Now that Paul Kurtz is starting a new movement, neo-humanism, does that mean one can choose to be either a ‘secular humanist’ or a ‘neo-humanist?’ What is the big difference? We need a chart to show where they differentiate. Evidently, Paul didn’t feel he could simply update ‘secular humanism’ but had to create a new term ‘neo-humanism.’
I think one thing that disappoints me is that Paul Kurtz himself didn’t explicitly say why he is creating a new term. It must be a big deal if one has to create a new word (neo-humanism). He needs to have an article called “Why Secular Humanism can’t be reformed and we need to create neo-humanism” or “How neo-humanism is different than secular humanism.”
I read the article (critical review of Kurtz’s neo-humanism) by Ron Lindsay.
So, is it that ‘secular humanists’ are mostly rabid atheists; and neo-humanists can get along peacefully with religious people (while still not considering supernatural explanations for anything, as an atheist or agnostic)?
Does it all boil down to how to deal with religious people? Or does neo-humanism make an attempt to somewhat or somehow rebuke atheists (like ‘the new atheists’) for being dogmatic in the assertion ‘there is no God?’
In 1959, Sarkar propounded the Progressive Utilization Theory, a socio-economic theory based on the cardinal values of Neohumanism. The theory or PROUT rejects both the systems of capitalism and communism, with a focus on adequate and maximum utilization of all resources and fair distribution of wealth, based on cooperatively managed business enterprises and industry. Neo-Humanism is an over-reaching philosophy that aims for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of not only humans, but also of plants and animals. Sarkar created PROUT, then, as the practical means to establish Neo-Humanism in communities and nations around the world.
I think Kurtz’ hero is Jesus Christ. Having a messianic complex, JC wasn’t satisfied with being a voice within Judiasm, but had to have a cadre of wide eyed, obsequeous followers. I see Kurtz as fitting that mold. Since he couldn’t control the AHA as their dictator, he formed the Secular Humanists. People there finally got tired of him and deposed him from dictatorship. So, now wants to the the messiah of a new organization.
This looks like another pointless distinction. Voted ‘don’t care’.
I think Kurtz thinks he has a distinction with a point… I wish he’d say clearly what it is instead of just posting the new document without any preface as to why it was needed. I suppose he intended it as a stand-alone document to be read and understood through the ages on its own merits.
A longstanding criticism I have of Paul Kurtz is that he appears to have a conception of language that is exactly backward in several key areas. In many of his writings, he insists on dogmatic and narrow definitions of words, often stating, for example, “faith means x and only x,” when in fact the word has many meanings. This is no more debatable than the sun rising in the morning, because the other uses of the word are visible and demonstrable. Like many non-theists, he has long made the self-defeating mistake of insisting that words be given their least humanistic/naturalistic meaning. This divides us from the larger community and thereby weakens us; and often embitters us. It’s the worst possible approach.
The latest offering is yet another attempt to build language exclusively from the intellect. That’s not mainly how it works. Language evolves through experience and association, mainly. Words like eupraxwhatever, bright and now neo-humanist don’t catch on because they don’t have any experiential hooks - saying them triggers no episodic memories, for example. Neo-humanist also has the disadvantage of further emphasizing divisions among Humanists, which is among the last things we need.
People tend to forget that definition follows usage, and not the other way around. In elementary and middle school, you are taught meaning through the use of a dictionary. And some people get stuck on that level. If they only stop to think of the definitions which have changed during their lifetimes (especially true with Kurtz), they will realize this, but most don’t…