1 of 5
1
A critical look at secular humanism
Posted: 03 February 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

Hi, first let me say that I think secular humanism is better than any church doctrine, ¤christianË dogma, or any religious dogma where we are expected to obey moral laws in order to receive a reward in an afterlife or out of fear of punishment in an afterlife.

Here’s the precursor to the point I am making, some of it paraphrased from the writings of Tolstoy. These ideas may fit in with Buddhism, and therefore may be atheist-friendly.

Before we act we must establish a relationship with world, and have a theory for life, some reason for doing the things that we do. Upon entering rational life, nobody can escape this establishing of some sort of relationship to everything and everyone around him or her. Most people, both ¤religiousË and ¤scientificË, organize their lives around a philosophy that we have a right to our lives and should therefore live for our happiness and the happiness of those close to us (friends and family) and, if possible, for the happiness of everyone else too. However, when we try to live for the happiness of ourselves and of those close to us, we find (if we don╠t ignore the fact) that the worldly advantages we get can only be obtained by taking away from others. Also we realize that the more worldly advantages we acquire, the less they satisfy us and the more we desire for new ones. And the longer someone lives the more inevitable becomes the approach of death, destroying all possibility of worldly advantages. So this is an irrational way to live. The only way to true happiness and a rational life is through a process of self-renunciation, where you do not live for worldly advantages but for the good of everyone and devote your life to this cause. This is living solely to serve your conscience, as you know through experience and reason that living any other way will ruin true happiness, since you must live conscientiously for your heart to be at rest.

Ok, now this should make more sense…
Secular humanism does not focus on the need for us to change our fundamental outlook on life. It does not emphasize the importance of self-renunciation which is necessary (as it is the foundation and the roots) for a true and sincere morality, and as my 19th century friend Lev Nikolayevich says, ¤It is like what children do when, wishing to transplant a flower that pleases them█they pluck it from the roots that do not please, and seem to them superfluous, and stick it rootless into the ground.Ë
This is just what secular humanism amounts to. The ethics and the morality that secular humanism seeks through reason will never be achieved without first acknowledging the need to have a firm rational foundation to stand on, and this involves a fundamental shift in our perspective on life, something that is too dramatic and radical for the secular humanistic, modern-"scientist", attitude which is nearly as complacent and impotent as the church-¤christianË attitude. And so secular humanism is weak and ineffective, and pretty much means nothing.
If this is an unfair criticism of secular humanism, please correct me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“Mark_W”]Secular humanism does not focus on the need for us to change our fundamental outlook on life. It does not emphasize the importance of self-renunciation which is necessary (as it is the foundation and the roots) for a true and sincere morality, and as my 19th century friend Lev Nikolayevich says, “It is like what children do when, wishing to transplant a flower that pleases them—they pluck it from the roots that do not please, and seem to them superfluous, and stick it rootless into the ground.”

Hello Mark_W, and welcome to the forum.

The quote from your ‘friend’ sounds a lot like religious apologism. The “roots” that religion provides are not rational; instead they amount to one variety or another of superstition or unexamined credo. Traditional religious apologists claim that the “roots” (i.e. the long history of tradition) provide something important that non-religious philosophies cannot. Apologists for Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxies are particularly adamant about this sort of argument. But it is only an argument for reactionary philosophies, and for doing things now just because people did them before, which is no argument at all.

The basic problem is what you mean by “self renunciation”. What is it? Why should we want it? How can we get it? If you are suggesting (as it seems you may be) some form of Buddhist nirvana-seeking, I can see some potential arguments in its favor, so long as it is divested of the nonsense about karma and reincarnation, and the aura of supernaturalism that often accompanies it.

But that done, there is no necessary conflict between such a philosophy and secular humanism. Which brings us to the last section:

[quote author=“Mark_W”]This is just what secular humanism amounts to. The ethics and the morality that secular humanism seeks through reason will never be achieved without first acknowledging the need to have a firm rational foundation to stand on, and this involves a fundamental shift in our perspective on life, something that is too dramatic and radical for the secular humanistic, modern-“scientist”, attitude which is nearly as complacent and impotent as the church-“christian” attitude. And so secular humanism is weak and ineffective, and pretty much means nothing.
If this is an unfair criticism of secular humanism, please correct me.

So long as the “foundation” you are suggesting is truly “rational”, there is no conflict whatever between it and any version of secular humanism we are discussing here. The question, however, that I suspect many of us will have to your suggestion is whether what you are proposing is truly a “rational” solution as versus one that is based on superstition and Buddhist tradition.

As to secular humanism being “weak and ineffective” and “meaning nothing”, et cetera, I have no idea what you are talking about. It appears pretty clear to me that you have a rudimentary notion of what secular humanism really is. If you want more information on it, you can get this at a number of places linked to on this forum. If you can’t locate them I’m sure people here would be glad to provide them.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sue├▒o de la raz├│n produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

Hi Doug, thanks for the thoughtful response. By self-renunciation, I do not mean we renouce life altogether, only the selfish desires.

I have provided 3 reasons as to why I believe it is the only rational option.

When you say “...you have a rudimentary notion of what secular humanism really is.” I don’t know what it is, and from the reading I’ve done and people i’ve talked to, nobody else seems to know either…that’s just what I’m saying, there is no substance, no rational foundation. It seems that it could disappear from the world and nothing would change.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“Mark_W”]Hi Doug, thanks for the thoughtful response. By self-renunciation, I do not mean we renouce life altogether, only the selfish desires.

Right. The problem is how to distinguish between desires that are “selfish” in the bad sense from those that are helpful or self-actualizing. E.g., should a great artist renounce his desire to buy paint? Should we renounce the desire to love another person? Such love can be possessive, but is it necessarily so?

Buddhist monks are celibate, because they believe that any sort of sexual desire leads to ill. Do you?

Buddhist monks retire from the world into monasteries because they believe that any sort of normal life lived in a city surrounded by temptations will lead to ill. Do you?

[quote author=“Mark_W”]When you say “...you have a rudimentary notion of what secular humanism really is.” I don’t know what it is, and from the reading I’ve done and people i’ve talked to, nobody else seems to know either…that’s just what I’m saying, there is no substance, no rational foundation. It seems that it could disappear from the world and nothing would change.

Well, again, I don’t get the force of what you’re saying. There is plenty of information on the CFI websites (and other humanist organizations) about what humanism stands for. However, if you are expecting it to be like a religion, with a creed and holy books, then you will be disappointed, but for all the wrong reasons. (Creeds and holy books are the problem, not the solution).

If what you mean by “substance” is such a creed, you won’t find it.

The “rational foundation” of secular humanism is so deep and broad that it would take a lifetime to go through it. If you want to read more about its “rational foundation”, I suggest you begin with the philosophy of the ancient Greeks and the Renaissance; however the real roots began in the Enlightment with writers like Spinoza, Mill, Bentham, Locke, Hume, Voltaire and Diderot, following the scientific advances of people like Kepler, Galileo and Newton. The US founding fathers were students of precisely this sort of philosophy.

Although many of these thinkers were Christian, with the advent of Darwin in the 19th C., later thinkers in the same line were much more likely to reject god entirely, or make him into little more than an abstract “first mover”.

At any rate, these thinkers were “secular” in that they argued against the power of the church over government and society. They were “humanist” in focusing the efforts of ethics on this human life rather than some sort of fantasy of an afterlife. They were also opposed to churchly superstitions, magic and other forms of hocus-pocus, as they knew them to be fake.

These are the roots, the “rational foundation” of secular humanism. They have been immensely influential around the globe, being the roots of modern science, technology, learning and secular government. And that’s just for starters.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sue├▒o de la raz├│n produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

You ask “should a great artist renounce his desire to buy paint? Should we renounce the desire to love another person? Such love can be possessive, but is it necessarily so?
For the artist, it depends on what his motivation is for painting.
We should desire to love people in a non-possessive way.
Do I believe any sexual desire leads to ill? Yes.
Do I believe we should retire from the world? No.

the “roots” you mention are no roots at all. You are pointing to philosophers, but not to the philisophical ideas that make up this “foundation”.
You mention very much about the negative aspects of “religion” and creeds, and I agree with you on all that stuff, as none of it is rational.
I’m with you on your definition of “secular” and I’m with you on your definition of “humanist”, when you say “They were “humanist” in focusing the efforts of ethics on this human life rather than some sort of fantasy of an afterlife.”....But you are not addressing the central point of my critique, which is where do these “ethics” come from? This would be getting at the roots. Secular humanism wants the ethics, just like a child wants the flower without the roots, but with the slightest breeze, the rootless flower falls down.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“Mark_W”]For the artist, it depends on what his motivation is for painting.

Perhaps you could explain further.

What if his motivation for painting was greedy, yet his paintings were beautiful or worthy to others nonetheless?

[quote author=“Mark_W”]Do I believe any sexual desire leads to ill? Yes.

So you don’t believe that having sexual desire is a good thing.

I have to take it that you are pro-celibacy. Presumably you also believe that the best state for humankind is in monasteries of some sort, separated from people of the opposite sex. (For heterosexuals).

What about the ‘living in cities’ bit? I assume you believe that is bad as well.

[quote author=“Mark_W”]the “roots” you mention are no roots at all. You are pointing to philosophers, but not to the philisophical ideas that make up this “foundation”.

I don’t have the time to write up a history of the last four hundred years in secular philosophy. I mentioned these people as prime examples to spur you to do some research on your own.

If you have done some basic research and have questions, I’m sure people here will be more willing to help out.

But I wonder why you are so concerned with “roots”, as though having roots to cling to will make an ethical system more palatable to you. Not a very Buddhist way to come at the problem, I’d have thought.

[quote author=“Mark_W”]But you are not addressing the central point of my critique, which is where do these “ethics” come from? This would be getting at the roots.

There are any number of ethical schools under a generally ‘secular humanist’ purview. If you want to know where to look, look to people like Kant, Mill and Hume for starters. But there are literally scores today working under the same general program. Take Peter Singer or Paul Kurtz as two modern-day examples, chosen more-or-less at random.

I am not going to tell you that one is a real secular humanist and another is not. In my opinion they are all equally secular humanist.

But if your issue is alleviating suffering, then I’d have thought a version of Bentham and Mill’s utilitarianism would be right up your alley.

If you are asking a more metaphysical question as to “where the ethics comes from”, it comes from reason and investigation. Or at least our knowledge of it does. Certainly that is the case for both Kantian and utilitarian ethics, two of the most prominent modern schools; it is also true for Socratic or Aristotelian ethics of more than two thousand years earlier.

The same “roots” question could be redirected towards your own ethical positions, of course.

[quote author=“Mark_W”] Secular humanism wants the ethics, just like a child wants the flower without the roots, but with the slightest breeze, the rootless flower falls down.

rolleyes

This is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sue├▒o de la raz├│n produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

When you say “The same “roots” question could be redirected towards your own ethical positions, of course.”

As I have already said, the ethics that I’m talking about spring from a change in the oulook to our lives, and rationally choosing self-renunciation.
I have a direct answer for you, not a wild goose chase involving countless philosophers. I thank you for the time and effort you are putting in, but I don’t think you are reading my words simply and without assumption, as I am not Buddhist, and I do not think we should live in monastaries, and I wonder where you got such strange notions (I even said, explicitly, “no” to the “retire from the world” question).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“Mark_W”]As I have already said, the ethics that I’m talking about spring from a change in the oulook to our lives, and rationally choosing self-renunciation.

Fair enough, but on the face of it this is perfectly compatible with secular humanism in general. You have not yet described your position in enough detail to determine where in the spectrum of secular humanists your view sits, but it appears to me well within the scope.

[quote author=“Mark_W”]I have a direct answer for you, not a wild goose chase involving countless philosophers. I thank you for the time and effort you are putting in, but I don’t think you are reading my words simply and without assumption, as I am not Buddhist, and I do not think we should live in monastaries, and I wonder where you got such strange notions (I even said, explicitly, “no” to the “retire from the world” question).

The assumption that you had some Buddhist opinions came from your original post. Also I am quite familiar with Buddhism, having studied it in some depth. I think I have a pretty good take on what Buddhists believe and why. (And in fact I am relatively amenable to a lot of what they have to say).

My concern with the notion of “self-renunciation” (as you put it) is that it appears to lead directly to retiring from the world. The Buddhists who first came up with these philosophies knew it well enough; that was why they retreated to monasteries in the mountains of India.

So the problem that I, and I am sure many mainstream secular humanists, would have with a philosophy of “self-renunciation” is precisely why one would renounce X but not Y, as it were.

If the idea is that we should renounce things that aren’t essential to our happy, self-actualizing lives in larger communities with our friends, families, wives, husbands, etc., then the philosophy you have on offer is really just a standard alternative to a million versions of Greek stoicism. Most all secular humanists would agree to it in a minute. (So would many Christians, for that matter).

If, on the other hand, you mean something more radical, more “Buddhist”, that we should renounce sexual desire, renounce our possessions, renounce the hurly-burly world, in order to be able to sit alone and focus on attaining a perfect state of detachment from reality, then I think you will have some interestingly strong counterarguments to account for. (However, interestingly enough, not from many Catholic monks, who agree to even the most stringent forms of self-renunciation, all in the name of god!)

However, I expect your view is somewhere in the middle here. But then you just haven’t described it in enough detail to let us know what you believe and why.

... nonetheless, nothing you have said so far leads me to believe that your view is anything other than a variety of secular humanism. (Remember, I am not doctrinaire about what counts).

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sue├▒o de la raz├│n produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 February 2007 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

I think my criticism of secular humanism is that it is so broad and all encompassing, that it pretty much means nothing. I have no doubt that self-renunciation would be somewhere in the spectrum of secular humanism. It’s just this broad spectrum of often times conflicting philosophies that negates the meaning of secular humanism. Secular humanism should stand for something, and have some rational base. It does not emphasize self-renunciation, but it does emphasize the ethics and morality that spring forth from this particular mind-set. It is not concerned with a foundation and so I brush it away like any useless and idle concept. It wants the omlet without breaking a few eggs, because the breaking of the eggs is not only not what pleases, but self-renunciation, in particular, often times is looked at (ironically) as unnecessary, mystical, abstract, and sometimes even harmful to the modern “scientific” community. A community which is ultimately more concerned with maintaining its existence (or particular lifestyle) than striving toward the ideal of the welfare of all. Of course I am speaking in generalities, and I do not mean anyone or group in specific.

I see “retiring from the world” as a cop out in a way. If we are to make the world better, or be “good”, “moral” people we can certainly do that right where we are. In fact breaking away from society at large (as a permanent move) would make a life of service impossible, or at least much less satisfying or challenging.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 February 2007 04:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4051
Joined  2006-11-28

Hi Mark,

As someone who considers myself a secular humanist and yet who has a strong affinity for much of Buddhist teaching, I thought I’d jump into the discussion. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like your fundamental problem with what you see humanism to be is that it emphasies “externals,” that is issues in the phenomenological or physical world, and not inner transformation. Buddhist teaching can focus strongly of working and living in the world (Thich Nhat Hanh in particular constantly emphasizes this, e.g. “It is only in the midst of our daily life and in our actual contact with people and other species that we can know whether our mind of love and compassion is really present and whether it is stable. If love and compassion are real, they will be evident in our daily life, in the way we talk with people and the way we act in the world.”), however it seems to stress transforming our minds first so that our actions in the world will have the foundation or “roots” you seem to be talking about.

I guess this is a fair criticism of humanism, but I also wonder how practical inner transformation is as a strategy for ultimately changing the way people think and live. Even in predominantly Buddhist countries, the lay people have limited time to focus on developing their inner lives sufficiently to bring a new consciousness to their daily interactions with the world around them, and this might be even more difficult here in the West, where the contemplative tradition has generally been limited to religious orders withdrawn from the world, as Doug has indicated, or affluent intellectuals and philosophers. So though I agree that the optimal way to change how we behave is to change ourselves fundamentally from the inside first, I do not agree that in the absence of widespread inner transformation and renunciation of ego and self that there is nothing useful for humanism to do in the world. There are many evils that can be addressed without the sort of inner foundation you talk about. And frankly I’m not convinced that there is no value to improving the physical well-being of humans in and of itself, though I do think we overemphasize this in our culture and underemphasize the improtance of habits of mind and outlook.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but you seem to be describing an all-or-nothing view in which anything humanism tries to stand for or accomplish is pointless unless it is based on a comprehensive inner transformation for everyone. Sounds pretty hopeless to me, but I think we can replace outdated religious/superstitious ethical systems with something better even if not everyone is able to sit mindfully until they truly appreciate the illussory nature of self, or whatever the exact transformation you are suggesting we need is.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 February 2007 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“Mark_W”]I think my criticism of secular humanism is that it is so broad and all encompassing, that it pretty much means nothing. I have no doubt that self-renunciation would be somewhere in the spectrum of secular humanism. It’s just this broad spectrum of often times conflicting philosophies that negates the meaning of secular humanism. Secular humanism should stand for something, and have some rational base. It does not emphasize self-renunciation, but it does emphasize the ethics and morality that spring forth from this particular mind-set. It is not concerned with a foundation and so I brush it away like any useless and idle concept. It wants the omlet without breaking a few eggs, because the breaking of the eggs is not only not what pleases, but self-renunciation, in particular, often times is looked at (ironically) as unnecessary, mystical, abstract, and sometimes even harmful to the modern “scientific” community. A community which is ultimately more concerned with maintaining its existence (or particular lifestyle) than striving toward the ideal of the welfare of all. Of course I am speaking in generalities, and I do not mean anyone or group in specific.

Well, secular humanism clearly does “stand for something”, i.e., secularism and humanism. These do have a rational foundation in the enlightenment (among other places). Their base in the enlightenment has to do with a rejection of using religious prejudices to form governments, and to use fantasies of an afterlife to influence how we should behave on earth. (Among other things).

And if you don’t think that secular humanism has or cares to have foundations, you are simply ignorant of the relevant works. Do I have to say that you should read the various secular humanist declarations up on the website? Do I have to say you should read back issues of Free Inquiry and other secular humanist publications? Do I have to repeat that you should read the founding philosophers of the enlightenment?

At any rate, it appears to be something you agree with, and so you do agree that your philosophy fits under the “secular humanist” umbrella.

So then where does the peevishness come in? You say, “It’s just this broad spectrum of often times conflicting philosophies that negates the meaning of secular humanism.”

It doesn’t “negate” anything to have a broad, inclusive umbrella. If we were to set out to make peace in the Middle East, we would have to bring together a diverse selection of people with different ideas, and make compromise. The fact that this selection of people would be a “broad spectrum of conflicting philosophies” is of no relevance whatsoever, so long as they all have the same aims, and can work effectively together.

Now, if you read around on this forum you will see at least one member (Barry) who agrees with your general take: he has a very specific idea of what he thinks humanism means. In his case, he believes that to be humanist we have to hold a certain sort of narrow anarchist philosophy. Perhaps you would say that to be truly humanist we should hold your sort of self-renunciationist philosophy.

Fair enough, and I expect that if you kept on with your arguments you might move some heads here and there and maybe convince a few people. I encourage you to go on trying. But as a general political strategy, narrowing your potential base to that handful of people who agree with you a priori is simply suicide.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that I want to make common cause with people who are both “secular” and “humanist” in very broad senses of both terms, since such people are so under-represented in the contemporary politics of this country.

And another thing: your rhetoric about renunciation makes it appear that you are a renunciationist snob, to coin a term. True renunciation must be done because you believe it is for your own good and the good of society. True renunciation has to be done selflessly, without clinging to some notion that you are superior because of it. Sneering at others not only won’t convince anyone, it isn’t in the spirit of true self-renunciation. So I have to wonder how serious you are about your own project.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sue├▒o de la raz├│n produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 February 2007 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

doug, I am not sneering at others, I am “sneering” at the concept of secular humanism. I feel like it distracts good people away from the necessary “roots” of morality, and thus does a disservice to them. I hope you didn’t get the impression that I was attacking you personally or propping myself up as superior. I certainly don’t think that I am superior.

mckenzie, thanks for the thorough response, not only do I think what secular humanism tries to stand for or accomplish is pointless, but I think it is positively harmful in proportion as it distracts from emphasizing the “comprehensive inner transformation”, as this is the only logical first step and important thing in life.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 February 2007 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14

Well, given that secular humanists generally speaking (and the philosophers that gave SH its foundation) are the only people nowadays investigating ethics from a purely rational point of view, it’s pretty clear that you don’t know what you are talking about.

Re. “comprehensive inner transformation”, the only way we would know that this is good is by rational means: i.e. by reasoning about what is best to do, and having some sort of argument as to what an “inner transformation” amounts to, how it can be achieved, and that the state it would produce would correspond to what is best to do. You haven’t done any of these things yet. “Inner transformation” as a description says nothing, since one can transform onself in many ways that are good and many ways that are bad.

The only sorts of arguments that I have seen along these lines are from the stoics in the western tradition and the Buddhists and Hindus from the east. The stoics are one of the basic roots of present-day humanism. For that, read Paul Kurtz among many others. I have outlined some of the problems with Buddhist and Hindu approaches to self renunciation. However, mckenzievmd and I have both said that we are quite amenable to Buddhism in general, and open to some aspects of the Buddhist approach to life. (Indeed, I have practiced Buddhist meditation, and studied with eastern Buddhist professors).

But put more simply, you assert that self-renunciation and inner transformation are worthy goals, but haven’t established that this is the case or how to achieve it, and have given reason to believe you yourself are far from achieving it. So, “people who live in glass houses ...” and all that.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sue├▒o de la raz├│n produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 February 2007 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

I am far from achieving it. But the reasons (rational explanation) for this “inner transformation” and what I mean by it, and how I define “self-renunciation”, are outlined in my original post.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 February 2007 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“Mark_W”]I am far from achieving it. But the reasons (rational explanation) for this “inner transformation” and what I mean by it, and how I define “self-renunciation”, are outlined in my original post.

All well and good. But that is little more than the briefest sort of offhand sketch, and it doesn’t respond to the questions and criticisms I have outlined in my various responses. Further, there are any number of additional issues one could take with it. I have refrained from pushing too hard because it is only a sketch.

So, first, you need to develop this scheme much further, responding to the various questions and criticisms I have put, above.

Second, you should really try to figure out to what extent the system you are proposing is actually a variety of secular humanism. If, as it appears you believe, it may very well be such a variety, then your strategy of attack may be ill advised for both philosophical and political reasons.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sue├▒o de la raz├│n produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 February 2007 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2007-02-03

I have responded to your questions and criticisms, and would be happy to respond to any specifics you may have in mind.

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 5
1