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Featured Nature based religions

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Wild Fox, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Nature religions – There are religions referred to as nature religions where nature is a central focus of belief. Some of these many Pagan religions, Indigenous religions, Pantheism, Animism and Religious Naturalism. In the last example there has been an attempt create a metaphysical and philosophical structure to a religion of nature and includes such philosophers as early as Baruch Spinoza in the 1600s to modern philosophers such as Karl Peters, Henry Wieman, Donald Crosby, Usrula Goodenough, Willem Drees and Jerome Stone are examples. We portray many of the earliest religions to be centered around the natural world and this seems consistent with the few remaining indigenous religions we know about.

    When I look at religions with respect to the change relationship to the non-human natural world it seems that the more separated humans became from the rest of the natural world it there is a shift to human centered religion. As people began to control their environment more depending less and less on the wilder aspects of the natural world their religious views seem seems to change reflecting a new outlook on god in relationship to humans. As social groups grow and become more complex it seems the god changes again into a more personal god. With increasing political strength, we see religious movements that support a religious hierarchy in a which then works to eliminate more tolerant religious ideas in the advance of a dominant monotheistic religion supporting the political power. Yet as successful as these monotheistic religions had been to exert the view of a single way of believe there developed a diversification of the beliefs which could not be controlled.

    One of these diversifications was the return of religions with nature as the central or even sole aspect of belief. Despite the claims of a one true religion, what factors lead to this diversification and in particular to a of focus to Nature? Why did some of these nature oriented religious movements develop or return as important in a world in which a monotheistic human centered religious was so dominant?
     
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  2. Firemorphic

    Firemorphic Activist Membrane

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    Well nature plays many roles in most religions but I think, but as for nature being "the thing" in the absolute sense (whether deified or not) and worshiped, tends to lean itself more to paganism than anything else. Look at it's role in Zen for example compared to Hinduism, within the Abrahamic religions it tends to be treated as 'Gods gift to mankind' to appreciate but not worship.
     
  3. Amanaki

    Amanaki Veteran Member

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    Honestly i think all religions has nature based teachings. To take care of nature in a way that we do not harm it, because if we harm the nature we will harm our self either in a short time or a long time situation. example can be the enviromental effect that happens when we cut down forerst all over the world, the forest is a living organism just like we are. science even found that plants do have feelings andget scared from time to time.

    As a buddhist i am seeing the nature as a part of me and I am a part of the nature.
     
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  4. DustyFeet

    DustyFeet पैर है| outlaw kosher care-bear | Tribe of Dan

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    yes, i heard this too, can anyone post a source for this? pretty please?

    i also remember many many years ago, someone told me trees communicate. it was a study about pine trees maybe, how when 1 tree is attacked by ants, and the other nearby trees also react with more sap?

    of course it was so long ago, maybe i heard it at summer camp, and honestly, it could have been a dream or nonsense...

    go ahead and tease me, it is kinda silly :)
     
    #4 DustyFeet, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  5. Amanaki

    Amanaki Veteran Member

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  6. DustyFeet

    DustyFeet पैर है| outlaw kosher care-bear | Tribe of Dan

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  7. Amanaki

    Amanaki Veteran Member

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    Well trees and plants kind of have same feelings, dont you think? :)
    Many people think that plants and animals does not have same kind of feelings as human beings, but in my experience they actually have feelings
     
  8. DustyFeet

    DustyFeet पैर है| outlaw kosher care-bear | Tribe of Dan

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    ya know, i bet snowflakes have feelings too... ;)

    but i still shovel them off the driveway with extreme malice...

    be gone snowflakes, you're taking over my little world.... aaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!
     
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  9. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    Kind of silly really, since all nature (including us) is the product of the same thing. I suppose it’s easier to recognize another hand in the being of the non-sentient. Odd that.
     
  10. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    There is increasing information that plants and most of what I am familiar with is trees have a memory process not completely understood in the root system. They can communicate between each other via fungal hyphae thus there is now known that there is significant communication between trees and actual nutritional support between trees. They also can warn each other through chemical messages when danger is present. We have completely underestimated the interconnection of all life and how much they interact. There is also evidence that parent trees help the new growing offspring.
    Not all religions give the same respect to nature with some seeing dominance over nature and other appreciate but do not see how interdependent we are thus see all live as equal in its own way.
     
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  11. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Studying some history - Western European and American specifically - will teach this to you, though I'm afraid I can't think of a single book recommendation that covers the story well. There are two threads that set the stage for our story:

    • Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution The Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution kicked off in around the 18th century. This brought about some rather sweeping changes in European culture. Books upon books could be said about these changes, but there are a few important ideas that became central artifices in Western culture.
      • Reason. The Enlightenment brought into the fore that reason is the primary (or sometimes sole) source of knowledge or authority. This fostered a cultural focus on empirical naturalism (aka, the scientific method) and reductionism, at the expense of traditional sources of wisdom found in Christian teachings.
      • Capitalism. The Industrial Revolution allowed for the creation of modern capitalist economies, with all the benefits and problems thereof. In particular, it allowed for unprecedented exploitation of resources (both human and non-human) in the name of growth and progress.
    • Romanticism. Predictably, not everyone was particularly happy with the changes brought about by the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. This movement rose towards the end of the 18th century as a countercultural reaction against the prevailing winds. Their counter narrative went something like this.
      • Feelings. Romantics kicked reason off its pedestal as the primary authority and replaced it with aesthetic experiences or feelings. Authenticity was to be had through emotions, and as such the bardic arts (visual art, music, literature) were a centerpiece. In particular, this aesthetic inspiration was found in nature and in medieval antiquity.
    It's worth noting that Romanticism "lost" the culture war, but its influence persisted in the centuries after and were part of the foundation for nature-based religious movements. But there are a few other actors we need to discuss that were on the stage for that too:
    • Education, Literacy, and Academia. The invention of the printing press made widespread literacy possible, and the Enlightenment made it desirable. Couple that with an Industrial Revolution that wants to rapidly train competent workers and we get the establishment of public education and academia. Before this, academic works on historical Paganisms ("nature-based" religions) weren't really available, or could not be widely read by the general populace.
    • Environmentalism. A direct consequence of the Industrial Revolution, trashing our habitats got noticed and kicked off concern and awareness for human impacts on the non-human world. This got going mainly in the 20th century - around the same time contemporary Paganism started picking up and was a significant parallel influence.
    • Feminism. Western women at last began to rise into first class citizenship in the 20th century, which challenged many cultural narratives of the prior eras. On the one hand, women were often symbolically equated with nature, so their rise in status meant nature could rise in status. On the other, God was often depicted as a man, and with women coming into power, those narratives were questioned as well.
    The long and the short of it is that the rise of contemporary Paganism - the rise in interest in polytheistic and/or nature-based religions - is a story of countercultural reactions against the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. Pepper into that mix other social movements and conditions and you have a ripe mix for questioning the status quo and envisioning alternatives. It's a complex story with lots of moving parts, though at core it's a simple story. Whenever you try and get all human animals to do the same thing, it doesn't work. There will always be counterculture. There will always be people wanting alternatives. One size does not fit all.
     
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  12. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Humans are a part of nature but the focus seems to have changed with on more inclusive of the non-human aspects of nature as in being equally important to one of a human centered with more supernatural aspects. Recently relooking at the total natural world as important without the supernatural aspect. Not silly.
     
  13. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate your input. I felt out of place with Christianity because it always seemed to be separate from the natural world. I did not accept the concept of dominion over then rest of the natural world. I studied biology and especially ecology then came across the works of Alexander Humboldt and his early recognition of how man impacted the environment. I was also fascinated at how he saw the arts as still an aspect of understanding nature. He with others such as Humphry Davy, Frederick Schelling, and to me even Darwin to some extent along with the romantic poets were an alternative to the more mechanistic way view which finally dominated over this view.
    Maybe we would have been better of if both views were maintained. I spent years learning pre-Christian Celtic and to some extent Norse/Germanic beliefs. I felt more connected with these beliefs but had difficulty with how you would know and understand the gods and goddesses as personal and communicate them and could only see them symbolically.
    It seems to me that you are correct in how the alternative beliefs were at attractive with the feminism, the loss of so much of the environment and the growing understanding of the natural world.
     
  14. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Primacy of Nature – Everything we know and experience is from the natural world. We are a part of nature and are not separate from nature. All we experience is from the natural world and how we experience things is by natural processes. Nature has been and will always be as far as we know. It is self-sustaining and has everything it needs in explaining its existence Nature does not need anything outside itself to for nature to exist. Supernatural realms fall into the realm of beliefs that may be experienced but cannot be proven. In this aspect nature is ultimate.
     
  15. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Experienced Nature vs Conceptualized Nature – We have two ways that we understand the natural world. The first is our actual experiences – what we feel and second is how we form a mental construct of the natural world. They are connected in our minds but not identical. We have the defined measured explanation of a forest and yet we have experiences in a forest that cannot be fully defined in a conceptualized manner. The natural sciences can measure things with disciplined objectivity as it studies nature but there are aspects of that we understand that are different in significant respects from the scientific one. A complete understanding of nature requires a focus experienced nature with its dimensions as well as the scientific investigation of Nature. Natural scientists’ findings cannot be regarded as an absolute understanding of the natural world. Poets and painters may not have the reproducible measurements of the scientific process but the can describe the complexity, diversity, and the sensual experiences of nature that precise mathematical descriptions cannot. and these can be essential things to take into account in our thinking of nature. Scientific methods become increasingly limited with the increasingly complex aspects of nature and there are aspects of it amenable to standard techniques of scientific interpretation and explanation and others that are not. Scientific facts are developed with a matrix of assumptions and theories and are never completely beyond reasonable debate. Thus, we can see the natural world from two different perspectives each important and not completely separate – the experienced nature and the conceptualized nature.
     
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  16. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I love nature. I tried to convince my High School son to make his Advanced Biology project be on female anatomy. But he did not have the courage to do it. He ended up doing it on moss or some such nonsense.

    I'm pretty sure God's a woman anyway. No man could ever create anything as beautiful as a woman.
     
  17. DustyFeet

    DustyFeet पैर है| outlaw kosher care-bear | Tribe of Dan

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    ... cannot be proven but can be felt?

    Is ultimate for u?

    What we know and feel?
     
  18. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    What we feel is still a natural process of the brain. That we can process information into what we call knowledge is a natural process. The conclusions we make about something is a natural process of the but what those conclusions are can be a belief beyond the natural world which cannot be proven within the world we live. Nature is ultimate because we have no evidence or experiences of anything else at least so far. Belief in the supernatural is just that a belief. Could there be a supernatural world with god, gods or goddesses? I cannot say there isn't but one can only believe there is with all we know and think as a process of the natural world that created us. That is why the natural world is ultimate. Anyone is welcome to believe there is something beyond.
     
  19. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Moss is still amazing. I do think it is time to change the male image of God.
     
  20. Wild Fox

    Wild Fox Well-Known Member

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    Learned about Zen Buddhism a long time ago and so am not so familiar with Buddhism. How would it compare to pantheism? Is there a concept of a god or something else?
     
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