounded in cooperation and the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things
- What types of actions religious naturalists might take, or practices they might engage in, to reflect their beliefs and contribute to a better world, a better self, and other potential benefits
Several members mentioned ways of contributing to social and ecological well-being, and to activities for personal growth and development of attitudes that can enhance appreciation and awareness.
Beyond thinking lofty thoughts, RNAnet discussion has been playing around a bit with a thread that started by looking at “Corrupting Classic Christian Songs,” sharing adapted lyrics to traditional tunes. For example:
“Praise Earth from where all blessings flow.
Praise Earth and all the creatures that we know. . .”
This expanded to include favorites among original tunes, which led to the idea of putting together something that might be called an “Earth Hymnal”, an assemblage of music that we can draw from. If you have suggestions, please send them to us RNAsecretary@aol.com.
To give an example of an original RN-related tune, here’s a link to Peter Mayer’s song, Blue Boat Home, with lyrics and slides provided by our own JD Stillwater.