[40:41][Lindsay]Couldn’t one argue the other way, though. That if you, in fact, emotionalize if you will. Appeal to someone’s emotions in the right way, or the right type of emotions, that it might cause them to change their beliefs.
[Mooney]Sure, but what you don’t want is the negative, defensive, “you’re attacking me” emotions. There are many other emotions, right… You want inspire, you want to motivate…
[Lindsay]How ‘bout, here’s an emotion, and this will take us back, perhaps for at least a little bit, to the whole issue of Accomodationism and the criticism of the New Atheists. I was reading a book recently called The Honor Code, and how some of our great moral revolutions came about due to people feeling ashamed of what they’d been doing. It talked about dueling, it talked about foot binding in China, it talked about slavery and how the Abolitionist movement was helped a lot by people beginning to feel ashamed about slavery. Wouldn’t it be the case, couldn’t a new atheist argue, look this new research actually supports attacking religion very harshly. Not because it will necessarily move the inter-lockature, the person I’m actually having the discussion with, but when I point out how ridiculous religious belief is, how these… the belief in miracles, the belief in the Trinty, the belief in resurrection of the dead, and how just obserd they are, it will have an effect on people who are listening to the argument, and they will feel ashamed that they actually believe in these fantasies. And because they feel that shame they may be motivated to give up their religious beliefs.
Lindsay offers to “Appeal to someone’s emotions”, but instead threatens to put them to shame, despite Mooney’s warning against, “the negative, defensive, “you’re attacking me” emotions”. Lindsay is obviously headed down a dark path in this interview. As an institution shouldn’t the CFI be trying to make friends, not trying to make divisions, doesn’t the movement need more friends and more positive actions? Mooney calls for inspiration and motivation, good call! As an institution the CFI can appeal to the people with positive messages, inspire them with constructive ideas, invite them to participate, isn’t it obviously the right course of action?
“Secular Humanism: Its Scope and Its Limits”
“Secular humanism is a comprehensive, nonreligious lifestance. It is comprehensive because it touches every aspect of life, including issues of value, meaning, and identity.”
“Freedom. Fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry, freedom of religion, and reproductive freedom are central to the secular humanist outlook.”
“Nonetheless, some seek a broader agenda. In particular, there are some who believe that secular humanism implies a commitment to a wide range of specific political, economic, and cultural positions. I disagree.”
“However, there is a perception that, in terms of their beliefs, secular humanists in the United States are a faction of the left wing of the Democratic Party—and this perception is sometimes fostered by secular humanists themselves.”
“Regrettably, at least since the 1980s, the Republican Party has cozied up to religion, often the more conservative brand of religion.”
“Is there a secular humanist position on the Iran conflict? The war in Afghanistan?”
“In sum, it seems to me, the wisdom of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan is a subject on which reasonable secular humanists can differ.”
“Likewise, on economic issues, there is ample room for disagreement among secular humanists about regulation of financial institutions, stimulation of job growth, tax policy, Social Security reform, and so forth.”
“Clearly, because of secular humanists’ commitments to civil equality and the dignity of the individual, some of the constraints imposed on markets are supported by the vast majority of secular humanists.”
“Secular humanism does not empower its adherents to act as some sort of culture police, dictating standards to the less enlightened. It does not come with a required reading list or a mandatory course in art appreciation.”
“... it seems to me we may be a bit top-heavy in the area of graduate degrees. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful that so many learned and accomplished individuals are attracted to secular humanism and are willing to use their skills to further our cause. But erudition can be perceived as condescension when a humanist leader begins lecturing others about what they should read, watch, or listen to or how they should spend their free time generally.”
“Secular humanism is supposed to be a “movement.” A movement limited to a subset of those who subscribe to the New York Times and enjoy reading Aristotle does not strike me as a broad-based movement or one with much potential for growth.”
Secular Humanism: Its Scope and Its Limits by Ronald A. Lindsay