On November 23, 2004 I published my first posts on this Church of the Churchless blog.
Over the succeeding 18+ years those posts in the "Basics of our faithless faith" category still ring true to me, by and large.
I guess this shows that skepticism about dogmatic religious belief and being positive about open-minded spiritual inquiry rests on some pretty damn solid ground. But that's just my opinion.
So I thought it'd be interesting to share what I said in the Our Creedless Creed post and see if anyone has a good reason to challenge any of the points made there. I'll make some brief comments in red about how I currently view the points.
Note: to make this Creed more readable, some qualifiers have been omitted. So "God" signifies God/ultimate reality/final truth, not just a personal divinity. And "religion" signifies religion/spiritual path/philosophy, not just a mainstream theology.
There is no objective proof that any religion knows the truth about God. If there were such proof, most people on Earth would have converted to that faith long ago and all scientists would be believers.
This seems as true today as when I said it in 2004. But I should have said, "...knows the truth about God, assuming God exists."
Spirituality thus is an individual affair. Proof of any metaphysical realities that exist will be subjective, not demonstrable to others.
Yes, provided that we realize individual proof is not only subjective, but also illusory if the subjective proof is flawed, mistaken, incomplete, or otherwise weak.
Every person has the right to pursue their own spiritual quest without interference, so long as he or she doesn't interfere with the rights of others.
Absolutely. I still heartily agree.
Since the veracity of each and every religion is unprovable, equally unprovable are the moral and ethical tenets derived from any and all religious teachings.
Still seems completely true from my atheist perspective.
Thus morality also is an individual affair. There are no absolute laws of right and wrong as there are absolute laws of physics. Subjectivity rules in ethics.
Wouldn't change a word.
Individual ethical decisions may be formed into a collective codification of societal norms, or laws. These are purely human, not divine.
I'm unclear what I meant by the initial part of the first sentence. Now I'd say "A collective codification of subjective societal norms, or laws, is purely human, not divine."
Science is the surest means of finding truth. Theory, experiment, analysis of data: such are the tools of science, whether directed toward knowing material or immaterial reality.
Basically sounds fine to me, though now I'd make the ending "...toward knowing material reality or any immaterial reality that might exist."
Religious teachings are hypotheses to be confirmed through individual research. As such, they must not be taken as gospel truth by adherents of a particular faith.
Religious doubters, skeptics, and heretics should be honored for their efforts to assure that unproven assertions about God are not put forward as solid truth.
Absolutely, especially since I'm one of those doubters, skeptics, and heretics.
Every adherent of a particular religion should say to himself or herself,"I could be wrong." If he or she won't do this, other people can say it for them: "You could be wrong."
This creedless creed of the Church of the Churchless also could be wrong. It needs to be reexamined and revised regularly.
I don't want to change the original post. But maybe I should add a link to a mildly revised Creedless Creed.
Death provides the final answers (if only momentarily). The spiritual quest is to get answers ahead of time. But the big question is, "What are the questions?"
Now I'm not sure that death provides any sort of final answer, since if there is no life after death, that can't be known by dying, since knowledge belongs only to the living. This is a point that could be deleted from the Creedless Creed.
As a final observation about this Creedless Creed, some might see a contradiction between my saying that (1) spirituality is an individual affair where evidence is subjective, and (2) unproven assertions about God shouldn't be put forward as solid truth.
I don't see any contradiction. What I was getting at here is that I have no problem with someone saying "This is what I personally experienced about... [God, the supernatural, heaven, angels, soul, divine light/sound, or whatever].
But I do have a big problem with someone claiming that their personal experience reflects an objective fact about the cosmos. To make that claim, solid demonstrable evidence would need to be provided. Which, to my knowledge, has never occurred at any time in human history.
That's why I started off by saying, "There is no objective proof that any religion knows the truth about God."