This is a “get acquainted” page for newcomers and prospective registrants.
It clarifies essential facets of the Brights movement.
There are brights…
Some portion of humanity consists of brights.
- They have a naturalistic worldview
- Their worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements
- Their ethics and actions are based on a naturalistic worldview
These brights form a general category of unspecified people (those individuals who fit the depiction). Thus, the label is best reserved for generic use and not applied to specific persons (unless, of course, those persons have adopted the characterization for themselves).
Antonym: A person who is not a bright is a super. That’s the noun term for someone whose worldview does incorporate supernatural/mystical element(s). In other words, a super's worldview is not naturalistic.
Individuals are either brights or supers (can’t be both). There are brights of all stripes and supers of all stripes – one humanity, one world.
…and then there are Brights…
Many individuals who are brights (by definition) wish to be "Brights" as well. They will say that the home page definition of “a bright” fits them to a T. They consider the overall conceptual depiction to accurately categorize them. Whether or not they self-identity by such a label, they know they are not supers, and they wish to say so.
The Brights’ Net uses two conventions. It employs a lower case “b” for the generic idea (of a bright), when the description above is generally discussed. An upper case “B” refers to those individuals who have said they are brights by registering into the Internet constituency, as follows:
- A Bright is a bright who wishes to be counted as such.
- Brights register into the constituency to add a person to the overall count and show their support for the stated egalitarian aims and principles of the movement.
- Brights who register understand the Brights Movement to be a civic justice endeavor (not an anti-religious one).
…who propel “the Brights Movement”!
Brights can engage in consciousness raising and civic activism on behalf of the movement. Speaking out as activists for a movement generally means:
- informing oneself about it
- representing it accurately to others
- speaking up for its aims
- acting in harmony with its principles
- supporting it with time and/or money
Brights who wish to contribute to this movement need to understand its aims and principles.
What [again] are this movement's aims?
- Promote the civic understanding and acknowledgment of the naturalistic worldview, which is free of supernatural and mystical elements.
- Gain public recognition that persons who hold such a worldview can bring principled actions to bear on matters of civic importance.
- Educate society toward accepting the full and equitable civic participation of all such individuals.
The current priority of The Brights’ Network is to spread general awareness of the movement in ways that grow the Internet constituency whilst communicating the character and composition of its overall civic justice endeavor.
The above link leads to a full listing of the principles (1-9) with a brief elucidation of each one. Below is a succinct overview.
Principles 1 and 2 define the constituency
1. The Brights is a constituency of individuals
2. The Brights conserve original definitions
Principles 3 and 4 focus on its organization
3. The Brights’ Net offers a pragmatic action connection for Brights
4. The Brights’ Net functions as an Internet entity and not as a membership organization
Principles 5 through 9 focus on the activism
5. The Brights movement, using bright as a generic term, is inclusive of all individuals (not groups) who say they are Brights
6. The Brights movement is just that, a Brights movement (not a freethought, humanist, atheist, rationalist, etc.)
7. The Brights movement is defined by Brights, not defined by others
8. The Brights movement is a positive force (civic fairness for all)
9. The Brights movement seeks acknowledgement and influence in society
Beneficial Brights’ Activism
Brights who wish to contribute to this movement will align their strategy with its aims and principles. Here are some examples of helpful strategy that concentrates on social acceptance and civic inclusion for brights of all stripes.
Acknowledging civic pluralism as a two-way street
- In seeking civic justice for themselves and their worldview, Brights acknowledge, whether eagerly or reluctantly, supers' rights to their own personally held worldviews.
Every person is born into, and develops in response to, conditions imposed by nature and society. One need not hold in high regard facets of another person’s worldview. One may, in fact, strongly disagree with varied or numerous elements of it and say as much. However, such disagreement/disapproval notwithstanding, personally or collectively disparaging supers as people is not likely to move brights toward social acceptance and civic inclusion. Brights who hope to accrue to themselves civic respect will need to accord to supers equivalent consideration.
Brights’ activism can focus on improving those societal conditions that nourish the development of naturalistic worldviews (particularly in youth). Likewise, they can concentrate on diminishing those circumstances that imperil the status and wellbeing of naturalistic worldviews (Brights have identified three priority arenas for action).
Communicating with supers
- mutual civility between brights and supers is likely to be advantageous to progress toward social acceptance/civic inclusion of brights
For wholesome interaction and association, each party can start by presuming the other to be a well-intentioned person with whom one can engage in civil exchange. Both brights and supers merit recognition as citizens and fellow human beings. Thus, each can be given due consideration by the other as likely to be upright and thoughtful people. Neither is to be socially denigrated or personally disadvantaged simply for being persons whose worldviews are differentially grounded. (Conduct is another matter - that which violates secular law, for example). The ideal is a fair foundation for all citizens, whatever their worldviews may be.
Recognizing cooperation as a factor in progress
- Alliances that benefit this movement are not limited to collaborations among brights only; rather, they can also involve undertakings in which brights and supers work in association on mutual goals
There has long been a need to address the conditions that undermine the social and civic status of brights. The Brights’ Net has, since its inception, espoused the joining together in common cause of those who operate from a naturalistic worldview basis, whatever their identity (atheists, humanists, skeptics, agnostics, etc.). A single organization is not likely to achieve the sort of world-changing aims set out for the Brights movement. However, cooperative endeavors with larger numbers of brights involved can expect to achieve much progress.
And what sort of consciousness raising might awaken supers to the value and necessity of civic inclusion for brights? This need not be the cause of brights alone. The Brights' Net welcomes the possibility of activist Brights working together with supers who have agendas of mutual interest. For example, it is not only brights who back the notion that public schools must provide sound education inclusive of a scientific understanding of the origins of the universe and the evolution of life on earth. Supers in many types of affiliations are committed to that issue, and to supporting and defending such principles as the complete separation of religion and government.