love and heretics

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness

Why humanism?

Humanists recognize that it is only when people feel free to think for themselves, using reason as their guide, that they are best capable of developing values that succeed in satisfying human needs and serving human interests.~ ISAAC ASIMOV

It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere…. Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.~ ALBERT EINSTEIN

When we speak of equality, of women and men, of Blacks and Whites, of all the world’s people, we are talking about humanism.~ GLORIA STEINEM

Humanism, in all its simplicity, is the only genuine spirituality. ~ ALBERT SCHWEITZER

Humanism is a philosophy of joyous service for the greater good of all humanity, of application of new ideas of scientific progress for the benefit of all.~LINUS PAULING

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11 Comments

  1. Oh, i like Schweitzer’s words!

    • Schweitzer was actually the part of my journey that led me out of Christianity.
      It was his quest for the historical Jesus that led me to so many more questions…
      I appreciate a great many of his writings.

    • Exactly.

  2. Why would ANYONE wish to sacrifice this for religion…ANY religion.

    • rautakyy

      Yes, well, I guess the difference lies in that a humanist may change his/her moral standing if new information makes the former position less desirable or indeed less moral, when religions hold on to divine absolute moral commands one does not even need to understand. If a person is too lazy to educate oneself of new information, then safety may be found from willfull ignorance. A secure feeling of being protected by higher powers, even when no evidence backs this assumption of divine protection. But most people do not even have access to any new information. They are just fed readymade beliefs and told that faith in those beliefs is a virtue in itself and that having doubts is risking loosing that emotional false safety.

      It takes work to be a humanist, because you are actually responsible for having best possible information at hand to make moral calls.

      • That is a good summation Rautakyy. πŸ™‚
        And that was the key for me. I am not completely opposed to the thought that there could be more than what we see….(possibilities)
        However, sticking to absolutes, and dogma are unrealistic, and unhealthy.
        (and generally harmful to society as a whole)
        That was the draw to humanism. Caring about ethics, but realizing that rules and guidelines, must be changed when new information renders them void.
        Black and white outlook is indeed secure. Stretching out of it takes much work, and overcoming the initial fear of trusting thinking to oneself and not just…”taking orders”.

  3. Argus

    Azimov without a doubt!

    But I don’t see it happening in any hurry …

  4. Gakeat

    Holly: I especially liked the quote from Einstein here. I am on the boundary between Progressive Christianity and atheism myself, but either way I cannot affirm a personal, anthropomorphic God. My question is whether I can affirm a god in any way. Good post here.

    • Hello Gakeat, I tried replying to this earlier and thought I did. I must have malfunctioned somewhere. I did get your email and responded. I certainly understand where you are…i identify with you muchlly. πŸ™‚ there are things that haunt me still. Love…beauty…
      i cannot deny our interconnectedness, nor the way I feel my…”soul” stir/soar with music, art , a sunrise…a friend….

      • Gakeat

        I understand what you are saying here. In the end I see humanism as primarily concerned with our relationship with each other, and even our non human fellow companions on this island called earth, and anything that takes away from that, including and especially religious dogma is to be resisted.

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