Think!

If Universism had any commandments it would really just be this one: “think!”

From the Universism FAQ:

An individual can potentially believe anything, it’s how she believes it that makes it Universist or not. Universists don’t believe what we want to believe, we believe what our best perception of reality tells us, and understand that our perception is fallible. Focusing on the “how” allows us to truly be openminded. We do not exclude any possibilities in an area where no one has any authority or special knowledge. This domain is alternatively called metaphysics, religion, spiritualty, the question of existence, etc.

As the FAQ points out, what it is we believe and think isn’t as important as how we do it. The key is that we each think for ourselves. But I also believe the key is that we actually do think as an active part of our existence. We do not just mindlessly sit here completely unaware of the Universe that surrounds us. Instead we do actively wonder and question it and our existence. We do not blindly believe anything by always remembering to question everything. We do not remain apathetic of the Universe, but we also do not jump on any one answer as the final answer of it all. Answers should always lead to more questions.

Agnostics, Atheists, Deists, Pantheists, & Trancendentalists oh my!

Why should these rational religious philosophies outside of the faith world be united, and what unites them?
Universism says that all these groups outside of the faith world are much more similar than they are different, that these people should interact with each other and work on the future together. We are on the same path in the sense that we are using the same method to get where we are going – personal reason and experiential evidence. People interested in any of these religious philosophies share much of their perspective on the world in common, and have much to learn by talking with one another. Some people move between these philosophies throughout their life. Universism says no rational religious philosophy can claim certainty… there is no revealed book, no faith, no dogma, so anything we know about the universe and our place in it is due to hard won reasoning and world experience, something everyone has to share. Universists value their religious perspective in terms of its approximation to apparent reality, yet also derive inspiration from the fact that no one knows for certain. Universism enshrines uncertainty whereas traditional religion enshrines certain Truths. Universism is about individuals being true to their nature.

Universism Frequently Asked Questions FAQ – Universist Movement

Unbelievers of the world unite! Everyone on a personal path of religious truth derived from our personal experiences of the Universe should unite together in a new religious fellowship of Universism.

I have links to the 2 Universist forums on the Communication page of this site. It is interesting to interact with Agnostics, Atheists, and Deists. I don’t recall interacting with too many Pantheists or Trancendentalists.

It wasn’t until I started talking with these new Universists that I grew to understand Deism and their Agnostic flavored belief in God. I often see the similarities in thought that leads me to think of Agnosticism as an Atheistic Deism or Deistic Atheism. We take the Deist’s unknown God/creator concept and acknowledge it as a complete mysterious unknown and combine it with the Atheist’s disbelief in any gods dreamed up by humans. We do not suppose a creator but we do not discount the real mystery of the Universe and think the Big Bang was the only thing to create our somewhat intelligent lives.

The Deism site has a nice spiral showing the Universist philosophies and where Agnosticism fits between Atheism and Deism.

What is Universism?

“What is Universism (pronounced “universe-ism”)?
1. It is a progressive, naturalistic worldview in which all meaning and purpose is understood through personal reason and experience. This allows for belief in a supernatural first cause, as in Deism, or a conception of the universe as explaining itself, as in Atheism. Universism truly embraces the individual Search – this could not occur if answers were preset. Universism reflects the reality of metaphysical questions, which is uncertainty. Universists do not always agree on details of our understandings, but we share solidarity in valuing the questions, we value reason and experience paramount, and we agree that no one knows for certain. Universists respect each person’s efforts at perceiving reality as best they can, without reliance on any faith, holy book or teacher. The Universist (pronounced “universe-ist”) worldview can be shared by all freethinkers, whether they have used the term Atheist, Agnostic, Deist, Pantheist, Transcendentalist or others to describe their beliefs in the past.
2. As an “ism” or way of thought, Universism might be defined as “the philosophy of the universe.” It’s a metaphysical philosophy, yet it holds out the possibility that there may be nothing metaphysical.”

Universism Frequently Asked Questions FAQ – Universist Movement

Universism and Agnosticism seem to fit together very well to me and I feel the Agnostic is the true glue of such a group of freethinkers. I had not really considered myself to be in fellowship with Deists that claim a belief in God. However, all of the Deists I’ve met that are Universists are just labeling their unknown creator with the name God. They do not profess any knowledge of what that God really thinks or wants. The Atheists see the same Universe and claim not to see a creator. However, all of us are united in believing we don’t really have the absolute answer.

This is why I think the true answer is Agnostic. I think it is wise to acknowledge what you do not know and when people move towards a belief that they have some absolute answers they really don’t have, it is good to put questions back in their minds and remind them of the true Mystery of the Universe. So the Agnostics are a catalyst to the Universists to help keep freethought “free”.