In a Guardian blog, New Humanist commentator Suzanne Moore has — if inadvertently — defined the key difference between religious humanists and secular humanists in a very few words.
Bewailing the poverty of atheist (particularly, New Atheist) argot when it comes to offering a supporting matrix for meaningful secular ceremonies, Moore writes: "We may find the fuzziness of new age thinking with its emphasis on 'nature' and 'spirit' impure, but to dismiss the human need to express transcendence and connection with others as stupid is itself stupid."
There's the difference between religious and secular humanism in its essence — in a nutshell, if you will. Religious humanists yearn to "express transcendence and connection with others." Secular humanists are fine with expressing connection with others, but inasmuch as they are secular, they attach great importance to the recognition that … hang on now … there is no such thing as "transcendence" or "the transcendent."
Essential to the secular view is the insight, rooted in science, that reality is mundane. It's the domain of matter, energy, and their interactions — andnothing else.
On that view, words like divine, spirit, and transcendent share one essential quality: they have no referents in the real world. There is nothing to transcend, because the domain of everyday experience is — so far as we can see, and the range of our seeing has gotten pretty good in recent decades — the whole of what exists. Being all that is, it cannot be transcended. There is nothing "above" it, nothing "beyond" it … there's just reality.
Written By: Tom Flynn
continue to source article at centerforinquiry.net