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Where are the theist secular humanists?
Posted: 10 February 2015 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
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A common assertion among people here is that theists can be (secular) humanists. A lot of American humanists seem to be of this viewpoint, which would make American humanism very different from European humanism., the latter which is explicitly irreligious and atheistic (or at least agnostic).

So I’m asking you here: Where are those secular humanists who are also theists? Have they had prominent roles in any humanist organization? Do they show up in meetups or in membership lists? Show me an example of a theist secular humanist!

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Posted: 10 February 2015 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Irmin - 10 February 2015 02:50 PM

A common assertion among people here is that theists can be (secular) humanists. A lot of American humanists seem to be of this viewpoint, which would make American humanism very different from European humanism., the latter which is explicitly irreligious and atheistic (or at least agnostic).

So I’m asking you here: Where are those secular humanists who are also theists? Have they had prominent roles in any humanist organization? Do they show up in meetups or in membership lists? Show me an example of a theist secular humanist!

Unitarians often call themselves religious Humanists and are an important part of the American Humanist Association. The problem is in calling them secular humanists since secular means non-religious. The AHA shuns the word secular with humanism and feels that the word Humanist without any adjective is a perfectly adequate and representative name. It also does not keep out religious humanists. Anybody can joIn the AHA. There is no religious test. All they have to do is say they embrace all the aspects of humanism, and the member can be a theist if that is his choice choice and his theism does not interfere with the humanist philosophy.

Lois

[ Edited: 12 March 2016 12:48 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 10 February 2015 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Did you catch Obama’s Prayer Breakfast speech? It was a finely crafted bit of Christian preaching, that also had a call for equality and tolerance and humility.

Frank Schaeffer is the son of one of the founders of the evangelical movement. He has since renounced that heritage and writes books like “Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God.”

Brian McClaren is a bit more theist, but he walks the walk and has worked with many organizations to end poverty. I don’t endorse his preaching, but he tries as hard as anyone to use the Bible to promote peace and understanding.

Desmond Tutu. Needs no introduction.

Karen Armstrong. Similar to McClaren, I think she’s wrong in many ways, but she tries to promote the idea that compassion is common to all religions and that we should focus on that, instead the differences.

Cornel West, who’s just very cool

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Posted: 11 February 2015 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Lausten - 10 February 2015 08:03 PM

Did you catch Obama’s Prayer Breakfast speech? It was a finely crafted bit of Christian preaching, that also had a call for equality and tolerance and humility.

Frank Schaeffer is the son of one of the founders of the evangelical movement. He has since renounced that heritage and writes books like “Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God.”

Brian McClaren is a bit more theist, but he walks the walk and has worked with many organizations to end poverty. I don’t endorse his preaching, but he tries as hard as anyone to use the Bible to promote peace and understanding.

Desmond Tutu. Needs no introduction.

Karen Armstrong. Similar to McClaren, I think she’s wrong in many ways, but she tries to promote the idea that compassion is common to all religions and that we should focus on that, instead the differences.

Cornel West, who’s just very cool

That’s all very nice, but what has it got to do with humanism?

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Posted: 11 February 2015 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Irmin - 11 February 2015 10:53 AM

That’s all very nice, but what has it got to do with humanism?

What are your requirements? Does “humanism” need to appear on their business card?

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Posted: 12 February 2015 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Irmin - 10 February 2015 02:50 PM

A common assertion among people here is that theists can be (secular) humanists. A lot of American humanists seem to be of this viewpoint, which would make American humanism very different from European humanism., the latter which is explicitly irreligious and atheistic (or at least agnostic).

So I’m asking you here: Where are those secular humanists who are also theists? Have they had prominent roles in any humanist organization? Do they show up in meetups or in membership lists? Show me an example of a theist secular humanist!

Umm, no, theists can’t be secular humanists. Contradiction in terms.

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Posted: 12 February 2015 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Lausten - 11 February 2015 06:03 PM
Irmin - 11 February 2015 10:53 AM

That’s all very nice, but what has it got to do with humanism?

What are your requirements? Does “humanism” need to appear on their business card?

Read the link I gave you.

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Posted: 12 February 2015 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Irmin - 10 February 2015 02:50 PM

A common assertion among people here is that theists can be (secular) humanists. A lot of American humanists seem to be of this viewpoint, which would make American humanism very different from European humanism., the latter which is explicitly irreligious and atheistic (or at least agnostic).

So I’m asking you here: Where are those secular humanists who are also theists? Have they had prominent roles in any humanist organization? Do they show up in meetups or in membership lists? Show me an example of a theist secular humanist!

A far more illuminating question is, why do you ask this question? I can’t help thinking there is a load presumption attached to your question.

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Posted: 12 February 2015 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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CuthbertJ - 12 February 2015 11:15 AM
Irmin - 10 February 2015 02:50 PM

A common assertion among people here is that theists can be (secular) humanists. A lot of American humanists seem to be of this viewpoint, which would make American humanism very different from European humanism., the latter which is explicitly irreligious and atheistic (or at least agnostic).

So I’m asking you here: Where are those secular humanists who are also theists? Have they had prominent roles in any humanist organization? Do they show up in meetups or in membership lists? Show me an example of a theist secular humanist!

Umm, no, theists can’t be secular humanists. Contradiction in terms.

Thay can be and are Humanists, though. The problem is in using the adjective “sexular”. It is unnecessary. It’s as unnecessary—and ridiculous—as calling someone a theistic Christian.

Lois

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Posted: 12 February 2015 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Show me an example of a theist secular humanist!

I can’t because I don’t think it exists.

While I certainly cannot claim to be knowledgeable about all potential theologies, a common theme is that the love, worship and adoration (or at least a healthy respect) for some deity takes priority over fellow humans.  This insures inequality in thought if not in action.  My religion is better than your religion.  My heterosexuality is better than your homosexuality.  My behavior is holier than your behavior.

Perhaps the closest one could get would be with someone who is, for example, a “Cafeteria Catholic”.  Someone who accepts the parts of their religion that are consistent with humanism and rejects the parts they deem bigoted and hateful.  A person like this would be considered a “Bad Catholic” by the apologists, so I’m not sure that counts.

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Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. -Voltaire

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Posted: 12 February 2015 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Irmin - 11 February 2015 10:53 AM

That’s all very nice, but what has it got to do with humanism?

Sorry, missed the link.
That’s a pretty high bar. Technically, and you seem technical, no theist could meet that criteria, not all of it.
But the people I named would claim to agree with humanist values. Erasmus is considered an early humanist. If you just want to set some barriers and argue about them, find some other turkey.

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Posted: 13 February 2015 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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There are SECULAR humanists and there are people calling themselves RELIGIOUS humanists.  The adjectives are for a reason.  To me, a Secular Religious humanist would be a contradiction.  But then there are people who define religion so loosely it can include anything and everything.

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Posted: 13 February 2015 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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there are people who define religion so loosely it can include anything and everything

Not that anybody asked, but when I am speaking of “religion” I refer to “organized religion” (and by “organized religion” I mean something that includes rules/dogma that must be followed, prerequisites for entry into heaven, a certainty that their path is the one true path to salvation, etc.).  I do not believe that a belief in God (or a god or gods) necessarily equates to being “religious” (Deists, for example).

Thus, while someone who follows a religion cannot, to me, be a humanist, someone who believes in a Deity of some sort but adheres to no particular dogma (I would include “Cafeteria Catholics” and such) could be a humanist.  Put another way, one who is an ardent follower of a religion cannot be a humanist.  A “Bad Catholic” or “Bad Protestant” could be.

But that’s just me.  cheese

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Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. -Voltaire

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Posted: 13 February 2015 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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PaineMan - 13 February 2015 10:00 AM

there are people who define religion so loosely it can include anything and everything

Not that anybody asked, but when I am speaking of “religion” I refer to “organized religion” (and by “organized religion” I mean something that includes rules/dogma that must be followed, prerequisites for entry into heaven, a certainty that their path is the one true path to salvation, etc.).  I do not believe that a belief in God (or a god or gods) necessarily equates to being “religious” (Deists, for example).

Thus, while someone who follows a religion cannot, to me, be a humanist, someone who believes in a Deity of some sort but adheres to no particular dogma (I would include “Cafeteria Catholics” and such) could be a humanist.  Put another way, one who is an ardent follower of a religion cannot be a humanist.  A “Bad Catholic” or “Bad Protestant” could be.

But that’s just me.  cheese

Humanism itself has been called a non-theistic religion. It does qualify. It offers a doctrine and a moral code.  Atheism, on the other hand, does not qualify as a religion. There is no atheist doctrine and no moral code. Any atheist who comes up with a doctrine or moral code is speaking only for himself, and it has nothing to do with atheism, per se.

Lois

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Posted: 18 February 2015 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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LoisL - 13 February 2015 11:03 AM
PaineMan - 13 February 2015 10:00 AM

there are people who define religion so loosely it can include anything and everything

Not that anybody asked, but when I am speaking of “religion” I refer to “organized religion” (and by “organized religion” I mean something that includes rules/dogma that must be followed, prerequisites for entry into heaven, a certainty that their path is the one true path to salvation, etc.).  I do not believe that a belief in God (or a god or gods) necessarily equates to being “religious” (Deists, for example).

Thus, while someone who follows a religion cannot, to me, be a humanist, someone who believes in a Deity of some sort but adheres to no particular dogma (I would include “Cafeteria Catholics” and such) could be a humanist.  Put another way, one who is an ardent follower of a religion cannot be a humanist.  A “Bad Catholic” or “Bad Protestant” could be.

But that’s just me.  cheese

Humanism itself has been called a non-theistic religion. It does qualify. It offers a doctrine and a moral code.  Atheism, on the other hand, does not qualify as a religion. There is no atheist doctrine and no moral code. Any atheist who comes up with a doctrine or moral code is speaking only for himself, and it has nothing to do with atheism, per se.

Lois

Sure it’s been called that, and whoever called it that is wrong. By definition Humanism is not a religion. Religion by definition includes supreme belief in a supreme being. Humanism by definition means supreme belief in humans. As for your other statement about “secular” not being important, you’re confused. It absolutely matters. Secular Humanist vs Religious Humanist (not even sure what that means without being contradictory) are two different things in the same way that apple fruit is different from grapes fruit.

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Posted: 19 February 2015 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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CuthbertJ - 18 February 2015 04:15 PM
LoisL - 13 February 2015 11:03 AM
PaineMan - 13 February 2015 10:00 AM

there are people who define religion so loosely it can include anything and everything

Not that anybody asked, but when I am speaking of “religion” I refer to “organized religion” (and by “organized religion” I mean something that includes rules/dogma that must be followed, prerequisites for entry into heaven, a certainty that their path is the one true path to salvation, etc.).  I do not believe that a belief in God (or a god or gods) necessarily equates to being “religious” (Deists, for example).

Thus, while someone who follows a religion cannot, to me, be a humanist, someone who believes in a Deity of some sort but adheres to no particular dogma (I would include “Cafeteria Catholics” and such) could be a humanist.  Put another way, one who is an ardent follower of a religion cannot be a humanist.  A “Bad Catholic” or “Bad Protestant” could be.

But that’s just me.  cheese

Humanism itself has been called a non-theistic religion. It does qualify. It offers a doctrine and a moral code.  Atheism, on the other hand, does not qualify as a religion. There is no atheist doctrine and no moral code. Any atheist who comes up with a doctrine or moral code is speaking only for himself, and it has nothing to do with atheism, per se.

Lois

Sure it’s been called that, and whoever called it that is wrong. By definition Humanism is not a religion. Religion by definition includes supreme belief in a supreme being. Humanism by definition means supreme belief in humans. As for your other statement about “secular” not being important, you’re confused. It absolutely matters. Secular Humanist vs Religious Humanist (not even sure what that means without being contradictory) are two different things in the same way that apple fruit is different from grapes fruit.


Not true. That is but one definition of religion. Though most people define religion as theism, religion is also defined as follows by accepted sources:

a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.

the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.


something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience:
to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion


 “The very fact that they are so many and so different from one another is enough to prove that the word ‘religion’ cannot stand for any single principle or essence, but is rather a collective name.”
William James

I, myself, refrain from using the word “religion” to mean anything but supernatural belief because it invites responses like yours.  Nevertheless, religion does not require supernatural belief. It can mean non supernatural beliefs, and that includes Humanism.

Lois

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