Muriel Gray doesn’t like the word Bright either, so she has coined her own word.
Hereâ€™s what I believe as an Enlightenist. Atheism is not a driving concern, since belief in God is of little consequence. After all, if there is an interventionist God then there would be continuing demonstrable evidence of such, which there most certainly is not, and if there is a creator God who is non-interventionist then he neither requires nor merits worship, and if there is no God at all then so be it. Therefore you could happily suspect that there might be a non-interventionist God of sorts that could eventually be discovered scientifically and still be an Enlightenist. Since no action needs to be taken until such an unlikely discovery, it doesnâ€™t matter. Now letâ€™s move on.
Practical stuff. Now, having coined a term, she writes a manifesto to go with it.
Enlightenists believe in the awe-inspiring, wonder, beauty and complexity of the universe, and aspire to unpick its mysteries by reason, constant questioning, observation, experiment, and analysis of evidence. The bedrock of our morality is empathy, from which logically springs love, forgiveness, tolerance and a profound desire to make a just, egalitarian society and reduce suffering. The more knowledge a person has, the more they question and understand the real world, and the more they are required to analyse what is true then the greater the increase in empathy. Enlightenists care and wish to do good not because a vengeful God tells them to, but because intelligence suggests it is the only and the right thing to do.
Now she thinks that she is entitled to charter schools too (in the UK, public schools can hook up with a religion and exclude people not of that religion).
So there we have it then, thatâ€™s the belief manifesto. Now, where the hell are my bloody state-funded schools? Weâ€™re always told about the high performance of superstition schools verses non-denominational ones, but we know thatâ€™s because any parent willing to pretend to be religious to get their child in is a parent interested in their childâ€™s education, and involved parents equal successful children. Can you imagine the unseemly scramble for places if we were to be granted a state-funded Enlightenist school? Children would be welcome from any religious or ideological background, with the parents only having to fulfil the brief of allowing their children to be taught in the Enlightenist manner.
All entirely sensible if you ask me.
I wish Muriel were running The Brights instead of Mynga. Then I could call myself an enlightenmentalist or something.