Throughout history, religion has been a very influential force upon human society, for better or worse. Most people throughout the world have some degree of religious faith, but there is also a significant and growing number of nonreligious people throughout the world. In recent years, several influential secular minded public figures have argued that religious faith is unjustified, outdated, and harmful to individuals and to society as a whole. The main argument among these secular minded individuals is that faith is simply the act of believing in something despite the lack of evidence or even in the face of counterevidence, and that this often leads people to commit acts that are harmful to themselves and to others, such as acts of murder, war, and terrorism. Many religious believers have attempted to counter these allegations by proclaiming that their own faith is peaceful and that through their faith they are able to find a sense of spirituality, a basis for morality, ultimate explanation for the universe, and meaning in life.
Secular minded individuals often have answers to questions about morality and finding meaning in life, but their answers are usually not understood to be true regardless of anyone’s point of view. When a secular minded person says that they have morality and meaning in their own life, they usually mean that this is their own point of view and that there isn’t much hard evidence that they can point to in order to show others that their own beliefs are true.
It is natural for people to restlessly ponder questions such as “What is right and wrong?”, “What is the meaning of life?”, “Does anything beyond material substance really exist?”, “Why is the universe the way it is and not different?”, among many other questions, and to seek solid answers to them. The answers that a person has to the deep questions of life make up their worldview. It seems like the aforementioned questions, among others, are important to life, but it also seems like it is not possible to attain answers to these questions on the basis of evidence alone. It seems that one must be content to find answers at least partially on the basis of faith or to find these answers for one’s own self in a way that cannot be proven to others.
This website is a part of the Enlightened Worldview project, the goal of which is to find the most reasonable answers as possible to the great questions of life. The most reasonable answers would have to be derived from all available evidence that comes from careful observation and sound reasoning and would not simply depend on blind faith. The idea is to construct a new worldview from these reasonable answers that is more enlightened than any faith-based religion such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism and also any purely secular worldview such as atheism, materialism, or humanism. A worldview such as this could possibly help build bridges between people and lead to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
The content from this website comes from a forthcoming book, Seeking a More Enlightened Worldview by Brandon Norgaard, which is intended to make philosophical concepts including consciousness, morality, and ultimate explanation more accessible to readers who don’t have much of a background in these fields. Brandon created this website to promote the ideas of this book and to engage in discussions with this site’s visitors. If you have any questions or comments about any of the concepts or opinions provided within this site, please visit the forum and let your voice be heard. You can also send Brandon a personal email with any questions or comments (currently you will have to first send Brandon an email requesting access before you can post to the forum, sorry for the inconvenience). This site also contains a blog, in which Brandon explains certain concepts and answers common questions and gives updates on the progress of getting this book to publication.
As of 2015, Brandon and the rest of the Enlightened Worldview Project team can’t speculate on when the general-audience version of this book will become available, but special advance copies of the academically oriented manuscript Seeking a More Enlightened Worldview may be available by special request. Email the author for more info.