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Humanist Association’s New Ad - featuring Obama
Posted: 17 April 2009 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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As Occam so succinctly replied, atheism and humanism are two completely different issues.

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Posted: 17 April 2009 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Humanism, as define by the AHA, “is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.”

Christian Humanism is listed as a form of humanism here:  http://www.americanhumanist.org/who_we_are/about_humanism/What_is_Humanism  However, I would not say it is Humanism.

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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: 17 April 2009 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I’ll add my agreement to asanta and Occam’s statements. Humanism has become synonomous with atheism in the minds of many on both sides of the religious/non-religous divide, but I think that is largely the result of right wing propoganda, not a natural relationship between the two stances.

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Posted: 17 April 2009 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Well, historically although humanism wasn’t necessarily atheist (the Renaissance humanists were all Catholics), nevertheless it represented a rebirth of classical learning that did signify the relative demotion of the Bible, God and religion as the centers of human life. In that sense, I think there is something of a natural historical relationship between humanism and atheism, via some form of secularism.

But in saying there’s a natural relationship I’m not saying that one can’t be a religious (or even a Christian) humanist. Clearly you can be, as the Renaissance humanists were.

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Posted: 17 April 2009 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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It’s interesting that when the American Humanist Association was formed in the early 1930s they wrote Humanist Manifesto I.  It contained a number of references to god.  Then they wrote Humanist Manifesto II many years later, I think in the 1970s (mainly by Paul Kurtz).  It did not contain any references to a god.  Very shortly after that Kurtz had some disagreement with the AHA and formed the Secular Humanists, which do pretty well reject the existence of a god as part of their concept of humanism.  However, note their name - it specifically modifies the second word with the first which may indicate that one can be a humanist without being required to be an atheist.

Occam

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Posted: 17 April 2009 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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1973 I believe the HMII was written.

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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: 18 April 2009 06:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Occam - 17 April 2009 11:32 PM

It’s interesting that when the American Humanist Association was formed in the early 1930s they wrote Humanist Manifesto I.  It contained a number of references to god.  Then they wrote Humanist Manifesto II many years later, I think in the 1970s (mainly by Paul Kurtz).  It did not contain any references to a god.  Very shortly after that Kurtz had some disagreement with the AHA and formed the Secular Humanists, which do pretty well reject the existence of a god as part of their concept of humanism.  However, note their name - it specifically modifies the second word with the first which may indicate that one can be a humanist without being required to be an atheist.

Right, yes. I think it’s important to note that Secular Humanism is a particular form of humanism, one which is explicitly non religious.

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Posted: 19 April 2009 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Occam - 17 April 2009 05:32 PM

Your view was echoed by the head of the AHA a few years ago when I had a conversation with him.  He felt that they had a proprietary interest in the word, however, they, unlike the Secular Humanists, accept religious or even Christian Humanists.  I disagreed and said pretty much what Asanta said, that Humanism is a philosophy focused on humane behavior while atheism is a stance believing the lack of existence of a god.  One can be one, the other, both or neither.  However, I reject the necessary connection that some want to impose on the two words and concepts.

Occam

Occam, I submit what you describe is Humantariaism and not Humanism.  I ask you to provide a source of information say, one of the Humanist Manifestos, to support your belief and rejection of the neceesity of non-theism in Humanism.  Humanism is a philosophy and is focused on ethical behavoir as you clearly understand and accept.  Humanism also requires a non-thestic element.  That is my understanding and I challenge you and all who would like it to be otherwise to clearly define a historic link, reference, or thread that supports Humanism entanglement with theism in any form.

I also point out that the “Secular Humanists” to whom you refer are part of CFI and have largely been responsible for defining the term.  Additionally you seem to misunderstand what “Religious Humanism” is altogether.

Are there any other trainied Humanists out there who would like to weigh in on this topic?  If I am misguided please let me know.  Perhaps organized Humanism has changed since I graduated from the Humanist Institute - Seventh Class.

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Posted: 19 April 2009 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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PLaClair - 25 January 2009 05:39 AM
asanta - 25 January 2009 02:26 AM

You can be both an atheist and humanist, or a humanist with out being atheist.

Most respectfully I disagree. They are not different elements of the same thing. One can be an atheist without being a Humanist, and a Humanist without being an atheist. ....

PLaClair—the way I read asanta’s post it doesn’t disagree with yours.

Does “Humanist” imply you more-or-less agree with the Humanist Manifesto while “humanist” is more equivalent to “atheist” without organizational connotations—or is there some other distinction to capitalizing the “H”?

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Posted: 19 April 2009 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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wesmjohnson - 19 April 2009 07:29 AM

Occam, I submit what you describe is Humantariaism and not Humanism.

  I disagree.

I ask you to provide a source of information say, one of the Humanist Manifestos, to support your belief and rejection of the neceesity of non-theism in Humanism.

Read my damned posts!  I already did that.  Go back and read H.F. I.  It includes god a number of times.

Humanism also requires a non-thestic element.  That is my understanding . . .

Right, but is is NOT my understanding. 

I challenge you and all who would like it to be otherwise to clearly define a historic link, reference, or thread that supports Humanism entanglement with theism in any form.

I DID that.

I also point out that the “Secular Humanists” to whom you refer are part of CFI and have largely been responsible for defining the term.

  I KNOW they’ve done that for themselves, but they are not the only voices of humanism. 

Additionally you seem to misunderstand what “Religious Humanism” is altogether.

I think I understand it far, far better and more completely than you do.

If I am misguided please let me know.

I believe I’ve done so.

Perhaps organized Humanism has changed since I graduated from the Humanist Institute - Seventh Class.

Ah, the argument by authority ploy.  I’ve probably been a Humanist for longer than you’ve been alive, and I’m quite aware of the history of the movement and its sub-movements. 

Occam
Edited to correct a quotation flag.

[ Edited: 19 April 2009 04:55 PM by Occam ]
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Posted: 19 April 2009 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Best of all… I didn’t realize one needed training to be a Humanist! rolleyes

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 19 April 2009 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Pla Clair and Martinus please see this!! This is why the movement you envision will never work!
I’m refering to the above dialouge. There is always conflict within the ranks. The constant jockeying for authority.

[ Edited: 19 April 2009 01:17 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 19 April 2009 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Mriana - 25 January 2009 10:45 AM

I agree, asanta.  I think, IF someone is a believer like Spong is, they can be a humanist too.  All too often he says and writes things that sound very much like humanism, except, like there is humanistic Judaism, I would call his philosophy more like Christian humanism and not necessarily Humanism.

Or you might call him a post-modern Christian (Spong more than once asks how a 20th century person can believe these stories)

I think Spong may still believe in God, but has come to the conclusion that God doesn’t really care how He is worshipped, what He cares about is how we treat others.  This is kind a Dumbo-and-the-feather sort of humanism.

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Posted: 19 April 2009 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I thought Spong was an Episcopalian.  Of the twelve items he apparently believes in only one refers to humans:

#12: All human beings bear God’s image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one’s being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.

I suppose this can be called Episcopalian “humanism”.  Apparently Spong and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams (another kind of religious humanist) don’t see eye-to-eye either, so I guess their Episcohumanism is also poorly defined.

Since no one seems to be in agreement about the definition of the current terms, it seems that we should coin some new terms to describe what is being talked about here:

• Athehumanism, or:
• Humatheism.

Perhaps that does it, dammit!

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Posted: 19 April 2009 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Spong is Episcopalian.

Poorly defined- try Anthony Freeman and Don Cupitt who talk about humanism too.

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Mriana
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