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Are you a humanist or what?

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Compassionist
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#361 Postby Compassionist » May 13th, 2010, 7:32 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

:)

Compassionist
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#362 Postby Compassionist » May 14th, 2010, 5:34 pm

:smile:

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Nick
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#363 Postby Nick » May 14th, 2010, 5:45 pm

Well done for posting, Compo. That take some strength. Your condition may cause concern to others, but suffering? I think that over-states it. Don't beat yourself up. Your condition is not necessarily to be desired, but if you can, grab it and live it, rather than let it increase your suffering.

Take it easy, friend.... :)

Compassionist
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#364 Postby Compassionist » May 15th, 2010, 8:03 am

:)

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Nick
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#365 Postby Nick » July 16th, 2010, 9:22 pm

Richard Gaines wrote this on the BHA thread about the involvement of humanist groups with religious faith groups.
I have very definite views on our relationship with 'friends of faith' groups - of course we engage with them. Humanism is a faith. It's a faith in the dignity and possibilities of human beings. It cares passionately about the truth because it is a beautiful thing and enables us to live a better life, the one life we have. It is a faith in ourselves which requires no God to oil the wheels, no creed to enslave. We have the faith of a humanity which has now emerged from the dark ages of belief into the light of knowledge; we have the vision to enlighten the 21st century. What we must not do is to show the sort of blinkered and petty exclusiveness we see in religious traditionalists

Though I ultimately disagree with his conclusions because I am wary of giving any credability to woo-woo, I do like the language he uses to describe humanism, though, to my mind, he is using faith in a different way to those who profess a religious faith.

Waddya think?

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Dave B
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#366 Postby Dave B » July 16th, 2010, 10:08 pm

I tend to agree with you, Nick. I do not think that, apart from those few places where things like The Golden Rule are shared, Humanism and deity based faiths, beliefs or whatever can ever really come to terms.

I do think that Humanists have faith, but only in the sense that "faith" is synonymous with "confidence", for myself I can only be confident in those things that I can measure - however imprecisely and only empirically - like human nature.

I also believe Humanism is a belief system, not a belief in the irrational way of theists, but in the sense that there is a set of ideas and ideals that we all accept and are largely achievable by ordinary people.

I have said many times on other forums that Humanists have a far harder task than theists, we have no guiding god or prophet, we have no-one (except family, friends and the law) to monitor our behaviour - we have to take on that task largely for ourselves in our everyday behaviour. We also carry a non-onerous burden to help our fellow humans in our everyday behaviour (though that does not stop me swearing at the *^@#~! who cuts me up at the junction!)
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Gottard
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#367 Postby Gottard » July 18th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Dave B wrote:I do think that Humanists have faith, but only in the sense that "faith" is synonymous with "confidence", ....

Well said Dabe B! I liked your distinction and I will use "confidence" henceforth :thumbsup:
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

thundril
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#368 Postby thundril » October 27th, 2010, 8:53 pm

I like this recognition of the connection between 'faith' and 'confidence'
In fact, they're really two anglicizations of the Latin word 'fides'.
Although, when economists discuss the role of 'confidence', and I describe capitalist economics as 'faith-based' , this connection seems to be problematic for some!
(Can o' worms time, guys!)
:exit:

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Gottard
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#369 Postby Gottard » October 28th, 2010, 11:34 am

thundril wrote:Although, when economists discuss the role of 'confidence', and I describe capitalist economics as 'faith-based' , this connection seems to be problematic for some!

Confidence in economic context = probability; a measure of how likely it is that some event will occur.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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coledavis
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#370 Postby coledavis » October 28th, 2010, 7:22 pm

As people want to belong and gain support, perhaps we should have a humanist chapel. There will of course be a schism - atheists wailing and rending something or other. Give us your money; at least you'll know where it's not going.
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Gaslov
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#371 Postby Gaslov » November 4th, 2010, 2:20 pm

I consider myself a humanist. I will make no claim supporting or refuting the existance of a god/gods. I do share the philosophy put forth by the Humanist Manifesto. I wish to help put an end to superstition and envision a better world for it.

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Alan C.
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#372 Postby Alan C. » November 20th, 2010, 4:00 pm

I don't want to start a new thread so I'll stick this in here.
Secular Humanism as Religious as Christianity, Argues Scholar Read it and weep (or laugh) :laughter:
For starters, Christianity has the Christian Ichthys as one of its religious symbols while Secular Humanism has a developing religious symbol: the Darwin Fish. And like Christianity, Secular Humanism has clergy members that perform social ceremonies and preach a faith that is just as dogmatic: theological atheism, naturalism, spontaneous generation, and moral relativism, among other beliefs, Noebel points out in his book.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Dave B
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#373 Postby Dave B » November 20th, 2010, 4:43 pm

Alan C. wrote:I don't want to start a new thread so I'll stick this in here.
Secular Humanism as Religious as Christianity, Argues Scholar Read it and weep (or laugh) :laughter:
For starters, Christianity has the Christian Ichthys as one of its religious symbols while Secular Humanism has a developing religious symbol: the Darwin Fish. And like Christianity, Secular Humanism has clergy members that perform social ceremonies and preach a faith that is just as dogmatic: theological atheism, naturalism, spontaneous generation, and moral relativism, among other beliefs, Noebel points out in his book.

He could not spot a piss-take if one slapped him in the face with its tail could!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Maria Mac
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#374 Postby Maria Mac » November 25th, 2010, 6:29 pm

Troll's post and a few others split to here

mollerdlr
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#375 Postby mollerdlr » November 26th, 2010, 6:02 am

My understanding of the term 'Humanist' is that from our human perspective there is no experience which is not human. So perhaps the question we need to look at is not whether we are humanists or not, but rather what we are primarily? In my view, we are all human, and therefore cannot but be humanists. All other tags such as atheism, agnostic, secular etc are merely embellishments we attach to ourselves in the form of thought-projections. When we do this we complicate a very simple truth about human life: for us as humans there is only human experience, and it is this experience, in its naked reality we have to deal with if we are to be successful survivalists. How we deal with reality is the next fundamental question. Not what tags we hang around our necks to declare our self-important presumed 'individuality'.
Moller
www.spiritualhumanism.co.za

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animist
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#376 Postby animist » November 27th, 2010, 9:39 am

Nick wrote:Richard Gaines wrote this on the BHA thread about the involvement of humanist groups with religious faith groups.
I have very definite views on our relationship with 'friends of faith' groups - of course we engage with them. Humanism is a faith. It's a faith in the dignity and possibilities of human beings. It cares passionately about the truth because it is a beautiful thing and enables us to live a better life, the one life we have. It is a faith in ourselves which requires no God to oil the wheels, no creed to enslave. We have the faith of a humanity which has now emerged from the dark ages of belief into the light of knowledge; we have the vision to enlighten the 21st century. What we must not do is to show the sort of blinkered and petty exclusiveness we see in religious traditionalists

Though I ultimately disagree with his conclusions because I am wary of giving any credability to woo-woo, I do like the language he uses to describe humanism, though, to my mind, he is using faith in a different way to those who profess a religious faith.

Waddya think?
he is indeed using "faith" in a different way from its use in "religious faith" - it is more like having faith in a person, or keeping faith with that person (in other words, acting in a way that confirms that person's faith in oneself). It is a use of "faith" which is in fact closer to hope (and to charity) than the word's customary use when applied to religion. I did not see any reference to "woo-woo" here, where you do you see it?

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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#377 Postby Nick » November 27th, 2010, 10:38 am

I think the important thing here is "giving credibility" to woo-woo. I did not say he was indulging in it himself. I think this is true in a couple of respects. First of all, by using the word "faith", which I agree, for him could be defined as hope, or confidence, he is creating a rod for his own back, because he will for ever have to explain why the religious cannot have their "faith" too. And their faith is woo-woo!

Secondly, I, personally, have difficulty with treating religious belief as equally legitimate as reason. The original quotation came from a thread about the involvement of humanists with faith groups. I am uncomfortable with reaching an accommodation with religious groups in some areas, especially in education. To do so confers upon them a legitimacy they don't deserve. Dawkins refuses to debate creationists for the same reason.

I appreciate I might not be right, and maybe we humanists should be more involved, but I couldn't do it without constant (and hence destructive) disagreement with them, or, at the very least, holding my nose.

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Dave B
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#378 Postby Dave B » November 27th, 2010, 11:47 am

mollerdlr wrote:My understanding of the term 'Humanist' is that from our human perspective there is no experience which is not human. So perhaps the question we need to look at is not whether we are humanists or not, but rather what we are primarily? In my view, we are all human, and therefore cannot but be humanists. All other tags such as atheism, agnostic, secular etc are merely embellishments we attach to ourselves in the form of thought-projections. When we do this we complicate a very simple truth about human life: for us as humans there is only human experience, and it is this experience, in its naked reality we have to deal with if we are to be successful survivalists. How we deal with reality is the next fundamental question. Not what tags we hang around our necks to declare our self-important presumed 'individuality'.
Moller
http://www.spiritualhumanism.co.za
I think you are largely right there, Moller. But is there a case for some thinking that humanists also have to be extremely charitable, caring about all other humans (and their environment including the natural one) and lots of other positive things like that? In this way a humanist, should he or she subscribe to such ideals, is little different from the religious type who also works for the improvement of mankind (though I am not sure if they include the natural world, despite claiming that it belongs to their god.)

Now, the biggest difference in my mind is that we choose to act in this way, we are not doing it because we are told (over and over again) that it is the thing to do. We are certainly not doing it because it will gain us kudos in the "afterlife"!

It is not always possible to convince the religious type that, in the final analysis, there is maybe little difference between us in terms of what we wish to achieve - just that there is maybe a little more altruism in the humanist ethos.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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animist
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#379 Postby animist » November 27th, 2010, 12:33 pm

Nick wrote:I think the important thing here is "giving credibility" to woo-woo. I did not say he was indulging in it himself. I think this is true in a couple of respects. First of all, by using the word "faith", which I agree, for him could be defined as hope, or confidence, he is creating a rod for his own back, because he will for ever have to explain why the religious cannot have their "faith" too. And their faith is woo-woo!

Secondly, I, personally, have difficulty with treating religious belief as equally legitimate as reason. The original quotation came from a thread about the involvement of humanists with faith groups. I am uncomfortable with reaching an accommodation with religious groups in some areas, especially in education. To do so confers upon them a legitimacy they don't deserve. Dawkins refuses to debate creationists for the same reason.

I appreciate I might not be right, and maybe we humanists should be more involved, but I couldn't do it without constant (and hence destructive) disagreement with them, or, at the very least, holding my nose.

I feel much as you do, and I don't like the word faith (as I said, IMO what has happened is that the same word has unfortunately been used in two rather different ways). In fact, humanism seems to definitely exclude faith in the religious sense, preferring reason plus benevolence/empathy. For this reason, BTW, I am also not too keen on the concept of spiritual humanism, as advocated by Moller; humanism is ipso facto value-rich, not value-free as he implies, so why do we need to add "spiritual"? - that, IMO, is also potential woo-woo!

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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#380 Postby mollerdlr » November 28th, 2010, 3:33 pm

Dave B wrote:

>>I think you are largely right there, Moller. But is there a case for some thinking that humanists also have to be extremely charitable, caring about all other humans (and their environment including the natural one) and lots of other positive things like that? In this way a humanist, should he or she subscribe to such ideals, is little different from the religious type who also works for the improvement of mankind (though I am not sure if they include the natural world, despite claiming that it belongs to their god.)>>

Moller reply: Yes. There would be no difference at all. In my view, the problem you identify here lies hidden in the word 'ideals'. The question behind this is: can thought in and of itself be 'moral', 'good' etc., or can it only point to these innate human qualities, and it would be up to us how we go about allowing for the manifestation or revelation of these in our daily activities. Thought can create the ideal. But thought, being conditioned and largely a response to what it has learnt (i.e. what it has been given culturally as goodness, morality etc), it can always only immitate goodness. If we then try to put into practice what thoughts tells us goodness is, we may be well off the mark. Thought is very good at justifying its own justifications and before we know we support war, materialsm, corruption, dogmas etc., all in the name of the good. The Christians have tried to live up to the images of love and charity for many hundreds of years, and look at the sad state of the Christian world. It seems to me we could say that we have made images of goodness and then tried to live by these or modifications of these and ended up morally, spirtually, lovingly bankrupt.
IMO the path of idealism is not the way. We have to discover how to allow for the innate qualities of goodness and charity we all have but which have become obscured through ignorance and idealism.

>>Now, the biggest difference in my mind is that we choose to act in this way, we are not doing it because we are told (over and over again) that it is the thing to do. We are certainly not doing it because it will gain us kudos in the "afterlife"!>>

Moller: Yes. Exactly! But to follow the dictaes of our fragmented and imperfect ideals is IMO also not the way. When we are open and receptive to our inner of intelligence and love, we do not choose to be good or not. These qualities move us quite naturally. Love and charity cannot be created. They are innate and integral to our human nature.

(Snip)

Moller's original post to which Dave B replied as per above:
>>>My understanding of the term 'Humanist' is that from our human perspective there is no experience which is not human. So perhaps the question we need to look at is not whether we are humanists or not, but rather what we are primarily? In my view, we are all human, and therefore cannot but be humanists. All other tags such as atheism, agnostic, secular etc are merely embellishments we attach to ourselves in the form of thought-projections. When we do this we complicate a very simple truth about human life: for us as humans there is only human experience, and it is this experience, in its naked reality we have to deal with if we are to be successful survivalists. How we deal with reality is the next fundamental question. Not what tags we hang around our necks to declare our self-important presumed 'individuality'.
Moller

mollerdlr
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Re: Are you a humanist or what?

#381 Postby mollerdlr » November 28th, 2010, 4:02 pm

Animist wrote:

(snip) >>For this reason, BTW, I am also not too keen on the concept of spiritual humanism, as advocated by Moller; humanism is ipso facto value-rich, not value-free as he implies, so why do we need to add "spiritual"? - that, IMO, is also potential woo-woo>>

Moller:
Thank you for this insight. Humanism is indeed value-rich, as you say. However, I am not sure if I suggested that Humanism is value-free. Perhaps I may try to make myself a little clearer on this issue: In my post I referred to the tags folks hang on themselves i.e. secular, religious humanists etc., rather than making a distinction between the exploration of different branches of thinking (philosophies) within Humanism as an all-embracing fact of human existence, and identifying themselves with these tags. My use of the term Spiritual Humanism, could be seen to be one such off-shoot of exploration within Humanism. I, for instance, do not call myself a 'Spiritual Humanist'. By virue of my natural condition i am a humanist, as i pointed out we all are by default. When I add 'spiritual' to the term humanism, I suggest a way of exploring humanism differently, for instance to secular humanism, religious humanism etc.
My use of this term 'Spiritual Humanism' refers to an inner exploration of our innate human qualities towards which thought can only point, but which it can never fully encompass or fathom. To me these are truly 'spiritual' (for lack of a better word, perhaps) as they come from a disposition within our human potential which has transcended conditioned rationality, scientific enquiry and all forms of thought-created inspiration for living. Spiritual Humanism is therefore an exprience not founded upon conditioned thinking, and offers a way of life which is not conditioned by the fragmentary processes of our rational faculty. INO here lies unfathomable potential for value-rich human experience.


Animist wrote:
animist wrote:
Nick wrote:I think the important thing here is "giving credibility" to woo-woo. I did not say he was indulging in it himself. I think this is true in a couple of respects. First of all, by using the word "faith", which I agree, for him could be defined as hope, or confidence, he is creating a rod for his own back, because he will for ever have to explain why the religious cannot have their "faith" too. And their faith is woo-woo!

Secondly, I, personally, have difficulty with treating religious belief as equally legitimate as reason. The original quotation came from a thread about the involvement of humanists with faith groups. I am uncomfortable with reaching an accommodation with religious groups in some areas, especially in education. To do so confers upon them a legitimacy they don't deserve. Dawkins refuses to debate creationists for the same reason.

I appreciate I might not be right, and maybe we humanists should be more involved, but I couldn't do it without constant (and hence destructive) disagreement with them, or, at the very least, holding my nose.

I feel much as you do, and I don't like the word faith (as I said, IMO what has happened is that the same word has unfortunately been used in two rather different ways). In fact, humanism seems to definitely exclude faith in the religious sense, preferring reason plus benevolence/empathy. For this reason, BTW, I am also not too keen on the concept of spiritual humanism, as advocated by Moller; humanism is ipso facto value-rich, not value-free as he implies, so why do we need to add "spiritual"? - that, IMO, is also potential woo-woo!


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