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How would you reply to atheist critiques of humanism?
Posted: 25 June 2017 11:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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Perhaps they have read Ayn Rand. 

Objectivism, which advocates pure Natural Selection.

At heart I am a pure humanist, but objectively, there is that pesky mathematical problem of the exponential function, which forbids a continued increase of anything within a limited environment.

Example: a simple 1% steady increase of anything will exponentially double in size every 70 years.

Professor Emeritus, Albert Bartlett clearly explains this in this narrative (with illustration);
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY

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Posted: 26 June 2017 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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;

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By expanding knowledge of the real, reduce the environmental footprint of of ignorance…in any and every way you most desire.

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Posted: 26 June 2017 01:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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JohnH - 25 June 2017 08:57 PM

My problem with humanism is “aspire to the greater good of humanity”

Like religion, this humanism (and its focus on humans) seems to assume the dubious notion that humankind is the pinnacle of evolution. In doing so it apparently violates another of their sentiments that “Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis”.

The knowledge they commend suggests that humans are highly unlikely to be a permanent feature in the future of the universe. It also suggests that humans may not even be the precursor of future evolved occupants of the world (unless it is something they triggered such as silicon-based intelligence). The purpose I see in life is to contribute to evolution and go away when our purpose is exhausted.

In my opinion, humanism also directs attention away from the notion that the entire planet is a single organism (Gaia?) with multiple components just as special as humanity - and absolutely essential to the existence of humanity. Since our current knowledge of what is significant to humans is woefully lacking, it behooves us to recognize that “the greater good of humanity” is intimately linked to the greater good of the planet and the greater good of many other components of our planet.

If I have to have a label, I suppose scientific pantheist would come closest to describing me.

Irmin: The theism in pantheism is unacceptable to those who find no god anywhere. The entire universe is obviously a system yet, no single larger part appears necessary for the continuation of out universe. Take away a species and the universe goes on…including the human species. Take away a star or two the universe goes on without them. Take away god, and no one would notice at all except, perhaps, those who made the concept up out of nothing but human desire for meeting a human need using and ignorant concept as the solution to greater ignorance of reality.

The universe is to be studied in awe to give you and I and our posterity the best chances to enjoy life to the max as each of us defines it. This enjoyment desire is the base of morality. God or theism is just stupid to indicate any need for a god that explains ignorance is needed for morality to exists.

So, pantheism or any explanation is completely unnecessary for anything whatsoever. Just a desire to live fully is required. And it just so happens in reality that other people besides ourselves are needed. None would deny this in this world save supremacist gods, Like Jesus, and communists like Marx.

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Posted: 26 June 2017 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]
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JSmith - 26 June 2017 01:29 AM
JohnH - 25 June 2017 08:57 PM

If I have to have a label, I suppose scientific pantheist would come closest to describing me.

The theism in pantheism is unacceptable to those who find no god anywhere.

So, pantheism or any explanation is completely unnecessary for anything whatsoever. Just a desire to live fully is required. And it just so happens in reality that other people besides ourselves are needed.

I pointed to a box so someone tried to shove me in it. However, they aimed for the wrong box, failing to realize that, like religion (and even humanism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism#Manifestos_and_declarations) Pantheism also has its variants - such as “Strong naturalism, without belief in supernatural realms, afterlives, beings or forces” (https://www.pantheism.net/manifest).

JSmith - 26 June 2017 01:29 AM

This enjoyment desire is the base of morality.

From IEP “As a theory of value, hedonism states that all and only pleasure is intrinsically valuable”.

My atheist concern about humanism is their position that humanity is the primary focus of their interest. I suppose one contortion would be that a well cared for planet makes for happy humans but I’m not sure that the evolutionary process will necessarily favor happy humans. However, it is one option in a spectrum of opinions. Natural selection will deal with it one way or another provided it is not an opinion forced upon all, in which case it would probably fail.

[ Edited: 26 June 2017 02:08 PM by JohnH ]
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Posted: 26 June 2017 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]
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Desire is not equivalent to hedonistic pleasure seeking.  Everyone desires and outcome. For any mature individual to achieve outcomes, that individual invariably must help others fulfill their desired outcomes. Thus individual and goals and social cooperation develop. Egos learn to cooperate just as the most successful species of any biological organism

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Posted: 27 June 2017 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]
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JSmith - 26 June 2017 01:29 AM

This enjoyment desire is the base of morality.

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