Poll
Should CFI have a code of ethics?
Yes - mandatory for all members to sign 2
Yes - mandatory for all community and campus leaders, etc. to sign 3
Yes - but not mandatory for anyone to sign 7
No - (if no please provide reason) 2
Total Votes: 14
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CFI Code of Ethics…..
Posted: 01 October 2006 12:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have several professional certifications. Each one is accompanied by a Code of Ethics.

CFI, as a secular humanist orgnaization, should have a Code of Ethics in my opnion, especially is we are going to be invovled in media relations.

What is your view on a Code of Ethics for CFI?

BTW, my vote is Yes, for leaders and staff members. I think that codes of ethics are important, they are a part of most professions, and, given that we lack some of the creeds of chruches, etc., I think that we should have a code of ethics that is well known, agreed upon, posted, and enforced.

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Posted: 02 October 2006 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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By ‘mandatory to sign’ I mean we should at least have to agree to a code of conduct that gives moderators clear guidelines in order to fairly moderate what could be some very emotionally laden issues.

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Posted: 02 October 2006 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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[quote author=“mcelreb”]By ‘mandatory to sign’ I mean we should at least have to agree to a code of conduct that gives moderators clear guidelines in order to fairly moderate what could be some very emotionally laden issues.

No, I’m not talking about moderator or the forum at all, I mean a code of ethics for the real world organization.

I think that having a code of ethics, but not requiring anyone to sign it or agree to it is bascially unethical in itself, and also mostly useless, so I would be against having a code of ethics but then doing nothing with it.

I think that CFI should have a code of ethics, require that community leaders and campus leaders sign it and agree to it, and that it should implicitly apply to any members and that violation of the code of ethics could be used and grounds for asking people to leave the organization.

Why?

Well, first of all, as much as we like to think that everyone is good, there are screwballs out there, and we don’t want people saying or doing things in the name of CFI that contradict the values and mission of CFI.

For example, what if someone joined CFI, payed membership, attended events, and then started saying anti-Semitic things in the newspaper or something.

If CFI has a code of ethics, and we can point to that code of ethics and show that this person’s statements violates our code of ethics, then CFI cannot be labeled as an “anti-Semitic” organization, we have some defense, etc.

There are all kinds of anti-religious people, most are good people some are not. You don’t want people doing and saying things in the name of CFI that don’t reflect the values of the organization, and you need something that you can use to show what those values are and what the organization deems appropriate.

I find it very hard to be a “secular humanist” orgnaization without having ethical standards.

By what meansure can we say that we are a secular humanist organization is we don’t have a code fo ethics? I really see no basis for the claim myself.

I think that the organization should have a code of ethics, which leaders have to sign and abide by, such that if leaders do not abide by them they can be removed from leadership. General members should be aware of the code of ethics as well, though making people sign it could be both practially unwieldy and a turn off to initial membership.

I don’t think its something that “has to be agreed upon” in order for someone to join, but it would be nice for people to have the oppertunity to read it to see if they like our ethics, and I think its essential for someone to be a leader.

I think its also important to lead by example, and again I don’t think an orgazation can be an ethical leader if it doens’t have a code of ethics itself.

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Posted: 10 October 2006 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I believe in ethics, but I also believe in the the rights of others to have their own ethics. So I selected the bottom yes.

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Posted: 10 October 2006 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There is no such thing as “having your own ethics”, that’s the whole point of ethics, its a socially agreed upon code of conduct.

The whole point is to outline principles and codes of conduct that are guidelines for behavior within an organization.

Doctors have a code of ethics that says they have to treat anyone who is in need of their services, therefore it is “unethical” for a doctor to refuse treatment to someone based on their race, religion, criminal behavior, etc.

If a doctor does refuse to treat someone in violation of the code of ethics, they can lose their license.

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Posted: 17 October 2006 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I don’t believe we have the knowledge to make a code of ethics and it be logical.

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Posted: 18 October 2006 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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This is a tricky issue.

Professional societies do, sometimes, have codes of ethics (e.g.
http://www.ieee.org/web/membership/ethics/code_ethics.html,
surely the Barr Assn. and some of the medical associations
have their own.)  And these ethics deal with the practice
of the respective profession, these are more about business
and the services that are provided than they are about the
professional’s personal lives.

I asked the Code of Ethics question before I originally joined,
and the answer at that time was that the CFI does not have
any sort of Code of Ethics.  I think that introducing one to
the CFI would be a change in it’s purpose.  I have seen it’s
membership goals as being to gain support for the various media
(web, Point of Inquiry radio-cast, periodicals, etc.) tasks
that they pursue.  Introducing a Code of Ethics would change
their focus, somewhat, towards policing the membership and
leadership behaviors.

I see your question, rationalrevolution, as fundamentally
being about who is in and who is out: us and them.

But what might the code say?

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]I find it very hard to be a “secular
humanist” organization without having ethical standards.

I agree that Humanism is based on ethical values and
rational evidence based conclusions, but I’m surprised to
hear you say that this is a “secular humanist” organization.
My Friends-of-the-CFI card says, “Promoting Reason, Science
and Freedom of Inquiry,” and not a thing about Humanism.
When I tell people about the CFI Community of Indiana, I
tend to mention words like Humanism, skepticism, reason,
and science.  There are some religious scientists in the
world, are they to be excluded?  Are Humanists who wear a
copper bracelet “just for good measure” to be excluded,
or instead merely reprimanded?  Would the code include
any negative values such as: anti-religious, anti-fascist,
anti-Holocaust Denier, non-religious, or (as I’ve seen some
posts here promote…) anti-GOP Republican?  Or instead,
would it only include positive values?  Would those ethics
only be guidance, or instead would they be enforceable and how:
membership privileges revoked, ostracism, or reporting before
a council?  Would this code just be limited to being about
the leader’s actions while they promoted the CFI, or would it
reach all the way out to the private lives of the members?
Would the code be about people going to a church each week?
What about going to a left-wing church that accepts all people,
even Secular Humanists and other people who don’t believe in
the Christian God?  How about sex?  Would the code go into
peoples sex lives and how they like to have sex?  How about
if a CFI member goes to Massachusetts and commits the crime of
blasphemy (i.e. http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/272-36.htm
)?  Should we keep them as a member when they break that
law on not?  Which other laws should we pick and choose to
ignore or accept?  How about the way that members treat their
end of life issues, what if they preserve themselves at low
temperatures near their death in order the be repaired years
from now (e.g. http://www.alcor.org/ )?  How about if they
buy a burial plot, head stone, and a concrete grave liner to
preserve the body and the memory of a deceased person, when
Corliss Lamont’s “The Philosophy of Humanism” says (pp. 115-6):

“If the Humanists are right in calling immortality a brain-woven
conceit, death not only does away with the possibility of
an eternal paradise, but also negates the threat of hells
and purgatories beyond the tomb. Death destroys unjustified
fears as well as unjustified hopes. Since a person can die
only once, the dead are beyond all good or ill. They are as
totally unconcerned with life and existence as the un-born and
unconceived. As Job said in his classic paean to the grave:
‘There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary
be at rest.’”

So when dead is simply… The End… then isn’t it unethical
to spend money on headstones and graves for the dead when
there are starving and sick refugees from Darfur, Sudan?
What punishment would this sort of ethical violation warrant?

My point in the past three paragraphs wasn’t to push any
ethical values on anyone, but just to say that it could get
messy when ethical rules stretch into people’s personal lives.

I have a personal anecdote that might be relevant here.
When I picked up my first copy of Skeptical Inquirer in 2003 I
considered myself non-religious, but still had some amount of
belief in some greater force that controlled the universe,
a deistic view-point.  I was attracted to the magazine,
and later joined the CFI because, they promoted skepticism.
Had they promoted this only as a “secular humanist organization”
instead I probably would never have joined: first because I
would have had no idea what that term meant in 2003/2004; and second
because after learning what the term meant, I might have been
disgusted by the idea and frightened off.  Now-a-days I consider
myself to be a Secular Humanist, truly a product of the CFI,
and I even host an event in my area that I call “Humusings” (
http://www.acedialup.com/~nevets72@acer-access.com/Humusings ).
So I think that skepticism is a more palatable idea to the
general public than Secular Humanism is. And I doubt that
skepticsm could have a Code of Ethics attached to it, because
it is such a simple idea.

In the end I don’t know if I’d support a Code of Ethics or not,
it would certainly depend on what it said.  In practical reality
could be important in dealing with the people who truly want
to pursue some bad behaviors (e.g. Rep. Mark Foley accused
of exchanging explicitly sexual messages with a 16 year old,
or Rep. William J.  Jefferson accused of stashing bribe money
in his freezer).  The CFI obviously have congressional powers,
but the point here being that people can deliberately seek
to do some bad things, and a Code of Ethics establishes some
standards on which to judge someones behaviors.

I don’t mean this message to be a wall of intractable
conundrums, so I’ll end it by pointing out a way forward.
A Code of Ethics would have some benefits and detriments.
The benefits being that it could provide people with clear
guidance of what it expected from them, define Secular Humanism
and maybe help to trademark the term, give a standard for
punishing offenders instead of having punishment with a weak
and opinionated basis, raise the credibility of the CFI and
its members, unite the people who agree with those ethics,
and start a democratic system of checks and balances on members
and/or leaders behaviors.

- steve s.

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Posted: 19 October 2006 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Good post, Steve. As far as defining secular humanism goes, there is at least an attempt inside each front cover of Free Inquiry magazine.

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Posted: 19 October 2006 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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jump_in_the_pit Fitting name, way to take things over the top and “into the pit” :p

Why would an orgnaization like CFI write a restrictive code of ethics?

Why would CFI bother to police anyone? Even professional organizatiosn don’t do this. I’m a member of two professional organizations that have codes of ethics, none fo them police anyone, and none of their ethics are intrusive. Are you saying that ieee can write a reasonable code of ethics, but an organization like CFI, led by rationlaists and philosophers can’t? YIKES!

How are codes of ethics typically used?

They typically only come into use for enforcement when complaints about behavior are brought by a third party. In this case, the code of ethics is consulted and if it can be shown that the individual violated the code of ehtics, that becomes a grounds for action. This is typically a good thing. We dont’ want doctors who deny medical care to people because they are ugly, we don’t want lawyers who give confidential information to the media or other parties, we don’t want software developers who write back doors into financial programs or produce spyware.

Codes of ethics are rarely enforced.

What is the more general use of a code of ethics though? The more general use is to let others know the principles that an organization and its members operate by. Ans also as little reminders in the backs of the heads of membrs when they find themsleves in a delima.

Let’s look at some examples of codes of ethics. (exerpts)

AMA Code of ethics:

Preamble

The medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient. As a member of this profession, a physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society, to other health professionals, and to self. The following Principles adopted by the American Medical Association are not laws, but standards of conduct which define the essentials of honorable behavior for the physician.

Principles of medical ethics

  1. A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.

  2. A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities.

  3. A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best interests of the patient.

  4. A physician shall respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law.

...etc.

PMI:

PREAMBLE:  Project Management Professionals, in the pursuit of the profession, affect the quality of life for all people in our society.  Therefore, it is vital that Project Management Professionals conduct their work in an ethical manner to earn and maintain the confidence of team members, colleagues, employees, employers, clients and the public.

ARTICLE I:  Project management Professionals shall maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct, and:

a)    Accept responsibility for their actions.

b)    Undertake projects and accept responsibility only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure to their employers or clients of pertinent qualifications.

c)    Maintain their professional skills at the state of the art and recognize the importance of continued personal development and education.

d)    Advance the integrity and prestige of the profession by practicing in a dignified manner.

e)    Support this code and encourage colleagues and co-workers to act in accordance with this code.

f)      Support the professional society by actively participating encouraging colleagues and co-workers to participate.

g)    Obey the laws of the country in which work is being performed.

.... etc.

G is actually important because you may operate in different countries.

I think these are perfectly good codes of ethics. Why on earth would an organization like CFI write a code of ethics that tries to delv into people’s sex life? I think you are being paranoid and delusional.

Your claim, basecially, comes dow to stating that there is not ANY guideline that members of CFI can agree upon. Yikes, that’s pretty scarry, so we can’t even agree that its bad to kill children to take their candy? I mean come on, every church and every professinal organization has a statement of principles and/or a code of ethics, if they can all do it, surely we can.

What would be part of a CFI code of ethics?

No descrimination based on race, geneder, nationality, political affiliation, etc.

Respect of people’s different backgrounds and cultural origins.

Accurate disclusure of any monies that a member comes into contact with in assocation with CFI.

A member shall not intentionally inform competing organizations of CFI information in ways that compromize the efforts of CFI (i.e. if someone is a member basically to spy for an evangelical group (Campus Crusaiders for Christ, for example) and they are passing meeting information to them so that they can organize protests, etc., this person could have their membership revoked based on this).

Respect for non-religious worldviews, the lack of belief in a god or gods, and/or the affirmation that there are no gods.

Strive not to deminish the standing of science, naturalistic worldviews, and reason in the community.

etc., etc., you get the idea. I’m not a code of ethics writer, but I’m just throwing things out here.

I woud add that I am personally very anti-religious. As such, if I were a community leader, I would like for CFI to have a code of ethics that prodivded guidance on how to deal with religious people and organizations.

Personally I would never cooperate with ANY religious organization. There is a “liberal” “interfaith” group here that some atheists work with, but I refuse, because overall they promote the message that religions is good, Islam is a religion of peace, Christinaity is really tolerant, and “we can all get along”. I disagree, I think that religion is inherently bad, it should all be completely abolished, that Islam is a religious of violence, and Christianity is a religion of intolerance. So, I would never work with such a group.

I will peronally insult and belittle religious people for their views.

Now, if I were a community leader, and CFI has no code of ethics, the only guideline I have is my own feeling on the matter, so as a community leader I would not seek to cooperate with interfaith groups and if I were in a debate representing CFI or something, I may personally attack the beliefs of my oppoenents and call him or her a fool.

If, on the other hand, CFI had a code of ethics that provided guidelines for dealing with religious people and organizations, which stated that we should cooperate with them and that we shouldn’t personally attack people for their religious beliefs, then I would follow those guidelines.

Maybe CFI wants militant atheism, maybe they don’t? I don’t know, so I’ll stick with my militant atheism.

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Posted: 19 October 2006 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Wow!  How did you misread my message so badly,
rationalrevolution?  Let me see if I can straiten some of this
mess out.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

Even professional organizations don’t do this. I’m a member of
two professional organizations that have codes of ethics, none
fo them police anyone, and none of their ethics are intrusive.

By policing I meant enforcement and, as you mentioned later in
your message, your organizations do enforce (police) the ethics
sometimes, rationalrevolution.  And my point of mentioning the
policing was that it isn’t something the the CFI is concerned
with now-a-days, and so introducing ethics and policing would be
a significant change in how they deal with members and leaders.

An inferred point from my previous message, which I’ll now
make very explicit, is that the codes that exist are from
professional organizations addressing the professionals’
behaviors as the members perform their works.  On the other
hand the CFI is not a professional organization that deals
with professional works and is fundamentally quite different.
The topics that the CFI deals with tend to be philosophical
ones, philosophies that affect ones personal life-style choices
(skepticism, naturalism, pragmatism, empiricism, etc.).
And so, I can’t see a Code of Ethics in the CFI addressing
professional works but instead addressing philosophical (and
therefore personal) behaviors.  After that thought I wonder
which behaviors could possibly be encoded and I naturally
looked towards laws for guidance.  These laws that I had in
mind are actual laws, that I have seen and one that I pointed
out in my message.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

Are you saying that ieee can write a reasonable code of
ethics, but an organization like CFI, led by rationlaists and
philosophers can’t? YIKES!

 

Nah, I didn’t say that.  That was your idea, rationalrevolution,
of taking the idea to such an extreme.  Don’t try to put words
in my mouth.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

The more general use is to let others know the principles that
an organization and its members operate by. 

I agree that that is the general use and could be one way
the the CFI might use a Code of Ethics.  My last message
referred to that beginning and took the idea much further as I
brainstormed some more specific and realistic details of what
the code might contain, but did not endorse any of them.
I was merely inspiring in the readers some realistic thoughts
about the possibilities.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

I think these are perfectly good codes of ethics. Why on earth
would an organization like CFI write a code of ethics that
tries to delv into people’s sex life? I think you are being
paranoid and delusional. 

That “paranoid and delusional” comment was meant as an insult,
and was incorrect.

You see, when I thought about actual laws of the USA what
quickly came to mind were the laws about sex (deviant sexual
behavior, obscenity, public indecency, sodomy, prostitution,
etc.), there are many examples out there.  And again,
since the CFI isn’t a professional organization dealing with
professional works, but is instead an organization promoting
some philosophies in our personal lives, I think that sex could
become an real issue in ethics, as it has been a real issue
in US law.  What makes the CFI exempt from having opinions
on sex (such as Paul Kurt’s ninth section titled “Eroticism”
in _Affirmations_ pp. 79-81), and then coding those opinions
as these Code of Ethics that you propose, rationalrevolution?
Sex might become an ethical issue, as it did for Pres. Clinton
in the late nineteen-nineties.  Not that I’m saying that either
Paul Kurt’s nor Pres. Clinton’s ideas are either good or bad.
And when I point to real examples like: the IEEE’s code,
an on-the-books Massachusetts law, a company that is actually
preserving human body parts for later repair and revival (I know
a couple of Humanists who have arrangements there), Corliss
Lamont’s book, Rep. Mark Foley’s situation, Rep. William J.
Jefferson’s situation, and took a quote from my Friends of the
CFI card, these references all kept my message well grounded in
reality.  You are mistaken to say otherwise, rationalrevolution.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

Your claim, basecially, comes dow to stating that there is
not ANY guideline that members of CFI can agree upon. Yikes,
that’s pretty scarry, so we can’t even agree that its bad to
kill children to take their candy? 

I didn’t make that claim, nor did I claim that any of those
ideas that I brainstormed would be proposed by any CFI
members as ethical codes.  I was merely trying to get people
thinking realistically about the possibilities.  Again you,
rationalrevolution, have taken an idea (your idea) to an
extreme and tried to put those words in my mouth as though
they are my responsibility.  That is dishonest.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

No descrimination based on race, geneder, nationality, political
affiliation, etc.

Respect of people’s different backgrounds and cultural origins.

Accurate disclusure of any monies that a member comes into
contact with in assocation with CFI.

A member shall not intentionally inform competing organizations
of CFI information in ways that compromize the efforts of CFI
(i.e. if someone is a member basically to spy for an evangelical
group (Campus Crusaiders for Christ, for example) and they are
passing meeting information to them so that they can organize
protests, etc., this person could have their membership revoked
based on this).

Respect for non-religious worldviews, the lack of belief in
a god or gods, and/or the affirmation that there are no gods.

Strive not to deminish the standing of science, naturalistic
worldviews, and reason in the community.

etc., etc., you get the idea. I’m not a code of ethics writer,
but I’m just throwing things out here. 

All of that sounds pretty basic, and pretty good possibilities,
a good start.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

I will peronally insult and belittle religious people for
their views. 

Yes, I can see that you’d insult people.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

Maybe CFI wants militant atheism, maybe they don’t? I don’t
know, so I’ll stick with my militant atheism. 

I’m not surprised to see you say you are militant, based on the
reaction you had personally attacking me, rationalrevolution,
after I posted a message about the topic, not about you
personally.  That was a very emotional reaction that you had
and I think that your emotions clouded your eyes and thinking
as you read my message.  Actually much of my message supported
having a code, as I gave examples of bad behaviors.  And in
the last paragraph that I wrote, I tried to move the code idea
forward, again being supportive of the idea.

There was a simple misunderstanding here, and rationalrevolution
reacts with this, and other, totally uncalled-for cheap shots
at me.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

jump_in_the_pit Fitting name, way to take things over
the top and “into the pit” :p

This could be an ethical violation in rationalrevolution’s
organizations which call for honesty and admitting to your
mistaken actions :

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

2. A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism,
be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report
physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging
in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities. 

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

a) Accept responsibility for their actions. 

And from IEEE, “7. to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism
of technical work, to acknowledge and correct errors, and to
credit properly the contributions of others”

I wonder if, rationalrevolution, agree to acknowledge and
correct his errors by apologizing to me?


—————————————————————————


But where did this situation go wrong?  I have to wonder how
my message was interpreted so badly?  I know that when people
get mentioned by name on these Internet discussions they tend
to get defensive, so maybe this is where things first went sour:

[quote author=“jump_in_the_pit”] [quote author=“rationalrevolution”]

I find it very hard to be a “secular humanist” organization
without having ethical standards. 

I agree that Humanism is based on ethical values and rational
evidence based conclusions, but I’m surprised to hear you say
that this is a “secular humanist” organization. 

I didn’t mean the my “surprised” comment sarcastically,
rationalrevolution, but instead I meant it literally.  I was
literally surprised to see the CFI described that way and then I
checked my membership card to see if I was on track.  I wasn’t
trying to say anything bad about you, rationalrevolution.
I sorry if this contributed to the confusion here, I didn’t
intend to contribute to that.


[quote author=“dougsmith”]

Good post, Steve. As far as defining secular humanism goes,
there is at least an attempt inside each front cover of Free
Inquiry magazine. 

Thanks Doug, I’m glad that at least one person was able to
read my message accurately.

And I haven’t subscribed to FI before so I haven’t seen those
attempts.  I think that the CFI should promote some definition
for the term.  It would help to explain the organization,
and the philosophy, in a brief and accessible way.

- steve s.

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Posted: 20 October 2006 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes, we have to avoid demonizing our opponents. We really ought to stick with the arguments, facts and data.

That said, there are a number of manifestos on the web at the CFI’s Council for Secular Humanism website:

The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles : this is the one in the front cover of Free Inquiry magazine. I think it does a pretty good job.

Also:

A Secular Humanist Declaration

A Humanist Manifesto 2000 : “A Call For a New Planetary Humanism”

and

The Promise of Manifesto 2000 .

Personally, I have nothing against such writings, since they do focus the mind and make it easier for outsiders to figure out what we, in general, take Secular Humanism to stand for. But I’m not really a huge fan of litmus tests, particularly for investigative organizations like ours. Part of the problem is that we are engaged in a somewhat protean task of discovering which are the best secular ends to pursue, and how best to pursue them. In that vein, I suppose a code of ethics would be fine, but I’m not really seeing the necessity for it. As jumpinthepit notes, CFI really isn’t a ‘professional’ organization with trained skills and safety standards, like doctors, engineers or professional managers. We’re rather a loose confederation of like-minded thinkers.

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Posted: 22 October 2006 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Those were good Doug, very relevant and inspiring writing.
I haven’t read the affirmations of Humanism from the web site
in over a year, and somehow it seems to have much more impact
and poignancy for me this time.

If you’d like to compare, here are what some of the other
naturalist/skeptic related groups are saying about living an
ethical life:

American Humanists Assn.: “HUMANISM AND ITS ASPIRATIONS” (Humanist Manifesto III)

Brights: “The Brights’ Principles”

American Atheists: “ETHICS WITHOUT GODS” by Frank R. Zindler

James Randi Educational Foundation: “About the Foundation

the Skeptics Society: “A Skeptical Manifesto”

- steve s.

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Posted: 23 October 2006 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks for pointing those out, Steve. I almost think someone should set up a comparison between them all ...

BTW, there’s also an “About CSICOP” page.

This, like the Randi page, though, is less about humanism, ethics, or ‘manifestoing’, than just explaining the aims of the group.

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Posted: 28 October 2006 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I believe ethics are absolute (but in a relative manner) if a society or organization is to function successfully over the long term.  However, people and societies can have a wide variety of working ethics, like it’s ok to have slaves if they have a different skin color.  I think such kinds of ethics cause the eventual destruction of the society.

I would guess that no two of us lives by precisely the same ethical rules, however, I’ve found that humanists (note the lower case) in general have quite a bit of commonality. 

I think it’s worthwhile to give a succinct list of these ideas in common, both as guides, and so that someone interested in joining or in learning about Humanism can understand our general thinking.

Of course they should be advisory, not commandments, and we should suggest that anyone wishing to join the group might want to have some general level of agreement with them.

Notice that I said “succinct”.  This means they should be written by someone or some group other than Paul Kurtz.  I think his idea is, “Never write one sentence when five pages will do.” LOL

Occam

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Posted: 28 October 2006 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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[quote author=“Occam”]Notice that I said “succinct”.  This means they should be written by someone or some group other than Paul Kurtz.  I think his idea is, “Never write one sentence when five pages will do.” LOL

LOL

Well, y’know, Kurtz is a professor of philosophy. That means dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’ ...

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Posted: 28 October 2006 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I can go along with dotting “i"s and crossing “t"s, but does he have to talk in calligraphy?  LOL

Occam

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