my core beliefs:
1) I am technically agnostic. Often I publicly identify as Atheist because in most contexts, I functionally am–see #3.
2) I believe meaning is constructed from human will. In the words of Salvatore Scibona,
“Kant concludes in The Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals that “Autonomy” is “the ground of the dignity of human nature and of every rational nature.” Elsewhere he defines autonomy as “the property of the will by which it is a law to itself.” Without our will—without our freedom—we are things rather than people. With it, we have a categorical value—in his terms a dignity—infinitely beyond a market price.
I take from this that we should approach other people’s freedom not only with caution lest we offend them, but with an active reverence we reserve for nothing else.”
3) I think it’s best to live as though there are no super-natural phenomena and nothing comes after death. In the words of Alan Moore,
“It is not God who kills the children. It is not destiny that butchers them, or fate that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us.”
This view demands disciplined responsibility towards one’s own actions.
4) I believe in solidarity ethics.
Even when I was surrounded by Mormons, I was often struck by the commonality of human values. The vast majority of people–all kinds of people– seem to want these things:
a chance to earn a decent living, a chance to build equity in their future and the future of their children, good education for their children, connectedness to their communities, opportunities to help others, opportunities to stand against harm they see, opportunities to master new skills, and freedom to make their own decisions in as many areas as possible, love, acceptance, and belonging.
Let us not allow our disagreements to stop us from standing together. Likewise, let us not allow the liminal cases, where justice becomes hard to define, keep us from addressing the vast majority of cases where it is obvious. Lastly, let’s fully recognize the humanity of marginalized members of society, and support their fight to end that in any way we can.
5) I believe that genuine conflicts of interest exist, and that we ought to seek out the most robustly democratic methods to address those conflicts. This has a lot of implications which I’m just starting to understand.
6) I believe in the value of nature-centered spirituality. For this reason, I newly identify as a secular pagan.