You’ve explained to a neighbor our seven UU principles, but they respond, “But what do you UUs believe, you know, God, Christ, death . . . ?” How do you respond? In case you missed my March 11, 2018 sermon (“Do UUs Need a Creed? [Or Do We Already Have One?]”), or our February 13 UU 101 discussion, here’s (part of) what I would say:
God: Whatever our concept of God is, whether we think God exists or not, or whether we think the concept of God is a useful one or not, we can agree on three things: First, God does not intervene in the world; God does not set aside the laws of nature. Second, God is not a man (or a woman). Third, speaking metaphorically, if God is to accomplish some moral purpose in the world, we are God’s hands.
Humanity: We have free will or, at least, we should act as though we have free will. As mature adults, of sound mind and body, we should feel responsible for our own welfare, and that of our families. But we recognize that we cannot survive individually, we need to live in community, to support that community, and receive support from it. We are not inherently sinful. As far as we know, we alone provide self-awareness, consciousness to the universe.
Death: Death is a necessary part of the cycle of life. We may not be sure about what happens next, when our lives come to an end, but we are confident that it is nothing bad. Our concern, therefore, is with this world, not the next.
Ethics: Our ethics, morality, and sense of justice are not based on what God says, or what the Bible says, but on human reason and experience.
Method: Our approach to all these issues relies on the use of reason and the empirical approach of the sciences. We recognize that there is more to our existence, more to life, than what we have described or can understand. We are open to the possibility of new discoveries beyond our understanding. Or, as we often say, using the language of metaphor, “revelation is not sealed.”