December 31, 2016 at 10:52 am #4013
The other day, Keith mentioned that he believed he might be a Humanist. When asked about Humanism, he was unsure, saying:
I can’t answer that fully, because I’ve only just started researching it. Some of it is about the belief in the scientific nature of our world and our universe.
Has Keith done any more research?
December 31, 2016 at 11:36 am #4014
Keith TaylorParticipantŦallars: Ŧ 1,015.48
Thanks, Mr Wetherspoon. I really need to investigate if Humanism is right for me. I intended going to meetings in a nearby city. But, it’s hard to find the time. And, when I have had the time, I haven’t been particularly interested in the discussion topic that month.
Anyway, American Humanist Association defines Humanism as:
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
The British Humanist Association has an interesting short course on Humanism. It defines Humanism as:
Humanism is an approach to life based on humanity and reason – humanists recognise that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone and that the aims of morality should be human welfare, happiness, and fulfillment. Our decisions are based on the available evidence and our assessment of the outcomes of our actions, not on any dogma or sacred text.
Then, there is a quote from a past President of their organisation. It lists 4 specific Humanist beliefs.
1. This world and this life are all we have.
2. We should try to live full and happy lives ourselves and, as part of this, make it easier for other people to do the same.
3. All situations and people deserve to be judged on their merits by standards of reason and humanity.
4. Individuality and social cooperation are equally important.
Now, personally, the first of those is difficult for me. I certainly do not believe in a God, a guiding hand, a great architect, or other external ‘being’ that created the Universe. But, my protons are going somewhere when I die. Just as they came from somewhere before I was born. I’m happier to say I do not know. And, I’m not worried about that. We cannot explain the energy we call life. So, to claim there is an afterlife, or to deny its existence seems pointless to me.
For many people, that issue is most important. To me, it is not. Therefore, I can probably claim that I’m more of a Humanist than any other label I know. As you are aware, I’m still researching this. It’s not a priority for me. I aspire more to lead an ethical life for the greater good of humanity. However, I can now see I should research Secular Humanism, and Agnostic Humanism. So, thank you for prompting me to look into this.
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