Wow! How did you misread my message so badly,
rationalrevolution? Let me see if I can straiten some of this
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No descrimination based on race, geneder, nationality, political
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.
I will peronally insult and belittle religious people for
Yes, I can see that you’d insult people.
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
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 :
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.
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.
Good post, Steve. As far as defining secular humanism goes,
there is at least an attempt inside each front cover of Free
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.