Universism - a reasoned search for passion
"Universists apply personal reason and experience to the fundamental questions of human existence, derive inspiration from the natural uncertainty of the human state, and deny the validity of revelation, faith and dogma."
This is wonderful to find.
Universist HQ is in Birmingham, Alabama... (Ideally we could have multiple location tags?). The movement is worldwide.
UPDATE: There may be a San Diego universist meeting sometime.
UPDATE2 (July 21, 2005): I started a yahoo group for San Diego area universist-leaning people.
See what I wrote on the society for philosophical inquiry.
Here is some babble I wrote to the yoism discussion list:
I would paste some relevant quotes in here, but... too much of it is good to read.
Their graphic design however seems eerie, scientology-, gattica-, new-age dystopia suggestive to me... notice the emphasis on skyscrapers, synthetic, non-natural forms and scenery.
[the two towers on the main page are in fact the (former) World Trade Center in NYC--this is fitting in that universism evolved out of a dialog about how to avoid the destructive effects of religious faith]
Furthermore, I detect and read in the faq a kinship with libertarianism and the free-market religion.
They are saved from that error by their emphasis on the question... (and this is explicit in the faq as well) but it may be (I really have no basis for this belief) that many of the most active are from a crowd similar to that of the freestate project.
If universism grows and matures as a faith and as a practice, I imagine, in time, it will have more of a socially progressive feel (like yoism, like AFSC, like the earthcharter. And appear to be less an offshoot of Ayn Rand's Howard Roark from The Fountainhead ...
once they start to put into practice more of an empathetic principle.
The founder, Ford Vox, who's beautiful name suggests to me "Hitchhiker's Guide" (Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox), writes eloquently, and as Huston Smith wrote of Buddha, he is a great logician, or maybe the word was empiricist...
and the vision he has expressed resonates with a lot of us!
I think all my babble above is about them (or all of us) synthesizing the individualistic and the empathetic-- and a third rung would have to be the passionate / sublime / even the ceremonial or ritual, which I experienced nowhere as frequently as in the volunteer choir of a conservative episcopal church...
It is wonderful to watch this happening.
It is interesting that mention of the movement has effectively been censored from Wikipedia.