I am hereby founding a new religion, and I am calling it Sapienism, taken from the word Sapiens - as in Homo Sapiens. Both because this is a humanist religion, and because the word refers to knowing and wisdom.
I am an atheist, a rationalist, a skeptic. I am also deeply religious. Contradiction? Not if I have a say in it!
Rather than concern ourselves with expounding on what cannot be known: the unseen, the supernatural, we instead focus on this world, this life. Sapienism believes in making the most of this human life; the only life we can be absolutely certain of. Sapienism believes in seeking truth - not the esoteric knowledge of "divine revelation" that many claim as truth, and not the sort of equivocal "all beliefs are equally valid" kind of truth - but the truth of seeking the best answers for understanding the reality of the world around us and our place in the universe. Sapienism promises no eternal reward or punishment, demands no allegiance, and does not enforce any dogma (there is no punishment for Sapienists holding views and beliefs contrary to "official" teachings.). Sapienism seeks to create a worldwide community where the rewards are found in this life.
- Sacred and profane
- The sacred includes knowledge seeking, critical thinking, relationships, aspects of human life, reverence for the natural world, reverence for our humanity and the qualities that make us human.
- The profane includes magical thinking, superstition, dishonesty and misinformation, and other things that are antithetical to the sacred elements.
- Prayer traditionally serves various functions such as seeking aid, offering thanks, etc. Sapienists choose to seek these things from the community and have various means of accomplishing the things that prayer seeks to accomplish, except for worship, and we don't actually pray..
- There will be a book of liturgies. Both communal and individual rituals, ceremonies, and symbols are part of Sapienism.
- Essentially humanism centered around the golden rule (One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself), and the silver rule (One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.), with some particular foci.
I am in the process of writing a book, which I have titled "My Godless Religion: Building a New Tradition on a Human Foundation." I will be offering as a "by donation" download once I complete it in the coming months. In the event that Sapienism takes root and flourishes, it should be noted that neither this or any other book should ever be used as some sort of scripture or definitive pronouncement. It can and should be discussed critically and not set apart as a sacred cow.
I'll be using this blog to promote the ideas and introduce Sapienism to the world.
In addition to exploring the above ideas more in depth, I will be publishing a book of ceremonies and rituals. The first one I'll be posting right away in another blog post. It's a Menarche Liturgy that we'll be using soon to mark my daughter's 13th birthday.