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Selling humanism philosophy…..
Posted: 22 August 2010 03:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Occam - 03 August 2010 09:29 PM

...my atheism is purely faith based, just as a fundamentalist christian’s beliefs are.  LOL

Is this for real or are you just being sarcastic? Seriously, it’s not often you meet an atheist with enough self-awareness to recognize this fact.

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Posted: 22 August 2010 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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No, I’m not being sarcastic.  it’s silly to believe as fact something which can be neither proved or disproved.  However, from all of my reasoning and observations, I feel the probability of a “supreme being” existing is extremely low.  So, my belief is by faith.  I’m not sure it’s self-awareness, probably just careful critical thinking and willingness to recognize that I could be wrong.  [What????  Impossible!!!  LOL  ]

Occam

P.S.  Of course, it would take a careful thinking christian to realize that his/her beliefs are based on faith, but not also on fact.  I was fortunate enough to run into one of these in my early twenties, and we had many fascinating discussions, clarifying our own ideas, understanding those of the other, and recognizing how each of our divergent beliefs came from a few different premises.

O

[ Edited: 22 August 2010 02:34 PM by Occam. ]
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Posted: 22 August 2010 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Occam. - 22 August 2010 02:28 PM

It’s silly to believe as fact something which can be neither proved or disproved.

 
That was my point too. Glad we’re on the same page.  grin

Occam. - 22 August 2010 02:28 PM

Of course, it would take a careful thinking christian to realize that his/her beliefs are based on faith, but not also on fact.

Well, I’m a borderline Christian and I’d like to think that I recognize which of my beliefs are based on faith and which are not. As well as the obvious one of belief in a god, any belief in historical accounts of the doings and sayings of prophets or manifestations of God are based on faith of the accuracy of the records. Belief in the bible, Church institutions, or direct communication with God are all shot through with faith assumptions: and that’s just a few that I can think of off the top of my head.

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Posted: 22 August 2010 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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I believe the Bill of Rights is a perfect example of Humanistic principles . The addition of words as “maker” or “creator” (note even here the avoidance of the word God) are actually irrelevant to the concept (other than as justification) and basic premise. I believe that one could and should replace the words maker and creator with “recognition by a civilized society” as justification for this most Humane document.

[ Edited: 22 August 2010 05:56 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 22 August 2010 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Write4U - 22 August 2010 05:50 PM

I believe the Bill of Rights is a perfect example of Humanistic principles . The addition of words as “maker” or “creator” (note even here the avoidance of the word God) are actually irrelevant to the concept (other than as justification) and basic premise. I believe that one could and should replace the words maker and creator with “recognition by a civilized society” as justification for this most Humane document.

Human rights vis a vis the authorities is indeed one side of the social contract. Personal responsibility is required of Humanists, however, and from that side must come ethics and initiatives appropriate to the calling.

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Posted: 22 August 2010 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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You must remember that the major framers of the Constitution were neither theists or atheists.  Rather, they were deists, not believing in a god, but accepting some higher power.  As such, it’s reasonable for them to use those words in it.  While I’d prefer some changes in wording of our major documents and things such as the pledge of allegiance and mottos on U.S. money, I’d just as soon not fight for them at this time.  Since we have a sizeable majority of theists, any change would be further to the theistic right that what we have now.

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Posted: 22 August 2010 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Yes, I.F., I get about as irritated at doctrinaire fundamentalist atheists as I do fundamentalist theists.  Polarization doesn’t do anyone any good.

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Posted: 22 August 2010 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I certainly do not actively advocate any change in the BOR or Constitution or other related usage. I’d be the last person to argue for altering these enlightened documents. I’ll leave talk of changing the constitution to the far right theists.
I was addressing the thread title exploring a way to “Sell Humanism philosophy”. Unfortunately, when using the BOR in a debate with a theist, these terms will be the first response by the theists. Thus any humanistic argument immediately becomes subordinate to the “will of the creator” rather than a reasoned explanation of what it means to be a humanist. Frankly I am not quite sure myself, except that the BOR does not only protect me but also protects my neighbor from me.

[ Edited: 22 August 2010 08:01 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 22 August 2010 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Again I would assert that there’s no spotlight on “asking what you can do for your country” right now. Rights and protections are required, but not enough.

And that disturbs me because as a Renaissance Humanist, I want to see an enjoining of the species at every level and that’s a synthetic proposition.

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Posted: 22 August 2010 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Martinus - 22 August 2010 08:11 PM

Again I would assert that there’s no spotlight on “asking what you can do for your country” right now. Rights and protections are required, but not enough.

And that disturbs me because as a Renaissance Humanist, I want to see an enjoining of the species at every level and that’s a synthetic proposition.

I see the limitation in my reasoning. Do I correctly understand that it is not enough to passively protect, but to engage in a lifestyle that promotes and actively practises humanistic principles? At this stage of my knowledge, I see two major areas (in addition to modifying the prejudicial viewpoints of most theists) and that is the natural law of survival, which I believe is a genetic property of all living things. In the past, survival was assured by superior genetics and ability to compete for space and food. Thus humanism was practised only in the family and by cooperation with related groups against competing groups. Seems to me that this basic genetic program is the greatest obstacle in the pursuit of humanism which includes all groups and indeed all living things.
Then there is the matter of actual lifestyle. Is it possible for a person eating a nice steak to converse with a person from, say India, where the cow is a sacred animal? Seems to me that mutual respect is absolutely necessary for any meaningful agreement. The humanist can respect his neighbor, but how to convince the other that you are beneficial to him and therefore respectable. I have an intuitive feeling that the practise of Humanism is going to take an enormous amount of sacrifice. The wealthy have too much, the poor have too little.
Am I on the right path here or am I missing some basic and required other principles, or am I missing the point completely?

[ Edited: 22 August 2010 09:48 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 22 August 2010 10:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Afterthought.
A humanistic viewpoint and practise, to me, is beneficial in effect to all living things, it follows that all living things will benefit and thrive and multiply.
But here we run into the Natural law of Balance. The Earth can only accommodate so much. If we have steady growth, the exponential growth function will predict when the earth can no longer sustain life and by that I mean human life. Then growth must stop or be kept in balance by death and renewal. I am not sure if the competiveness of life on earth is not already a result of the Law of Balance.
I guess is that I am not convinced that a global humanism, while enlightened and noble and humane, would necessarily yield an improved result or even be possible in practice. There is always that survival instinct which urges expansion and will compete with other expansions. Something wins and lives, something else dies. I am only repeating what Professor Albert Bartlett of University of Colorado in a lecture on exponential growth, showed and demonstrated some years ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&p=6A1FD147A45EF50D&playnext=1
I consider myself a humanist just by how I intuitively feel about the implications of the term and how I see myself act in a situation of choice.
edit: was the movie Soilent Green a possible humanistic future?

[ Edited: 23 August 2010 02:45 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 23 August 2010 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Write4U - 22 August 2010 10:36 PM

I guess is that I am not convinced that a global humanism, while enlightened and noble and humane, would necessarily yield an improved result or even be possible in practice. There is always that survival instinct which urges expansion and will compete with other expansions. Something wins and lives, something else dies. I am only repeating what Professor Albert Bartlett of University of Colorado in a lecture on exponential growth, showed and demonstrated some years ago.

What may be missing in your assessment is the role of human institutions. You seem to be whipsawing between the Noble Savage and the specter of a Malthusian population doomsday.

Institutions like the Rule of Law, education, medicine, and the Internet complement emerging youth when they embark on life’s journeys. They buffer and attenuate the influence of testosterone, if given the chance. Militarism works against such institutions by undermining our human franchise for the purposes of an oligarchy.

Knowing that, it becomes apparent to a Humanist that being a good citizen, and participating in the governance of the species must continue as the classical role for Humanism. The prominent opportunity for this today is support for the UN, specifically for the UNPA (Parliamentary Assembly).

The elimination of militarism and corruption through World Law will address most of our poverty issues and allow our population to normalize. From there we can devote a thousand years to such projects as terraforming Venus, instead of terrorizing each other.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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The role of devil’s advocate is actually foreign to me. But as Bartlett quoted Huxley “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored”. The exponential function is an unavoidable result of a steady population growth.
I am inherently optimistic about the survival of the human race. But this cannot be accomplished by creating a more educated and healthy world population, which lives longer and continues to grow.
The law of exponential growth is unavoidable. Even at a steady growth rate of 1.5 % the world population will double evrey 46 yrs. (70/1.5=46.6)
Thus we don’t have a thousand years to find a new home for the human race. In a thousand years we will have a world population of roughly 150 billion people, which in a humanistic world would require adequate food, housing, medical facilities, basic utilities, garbage disposal means, sewage treatment plants, the need for which will also grow in an exponential way.
The problem is that our desire to improve survival rates will adversely affect the exponential growth factor. The greater the survival rate, the sooner we run out of space and resources.
I am not advocating fatalism here or a callous “survival of the fittest” model.  I am advocating an immediate concentration on slowing down the growth rate of the worlds population and reaching a 0% growth rate in the shortest possible way. Only then can we begin to concentrate on improving the lives of all peoples. Even a humanistic world will be confronted with questions of who lives and who dies. It is inescapable.

[ Edited: 23 August 2010 12:04 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 23 August 2010 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Write4U - 23 August 2010 11:36 AM

I am advocating an immediate concentration on slowing down the growth rate of the worlds population and reaching a 0% growth rate in the shortest possible way.

The rate of increase of the world population has been coming down since the 1960’s. We should reach the population peak around 2075 (9 billion people) after which the population will start to decline.

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Posted: 23 August 2010 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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We’ll all be dead by then anyway, so it’s moot.

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