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Paul Kurtz - A Kinder, Gentler Secularism
Posted: 16 October 2009 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Occam - 16 October 2009 05:59 PM

While atheism may be defined as anti-theism, non-theism, or a few other shades of meaning, I see the general concept as one that doesn’t accept the existence of one or more gods.  I see Humanism as a humanistic, humane, human centered philosophy, different from any of the versions of atheist, even though many of the former also fit into the idea of the latter.  However, once we stick the adjective “secular” in front of humanist, we’ve sort of shifted the discussion in a manner such that the two word term seems to include at least one of the meanings of atheism. 

If Kurtz has stuck with Humanism I wolud have agreed with his contention, but once Secular is there, I see him as trying to force the meanings he likes onto words that don’t match them.

Occam

Wow.  This is a huge misunderstanding.  Secular, in this context,  should mean “independent of god” not “denial of god.”

When did context go away?

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Posted: 16 October 2009 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Personally, I see the word theology properly defined as the “study of god(s)” as opposed to the actual “knowing” of anything.  Whether a “theist” or “atheist”, the truth is we are talking about whether the individual in question cares to study about something he might actually believe in or whether he prefers to actively oppose such beliefs for any number of reasons.  So, someone active in opposition could be said to be an atheist while someone who doesn’t even care enough to take any active position is by default an agnostic.  Just a suggestion.

I’m inclined to think that agnostics are just being honest.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

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Posted: 17 October 2009 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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diogenes99 - 16 October 2009 06:33 PM

Wow.  This is a huge misunderstanding.  Secular, in this context,  should mean “independent of god” not “denial of god.”

When did context go away?

As I said earlier, I see humanism as a philosophy independent of the concept of the existence or non-existence of god.  Adding “secular” as you define it would merely be redundant,  sort of like saying that one is a humanist humanist.  Sorry if my distinction was too subtle.  So, DIO, I certainly agree with your final question - when did context go away?

Occam

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Posted: 17 October 2009 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Occam - 17 October 2009 10:05 AM
diogenes99 - 16 October 2009 06:33 PM

Wow.  This is a huge misunderstanding.  Secular, in this context,  should mean “independent of god” not “denial of god.”

When did context go away?

As I said earlier, I see humanism as a philosophy independent of the concept of the existence or non-existence of god.  Adding “secular” as you define it would merely be redundant,  sort of like saying that one is a humanist humanist.  Sorry if my distinction was too subtle.  So, DIO, I certainly agree with your final question - when did context go away?

Occam

When you said ...“shifted the discussion in a manner such that the two word term seems to include at least one of the meanings of atheism” I thought you were implying that the term secular shifted the meaning to atheism.  I think the context was the history of humanism, where some human-centered ethics made reference to theism and others did not, i.e., secular humanism.  I do not think it is redundant in that context.

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Posted: 17 October 2009 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I just finished listening to the podcast.  If the Nobel Peace Prize was given on the basis of good will towards all men and overall good intentions, then Dr. Kurtz should have won it.  Wait! He was robbed!

I’m at least tickled to discover that we share the same birthday.  If predictions regarding 12-21-2012 hold true, we’ll all go out with a bang to celebrate.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

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Posted: 18 October 2009 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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While I understand Dr Kurtz’s focus on positive aspects of Humanism, he seems not to delineate between interpersonal behavior and the behavior of public expression of parties who disagree. I would not tell someone that their beliefs are nutty in a face-to-face for the purpose of humiliating or otherwise bruising them. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong, in the public forum, with pointing out the sheer nuttiness of some people’s beliefs. Just because someone feels personally insulted by a public statement doesn’t mean that it’s a personal attack.

Kevin

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Posted: 18 October 2009 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I certainly agree with you, KPC6030, however, the two instances of his public presentations where I was a witness, a few people asked questions for clarification.  While I thought Kurtz had made the points clear, I just didn’t think his response indicating that the qustioners were clods for asking questions that he had covered in his talk.  He did the same to someone who proposed a different, but reasonable conclusion, and asked his opinion.  That could have been answered without clearly implying that any disagreement with his views showed weakness of intellect.

Occam

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Posted: 18 October 2009 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Interesting story on CFI in terms of the interviews D.J. did with Ron lindsay and Paul Kurtz:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113889251&ft=1&f=2100608

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Posted: 19 October 2009 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Thomas Donnelly - 18 October 2009 10:49 PM

Interesting story on CFI in terms of the interviews D.J. did with Ron lindsay and Paul Kurtz:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113889251&ft=1&f=2100608

And here’s PZ Meyers’ response to the story:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/10/and_she_sounded_so_nice_on_the.php

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Posted: 20 October 2009 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Enjoyed this interview on the drive to work this morning. Mr. Kurtz is right. Mean people suck. All mean people—theistic, agnostic, and atheist. I prefer to affirm life and good and cooperation and respect. It seems that this is what Mr. Kurtz is saying. Of course we must have a right to blaspheme, but Blasphemy Day is to, as Mr. Kurtz put it, “blaspheme humanism.”

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Posted: 20 October 2009 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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rodneycwilson - 20 October 2009 09:23 AM

Enjoyed this interview on the drive to work this morning. Mr. Kurtz is right. Mean people suck.

Catholics & strict Protestants think we, as atheists, are going to Hell for Eternity.  Is that mean or what? 

I’m in the middle of the interview and I think D.J. is doing a great job of “assertively interviewing”—he makes it look easy, but I’m sure it’s not.

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Posted: 20 October 2009 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Most who call themselves Christians probably do not believe in hellfire—and outside a few congregations, there’s no hellfire preaching. Believing in hell, however, is mean. The meanest of the mean.

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Posted: 21 October 2009 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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rodneycwilson - 20 October 2009 04:22 PM

Most who call themselves Christians probably do not believe in hellfire—and outside a few congregations, there’s no hellfire preaching. Believing in hell, however, is mean. The meanest of the mean.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/6459/P15/#76591

How many do you need—we have one over in the Religion&Secularism; section right now….

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Posted: 21 October 2009 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Jackson - 21 October 2009 07:15 PM
rodneycwilson - 20 October 2009 04:22 PM

Most who call themselves Christians probably do not believe in hellfire—and outside a few congregations, there’s no hellfire preaching. Believing in hell, however, is mean. The meanest of the mean.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/6459/P15/#76591

How many do you need—we have one over in the Religion&Secularism; section right now….

Yes, he’s consigning his Granny to hell!!

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 22 October 2009 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Very sad. I’m glad he’s a minority.

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