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Selling humanism philosophy…..
Posted: 02 August 2010 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Okay, folks!  I am still reading my emails that draw me back to CFI.  I am apparently not able to type the words I want to get into this thread; but will keep on trying until I’m off the pain meds.  I’m home, cutting back on the dope and looking forward to returning here understanding what I’m reading and saying.  I’m assuming you are all in good health.  See you all soon…...

Sandy

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Posted: 02 August 2010 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Sandy Price - 02 August 2010 11:56 AM

Okay, folks!  I’m home, cutting back on the dope
Sandy

See, there’s your first mistake right there, Sandy. Never cut back on the dope! That’s just crazy talk! wink  Just kidding, get well soon. Good to see you here.

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Posted: 02 August 2010 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Convalesce well! Hope to see you back in action soon! smile

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Posted: 03 August 2010 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Occam - 28 July 2010 05:20 PM

Steveg144 is quite correct.  To say it in another way, One is a belief or disbelief in a supernatural being, and the other describes one’s ethics.  Completely different areas.  There are secular humanists and religious humanists, there are atheists who have totally different values from humanism, and there are theists who may claim biblical ethics but behave far differently.

Occam

Sorry to disagree, but I don’t think so. The issue is, WHAT does it say about one’s ethics, other than that they are not religious. I don’t see that it says anything other than “Hooray for goodness; boo for badness.” No one has yet been able to tell me what the distinguishing features of humanist ethics are. Does it actually boil down to anything more than “I’m in favor of good stuff?”

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FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. -Ambrose Bierce

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Posted: 03 August 2010 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Sandy Price - 02 August 2010 11:56 AM

Okay, folks!  I am still reading my emails that draw me back to CFI.  I am apparently not able to type the words I want to get into this thread; but will keep on trying until I’m off the pain meds.  I’m home, cutting back on the dope and looking forward to returning here understanding what I’m reading and saying.  I’m assuming you are all in good health.  See you all soon…...

Sandy

Get well soon!

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FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. -Ambrose Bierce

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Posted: 03 August 2010 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 31 July 2010 07:15 PM

Atheist, in how it is constructed, is just a negative word.  I agree with Steveg144, it only subtracts from the conversation.  The “a” means “not” like in “atypical”, “asymmetric”, “apolitical”, etc.  I’ve heard long impassioned arguments about what denotation it has, people adding science skepticism and other ideas, and don’t want to start one, so I’ll focus on the construction instead.  Whatever denotation is your favorite, the “not theism” has to be somewhere in there.  The negative connotation I don’t agree with, of course. 

The homosexuals have succeeded in owning the word “gay”, you can’t describe someone as “he is so gay grin”  and merely mean that he is happy, light-hearted, and energetic.  I think that one reason why they have succeeded is that “gay” began as a positive word.  I believe that a group can take ownership of a positive word, but not a negative word.  The gays try to own “queer” and “fag” now-a-days, I just don’t think they’ll succeed with words with such a negative denotation like those.  Along the same lines of thought, I don’t think that the atheists will succeed in owning and spinning that word positive, by merely changing the connotation, because the construction still only subtracts from the conversation, it has a hollow denotation adding nothing, I have never related to it.  It could mean “not gods” a supernatural belief or “not religious ceremonies” a human activity.

On the other hand Humanism adds so much to the conversation, see the “What is Humanism?” thread in this forum.

Wow. I could hardly disagree more. I do, by the way, understand the meaning of the Greek prefix “a”. But negative facts are every bit as important as positive facts. I think I’m adding to a conversation when I say that there is no God—I bringing truth to it. Moreover, so far as I can tell, “humanism” is so vague and nebulous a term that all it adds to a conversation is fuzziness.

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FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. -Ambrose Bierce

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Posted: 03 August 2010 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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B. Holly - 03 August 2010 02:47 PM
Occam - 28 July 2010 05:20 PM

Steveg144 is quite correct.  To say it in another way, One is a belief or disbelief in a supernatural being, and the other describes one’s ethics.  Completely different areas.  There are secular humanists and religious humanists, there are atheists who have totally different values from humanism, and there are theists who may claim biblical ethics but behave far differently.

Occam

Sorry to disagree, but I don’t think so. The issue is, WHAT does it say about one’s ethics, other than that they are not religious. I don’t see that it says anything other than “Hooray for goodness; boo for badness.” No one has yet been able to tell me what the distinguishing features of humanist ethics are. Does it actually boil down to anything more than “I’m in favor of good stuff?”

You apparently read and agreed with my post #12 in this thread.  Now you seem to feel it’s incorrect.  Could you point out the failures?

My ethics stem from observing my parents behavior, introspection, reading a wide variety of ethical writing, and decidind what meaning I would like to build into my life.  That resulted in a very short statement that I try to live by:  Help others whenever possible, avoid hurting anyone unless necessary, and live my life joyfully because my joy spreads to those around me.

Of course, I could write long, qualifying, expanding,and explanatory tracts, but in the interest of succinctness I shall not.

Occam

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Posted: 03 August 2010 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Sorry, my fault, that was confusing. And I replied a second time because I had gotten confused myself as to where we were in the dialogue. Apologies.

Let me update. We had our monthly CFI discussion tonight, and I raised the same concerns there that I have here. But despite my compelling logic and cogent argumentation, folks still wanted to hold onto the notion of Humanism! We had several very thoughtful and intelligent folks there who had found in their own experience that the idea of secular humanism was a liberating and energizing idea. Like some proverbial troll, I kept asking, “but what is that idea?”  Fortunately, they like me well enough to put up with this behavior. We agreed at the end that we had not succeeded in defining secular humanism; we agreed—and this was a generous concession to my point of view—that the term humanism was semantically light, that there was a problem here. But we also went on to discuss the term as a rallying point for community. One of the things that religions offer that we currently do not in any substantial way is community. I still think that “humanism” is the intellectual equivalent of cotton candy, full of nice sounding things, but without intellectual substance, but I am much more sympathetic to the motives that have led folks to embrace this notion.

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FAITH, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. -Ambrose Bierce

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Posted: 03 August 2010 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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OK, “Help others whenever possible, avoid hurting anyone unless necessary, and live my life joyfully because my joy spreads to those around me,” is simplistic, but could you give me an example of the kind of ethical basis (within any framework) that illustrates a more substantive (meaty rather than cotton candy) set of ideas?

Certainly the Decalogue wouldn’t qualify.  It is one of the silliest pieces of unjustifiable trash I’ve ever seen masquerading as a set of ethical guidelines.

Occam
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Posted: 03 August 2010 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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B. Holly - 03 August 2010 02:53 PM

Wow. I could hardly disagree more.

Humanism is specific.  Read the other thread.  And Humanism is a bigger more complex idea than what can fit in a short sentence, so reading more is warranted if one wants to understand.  Corliss Lamont’s book on Humanism is specific, clear, broad-minded and clearly focused. 

I’m not sure what ideas you disagree with, your message wasn’t specific.  It happens to the best of us sometimes.

Atheism denotes that there is no God?  I have heard a variety of definitions and that one is popular, it is the more extreme one, but from the atheists I’ve met not the only one.  Atheism is more vague than that, as it is practiced.

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Posted: 03 August 2010 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Yeah, my humanism is well thought out and based on what I feel is rational logic, but my atheism is purely faith based, just as a fundamentalist christian’s beliefs are.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 04 August 2010 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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B. Holly - 28 July 2010 02:27 PM

Why isn’t just plain old atheism enough? Why do we need this nebulous happy talk about something called “Humanism,” with a capital ‘H’? Several folks here seem to like it quite a bit, but I just don’t get the attraction. I don’t mind self-identifying as an atheist, or as a skeptic, or as a (secular)Buddhist, but Humanist? I frankly don’t get it. Can someone explain? We’re going to be talking about Humanism at our next CFI Discussion Meeting here in Pittsburgh, so I’d like to become better informed.

I think sometimes people just like to be part of something larger then themselves.

Take Christianity for example. Try to get Christians to say exactly what a Christian is or what Christianity is and you get dozens of different answers depending on who you talk to. I get the same results when I ask Jews what a Jew is.

It’s just a way to be part of something. However you maybe like me. I dislike anyone dictating my beliefs for me nor do I feel any need to convince others of accepting for themselves my personal beliefs. Don’t feel the need to be part of any particular group. However an individualist is always at a disadvantage when going up against a group.

Christians and Jews who individually believe a variety of differing things support each others under the banner of their tribal group.

Humanism, which I personal found nothing to worry about from their manifestos allows one to find support at least mentally under the banner of humanism and if it becomes accept by enough a political power. Something an individualist doesn’t have.

Personally I suppose I’d be an ahumanist. Not because I have anything against it. Just because I’d rather it individuals dealing with other individuals.  Like when you label a person a Christian or a Jew or Humanist you might lose sight of the individual you’re dealing with. Something I prefer to avoid.

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Posted: 08 August 2010 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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B Holly:

Why isn’t just plain old atheism enough? Why do we need this nebulous happy talk about something called “Humanism,” with a capital ‘H’? Several folks here seem to like it quite a bit, but I just don’t get the attraction. I don’t mind self-identifying as an atheist, or as a skeptic, or as a (secular)Buddhist, but Humanist? I frankly don’t get it. Can someone explain? We’re going to be talking about Humanism at our next CFI Discussion Meeting here in Pittsburgh, so I’d like to become better informed.]

This is a critical question.  Here is my viewpoint.

Humans who call themselves atheist are separating themselves from belief in any particular god or religious philosophy.  Religion is much more that belief in a theological system.  It chief function is to provide social structure and mutual support and solidarity among people.  Prior to the modern era of the nation-state, the rise of capitalism, and the individualistic society that this created, religions (whatever the particular belif was) provided most of not all of the basis for society.  IMO, much of the argumentation opposing religion missed this point.  What I believe the difference between atheistism and humanism is that humanists are attempting to build a social structure based upon the belief in the tenets of scientific investigation, while atheists are satisfied with just denying the any particular religious beliefs.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 08 August 2010 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I consider myself an atheist and a humanist in that I lack a belief in any deities, but want to treat my fellow humans with compassion.

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Posted: 21 August 2010 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Occam - 31 July 2010 07:39 PM

As I’ve pointed out here before, there’s a major difference between one’s believe in regards to the existence or non-existence of a supernatural being, and in one’s personal ethical philosophy.  It’s sort of like having someone tell me that I shouldn’t identify myself as a male, but rather should state that I’m (mostly) caucasian.  they’re apples and oranges. 
Occam

Sharpie:
In my freeBook The Humanist (Smashwords) I propose a “Hybrid Humanism”, in which “one’s personal ethical philosophy” as you cite it is given first class passage, ethics per se, and seen to be a prime component in every religion - their love-thy-neighbor dictums - necessary for the urbanization of the Med 2000 years ago. Choose your brand, weave it into your culture - an individual’s superego, dance around.

The other component is the Metaphysics - the hardware. Here things get laughable for orthodox religion, bilious within ecumenical coalitions, finally downright criminal when jingoist elements shanghai our youth into crusader wars.

If Humanism becomes the second layer, right under the brain and ego, then Humanity is in the wheelhouse. Any member of our species can come to understand their proper legacy and heritage, and shall, thanks to the Net. That is their responsibility too.

The thing that attracted me to Hybrid Humanism is that it will probably appear on its own, like spring time for a maturing species, as the old metaphysics are set aside.

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