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Poll
Is there really a significant difference between 'secular humanism' and 'neo-humanism?'
Yes 0
No 1
I wish I knew 2
I don’t care 11
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neo-humanist vs. secular humanist
Posted: 27 May 2010 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Most major pollsters use the term ‘non-religious’ which is probably one of the least loaded terms anyway. It says nothing about god, just that you don’t regularly go to church. Works for me.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Tom Wood - 27 May 2010 04:53 AM

Most major pollsters use the term ‘non-religious’ which is probably one of the least loaded terms anyway. It says nothing about god, just that you don’t regularly go to church. Works for me.

Doesn’t work for me at all. I am as religious a person as you’ll ever meet, even though I don’t go to regular meetings of any theistic or non-theistic groups.

My religion is what brings it all together for me. For me, it’s scientific naturalism, love, compassion, generosity and all the other things that people generally think of as good. This is why religions started in the first place: people were trying to figure things out and make sense of their lives. The mere fact that the endeavor has gone tragically astray, repeatedly, does not diminish its central importance.

I am not willing to cede religion to the theists. They can’t have it. They have taken a seminal and indispensable idea and run it into the ditch like the family car. I will not participate in telling them not only that they can have the keys back but that the car belongs exclusively to them.

My Humanist colleagues can’t have it either. This is one word that I will fight over, because it has some of the most powerful hooks into experience that there are. We make a tragic mistake if we accept the theists’ definition of ourselves as non-religious. That is their argument, just like pinning us with the label “non-believer.” Both of those terms, applied to us, are dead wrong, and we are foolish if we let them label us with their terms.

[ Edited: 27 May 2010 06:03 AM by PLaClair ]
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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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PLaClair - 27 May 2010 03:31 AM

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,...

Sometimes new words are made and just need many years to catch on.  Example: memes.  “eupraxwhatever” may be having difficulty because maybe it isn’t very useful, whereas ‘meme’ is a great word to express a great idea, that thoughts/ideas catch on and evolve just like genes in biology or chemical elements in cosmology.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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PlaClair said:
“I am not willing to cede religion to the theists. They can’t have it. They have taken a seminal and indispensable idea and run it into the ditch like the family car. I will not participate in telling them not only that they can have the keys back but that the car belongs exclusively to them.  My Humanist colleagues can’t have it either.”

There are many different ways to define religion, and so I think I can agree with you.  But what is your disagreement with (secular?) humanism?

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Posted: 27 May 2010 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Bernie_Dehler - 27 May 2010 09:38 AM

PlaClair said:
“I am not willing to cede religion to the theists. They can’t have it. They have taken a seminal and indispensable idea and run it into the ditch like the family car. I will not participate in telling them not only that they can have the keys back but that the car belongs exclusively to them.  My Humanist colleagues can’t have it either.”

There are many different ways to define religion, and so I think I can agree with you.  But what is your disagreement with (secular?) humanism?

Being a secular Humanist myself, I do not have any disagreement with it. My religion is secular.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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PLaClair - 27 May 2010 10:51 AM
Bernie_Dehler - 27 May 2010 09:38 AM

PlaClair said:
“I am not willing to cede religion to the theists. They can’t have it. They have taken a seminal and indispensable idea and run it into the ditch like the family car. I will not participate in telling them not only that they can have the keys back but that the car belongs exclusively to them.  My Humanist colleagues can’t have it either.”

There are many different ways to define religion, and so I think I can agree with you.  But what is your disagreement with (secular?) humanism?

Being a secular Humanist myself, I do not have any disagreement with it. My religion is secular.

OK- I think we’re on the same page.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Tom Wood - 27 May 2010 04:53 AM

Most major pollsters use the term ‘non-religious’ which is probably one of the least loaded terms anyway. It says nothing about god, just that you don’t regularly go to church. Works for me.

The other point about this, which I overlooked before, is: of course pollsters use that term. That is because we live in a culture dominated by theism. It seeps in everywhere if we don’t guard against it, just as African Americans were once called darkies and no one gave it a second thought. We are like every group that ever had to fight against being pigeonholed. If we are blind to this, it will persist, and then we are screwed.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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PLaClair - 27 May 2010 12:06 PM
Tom Wood - 27 May 2010 04:53 AM

Most major pollsters use the term ‘non-religious’ which is probably one of the least loaded terms anyway. It says nothing about god, just that you don’t regularly go to church. Works for me.

The other point about this, which I overlooked before, is: of course pollsters use that term. That is because we live in a culture dominated by theism. It seeps in everywhere if we don’t guard against it, just as African Americans were once called darkies and no one gave it a second thought. We are like every group that ever had to fight against being pigeonholed. If we are blind to this, it will persist, and then we are screwed.

You make it sound like getting screwed is a bad thing.  wink

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Posted: 27 May 2010 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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PLaClair - 27 May 2010 12:06 PM
Tom Wood - 27 May 2010 04:53 AM

Most major pollsters use the term ‘non-religious’ which is probably one of the least loaded terms anyway. It says nothing about god, just that you don’t regularly go to church. Works for me.

The other point about this, which I overlooked before, is: of course pollsters use that term. That is because we live in a culture dominated by theism. It seeps in everywhere if we don’t guard against it, just as African Americans were once called darkies and no one gave it a second thought. We are like every group that ever had to fight against being pigeonholed. If we are blind to this, it will persist, and then we are screwed.

Nah. Non-religious and un-affiliated are where a lot of people are headed. When they talk about the non-religious being the fastest growing group, those are the people that make up the majority of that group. They aren’t quite ready to say atheist, but I think we should take anybody who is leaving religion. I just don’t think it’s very smart to have purity tests based on adherence to narrowly defined terms.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Tom Wood - 27 May 2010 02:22 PM

Nah. Non-religious and un-affiliated are where a lot of people are headed. When they talk about the non-religious being the fastest growing group, those are the people that make up the majority of that group. They aren’t quite ready to say atheist, but I think we should take anybody who is leaving religion. I just don’t think it’s very smart to have purity tests based on adherence to narrowly defined terms.

Yes, but most of those ‘non-religious’ still believe the earth is 6000 years old and ‘god’ had a hand in it’s creation.

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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: 27 May 2010 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I believe PlaClair nailed it.  One of the subtle problems is that reporters, et al, dichotimize religious vs. atheist.  However, they are not opposites.  One would have to say “religious vs. areligious” or “theist vs. atheist” to be a bit more precise.  While I avoid using the term ‘religious’ for myself because the theists have co-opted it, having a sense of awe at the beauty of the universe, a deep and abiding belief in ethics, empathy for others, etc. could be grouped together as parts of my religion as a secular humanist.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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“...having a sense of awe at the beauty of the universe, a deep and abiding belief in ethics, empathy for others, etc. could be grouped together as parts of my religion as a secular humanist.”

I agree, but I’ve noticed that speaking like this to some atheists is like splashing acid on their face… the same reaction.  Did you really say secular humanism was ‘religious’ ?!?!?!

The key is how you define religion, and people can easily argue it using different definitions and talk past each other like passing ships in the night.

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Posted: 27 May 2010 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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It doesn’t matter how you define a term for use by yourself. The word ‘religion’ is widely understood to mean an organized belief system with a list of non-negotiable terms. ‘Non-religious’ is widely understood to mean that you’re not involved with any organized belief system. ‘Secular humanist’ just confuses most people. I’d just smile politely and sidle away if someone said they were a neo-humanist.

[ Edited: 27 May 2010 05:34 PM by Tom Wood ]
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Posted: 27 May 2010 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Tom Wood - 27 May 2010 05:31 PM

It doesn’t matter how you define a term for use by yourself. The word ‘religion’ is widely understood to mean an organized belief system with a list of non-negotiable terms. ‘Non-religious’ is widely understood to mean that you’re not involved with any organized belief system. ‘Secular humanist’ just confuses most people. I’d just smile politely and sidle away if someone said they were a neo-humanist.

The debate over the ‘religion’ definition is if it has to include belief in the supernatural.  Some say yes, others no.

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