On Speaking Out as Brights
The Brights’ Net is:
a constituency of individuals.
Any Bright must take care not to be seen as speaking for “the Brights” when, in fact, many other Brights, in some cases thousands of Brights, would disagree, perhaps keenly with the person’s stance. Those who register on The Brights’ Net site as Brights are persons who (1) decide they fit the definition of a bright and (2) concur with the stated aims and principles of this movement (see the home page: http://www.the-brights.net). They avow nothing more.
As Brights’ Principle #1 states:
The Brights will be a constituency of individuals. As individuals, we have differing circumstances within which we function. We will not think alike on many action issues, and beyond the items provided in Principles 2-9, it is not the movement’s desire to press for conformity.
Our nations, cultures, politics, genders, occupations, interests, and so on differ widely. However, we are generally “in sync” with one another because we share a worldview that is free from supernatural and mystical elements.
We are set apart in a broad sense from those who have worldviews that embrace such elements, whether entities such as deities, or forces, or both. Most of us find our naturalistic worldview regarding "ultimate beliefs" marginalized in the society in which we live (perhaps utterly disparaged, or even proscribed).
Our common interest is to work to in varied ways to change this situation for the better. Persons are not excluded from the Brights by politics or other characteristics.
Under the umbrella of their naturalistic worldview, every Bright has her/his own viewpoints and convictions running the gamut on so many issues. So, is there nothing one can say about Brights that might forge and sustain a commonality?
Being a bright and “registering as a Bright” does set one apart from those whose worldview contains deities, ghosts, life after death, angels, fairies, etc. It does give as unity a desire to strive for change and work for social and civic acceptance of all persons having a naturalistic worldview. Moreover, certainly there are some likely commonalities—i.e., many broad themes on which a vast preponderance of Brights would concur (Example: the importance of youth acquiring a sound science education). Even so, this general accord does not make one a devotee of anything like a “Bright religion” or a “Bright philosophy.”
A supernatural-free worldview is not an ideology. There is no creed or dogma to which one can point to reveal (or list out) the philosophical “beliefs of Brights.” Nor is “Brightdom” ruled by a hierarchy of shamans or clergy or organized in a hierarchical fashion with those who would reveal “Truth” to the disciples and communicate the essence of it to laity or others.
Brights are not followers or disciples; nor are they students of a describable way of thinking or set of values. Hence, speaking about “The Brights” is clearly no simple matter. It requires a keen sense of exactly what the Brights’ endeavor is about. And, with that, it requires a willingness to go about communications an appropriate manner—one consistent with the aims and principles on which the movement was founded.