ASTRONISM: RELIGION OR PHILOSOPHY?
Is Astronism a religion or a philosophy?
Free to use image from Unsplash by NASA (link)
The question of whether Astronism is a religion or a philosophy is one that has been asked since its founding by Cometan. This is especially due to the various ways in which the system of belief has been defined and described, both by official sources from The Institution, by its followers, and by Cometan himself in the writings of the Omnidoxy.
Astronism is most accurately described as an organised philosophy; this is a philosophy which is governed by a singular institution and holds its own theology, eschatology, soteriology, and practices, all of which are general characteristics of a religion. Astronism is the first belief system to be described as an organised philosophy. Therefore, Astronism is not purely just a religion or a philosophy, but a synthesis of the two.
Free to use image from Unsplash by Ryan Hutton (link)
Free to use image from Unsplash by Arto Marttinen (link)
Although Astronism multifariously described both as a religion, a philosophy, a worldview, a belief system, or simply a way of life, it is officially and most accurately categorised as an organised philosophy. Astronism does hold certain religious elements, but at its core, it is philosophical by its nature as it does not have any doctrine or dogma, does not officiate marriages, does not ascribe any particular identity to God, and does not have rituals.
Astronism is an organised philosophy which means that it is entirely governed and protected by an institution; The Institution of The Philosophy of Millettism (TIOTPOM). This distinguishes it from other philosophies, like Buddhism or Confucianism, which have fragmented structures of governance rather than a single proprietor.
Therefore, Astronism does not self-identify as a religion (although you may see it classified as a religion by external organisations for administrative purposes) because it doesn't hold a definitive doctrine and is based on individual interpretation and an amalgamation of one's own beliefs with those presented as part of Astronism.
Rather than being based on dogmatic instruction to its adherents, Astronism focuses on providing a set of concepts, theories, and dichotomised beliefs regarding topics such as The Cosmos and the issue of death which adherents are then encouraged to interpret using their own beliefs and those which have been provided to them; this forms that which will be known as the Philosophical Spirit.
The nature of how Astronism acts and how it is presented is intrinsically linked to the nature of philosophy itself. The Philosophical Spirit encompasses a set of ambiguous principles and guidelines which primarily includes accepting that opposing opinions exist, rationally justifying one's own views, and presenting one's views logically, thus not simply relying upon faith.
Free to use image from Unsplash by Warren Wong (link)
Astronism is one of the largest philosophies in the world in terms of the number of concepts and beliefs that reside within it, of which there are thousands across all twelve inclusive disciplines. Despite the vastness of Astronism, its core ideas can be summarised through a collection known as The Seven Tenets of Association, which you can learn more about by clicking here.
About The Origins of Astronism
Who founded Astronism?
Cometan, a British philosopher and author, founded the philosophy of Astronism.
How did Cometan found Astronism?
Cometan experienced a series of personal inspirations during his adolescent years which provided him with the insight and ability to write the founding text of Astronism, known as the Omnidoxy.
Where and when was Astronism founded?
Astronism was founded in the North West of England in the 21st century in and around the city of Preston, which was also the birthplace of its founder, Cometan.