As a Dudeist priest I am often asked what is Dudeism, what are you blathering about? Well let me lay the Dudelightenment on you, Dudeism is inspired by the character The Dude from the cult classic The Big Lebowski. But more than that it is informed by ancient philosophies such as Taoism and Buddhism, their uncompromised first drafts, not the way they became corrupted by religious dogma. More to the point, in this time and place, Dudeism is an expression of Humanism, the big “H” kind.
Is it some sort of Eastern thing? Far from it dude, while Dudeism is loosely based in Taoism, it is worldview that has been around the philosophical block. Dudeism is an investigation, a search for philosophical and natural truths, in Dudeism as in Humanism things and actions are not inherently good or evil, they must be contemplated on their actual effects on the beings experiencing them.
Keeping it limber, in Dudeism we endeavor to keep our thinking from getting too uptight, not allowing opinions to cloud the mind so as to be able to discern how things actually are. To some this would be the application of reason, keeping an open mind that is informed by facts and observations. When new shit comes to light, it is the limber mind, the mind that applies reason, that can solve the many nuanced mysteries of our times. Reason, a benchmark of Humanism, is the skill used to take all the threads available and weave them into a rug of understanding, one that ties it all together.
A non-prophet worldview, Dudeism rejects all forms of religious dogma and claims of divinity, when it comes to meta-physics the only appropriate answer that we know of is “we just don’t know dude”. Reasoning that we can only base our understandings on what is known, Dudeists prefer knowing to believing. Beliefs not grounded by facts are, well, um, just your opinion man. We see a world full of opinions, some are formed from fact and some are formed from uptight beliefs, Dudeists try to be mindful of which is which. Many beliefs give religion a bad reputation, that’s why when referring to Dudeism “worldview” is the preferred nomenclature.
“Take it easy man”, like other humanist understandings we are not big on reactionary or aggressive behavior, we don’t see violence or the threat of violence as the way to handle the many human disputes that are bound to arise. One could say Dudeists are pacifists, but that also doesn’t mean we will allow aggression to stand. There are many things to stand up for, but not every minor infraction of the supposed rules is cause for waving a gun around on the lanes. We know we can’t win every battle and sometimes the fight is more damaging than the slight, knowing when to say fuckit and move on is core to Dudeist understanding. Still our sense of social justice remains, when our rug has been peed on we will seek justice for the transgression, sometimes taking any rug in the place.
In the final analysis there is much that Dudeism shares in common with Humanism, probably the most divisive thing is the use of the word religion. A humanist friend once said to me that he didn’t dig organized religion, to which I replied, not to worry we are a disorganized worldview. At the end of the day, Dudeism and Humanism are close compeers in this human comedy, the major difference is, we Dudeists just happen to wear a bathrobe and quote The Big Lebowski.