What religions have in common are the questions they address about the natural world, but they differ and are often contradictory on their supernatural beliefs.
Why suggest a new religion?
Most religions were developed centuries ago, but it is only in recent years that we have gained a real understanding of how life and the world around us works. The Natural Religion now uses this up-to-date knowledge to answer the questions that religions have traditionally addressed.
What are the aims of The Natural Religion?
To provide real choice with a religion that is unlike others and that people can use on its own, or in conjunction with other religions. The Natural Religion does not aim to replace other religions, it adds to the choice of religions that is available to us.
To communicate fundamental information about our human existence to the general public, and how this can be important to us on a personal level.
To suggest a way in which we can have a moral and ethical code which is not linked to any one culture, but can be accepted by people globally.
To encourage more people to think about our human ecology and to get involved in planning our own and our children’s future, e.g.: by alleviate poverty and raising the quality of human life.
Why is The Natural Religion called a religion?
The definition of religion in English language dictionaries usually includes beliefs in a god or gods and other spiritual and supernatural concepts. The Natural Religion does not have such beliefs. But, what all religions do have is a set of ideas about ourselves and the world around us. The reason why religions exist is because such a set of ideas and conclusions is of practical benefit to us. These ideas allow us to deal with our environment, they satisfy our psychological need to put ourselves in context with the world around us, and help us to feel that our life has meaning. They are of advantage to us – these ideas and conclusions are the ‘business’ end of a religion, and the beliefs can be described as a tool that is used to communicate these ideas.
The Natural Religion is all about understanding ourselves and the world around us. So, even though The Natural Religion does not have any spiritual beliefs, and even though the definitions of religion in dictionaries do specifically mention spiritual beliefs, The Natural Religion is called a religion because it deals with the questions that religions traditionally address – the questions that people all round the world have always posed and that are the reason why religions exist in the first place.
The definition of religion used in The Natural Religion is therefore, ‘A set of ideas about ourselves and the world around us’.
Why does The Natural Religion not have any spiritual or supernatural beliefs?
Religions are found all around the world and they usually have spiritual and supernatural beliefs. But, these beliefs differ from religion to religion, and often contradict each other. What religions do have in common is that they all address the same basic questions about our natural existence: where we came from, what the relevance is of our lives, our worries about dying, what decisions we should take in certain circumstances, etc. So, since it is not possible to check which supernatural beliefs are correct, and since beliefs differ, it was not possible to use any of them. Our knowledge about ourselves on the other hand, can be checked and verified and is the same no matter where you are born, or what language you speak. Therefore, verifiable knowledge is much more reliable as a basis for the set of ideas that is The Natural Religion, than unverifiable and contradictory beliefs.
Is The Natural Religion atheistic?
No, The Natural Religion is agnostic. As there is no way in which we can prove which supernatural beliefs are correct because they are by definition not part of nature, there is also no way in which to prove that they are incorrect. So, The Natural Religion by using reasoning concludes that we simply cannot tell which, if any, of the supernatural beliefs are correct – hence it is agnostic.
Why is The Natural Religion not a philosophy?
Religions are much more personal than philosophies. Philosophies deal with ideas in more theoretical, even academic, terms compared to the way ideas are dealt with in religions. The Natural Religion shows the relevance of our knowledge for our own personal lives.
Why did you think that firstly a person, and secondly you specifically, could formulate a religion?
There are many religions all over the world which were all developed by people. Even if you believe that your own religion was given to you by a god or gods, you will most likely think that all the other religions were made by man. This means that most people think that all religions, or all but one, are man-made.
A fuller explanation of why I as an individual decided to suggest a new religion, can be found in the introduction to The Natural Religion, but a shorter explanation is as follows: Because I am a zoologist specializing in Human Ecology, I happened to be in possession of a lot of information about human life. Much of that information answers the questions that religions traditionally dealt with. Questions such as: what is life, and what is the meaning of our individual existence, why do we die; we now have the knowledge to answer. To try to make as sure as I could that I had the right information, and also that I was interpreting this correctly, I carried out over ten years of research on this before writing The Natural Religion.