Aretéanism is a "humanist" religion or creed, which means that rather than worshiping either supernatural or natural phenomena, we believe that as human beings our focus should be on the human experience. Aretéans believe that humans can be both great and good, and we ought to do everything in our power to be so.
Aretéanism in practice
Despite the radically different foundation of our beliefs, there are many surface-level similarities between the practice of Aretéanism and other religions. We hold weekly meetings called convocations where we sing, listen to sermons, and develop a close-knit community. We also make use of symbolism and ritual to reinforce our commitments to our philosophy.
Features of Aretéanism
- Sunday services called "convocations" where we:
- Sing together
- Listen to uplifting sermons
- Develop a close-knit community
- Use symbolism and ritual to reinforce our commitments to our philosophy
- Three simple tenets around which all of our other beliefs are founded
- Be People of Areté
- Seek Greater Understanding
- The Intent of the Law, Is the Law
- We are run by a "lay-clergy"
- All church leaders are unpaid volunteers who come from the regular body of members
- Donations are never required for membership or participation
- We regularly engage in charitable and educational activities as these concepts are fundamental to our beliefs
Unlike traditional churches, we do not:
- Pray to unseen beings
- Worship any kind of supernatural phenomena
- Claim a monopoly on truth or offer "salvation"
- Teach that we should do anything for any other reason than its self-evident, intrinsic good for ourselves and humankind
- Discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, physical or psychological aptitude