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Just visiting and asking. What does a Humanist believe about…


Forums Forums Humanism Just visiting and asking. What does a Humanist believe about…

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  • #333743
    @clhjr
    Participant

    Hi.  I am not comfortable being here…completely.  Obviously, not afraid, but I am here with my white flag hoisted.  I am not here to argue, nor will I.

    I am a Christian.   I was not at one time.  Was a fan of many forms of truth expressions and explored.  However, for me, being a God fearer and living as a christian made sense and brings joy and satisfaction.  However, I am not here to proselytize or defend those topics.

    I am here to ask some questions and to hear answers from practicing , well articulated humanists in some research that I am doing.  MOst of these questions, I suppose could be answered by google searches or deduction or extrapolation from what I think I know.

    But, I really, in all  my preparations, typically prefer to hear from a practitioner.  So, I want to invite answers to a couple of questions.  They may seem irrelevant to some or quaint but I hope humanist thinkers will see the leaf and bloom and help to explain the root.  Or vice versa.     These questions are sincere and make sense from where I stand.   And, since some humanist and Christians see the theist(praying and providence) and the humanist (a la the manifesto) in a pitched battle with little common ground, the questions seem quite natural.  They are even childlike, but for that very reason, ground level.

    Brevity is important.  I did read the rules.  NO one will be quoted.  I am looking to inform my own thinking so I can properly present a humanist position with some genuine attention real person sensitivity…which is at the core of both our systems.

    First question, if allowed.

    How do you justify your energetic, even militant, argumentation for your logic system when it is constructed on admittedly on completely relativistic grounds at every layer and from each source?   For instance, if death ends it all (which would be contrary to the theistic view); if there is not final accounting of human behavior; if man is even a fleeting form which is here by some happenstance and will disappear the same; if truth is what you declare it to be in dialogue with like thinkers;  etc . etc.
    where does the humanist find the grounds to build such a militant stance against others to gain ground and control.  At first blush it would seem that the humanist would be the most passive, meekest, and least militant among the array of logic systems?  It would seem that the relativity of truth,  the fleetingness of life as a human, and the eventual meaninglessness of human existence when it ends would not argue for an aggressive, militant, political follower who wishes to penalize the one who opposes them.  What is the eventual ground upon which you would argue your case except the fact that today, “I am.”  “Since I am and I can think and observe, this is what I choose.”  Would that sum it up?  Or, is that a great disservice.  If so. How so?

    Explain

    Please keep responses brief.  I want to hear from you the practitioner, not links to tomes of lofty preachy stuff for the bleachers.

    I thank you deeply in advance because I do revel in the lofty ongoing human discussion, question and answer, observation and deduction.  The greatest journeys are taken as we tease apart the stuff that mushed up into a ball and think it apart.  I agree with you on that probably.

    thanks again.

    #333747
    @timb
    Participant

    I consider myself a humanist but I have no illusions that I speak for all humanists. I respond from my own perspective, which is that I believe without equivocation that there is no such thing in reality as anything supernatural.  Hence I consider that to be truth.  I hold truth in high regard. I look down on what I consider to be the dishonesty of beliefs in the supernatural. (I consider truth to be what is consistent with evidence. Don’t start with some philosophical mumbo jumbo to the contrary, cause I ain’t buyin’ it.)

    “Fearing God” is a sick concept from my perspective.  You may find joy in it.  To me, it would be totally icky. “God” is a construct of human cognitions.  Being somehow roped in to fearing that concept, as if it were real, feels disgusting to me.

    It seems true that one’s meaning for their life often dies with them. Though to some extent, I suppose we all leave, at least a tiny part of our time in life, with the people we have interacted with.  But since when we die, we are gone, their is not much need for further meaning, for us individually.

    I, as a humanist, find meaning, in my very small way, of promoting truth, and of promoting the rights of all humans, in our common interactions.

    I hope that was brief enough, considering your long convoluted questions.

     

     

    #333754

    First question, if allowed.

    That’s a lot more than a first question.

    How do you justify your energetic, even militant, argumentation for your logic system when it is constructed on admittedly on completely relativistic grounds at every layer and from each source?

    Not sure where this militant argumentation is?  Or what you mean?  Dawkin’s lectures?  Do you have examples of what you call militant argumentation.

    For instance, if death ends it all (which would be contrary to the theistic view);

    You are a union between your body and your spirit, when you die your spirit leaves your body.  How can that survive without the body through which all your experiences and knowledge flows.  When we die, it’s a deep endless sleep.  What’s wrong with that?   At first, perhaps it’s a scary thought, but it doesn’t take long before it makes a lot more sense than the horror of being trapped within an everlasting life.  That to me seems like a horror and I can’t understand why so few think it through.

    if there is not final accounting of human behavior; if man is even a fleeting form which is here by some happenstance and will disappear the same;

    What good is an accounting after you die, when you can’t do anything about it.  It’s a silly thought.

    if truth is what you declare it to be in dialogue with like thinkers;  etc . etc.

    No.  Truth is not what anyone declares it to be!  You are making things up as you go along.  It is a straw man you are manufacturing.

    where does the humanist find the grounds to build such a militant stance against others to gain ground and control.

    From our minds as a result of observing the world around us and our own behavior within it.

    Who’s has a militant stance against others?  Talk about the height of hypocracy and utter lack of self-recognition.

    You Christians, especial the evangelical demons are the ones who are constantly militantly attacking all they don’t like.  You pretty much always reduce your enemies to self-created malicious caricatures.  Then to top it off you wish all of us eternity in hell.  Brother take the log out of your eye before judging humanists simply because some of us don’t roll over for Christian lies and dishonesty.

    At first blush it would seem that the humanist would be the most passive, meekest, and least militant among the array of logic systems?

    We are?  Nonsense!  If there were any truth to that the trump insanity could never have unfolded these past five years ! ! !

    For the most part, we’re a bunch of lazy wet noodles compared to the social engineering your Evangelical juggernaut wants to forces onto others.

    It would seem that the relativity of truth,  the fleetingness of life as a human, and the eventual meaninglessness of human existence when it ends would not argue for an aggressive, militant, political follower who wishes to penalize the one who opposes them.

    Don’t transfer you’re bullshit onto Humanists, Evangelical Christians and Catholics are the one’s out to penalize everyone who doesn’t bow down to hubristic faith.

    What is the eventual ground upon which you would argue your case except the fact that today, “I am.”

    What more is there?

    “Since I am and I can think and observe, this is what I choose.”  Would that sum it up?

    Sure, I could also get all poetic and point out that Humanity is the most exquisite example of God’s need and desire to understand itself.  By that I’m saying that only through God’s Creations and their awareness, does God have any chance of knowing itself.  That comes from a Humanist’s heart and has nothing to with your bias misunderstanding.

    Or, is that a great disservice.  If so. How so?

    No great disservice, a bit of a biased set up, but that’s okay.

    I hope perhaps I’ve been able to give you something to think about.

     

    cheers

    #333778
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    First question, if allowed. — clhjr

    As a moderator, I feel this is one of the primary purposes of this forum. If indeed, you do keep it respectful. I have no reason to doubt you personally, but I have about 200 experiences with people who have started a conversation like this, and about 3 that were worth my time in the long run.

    Augmented, relativistic

    Yeah, bad start

    where does the humanist find the grounds to build such a militant stance against others to gain ground and control.

    I am responding to the centuries of abuse and oppression of homosexuals, justifying slavery, treatment of drug addicts and the autistic as sinners instead of a sickness, burning people at the stake because there was an earthquake, torture for questioning the Catholic church. This continues today with Pat Robertson blaming gays for hurricanes or Westboro Baptists protesting and funerals. How else should I respond to such evil?

    Speaking more scientifically, as our brains evolved to understand time and consequences, we learned to care for our young and old and infirmed, to make short term sacrifices for long term goals. It would take my lifetime to explain my life choices, so I’ll just open with that.

    #333779
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    Hey Charles,

    Here’s your question without the bling and bias attached: “How do you justify your […] argumentation for your logic system [… that] is constructed on […] relativistic grounds […]?

    Well, the root of the reason is simple (and sounds monumentally cheesy).

    It is simply that I care about people. I love my family and my fellow human. I care if people are right or wrong if being wrong has a negative effect on others.

    That is it.

    I want my kids to have awesome lives and their kids and their kids and so on forever. I want the planet to flourish with humans living fulfilling lives. I think human-caused pain, suffering, waste, hate, etc. can and should be prevented. I care deeply about people and the planet, both now and in the future.

    Directly related to wanting the best for people and the planet is the need to combat religion, irrational thinking, lack of reasoning skills, personal bias, and all the other mental flaws humans are prone to, that have kept society from even coming close to being as good as it can be. I can’t love people and the planet yet ignore everything that is harmful to them.

    So, there is my simple justification for arguing for humanism. Feel free to critique it.

    (Please don’t paint all humanists with the same brush and assume my justification is anyone else’s. I’m sure some here will cringe that I use emotion as part of my justification for being rational.)

    #333782

    I’m sure some here will cringe that I use emotion as part of my justification for being rational.

    Of course, some here who consider themselves humanist, might well be happy to cosign π’s summary, I would.

     @3point14rat     Well, the root of the reason is simple (and sounds monumentally cheesy).

    It is simply that I care about people. I love my family and my fellow human. I care if people are right or wrong if being wrong has a negative effect on others.

    That is it.

    I want my kids to have awesome lives and their kids and their kids and so on forever. I want the planet to flourish with humans living fulfilling lives. I think human-caused pain, suffering, waste, hate, etc. can and should be prevented. I care deeply about people and the planet, both now and in the future.

    Directly related to wanting the best for people and the planet is the need to combat religion, irrational thinking, lack of reasoning skills, personal bias, and all the other mental flaws humans are prone to, that have kept society from even coming close to being as good as it can be. I can’t love people and the planet yet ignore everything that is harmful to them.

    So, there is my simple justification for arguing for humanism.

    #333786
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    CC:  “Of course, some here who consider themselves humanist, might well be happy to cosign π’s summary, I would.”

    Thanks for the co-sign, CC. I know theists throw all atheists in the same basket as often as atheists throw all theists in the same basket. So making sure the Charles was fully aware that I wasn’t speaking for anyone else was an important part of my message.

    But it is nice to know someone else has the same view as me. I’m sure most folks on here are at least similar to me, but it’s unlikely any of us are exact clones, especially the more deeper and more specific we get.

    Hopefully Charles comes back to read our replies. He hinted that he was uncomfortable about being here, but the way he writes shows he’s no shrinking-violet, so I doubt he’s afraid to return. Let’s just hope this isn’t a repeat of the Sherlock Holmes disaster (I still have nightmares.)

    #333806
    @timb
    Participant

    3point said: I’m sure some here will cringe that I use emotion as part of my justification for being rational.

    Not me.  I am quite sure that emotions are a critical part of human functioning.

     …  I care about people. I love my family and my fellow human. I care if people are right or wrong if being wrong has a negative effect on others…

    I want my kids to have awesome lives and their kids and their kids and so on forever. I want the planet to flourish with humans living fulfilling lives. I think human-caused pain, suffering, waste, hate, etc. can and should be prevented. I care deeply about people and the planet, both now and in the future.

    There you go.

    Humanists Forever!

    #333807
    @widdershins
    Participant

    I suspect your motives here are not as pure as you make them out to be.  You are not, as you claim, just asking questions.  You are making several assertions about what humanists and atheists believe, as well as assertions about what is and is not theistic which simply aren’t true.

    First, death being the end is not, as you claim, “contrary to a theistic view”.  Jehovah’s Witnesses are very much theists and they do not believe in a soul or in Hell.  Death, according to these particular theists, very much is “the end” until and unless God decides to bring you back bodily.

    Next, what “truth” is it I’m supposed to be “declaring”?  That there are no gods?  Do you not to exactly the same thing when you tell children that there are no monsters?  My justification is the same as yours in that case.  There is no reason to believe it because there is no evidence to suggest it.

    Next, your own first “question” is passive-militant, somewhat insulting assertions disguised as a question.  You claim our arguments are “constructed on admittedly on completely relativistic grounds at every layer and from each source”.  I don’t remember admitting any such thing.  You’ve put words in my mouth there.  And EACH source?  EVERY argument we have is, let’s just be honest with what you’re saying here, “poorly constructed”.

    I will simply answer one part of that rambling first question(s) outright.  I don’t need to “find ground” to argue that there is no magic because no magic has ever been seen by anyone who could prove they saw magic.  As for my stance being militant, theists are a whole lot more militant than atheists.  Theistic symbols are everywhere the world around, yet being openly atheist carries the death penalty in seven countries around the world.  Being atheistic carries unfair stigma around the world.  While no politician would dare to say someone isn’t qualified for some position because they believe in some deity people still, to this day, openly state their belief that being atheistic disqualifies someone for this position or that, including government office.

    It has actually been my experience that atheists and humanists actually are the least militant, at least until confronted.  You have no idea the constant onslaught of abuse and distrust we face on a daily basis our entire lives.  You have no fear telling someone you’re a Christian.  I don’t dare just openly tell people around me that I’m an atheist.  If you want to see true, seething hatred just say these words to a Christian preaching to you: “I disagree”.  Just because we don’t believe in any deities doesn’t mean we’re emotionless robots or Vulcans.

    “Truth” is not at all “relative”.  Truth and belief are not one and the same.  When people say, “My personal truth” what they are really saying is “Nothing even remotely resembling truth”.  It’s belief they’re talking about.  I understand that you believe that your religion is truth, but that doesn’t make it so.  Truth is that which is true and nothing less.  You don’t have truth and I don’t have truth, what we have is beliefs about what is true.

    Finally, this one is a big sticking point for many theists, but I did not “choose” to be an atheist.  It is not a choice I made, it is a conclusion I drew.  I was Pentecostal, I left the church, I searched for God, I talked to different people of different faiths and I realized that every single one of them could not only show me how they were right using the word of God from the Bible, each and every one of them could show me how all the others were wrong as well.  All different beliefs, all using the same text to back them, all able to easily show me how the others were all wrong and only they were right.  I had no “choice” at that point but to conclude that they were all wrong.

    Your questions were far from concise, the first one being one continuous paragraph which seemed heavy on assertions and accusations and short on any actual question, but I hope I’ve been able to answer them for you.  If not, ask away.  I think you’ll find that if you never fire the first shot, most atheists and humanists will also never fire the first shot.  We generally genuinely want to have open conversations.  I don’t mind if you disagree with me.  If everyone thought like me the world would be boring and I’d never get away with anything.  We’re not all Richard Dawkins, warrior against theism.  In fact, most of us are not.  So long as we’re respected, which we generally are very much not in society, we’ll treat you fairly.  Sometimes we do see the stereotypical “angry Christian” image we’ve come to know over the years in our heads when we talk to you, but you just have to say, “Hey, that’s not me, remember?” and we’ll get right back on track.

    #333816
    @clhjr
    Participant

    This is ridiculously long. Apologies.  If we were together drinking coffee, laughing, and being serious, I would be just as long, but i am actually good listener as well.  If you read this whole thing.  Well, good luck.  Try to find the positive i am saying because there is no intentional negativity.  Let me know if you find some.

    I want to apologize for wording my question so awkwardly.  There was no “impure” or hidden (@widdershins) motive or anything of that nature.
    But, I do want to thank you for your answers.
    @3point13rat did a great job of cutting throw the junk, throwing it aside without prejudice, found the question and gave an answer. That was nicely done.  And, your answer was indeed a genuine personal, honest presentation of your motivations.  BTW.  I agreed with everything you said regarding your motivations, what you desire, and wish to see.  Oh, and this got longer when i went back and saw that he said “hope he comes back and reads our replies.”

    It is interesting to note the depth of distrust that exist on both sides.  I see the same thing happen when an atheist or humanist enters a Christian site.  They are frequently approached with mistrust and every word is measured for hidden meaning instead of trying to hear what the person is saying or asking.  It is hard to do.  I actually quit participating in such forums years ago (I am older) because of the behavior which was quite uncivil.  And, I do mean by everyone, so-called Christians and opponents.  Lots of people are writing just to see their words in print instead of learning or genuine understanding. So it gets ugly.

    As I said, I am not concise.  i just read a couple other posts before leaving.  I actually enjoy the exchange.  And, as one said, I would like to thank i am not shrinking violet, but whatever Sherlock Holmes is, I don’t think I am or don’t want to be.

    I was thinking about pulling up stakes here and moving on, but because of a couple of rather “nice” overtures, I will not yet.  I will watch my notifications for a couple of days and see if anything comes up to follow up on.

    As I said, I dropped in with the ridiculous mistaken notion that I was going to drop a quarter in the machine and win a prize just like that.  This is a discussion forum with all kinds of people (as has been pointed out) where people come to relax, enjoy, have fun, learn, share….and I am a dumb piece of red meat in the water coming here interrupting the flow.  I actually deserve the distrust, not because of what I have done, but I am in your home asking dumb, not well thought out questions.  So, I get it. I do that sometimes.

    I also believe the moderator who said that many have entered here saying something similar and then veered in some other direction.  I think we have all seen that in most forums.  However, in this unique case, I am teaching a class in which clashing worldviews will be presented as a part.  I can read the Humanist Manifesto.  I can (and have) read books or essays.  I can listen to debates on youtube, etc..  But, I do like listening to actual people, real people.

    I did make a couple of miscalculations here for which I am now aware.   The man tenets of humanism is embraced by such a diversity of thinkers and practitioners  just like in the Christian faith or any other logic system.  That was mistake number one.   I was on a quest with just one portrait in mind and dropped in with that imaginary person in mind and I offended real people by mentioning militancy and relativity.   Yes, the Christian faith is also militant in its devotion and callings, granted.  So, mentioning militancy was not, in my application here, was not an insult.  It is a description of devotion and commitment to a cause which we all possess.

    As you can see, I am never short on words.  I am not concise.  Sometimes, that works out OK and sometimes, it is an obstacle.

    There was not one syllable of hidden disrespect, but there was wordy awkward clumsiness because I was not clear even with myself what I was looking for and may have been looking in the wrong place.  Perhaps, I should have just called the local humanist association and spoke to a professor. So, the  quick wrong assumptions about motives and actual real agendas, though completelty understandable, is the same stuff that has polluted man’s interactions down through history just as some of the extreme episodes some mentioned that led to horrible treatment of each other.  We still do it all the time.  It is hard to change.

    I think my question is really an epistemological question that involves existentialist thinking, postmodern structures and relativity and the development of /creation of self according to newly freshly minted paradigms, then forcing others to live within them by penalty.   I think that kind of stuff is rolling around in my head.  It is informing, unconsciously, what I am asking.  And, it created a shambles to lay before such a broad collection of members.  It is not about facts or science.  We all have access to the same set of facts.  We sift the facts through different through different filters; then prioritize the data points differently. Also informing my visit to your site is the obvious world view clash taking place loud and out front in our culture which is at least two (or more) world views clashing like tectonic plates shifting underground.  But, again, all this is working behind the scenes in my mind and I just dropped in here like a bull in a china shop as the old saying goes.

    I think I have decided to say good bye here.  Thank you.  If anyone feels like you would like to engage in private discussion, maybe this site allows you  to PM me.  Feel free.  However, I think I am fishing in the wrong place for the fish that I am looking for and that would not be the first time.

    I am not running away.  i just think I need to better define what i am looking for and consider where the answers are that I am really seeking.  Best wishes to all of you.  Thank you for taking time to engage me.  I hope you find joy and satisfaction in all you do.
    And,  may God bless you on your journey.

    Oh.  I do not believe in magic.  There is not such thing.  It is interesting that in the same thread, I will both be lumped with those who killed those who were charged with magic arts and also be charged as one who practices or believes in magic and scolded that my magic is the most harmful, destructive force in society.  NOrmally and rightly, majorities usually outlaw, penalize, marginalize, punish those who practice thinking and behaviors that they believe threaten the health of their society.  What do you think?

    Ok. that’s it for now. Somehow, the paragraphs got out of order. Don’t know what i did. But, I will leave it as it is.

    Charles

    #333818
    @mriana
    Keymaster

    I can make it short and sweet by just giving you this: https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/manifesto3/

    I also suggest reading Humanism: Beliefs and Practices, by Jeaneane Fowler. Her book will also help to answer some of your questions. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4446754-humanism There are also some other very good books on humanism out there too, such as the Philosophy of Humanism by Corliss Lamont.

    Or I can give you a long detailed response of my own POV as many are doing, but I will highlight and expand on this post of the Humanist Manifesto III: “Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.” Because, for me, once you understand this, everything else of the manifesto falls into place, including the science and emotional/spiritual labels used, which includes the use of some Native American phrases. After that, for me, the ethical, scientific, life fulfillment, social relationships, and individual happiness falls into place. I can run the whole gambit of humanistic labels- naturalistic humanist, spiritual humanists, ethical humanist, etc. Basically and simply a humanist.

    I don’t actually consider death being the end exactly. I’m a vegetarian and despite not promising one a rose garden, life is a rose garden, thorns and all. Upon death, our bodies give back to the earth what we took from it. First, I guess I should start off with I agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson in that we are all star stuff- everything in the universe, especially what is here on earth, is within us. The Earth gives us nourishment, even though we have to work for it, and when we die, our bodies give all of that back in the form of food for various creatures, mostly creepy crawly ones. One also lives on in the hearts and minds of the living too, which is a totally different thought than the physical part of the “worms go in and the worms go out”, but there is both of those things, in which one metaphorically perpetuates the cycle of life. As human beings, we remember and hopefully honour our ancestors. However, our ancestors are not our only relations, we have to consider the living too.

    As for the rose garden, it is a metaphor for life, which is beautiful, yet it does have thorns. That said, I also believe that we not only need to cherish the one and only life we have, living it to its fullest, but I think we need to take care of the earth and all other species on this planet too. Everything, not just time, is circular and linear, which is not just the life cycle. Our actions while we are alive affects more people than just ourselves.

    As for a militant stance, I hate to break it to you, but not all atheists have a militant stance. As long as someone doesn’t impose their views on me, I’m fine. I have come to appreciate the views of the Roddenberrys. Gene created the idea of IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) and even threw in some of his humanistic views into his creation of Star Trek. However, I do not like racism, xenophobia, or any other form of discrimination. If you have read any of the more recent threads, I have railed against the dotard for his actions of having peaceful protesters gassed and dragging an Episcopal priest out of the Church, just so he can have a stupid and lame photo opt. His actions affect millions, but hopefully, in the near future it will come back on him- losing the election and hopefully prison time for his crimes against humanity, of which that was one example.

    Of course there is that other question that comes up, in which one basically asks why I’m a vegetarian. It not only goes back to taking care of everything on earth, but I feel a kinship with other animals and the earth, which I guess if one wanted to call that being spiritual, as in “spiritual humanism”, I wouldn’t be offended. One of my first experiences of feeling transcendence was in relationship with one of my pets as a child. However, that isn’t a deity, but rather a feeling of oneness. It is a feeling, a chemical reaction in the brain, which was triggered by external stimuli, but that doesn’t take away from feeling of kinship or as the Native Americans say, “all my relations”. You cannot eat your relative and in a sense, we are genetically related to other animals on this planet. We are genetically 98-99% similar to chimpanzees, specifically the bonobo, making him figuratively, my brother. Thus, why we humans need to take care of the earth and all the animals on the planet, much like the Water Protectors, Jane Goodall, or Jane Fonda/Greenpeace do, and if that is militancy, then so be it.

    I think Tyson said it better in his video, when he said the feelings he has about the universe are the very same feelings religious people have, which is the same thing I have with other animals, the earth, and the universe. Tyson and I have the same emotions. Sadly, the only words we have, in language, are those often used by the religious, but the same areas of the brain light up for us as those experience awe with what they label “God” or when they are worshipping. It’s just our external stimuli is different. Our stimuli isn’t music, a preacher, candles, or prayers, but rather science, nature, animals, and the universe.

    #333819
    @mriana
    Keymaster

    @clhjr

    I think my question is really an epistemological question that involves existentialist thinking,

    I was not clear even with myself what I was looking for and may have been looking in the wrong place. Perhaps, I should have just called the local humanist association

    You’re talking a humanist association- one of many. Center For Inquiry (CFI) is a humanist association.

    Humanism is full of existentialism. You don’t have to leave. In fact, you might want to stick around to learn more. While there is much I agree with my colleagues have said here in this thread, such as a deity being a human concept, I think if you stuck around, follow the links I shared in my post above, even read Fowler’s book I suggested (yes, I know you’ve read some, but I really like hers) you could learn something, even if it is not the answers you seek. Sometimes, what we think we know we do not. You have questions, but you don’t have the answers or at least not the answers you seek. Could it be you are coming at this from the wrong direction?

    I’ve studied many religions and sometimes there are some things that stick with me, one being the first verse in the Tao: https://author.dereklin.com/tao-te-ching-translation/

    Chapter 1 The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao The name that can be named is not the eternal name The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth The named is the mother of myriad things Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations These two emerge together but differ in nameThe unity is said to be the mystery Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

    Perhaps maybe you shouldn’t try to define humanism. Maybe start with the question What is humanism to you? or What does it mean to be human? Then let the answers come to you, instead of seeking the answers. Start without defining humanism. Just a thought, because it seems to me you may have ran into a situation where you sought preconceived answers. In other words, the answers you wanted (or thought you wanted) were not the answers at all. Humanism is just as deep as any other philosophy. You can’t spend an hour on it and say you’ve taught someone humanism or learn all there is to know about humanism. It’s much more than that. Humanism is as varied as the religious have concepts of a deity. The subject of humanism is a whole course, if not several courses of its own. There are also humanist celebrants, which are an equivalent of a minister, because they perform various life events- celebration of a birth, marriage, celebration of life (furnerals). It’s not just a manifesto or asking people what it means, but it’s a whole philosophy and way of life, yet it is individual to the human. You have humanistic psychology, humanistic Judaism, naturalistic humanism, religious humanism, spiritual humanism, ethical humanism, literary humanism (Star Trek is a good example), secular humanism, Christian humanism (it exists, though it sounds contradictory), and many other forms of humanism, humanistic views, and humanistic studies, because the human is central: https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/edwords-what-is-humanism/

    I hate putting a lot of links in a post, but here’s an example where humanism is a program with a certificate after completion and I’ve taken some of the online courses in the past:

    Home

    So stick around and learn. You may find what you think you know, is all wrong.

    #333824
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    It’s always a hoot when someone keeps repeating that they are wordy and repetitious. It’s not like typing is physically addictive. Anyway.

    If anyone feels like you would like to engage in private discussion, maybe this site allows you  to PM me.   Feel free.  However, I think I am fishing in the wrong place for the fish that I am looking for and that would not be the first time. –Jr

    I think you wanted a certain answer and didn’t get it and didn’t how to handle the answers you got. The title of this group includes “Inquiry”. That means you consider the answers you get and adjust to them or challenge them accordingly. You make it weird by saying you are saying goodbye, then ask,

    What do you think? — Jr

    Am I supposed to just go to my room and think about it?

    #333826
    @3point14rat
    Participant

    Hopefully Charles changes his mind and comes back.

    On the surface his manners and earnestness were acceptable. If they continued to run true through all his posts, he’d be a great member to have conversations with.

    He oddly asks a question right before saying he’s not coming back. I think it was because during the time it took to type his long post he got frustrated and decided this wasn’t worth the effort. And since his paragraphs got mixed up (that sometimes happens to me on long posts when my mind wanders and I write a bunch of unrelated stuff and have to try to bring it together into one post that’s readable), he was probably not in the best of moods.

    His parting question was, “NOrmally and rightly, majorities usually outlaw, penalize, marginalize, punish those who practice thinking and behaviors that they believe threaten the health of their society.  What do you think?

    I think it is normal but not always right. The majority is not right or wrong or good or bad, it is simply ‘the majority’. Using the majority to make decisions is a crap shoot that often hurts those who are already the most disadvantaged or even the majority themselves (an uneducated and/or irrational thinking public can be convinced to vote for all sorts of evil things), while making educated and thoughtful decisions based on helping those who need the most help is likely the best method (at least you’d think so if you were a humanist.)

    There are lots of posts above this so if Charles comes back, he’ll have a lot of reading to do. And it will be worth it.

    #333830
    @blaire
    Participant

    @Clhjr

    I posted this on another thread…

    If God is powerful enough to create the universe and everything in it, and he wanted everyone to know him, why do you suppose he chose a book to communicate with us? And why wouldn’t God have written it himself instead of choosing humans? And why hasn’t this god given us any objective evidence for his existence? And what kind of loving God would allow suffering?

    Yale Divinity has launched a free public Bible study. Professor Joel Baden was instrumental in implementing this project.

     

    Homepage

    Spoiler Alert * There is absolutely nothing divine about the Bible. It was written by unknown authors over the course of centuries. Moses was not a real person. The devil isn’t any more real than the bogeyman. 666 stands for Caesar  Nero, not Satan.  Hare Krishna’s mother Devaki was also impregnated by a ghost. There were three magi and even good versus evil spirits.

    Smile and be kind to one another. No Gods required

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