Author Topic: The Sacred  (Read 213 times)

Pharaoh Cat

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The Sacred
« on: December 08, 2011, 02:48:33 AM »
Absent God, absent the supernatural, absent any afterlife, acknowledgement of the sacred in one's life can occur.  Atheists, agnostics and apatheists can acknowledge the sacred in their lives.

The sacred is simply my highest value, or several highest values.  I can pick whatever I want.  Values are subjective.  I can acknowledge the forest as sacred, or poetry, or science, or space exploration, or cats, or my sister, or the ocean, or blue whales, or my country's laws, or anything else.  Once I've picked my highest value, or several highest values, I can orient my life accordingly.  I can contribute money to relevant causes.  I can get active in politics.  I can decorate my home in images of what I picked.  I can create rituals for myself that celebrate what I picked.  I can gather with other people who picked what I picked.

We can have the sacred without sacrificing or betraying reason.
 
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The Magic Pudding

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Re: The Sacred
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 03:38:35 AM »
The word sacred has some baggage but we can drop that I suppose.
Can you change your sacred values, reassess?

xSilverPhinx

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Re: The Sacred
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 05:10:45 AM »
Yeah...I would drop the word 'sacred' when describing what I see as my highest values because it has religious connotations which I seek to avoid.

What are yours?
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Melmoth

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Re: The Sacred
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 05:14:58 AM »
Quote from: Pharaoh Cat
We can have the sacred without sacrificing or betraying reason.

Couldn't agree more! Glad someone said it.

I'd even say it's the thin end of a wedge, and that it's worth preserving a lot more religious words. While it's true that you don't need God or the superstitious elements of religion to appreciate the numinous, to 'sanctify' certain values or to feel awe at the unknown, for a long time myth and allegory were the only means we had of contemplating such things. Still are, arguably. A good story reveals something far more intimate than a scientific article, even though the latter is probably more literally informative. I think the language of religion has evolved over time to deal with certain subjects far better than any contrived attempt to replace it. So if you could take that, and distil it somehow of the incredible, it'd be very useful.
"That life has no meaning is a reason to live - moreover, the only one." - Emil Cioran.

Pharaoh Cat

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Re: The Sacred
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 09:13:35 AM »
Can you change your sacred values, reassess?

Certainly!  Subjectivity is always open to change.  Diversity among friends would be great, also.  I can imagine a tribe of generalists who honor each other's choices without feeling any need to pick the same ones.  What they would be collectively affirming is individual freedom and the nobility of the human will to meaning.
 
(Edit: deleted the word "numinous" after discovering it didn't mean what I thought it meant.)




« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 12:57:14 PM by Pharaoh Cat »
"The Logic Elf rewards anyone who thinks logically."  (Jill)