Author Topic: Secular Humanism  (Read 400 times)

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Offline writerstephen

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Secular Humanism
« on: September 14, 2012, 10:13:37 AM »
In my "I think it's interesting ..." series:

I think it's interesting that there's an atheist "sect" called "Secular Humanists." I generally love this philosophy, which embraces reason, man's interactivity with nature (while not claiming automatic superiority), and god-free ethics and morals. It rejects superstition and outlandish religious claims, and instead recommends religious tenets be examined on an individual level and not blindly followed by faith.

Meantime, all major monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) are more "human-centered" than any Secular Humanist could ever be. These religions claim that an all-powerful creator whipped up this WHOLE UNIVERSE just for us, exceptional humanity! Instead of living as part of nature, we are to claim dominion over her. If that's not an incredibly arrogant, "humanist" perspective, then I'm one of those new monkey species they found the other day. 

Just think it's a bit ironic, that.

Offline none

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 10:21:56 AM »
In my "I think it's interesting ..." series:

I think it's interesting that there's an atheist "sect" called "Secular Humanists." I generally love this philosophy, which embraces reason, man's interactivity with nature (while not claiming automatic superiority), and god-free ethics and morals. It rejects superstition and outlandish religious claims, and instead recommends religious tenets be examined on an individual level and not blindly followed by faith.

Meantime, all major monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) are more "human-centered" than any Secular Humanist could ever be. These religions claim that an all-powerful creator whipped up this WHOLE UNIVERSE just for us, exceptional humanity! Instead of living as part of nature, we are to claim dominion over her. If that's not an incredibly arrogant, "humanist" perspective, then I'm one of those new monkey species they found the other day. 

Just think it's a bit ironic, that.
um, humanists don't personalize god, I would guess that they personalize human beings if they don't the fuck them
the other "religions", dictate that god and people are personalized and god is a better person that human beings could ever be so if human beings are auto-magically personalized with flaw then what makes any person worth anything?

Offline bertatberts

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 01:22:33 PM »
Quote from: writerstephen
I think it's interesting that there's an atheist "sect"
Define atheist and sect.  And then try and put the two together again.
Quote from: writerstephen
Meantime, all major monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) are more "human-centered" than any Secular Humanist could ever be.
How so explain, and remember belief in god gets more people killed than anything else. 

Quote from: none
um, humanists don't personalize god, I would guess that they personalize human beings.
That is exactly what we do.  We respect our fellow humans by not putting an imaginary creature on a higher pedestal. And respect that this life is all we have thus not wishing to end anybody's right to enjoy it. Unlike religion.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline writerstephen

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 01:29:49 PM »
Quote from: writerstephen
I think it's interesting that there's an atheist "sect"
Define atheist and sect.  And then try and put the two together again.
Quote from: writerstephen
Meantime, all major monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) are more "human-centered" than any Secular Humanist could ever be.
How so explain, and remember belief in god gets more people killed than anything else. 


Poor choice of words I suppose; i was trying to be ironical. I think of it as a specific type or branch of atheism, or perhaps more properly, a philosophy that incorporates atheism.

As for my second quote, I mean that religions put human existence above all other natural things--except god. We're special, we're supposed to be more important than any other form of life because god made it that way. That doesn't change because some religious folk argue and fight and kill over their particular interpretations of doctrine.

Offline Nickolas

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 01:51:14 PM »
 
Quote
How so explain, and remember belief in god gets more people killed than anything else. 


Interesting contradiction, "atheist sect". Sort of like "pregnant virgin". However, the statement above is an assetion without evidence and is almost certainly untrue. More people are of course killed by disease than anything else. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index.html). Even if you restrict the observation to people killed by other people the evidence indicates that religion is well down on the list of motives. Not saying I think religion is harmless. Not at all. But the arguments for defeating it need to be substantive if they are to be effective.

(Fix Quotes GB Mod)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 02:46:28 PM by Graybeard »
I can live with questions I cannot answer, but I cannot live with questions I cannot ask.

Offline Nickolas

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 01:54:09 PM »
How can you tell I'm a novice?  ;D
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 02:37:24 PM »
Quote from: Nickolas
However, the statement above is an assetion without evidence and is almost certainly untrue. More people are of course killed by disease than anything else. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index.html).
You are correct, it cant possibly be more then anything else. Perhaps I should have said "Belief in god gets a hell of a lot of people killed".
Quote from: Nickolas
Even if you restrict the observation to people killed by other people the evidence indicates that religion is well down on the list of motives.
On that I disagree. It's one of the major and extremely irrational reasons man kills man.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 03:24:17 PM »
Even if you restrict the observation to people killed by other people the evidence indicates that religion is well down on the list of motives. Not saying I think religion is harmless. Not at all. But the arguments for defeating it need to be substantive if they are to be effective.

I've been down this road before....tread lightly Nickolas.

And welcome to the forums.


Edit to add quote.
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Offline Nickolas

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 04:26:25 PM »
Thank you, Mr. Blackwell. My intentions are not confrontational. The question goes to the extent to which religion is the prime motivation to take the lives of others. If one includes, for example, the beliefs of George W. as a motivation for the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, or the extent to which religion has played a role in the various and relatively recent genocides (as in Rwanda), the annual Muslim/Hindu death tolls in India, a point could be made that a belief in God is the #1 cause of violent death in the world. But was the Vietnam war fuelled by religion? The killing fields of Cambodia? Nagasaki and Hiroshima? The ongoing Mexican drug wars? Likely not. The difficulty is in the tally. Before I can accept that religion is the #1 cause of killing in the world I would need to see some empirical evidence. Then I will be in a position to change my mind as I have often done in my life.

But don't get me wrong. I am an old (60) atheist who regards religion in general as a blight on humanity that should be eradicated. It is just not the only blight. Now, if you were to say that religion is potentially the greatest contributor to violent death in the world I would have to agree. Iran and nuclear weapons comes to mind.

Thank you for the welcome.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 05:26:00 PM »
Welcome, Nickolas. An open mind, even among atheists is always a good thing!

Offline Nickolas

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 06:39:51 PM »
Thank you jt. On the other hand there is something my father shared with me a long time ago. He'd found the downside of maintaining an open mind is that some people will throw trash into it. My mind might be better described as seived, with a guard dog or two posted at the entrance. If you can show me real evidence of something about which I am skeptical or even a disbeliever, I will change my mind. If that means my mind is open, so be it. Uncertainty is in my mind what differentiates an atheist from a theist. From my perspective the truth of a believer's holy Book (whether he is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Mormon, whatever) is axiomatic and not something he's figured out on his own. He is indoctrinated to believe the Book = Truth and if evidence is presented that calls it into question it is obviously the evidence that's wrong, not the Book. Folks like me don't have any holy books. We have come to perceive reality as we do because of evidence supplied in many books, none of which are holy and unchangeable and many of which have, in fact, been corrected and changed when the evidence has provided different conclusions.  That kind of correction never seems to happen with holy books. In my estimation those who cling stubbornly to religion are the ones whose minds have been closed.
I can live with questions I cannot answer, but I cannot live with questions I cannot ask.

Offline Gohavesomefun

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Re: Secular Humanism
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2012, 06:10:25 PM »
Thank you jt. On the other hand there is something my father shared with me a long time ago. He'd found the downside of maintaining an open mind is that some people will throw trash into it. My mind might be better described as seived, with a guard dog or two posted at the entrance.
Tell me Nickolas, how can you let people in to help you open your mind; if you have one or two guard dogs guarding your thoughts?

Uncertainty is in my mind what differentiates an atheist from a theist.
The difference? I'd say it's all in between the ears ;)

Folks like me don't have any holy books. We have come to perceive reality as we do because of evidence supplied in many books, none of which are holy and unchangeable and many of which have, in fact, been corrected and changed when the evidence has provided different conclusions.  That kind of correction never seems to happen with holy books. In my estimation those who cling stubbornly to religion are the ones whose minds have been closed.
It all depends in who is stubborn, are you talking about every theist or just devout followers? Is it stubborn for a person to acknowledge all aspects and theories of science, yet still believe that behind the rulings of the laws of physics there is infact someone writing the rules? If it is, I'm not sure its fair to call them stubborn anymore it is to say dubstep fans should just face the facts and realise it's not actually music. ;)
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