What “Appreciating” Means
There’s no need to acknowledge a divine being in order to appreciate a sunset or draw inspiration from it.
Even so, we don’t need to get rid of “appreciation” in order to be good humanists either. We can be secular and have a healthy appreciation for nature and its wonders too without falling into the metaphysical pitfalls of religionism. “Appreciation/Inspiration” needn’t be anathema to us as ideas or ways of approaching the world. They’re as legitimate to us as human beings as far more technical, hardline scientific concepts are, and ultimately more rewarding and relevant for us when compared to the alternative.
The “just-so” of a sunset (or any event in nature for that matter) is as much a cultural statement and a skewing of reality as the poet’s or mystic’s view of the world. “Appreciation” allows us look past the veil of the “just-so” in the world, the so-called ‘humdrum’ or ‘ordinary’ nature of reality, and to glimpse the universe in ways which make our study of it a far richer one.
“Appreciation” doesn’t need to be ‘canned’ with metaphysics. Doing so will only rob us of life’s real richness and meaning, whether or not we cut out the nonsense of god and religion.