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Positive, Proactive Humanism vs Atheism/Theism
Posted: 03 June 2008 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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faithlessgod - 03 June 2008 09:15 AM
erasmusinfinity - 31 May 2008 08:34 AM

Unfortunately, the term “naturist” has already been taken by a rather distinctly unrelated niche.  LOL

Well not necessarily unfortunate, depending if you are single and who the person is who is doing the misunderstanding… smile It was for that reason that I started liking calling myself a naturalist!  cool smile

Well, I do not in any way wish to restrict the rights of others.  One must find their own ways of enjoying life.  LOL

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Posted: 03 June 2008 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Thanks for the kind comments, Ras. I really do think we will separate out the various flavours of Humanism shortly. Like your “ahuman” term, V1K’s distinction of Humanitarian vs Humanist is worth remembering.

I can view (legitimate) Christian overseas aid groups as humanitarian, e.g. without having to account for them as Humanists. This means I can participate with them in anti-war programs, war tax withholding coalitions, and so on and be inclusive, rather than excluding all theists a priori for their sins of the supernatural.

In the end, we need some allies to move Humanism forward, and I can see some “born-again Humanists” joining our ranks when they find our ideas, which aren’t really proferred much to young thinkers as yet.

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Posted: 03 June 2008 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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We keep labeling ourselves, atheist, humanist, naturalist, rationalist, bright, etc. What we need to realize that we share all those world views.  Evolution strives on variety, why can’t we strive on variety that converges to a thing we call “I”.

I am so many, but I am one.

v1ktor
ps. I think my last statement says it all.

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Posted: 27 June 2008 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 03 June 2008 09:31 AM

I agree with Dwight that such issues ought to be the main focus of humanist advocacy.  I see religious skepticism only as an aggregate part of this greater whole.  What ought to matter most to “us” are human rights, liberties, welfare and general moral decency.  My beef with religion is that I see it as an affront to those values, which is why I am a “secular” sort of humanist.  I see no good reason to be polite about religion, but without an underlying core of humanistic values “atheism” is hollow as a cause.

Ras, how about this distinction - in order for an atheist to social climb into the ranks of actual Humanism, they must show a 2nd piece of ID. As to the credentials cited on it, see your summary above.

Personally I could care less if someone is an atheist or not, I’ve been educated on my earlier website to realize that being inclusionary makes sense, because it’s what you do for and with your fellow Man that matters in this world.

[ Edited: 28 June 2008 10:11 AM by Martinus ]
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Posted: 27 June 2008 08:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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V1ktor - 03 June 2008 11:22 PM

We keep labeling ourselves, atheist, humanist, naturalist, rationalist, bright, etc. What we need to realize that we share all those world views.  Evolution strives on variety, why can’t we strive on variety that converges to a thing we call “I”.

I am so many, but I am one.

v1ktor
ps. I think my last statement says it all.

My only critique here, V1k, is that your last sentence might be too close to the tradition of Humanists being seen as individual free thinkers.

Whereas now I see a need to us being recognized as a movement, not simply the weltanschauung of one person, to perish with them.

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Posted: 28 June 2008 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 03 June 2008 09:31 AM

I see no good reason to be polite about religion, but without an underlying core of humanistic values “atheism” is hollow as a cause.

Some of us live in the Bible Belt and it’s amazing how the words “atheist”, “heathen”, “heretic”, and alike can be turned into ugly curse words by theistic extremists.  Be that as it may, I don’t see why we should have respect for religion or necessarily be polite about it, esp at a place dedicated to non-theists.

At the same time though, since some of us do live in the more radical areas of the Bible Belt, I think we should be polite to the person, even if we do not respect their beliefs.  It gives one a bit of a sad alienation to be a Humanist in the Bible Belt, but at the same time, it’s still good to have compassion for those still suffering under the delusion.  I don’t think one can practice humanism if they are not polite to the person.

This does not mean one has to respect their religious beliefs though, but to pound them with humanism would be the same thing as them pounding a person with the Bible.  Granted there is no single book concerning humanism like there is Christianity or Islam, thus it is metaphorically speaking.  We should show the religious that contradictory to their beliefs, one can be very happy without a belief in a deity, Jesus, or any other Sun of God, because actions speak louder than words.  We should try to show them that happiness is a state of mind, not a belief in some religious dogma, God, or Sun of God worship.  (Sorry, sometimes I have to surreptitiously get my punches in there too.  LOL It amazing what one can be thinking at the same time they are addressing a preachy religious dogmatist.)  If they come at us when we are unhappy or depressed with their religious dogma and belief that people are happier with an invisible father figure, we can point out to them the neurology behind it all.  If they come at us with their Bible verses or what have you, be prepared to use their book against them- fight fire with fire.  It is why I have tried to know more about their religion then they do, so I can refute them not only with science, but their very own book.

At the same time, I have ticked off many a theist with what I know about religion, esp Xianity.  They don’t like it and that is without going into any reference to their beliefs being related to any pagan sun worship.  Almost like Obama spouting off about the this and that of the Bible and Dobson or whoever comes back saying that Bamy is twisting the Bible.  No, he was being honest about it, but the Religious Reicher wasn’t.  Except I could take it farther than what Bamy (and I mean that affectionately) did and really tick them off, thus the explosive epitaphs I get and it maybe one of the reasons I prefer non-theist and Humanist over the term atheist.  You would truly be amazed how religious extremists can turn the word “atheist” into something vile.

Thus I think it is very important that we as Humanists be the bigger persons and at least be polite to the person without necessarily being polite to their superstitious beliefs.  Some of us do have to live among them and causing a constant battle between them and “me” (not many non-theists in the Bible Belt, so it comes down to a “me” more often than not) will not make living amongst them very nice.  If one runs into another non-theist in the Bible Belt, it makes it even nicer, but there still should not be a battle between them and us, irregardless.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 28 June 2008 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Mriana - 28 June 2008 09:26 AM
erasmusinfinity - 03 June 2008 09:31 AM

I see no good reason to be polite about religion, but without an underlying core of humanistic values “atheism” is hollow as a cause.

Mriana - 28 June 2008 09:26 AM

At the same time, I have ticked off many a theist with what I know about religion, esp Xianity.  They don’t like it and that is without going into any reference to their beliefs being related to any pagan sun worship. 

There is indeed some good fun to be had there, Mrnie. My favourite way of using the Bible on them, is when I answer the front door, and there stand two street missionaries. Jehovahs, whatever.

Hoo boy, did they knock on the wrong (or is it right?) door. Usually an older one is mentoring a younger one.

My punchline goes as follows:
“Can you imagine going to Heaven and missing the fact?”
“What?”
“This life on Earth IS heaven, and you have been so misled that you are missing it almost entirely.”

The conversation inevitably falls off shortly thereafter. grin

[ Edited: 28 June 2008 10:14 AM by Martinus ]
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Posted: 28 June 2008 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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LOL  That is a good one to use.  They hate the idea that earth maybe heaven and that’s it.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 05 July 2008 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Mriana,

I meant my point about “not being polite about religion” within a specific context.  Namely, that just as with the term “respect” the parameters that define “polite” are completely eschew in our society.  The religionist who declares the non-believers views are “impolite” is actually embracing impoliteness at the utmost and the non-believer who insists upon truth and reason is not really being impolite or disrespectful in any meaningful sense.  Most matters of politeness, with regards to religion, are essentially non-sequiturs.

You are absolutely right that we should try to be generally decent to others and should strive to be the better man (or woman) in dealing with religious persons.  So, in the sense that you are describing I agree that we should try to be polite.  As with the idea of “respect,” I believe that all human beings deserve a certain specifiable sort of “politeness.”

It is my position that we should not pander to dogma for fear of being termed “impolite.”  We should call things as they are and not allow our thoughts or our voices to be stifled.  On the other hand, I certainly do understand that the social consequences of speaking openly and publicly may be greater in the “heart of the bible belt” and I don’t blame anyone for being oppressed.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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I wasn’t advocating pandering to dogma, but some of us have to be very careful in how we approach dogmatics and deal with it.  I know there are other non-theists here, but because of the circumstances, it is hard to weed them out and ban together.  It would be so much easier if we had Humanist group here, but of course it would probably encounter a lot of headaches from the religious reichers.  Be that as it may, I think it would be very worthwhile in helping to combat much of the dogma imposed by the Assembly of God and other like groups.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Mriana - 06 July 2008 12:51 AM

I wasn’t advocating pandering to dogma, but some of us have to be very careful in how we approach dogmatics and deal with it.  I know there are other non-theists here, but because of the circumstances, it is hard to weed them out and ban together.  It would be so much easier if we had Humanist group here, but of course it would probably encounter a lot of headaches from the religious reichers.  Be that as it may, I think it would be very worthwhile in helping to combat much of the dogma imposed by the Assembly of God and other like groups.

erasmus makes an excellent and important point. We must be careful about how we present ourselves, but we must also stand our ground. Most of the culture is aligned against us on the question of “God”, and as a whole “the culture” doesn’t hesitate to use any means to beat us back. My own mother, for example, tells me to “keep an open mind,” but only about one thing: the religion she wishes I still believed in. If she has ever opened her mind to my point of view, I’ve seen no evidence of it.

We’re not being dogmatic in decling to discuss discredited theologies and their offshoots for the gazillionth time. There are real and important matters of science, history, art and life to be studied and discussed. We do well to say “I’m more interested in discussing things like great music or art, the great political issues of our time like resource availability and allocation, great issues of science like evolutionary theory or developments in medicine, or for that matter your kids or mine.” The theists’ trick of constantly drawing us back into discussions about what they insist on discussing is itself a form of dogma, as erasmus rightly points out, and it is also a form of manipulation. It is as disrespectful as you can get.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Yes Mriana.  It feel what you are saying.

Living in New York, I probably have a relative sort of anonymity in that there are so many people and so many converging belief systems that mine don’t stick out so much.  Although, there are probably as many religious fanatics in New York as in any other part of the country who would respond to either of our views with extreme anger and hate.  While I speak fiercely amongst trusted friends, within specific social circles and under pen names on internet forums, there are many daily social situations in which I simply won’t talk about religion.  Not because it is inappropriate, but because I don’t feel that it is safe.

When it comes to speaking our minds, we do have to be careful.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Mriana,

Have you considered starting your own meetup.com group?  It seems to me that interested people could meet one another while preserving a relative sense of privacy that way.  You could select an unimposing bar or cafe and allow persons to remain anonymous if they wish.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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I truly believe that we are way and above the morality of the religious right.  The Christians have no instincts when it comes to right versus wrong.  They simply plow into life and when they are caught sinning, they beg the Lord for forgiveness.  Somehow, I believe that our extended brains that separate us from the animals, missed out on survival techniques.  Anyone who watched the Indonesian tsumani where the people on the beach stared at the receding water and were all caught up in the wave that took them out of the living.  The people who watched this on television prayed for their survival.  One cannot pray away stupidity.  I don’t care if some of us are Evanglicals or Orthodox Jews but if they cannot take a second to locate their right vs wrong switches in their brains, they have few ethics or morals at their discretion. 

We must overlook the religious right as their brains are running on empty.  They were brainwashed to never think and they passed it down to the next generation.  I have told the story of my youngest girl who was in 4th grade when the teeter totter lost a bold and she crashed down on her knee.  I took her to the doctor’s office where they used 2 dozen stitches inside and outside to close up the wound.  The principal of the Christian School told her that she must have been thinking bad thoughts about someone for God to have punished her.  That was the end of that and no more Christian school.  How dare this woman say such a hideous thing to my little girl.  I might have believed it of my older girl but never this one.  It took me a while to realize this bitch wanted no responsibility for the damaged equipment and brought God into the discussion.  How low can any person get?

We are above this using God to defend our own rotten actions.  We are far and above this kind of actions.  Right?

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Posted: 21 July 2008 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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PLaClair - 06 July 2008 04:06 AM

We’re not being dogmatic in decling to discuss discredited theologies and their offshoots for the gazillionth time. There are real and important matters of science, history, art and life to be studied and discussed. We do well to say “I’m more interested in discussing things like great music or art, the great political issues of our time like resource availability and allocation, great issues of science like evolutionary theory or developments in medicine, or for that matter your kids or mine.” The theists’ trick of constantly drawing us back into discussions about what they insist on discussing is itself a form of dogma, as erasmus rightly points out, and it is also a form of manipulation. It is as disrespectful as you can get.

This is so patently true, P, but m’fears that it is observed more in the breach by Humanists, who continue to be associated with anti-religious bickering - period. Why is this so?

It doesn’t help that high-profile writers like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchings term themselves Humanists yet devote themselves largely to theist-baiting, probably because books on that sell better, there are so many theists looking for alternatives. The public understandably is left with the image that Humanism=anti-religion and we are hugely shortchanged by that perception.

You outline here the ideational possibilities around a philosophy of Humanism, which is not yet fully formed within the species. Personally I hope that we shall become recognized as apologists for our own kind and its own best critics. But that’s not where we are now, and maybe it’s time to stringently disavow any more engagement with theists, just an any sane adult abstains from arguments with five year olds.

The theists were instructed to “Lift up thine eyes unto the hills, that give you peace.” but they never did. Every Humanist can do that in their stead, and move on to purely human issues and projects.

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