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Humanists bridge building.
Posted: 21 June 2007 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Yes theist would say that too, Occam. Thus another reason to cringe at the word church behind Humanism.

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Posted: 21 June 2007 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Occam - 21 June 2007 01:13 PM

I feel the same way about “church”.  If an atheist or non-theist group used that word, it would lead many theists to say, “See, I told them atheism is merely another religion.”  And calling lack of belief in a god a religion really annoys me.

Occam

Please understand that Humanists should indeed be atheists, but atheists are not necessarily Humanists. There is an implication and duty of proactivism in Humanism, it is a superset, not an infertile anti-theism worn like a war medal, as many puffed-up “humanists” affect it to be.

Atheism is just one attribute of Humanism- indeed, it is this gratuitous equating of humanism=atheism, that fatally dilutes Humanism as it stands. Independent onlookers see atheists glorifying themselves as “heretics” like something out of the Middle Ages, see little evidence of the Humanistic vision they claim (because it is rarely there) and dismiss the lot.

So it’s not material to claim that the Humanist Church suggests atheism is a religion. It does suggest that Humanism could be a legitimate religion - perhaps you can advise how, once it rises above and beyond atheism?

Failing to leave theists in the past and outside our daily purview, where they belong, is the greatest barrier to progressive Humanism in our species. It’s time to close that door and get to work on species issues.

The Humanist Church is our lost church. It’s abandoned, the wind blows through its broken windows, the books have all rotted and their songs grown dim.

But the cornerstones are there, the stout stone walls await the gentle human hands that laid them.
Be yours to help us restore it.

Dwight

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Posted: 21 June 2007 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Dwight Jones - 21 June 2007 02:40 PM


Be your [hands] to help us restore it.

My hands? You don’t mean 10% of my pay cheque, do you? wink

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Posted: 21 June 2007 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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My hands? You don’t mean 10% of my pay cheque, do you? 


LOL LOL LOL LOL

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Posted: 21 June 2007 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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mckenzievmd - 21 June 2007 05:01 PM

My hands? You don’t mean 10% of my pay cheque, do you? 


LOL LOL LOL LOL

I’m sure you’re a generous contributor to CFI, Doc, and wouldn’t be a hypocrite or freeloader now, would you?

Dwight

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Posted: 21 June 2007 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Of course the original remark is George’s, so I can’t take credit for it. And I’m assuming you get the allusion to tithing to the Church. As the child of a recovering Catholic, I found it funny.

As to whether I would contribute my labor of money to the building of a Humanist Church, that would depend on what such a thing actually was, and the discussion here so far hasn’t painted so clear a picture for me yet. Interesting notion, though. We’ve discussed the need for community and for the kinds of things church membership provides even among atheists and agnostics elsewhere, and I certainly think we need something of the kind. But I’m also not sure how one creates one, since the most effective theatrical productions (aka rituals, services) the churches provide are built over time by trial and error from earlier material co-opted from the preceding traditions. Brand new rituals (Humanlight, Kwanzaa, etc)O have always seemed emotionally and esthetically hollow to me. Still I’m interested in the ideas more creative folks than myself might have for such things.

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Posted: 21 June 2007 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Sorry, Dwight. When I saw the phrase, ATHEISTS BUILDING A CHURCH, I focused on that rather than “Humanist Church”.  However, I still feel the same way.  Religions seem to have served a number of purposes among which were explanation and inculcation of theism, and teaching ethics.  The term, “church” means both of those to me.  Humanism as I see it, on the other hand, is only concerned with ethics and morals.  Certainly there are people who live by humanist ethics but have various theistic beliefs.  The secular humanists reject theism, the religious humanists (who always have a booth at the uU General Assemblies) are just the opposite. 

I believe an organization labeled “Church of Humanism” (or the words reversed) would attract the religious humanists and very quickly prayer, spirituality, and worship would be inserted into the meetings.  You might feel this wouldn’t happen, but that’s exactly what I observed when the Universalists (their belief is in universal salvation) came into the Unitarian fold. 

As I consider it, if you want to prevent the theists from taking over, you are going to have to use much stronger anti-theist terms for the organization’s name than even “fellowship”. 

Occam

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Posted: 21 June 2007 08:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Occam - 21 June 2007 07:53 PM

Sorry, Dwight. When I saw the phrase, ATHEISTS BUILDING A CHURCH, I focused on that rather than “Humanist Church”.  However, I still feel the same way.  Religions seem to have served a number of purposes among which were explanation and inculcation of theism, and teaching ethics.  The term, “church” means both of those to me.  Humanism as I see it, on the other hand, is only concerned with ethics and morals.  Certainly there are people who live by humanist ethics but have various theistic beliefs.  The secular humanists reject theism, the religious humanists (who always have a booth at the uU General Assemblies) are just the opposite. 

I believe an organization labeled “Church of Humanism” (or the words reversed) would attract the religious humanists and very quickly prayer, spirituality, and worship would be inserted into the meetings.  You might feel this wouldn’t happen, but that’s exactly what I observed when the Universalists (their belief is in universal salvation) came into the Unitarian fold. 

As I consider it, if you want to prevent the theists from taking over, you are going to have to use much stronger anti-theist terms for the organization’s name than even “fellowship”. 

Occam

First a word of apology to the Doc, got my back up a little too readily there. Of course I understand tithing, everything in THC is always by donation, :-)

I increasingly see the word “church” within the string “Humanist Church” as being a necessary ringing anvil, the two words a mortar & pestle that grind the meaning of the two together. I originally called it the “Church of Man” which is an actual biblical allusion I believe for an apostate church of degenerate humans - am I reciting that properly? But then I felt that the real weltanschauung was Humanism and have settled on that.

“Church” performs a number of functions that I think will prove useful. First, it puts Humanists on a equal footing with theists, and others who enjoy the franchise of traditional churches, such as tax status, ceremony and ritual, legal status, and that desirable congregational feature mentioned so often.

That’s not to lamely emulate existing churches as a “me too” sect, but from a sincere belief of mine that the edifice is in actuality ideal for crystallizing Humanism as an apple-within-apples when it comes to the battle for hearts and minds in our species, a battle worth pursuing because we seem to be drifting back toward medieval times rather than toward any Age of Enlightenment II. I personally don’t want to be even a spectator of further crusades featuring christians and muslims. Yeeow!

I also resent the power of the fundamentalist legions and the way they run over scattered Humanists the way tanks bash through the ranks of scattered infantry.  A guy like Jerry Foulmouth, bless his departure, could muster “moral majorities” and condemn the world to eight years of penance, through his “Church of TV” and many of us have simply had enough of that foolishness.

I realize that this has also left a heightened distate for churches in our collective mouths, but strategically, it could be useful to fight these tanks with a tank of our own, not the slings and arrows of intellectualism alone.

Why remove religion from the schools? - just get equal time with the kids for a Humanist Church. And let them make up their own minds - I have no qualms about meeting theists on their own terms, nor spiritualists or other necromancers.

Given equal billing, Humanism makes its own friends, if only we can be allowed to compete on a level playing field.

Dwight

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Posted: 23 June 2007 05:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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You seem to assume that the only definition of the divine is that in Levantine scripture. There are other definitions which dont lead to heresy trials much less inquisitions, that dont lead to, or justify genocidal war, and dont provide demagogues with a tool to manipulate the masses.

You are beating a dead horse if you think you can get the masses not to believe in *something*. The Stoics understood this. They developed the highest moral standard yet seen, yet did not derive it from divine right. All they said was to be reasonable; we can work things out. We dont need any 10 commandments.

I find it relevant to consider that none of the Greek philsophers, who provided us with the rules of logic that is being used to carry out this discussion, were athiest. They just didnt try to tell people what the nature, or agenda if any, of the divine was. But that is not the same thing as proving the negative, that no such divine exists. Just cause you dont see the proof does not mean that the proof does not exist.

Nor did they claim that the altered state of consciousness was nothing more than madness. AFAIK, since the ritual at Eleusis was a standard rite of passage for all Greeks, and indeed, anyone who understood greek could attend, master, slave or free, men or women, I can see that they all experienced the Great Mysteries, and had a direct experience of the divine just as mediation by a zen master has. Nobody says the Zen masters are deluded.

Provide the masses with the church of the Goddess, and you eliminate all the problems posed by zealots wanting to justify violence. [that’s a period]

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Posted: 24 June 2007 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Who in their right mind (and yes, I do realise the irony in starting an argument with those words on a humanist thread) would attend?  Who, of the many secular humanists, who feel they only have one life will dedicate an hour of it to sitting listening to someone banging on about whatever bee they have in their bonnet that week?  A church (or even a church-esque entity that does not seek to lamely emulate et cetera) can never foster free thinking.  I mean, you’re genuinely considering a brick and mortar entity here, right?  Perhaps with a little stage area? Where you can stand there saying stuff? Stuff like “Eat my plattitudes, bitch”?

As a secular non-humanist, I a) shouldn’t be getting involved in this discussion but b) would strongly urge you to reconsider this monstrous proposal of yours.  I read talk on this thread that uses alarming couplings of words such (but not exclusively) as “but strategically” and I don’t like what I’m hearing.  Sure, I don’t mind you campaigning to allow atheist or even humanist speakers to of good calibre to go into schools and explain their atheism (and I hope we are all above preaching to kids here, because that it is just low) and what atheism is as unbiasedly to any one person’s atheism as possible.  But going in under the umberella of church status?  Apple-within-apples? I get the feeling that would snowball within snowballs and become a millstone.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Well actually there is a Humanist Church in Oakland CA.  They call their building a Humanist Church and sometimes Humanist hall:

http://www.humanisthall.net/  So, it’s not that much of a foreign idea.  I’m sure there are others too.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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narwhol - 24 June 2007 05:35 PM

As a secular non-humanist…

Is that what Nihilists call themselves these days?

I a) shouldn’t be getting involved in this discussion but b) would strongly urge you to reconsider this monstrous proposal of yours.  I read talk on this thread that uses alarming couplings of words such (but not exclusively) as “but strategically” and I don’t like what I’m hearing.  Sure, I don’t mind you campaigning to allow atheist or even humanist speakers to of good calibre to go into schools and explain their atheism (and I hope we are all above preaching to kids here, because that it is just low) and what atheism is as unbiasedly to any one person’s atheism as possible.  But going in under the umberella of church status?  Apple-within-apples? I get the feeling that would snowball within snowballs and become a millstone.

Atheism is the millstone of Humanism, simply because too many people like yourself think that’s all it is - atheism. I would no more want to go into schools and preach atheism than nihilism. It’s a nothing subject, like telling the students I’m naked under my clothes. Whoopdeedoo.

The Humanist Church’s main project will be to oppose any form of weapons or armament manufacture on this planet. From that possiblity can flow the end of arms races, military budgets, nationalism, right down to handgun possession. Throw in pacifism and conscientious objector status and there’s your thumbnail - Quakers with a modern script.

No what is it that you, good Narwhal, as a secular non-Humanist/nihilist would propose?

Dwight

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Posted: 24 June 2007 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Dwight Jones - 24 June 2007 06:17 PM

The Humanist Church’s main project will be to oppose any form of weapons or armament manufacture on this planet. From that possiblity can flow the end of arms races, military budgets, nationalism, right down to handgun possession. Throw in pacifism and conscientious objector status and there’s your thumbnail - Quakers with a modern script.


Dwight

I like your thinking, Dwight.  :D

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Mriana
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Posted: 24 June 2007 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Dwight> here’s what I’m in favour of: Telling people that there are schools of thought that don’t believe in God, explaining use of reason, sacking the notion of traditions (yes, I mean it) because people hang on to them as if traditional meant worthwhile or as if hanging onto tradition was important when other changes in society mean they have to go quickly rather than “as soon as sentimental eejits get round to seeing that their antiquated and unhelpful, teaching philosophic method and explaining what each of the three main strands of philosophy are, and above all making sure they are equipped with sufficient tools to become ethical.

Not in favour of getting them to believe in pacifism etc, for its own sake, that there is any way they can bring an end to arms manufacture on this planet, that atheism is nihilism (specious in the extreme), in fact Dwight, I think teaching them to believe in your little list is counter-productive.  And I think so because children are humans too.  And, like it or not, some humans are right little bastards (I know exactly what you’re considering doing on reading that bit, but please don’t bother).  Now, whether that’s down to them being bad people (not a view I’d subscribe to) or otherwise, I don’t care to debate with you at this time.  What I wouldn’t like to do is get a whole load of kids not sticking up for themselves and for others.  I don’t want to do that because, they’re humans too.  And, like it or not, after a long time of turning the other cheek and getting it punched just as hard and seeing that the kids doing the punching are having a better time than they are… well suffice it to say I think that humans can lose their confidence and get angry and bitter.  And you won’t (you may think you will, but you won’t) stop nasty little bastards from acting in that manner.  That’s why I think you should teach them to think ethically rather than morally. And I think that any religous groups that go into schools should act with a similar degree of probity.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Mriana - 24 June 2007 06:38 PM
Dwight Jones - 24 June 2007 06:17 PM

The Humanist Church’s main project will be to oppose any form of weapons or armament manufacture on this planet. From that possiblity can flow the end of arms races, military budgets, nationalism, right down to handgun possession. Throw in pacifism and conscientious objector status and there’s your thumbnail - Quakers with a modern script.


Dwight

I like your thinking, Dwight.  :D

Appreciated Mriana. Just working from the premise that one identifiable project makes its own friends in the thick fleet of causes, not to denigrate any others, and I expect the battle will be fought in the search engines - go forth and be found.

I’d like them to recognize tHC people as the wild and crazy guys who comission major polls, that invariably show that 85% of the world’s citizens favor a ban on armaments manufacture.

That, and I estimate most of the species’ poverty problem arises from theft of human resources by international military cliques justifying each other’s existence. My namesake Eisenhower warned us of the M-I Complex, and boy, was he right.

We have to take back the species’ finances from them, the same way we can claim the edifice of the church for use as one of our vessels.

Dwight

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