Evolutionary Religious Naturalism

Backyard Buddha

This be me at this stage in my life, or as close as I can figure it, an evolutionary religious naturalist. I actually talk about this in my Guru book in more detail, but I woke up thinking about it this morning. What do I mean by evolutionary religious naturalism?

I used to say that I was a atheistic religious naturalist and that my spiritual practice was basically Zen Buddhism. Maybe it is just me, but “atheist” is a word with a lot of baggage, and I have never really felt comfortable with it. This is probably left over from my West Texas, fundamentalist, Bible Belt upbringing where the word “atheist” was on same plane as Satan. A descriptor I like better is nontheist as there is no the (God, supreme being, etc.) in my -ology.

Religious naturalism posits that nature is all there is. There is nothing beyond nature; nothing outside of nature. That means no omnipresent, omnipotent, super being out there above and outside of nature. Religious meaning is to be found in the natural world, not in some supernatural world. Moral and spiritual implications are derived from the nature and nature’s natural processes. A good overview of religious naturalism can be found in Jerome Wilson’s, Religious Naturalism: The Rebirth of a Forgotten Alternative.

I add the term, evolutionary, to my description to emphasize the role I see of the evolutionary process in shaping our religious views starting with our primal Selfish Genes. Superimposed on these were our selfless, altruistic genes/DNA driven by group selection that made us such a successful social species. I cover this much more fuller in my Guru book. Then, superimposed on this was cultural evolution and the evolution of religious memes.


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Peach Chutney

After collecting mainly beans and tomatoes from the garden and doing a little mowing Wednesday morning, I decided to make peach chutney. I had several pounds of peaches that needed to be used and used the last of my plum chutney a couple of months ago. I especially like to put the chutney, which has a little red chili pepper sweet-sour bite, on egg rolls. I had fixed egg rolls and had nothing to put on them. Do you know how bland egg rolls are without sweet/sour sauce of some kind. I’m using a Thai substitute right now while the new batch of chutney ages. You have to let chutney age for several weeks for optimum flavor. Well that little effort took till that night before the chutney had cooked down enough.

My summer canning station this year.
My summer canning station.

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