Tom Flynn at the CFI blog is not in favor of talk about “transcendence.”
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 — and nothing else.
And further, I would add, that that is where our business is. Our business is not with “the transcendent” because it’s here, instead. We need to pay attention to this world, the real world, the mundane world, the world that has such creatures in it…because it’s where we are. We’re no good to each other if we’re concentrating on imaginary Beyonds. We can’t understand this world properly if we think it’s underneath a better, brighter, more special one Out There Somewhere.