As a Humanist, in a generally liberal western nation, the most I ever have to worry about is being called names, smeared as un-patriotic, or being blamed for the ‘ills of the nation’ like abortion and same-sex marriage. It usually is a war of words or debates in comment sections of websites or newspapers. What if the abuse got physical. Would I risk my life for my principles? Would you?
50 years ago, several hundred protesters wanting voting rights for African-Americans and an end to racial discrimination, were attacked in Selma, Alabama by state and local police.
Protesters attacked during the Selma to Montgomery march for civil rights March 1965
One of my pet peeves about the Humanist movement is that some support the use of religious words or activities in Humanist settings. Using such words in the context of a nontheistic philosophy like Humanism not only causes public confusion but also dilutes our message and shows a lack of conviction of our own principles, not to mention it is a bit silly. We should define ourselves and not let the religious do it. Continue reading →
I previously posted about my complaints about some Humanists forming ‘churches’ or creating ‘congregations’. My concern has always been about using warmed over religious words like ‘congregation’ or having ‘services’ on a Sunday. I explained that using religious words for non-religious activities causes confusion and doesn’t explain what we Humanists are really about. So in this post I want to explain how being honest in the terms we use will actually lead more people joining us. Continue reading →
Humanism is a strange collection of individuals in a stew of rationality, all of us looking for the truth for our world view. We, as Humanists, know we must work with believers and other theists to find common ground with the goal of bettering the human condition. Andy Norman, writing for the Humanist Network News, an e-zine of the American Humanist Association, tries to offer tips for dialogue on Humanism to non-humanists but does so by giving up honesty in the process. Continue reading →
Cover to the 8th Edition of The Philosophy of Humanism
How can someone find out if they may be a Humanist? That question is one that is asked frequently. I gave a simple definition on the introduction to this section but for those who wish to have a more detailed explanation of what makes up the Humanist philosophy, I offer a selection from Corliss Lamont’s book The Philosophy of Humanism. I think he sets out good points as to what Humanism is about.