- Are words like "bright" that some use to describe people with a naturalistic worldview useful?
- Are words like "super" used to describe people with a supernatural worldview useful?
- Are "bright" and "super" worldviews are mutually exclusive (this is the assumption voiced by The Brights organization)?
- Do the assumptions behind the words "bright" and "super" impose a literalism that allows no room figurative understanding?
The positions they [the terms "bright" and "super"] attempt to describe are not either-or, but fall within a varying range. There are "supers" who find truth primarily through empirical means, there are "brights" who do not deny the possible value to others of mystical experience even if they themselves have not found it helpful, there are "supers" who do deny the value of mysticism, there are naturalistic mystics who deny supernaturalism, and so on. Moreover, it sounds as though both "bright" and "super" as defined may allow only for literal understanding and exclude the validity of figurative expression.Personally, I disagree with the assumption that a naturalistic "bright" worldview is somehow incompatible with valuing figurative expression.
Humans are a part of the interdependent web -- the fingerprints of our biological roots that we share with the rest of creation are all over us. For example, the Hox genes in humans show our biological connection with jellyfish and fruit flies -- not to mention all bilaterally symmetrical animals.
If we are a part of the web of creation, then I consider it reasonable to view our behavior and the things we create as natural phenomena (the same way we view the dancing of bees and bee honeycombs as "natural phenomena").
I think the amazing creation that we live is a "WYSIWYG" place - "what you see is what you get." I think that this physical plane of existence is all that we can really can know is and it's wonderful.
Given the amazingness of the natural world, do we need to "gild the lily" by adding a supernatural layer to this world we live in?
The stories and religions that we create are valuable not because they contain "literal truths" or even "figurative truths."
These human-created figurative expressions are natural phenomena and they are valuable because they tell us something about what it means to be human and perhaps lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.