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Secular humanism?

What has happened to secular humanism? I've found no mention of it on this site (although I might have missed it). Does anyone here regard themselves as a secular humanist?

For those unsure, here is a summary of Secular Humanist values and beliefs. (I quite like these, but as an agnostic I take issue with the idea of beliefs.)

Humanists of today identify with a distinctive belief system, specifically known as contemporary Humanism. This system is identified by certain essential features. These are:

Humanism is naturalistic

Humanism views the universe, including all life, as having a natural, evolutionary origin. This view excludes acceptance of any supernatural act of creation by any kind of spirit creator. Humanists take a sceptical scientific approach to ideas about spirits, souls or other transcendent beings, forces, or supernatural processes, including life after death.

Humanism is ethical

The ethics of Humanism are based on quality of life considerations relating to the maximisation of well-being and the reduction of suffering. Humanist values are also reflected in a deep concern for equity, fairness and social justice. Humanists recognise that a person only becomes fully human in a community that respects each person’s autonomy and liberty whilst fostering a culture of mutual care and cooperation. As they mature, individuals learn to take responsibility for their choices and actions, a development which is particularly important when these affect the lives of others.

Humanism is rational

Humanists consider that knowledge is gained through experience, critical investigation, the formulation of theories, and the careful evaluation of evidence. Humanists adopt a sceptical, scientific approach to unsupported claims of special knowledge, power or authority (eg. miracles, psychic surgery, channelling spirit messages, divine revelations, etc.).

Humanism is universalist

Humanism is a philosophical life stance that upholds the principles of freedom of, and freedom from, religion. Humanists strive to establish a secular, civil society that respects the individual’s right to freedom of conscience and belief. They envisage a democratic State that operates without the official use of religious symbols or practices. Such a State legislates and operates in a non-discriminatory way towards its citizens without regard to their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or systems of belief. The Humanist project is to build a global community living in harmony with nature under a fair and just secular system of law, and a social organisation which protects human rights and satisfies the basic needs of all.

Humanism is holistic

Humanism recognises the many and varied traits, capacities and abilities of the ‘whole’ person. Humanists acknowledge that each individual has many facets to his or her personality including those in the areas of intellectual, emotional, physical, creative, critical, aesthetic, social, cultural and ethical development. Humanists also acknowledge the place of the human species in the global environment as being both part of nature and totally dependent on it.

Coffeo 7 Dec 29

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0

I like to consider myself a secular humanist. All this idea means to me is that there is inherent value to mankind because we are unique to nature as far as we can tell. If there are other attachments to this idea, I think ideas are made to evolve. There is nothing wrong with having a unique conception of something. I agree beliefs are active, but there are colloquial definitions that essentially boil them down to ideas. There's no cost to valuing human life as far as I can tell. It's a worthwhile belief

1

Yes yes yes ????

I really appreciate the core values of Secular Humanism.

Rossi Level 4 Jan 29, 2018
1

To my mind, "atheist" and "secular humanist" are the same thing, interchangeable descriptors. Since I do much to not label myself, I usually just go with "humanist."

The reactions from people differ between "atheist" and "humanist" as they do between saying "f*ck" and "frak" (or frig, freak, frick, frell, smeg and tanj).

When I was 20, someone called me "a humanist" and I was offended. (I was very "into" being a Pentecostal) Then I researched it, and realized, I was a Humanist. For I care about my fellow humans, and want all them all to be cared for and taken care of and have all they need to survive and enjoy this one life we get.

2

yes yes yes

3

I was at a Humanist Conference in Chicago summer before last and Bishop Jack Spong was a guest speaker. He said that he is a secular Humanist, but he didn't describe what he meant. I have heard him speak many times and have become friends with him and his wife, Christine. His views are extremely liberal. He believes in a higher power, but doesn't define it as a Christian does. He seems to believe more that there is a certain power that doesn't control people/things with any direct purpose that would be for the benefit or not of man, or any special interest in man. I am not sure how to describe how he believes, but I can tell you that although he may use the word God, he doesn't have the Christian idea of God in mind. He seemed to agree with all that was said. He is one of the world's foremost Bible scholars and tends to regard the unscientific view as ungrounded.

PEGUS Level 5 Jan 3, 2018

When my daughter, having served on the vestry of an Anglican church for a year or so, decided that organized religion was not for her, she began to explore the writings of Bishop Spong, and bought several of his books. I only dipped into them briefly before she took them with her to another city, but my impression was that he has the right idea.

1

Secular humanist would be fine with me, also happy with atheist and godless pagan. Of course, I don't use real rigid definitions.

0

I consider myself a secular humanist, but I have a couple bones to pick with this extended definition.

  • I don't hold the childish belief that the world is fair; I support equality of opportunity (true equality, not discrimination intended to "correct" former discrimination). The "social justice" movement and its support of equity (equality of outcome) could go to hell imo (if hell existed).
  • I want to limit the government, slowly removing as much power from it as is safe, until ideally it could be eradicated in its entirety without merely creating a power vacuum.

It comes from an Australian site, so the spelling is correct.

@Coffeo OK I'll edit that out, but my other disagreements stand.

2

The American Humanist Association has the current form of the Humanist Manifesto. Their detailing of humanism is still in a similar line with your definition of humanism above, but updated in language and given a more flexible, less dogmatic form.

[americanhumanist.org]

Also goes into "inequities of circumstance and ability" which sounds good if they mean we want to improve the circumstances and abilities of those who lag behind (educate people to an approximately equal level) and bad if they mean "hire/accept into university those who are not as capable of performing as required, thus dooming them to failure or forcing the institution to lower its standards."

Also, "we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort" sounds like socialism, which demonstrably doesn't work long-term.

"are committed to diversity"-diversity of thought is important for a philosophical group, but diversity of demographics is only relevant insofar as it supports diversity of thought. If it's discrimination meant to make up for past discrimination, it only worsens relations and leads to the problems I mentioned at the end of my first paragraph. Personally, I don't want to be considered the "diversity hire" just because I'm trans, I want everyone to know that I earned what I got.

3

Who came up with this definition of Secular Humanism?
I am use to humanism being defined as "an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems". By that definition, I am not a humanist.

That definition was one that I took from the Victorian Humanist Society's webpage before the turn of the century. It's not there now.

1

In the grand scheme of life, this matters little to me. Whatever floats your boat. It is not my choice. There are many prostitutes now. Why legal> So they can collect income tax? Nevada has legalized prostitution. They seem to manage their state.

I have no problem with legalizing it, especially if it makes it safer for the workers (which it is almost guaranteed to do). I don't buy the propaganda that prostitution is a terrible thing that debases women (or at least, it isn't in all cases).

3

I just reviewed your post and added Humanist to my profile. I am a political activist and fight against social injustice and discrimination by sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, and disability.

So long as you don't fight discrimination with more discrimination I'm on your side.

You sound as if you would really enjoy the American Humanist Conference every summer. This year it will be in Las 'Vegas. The speakers are outstanding, and you meet such nice people who believe as you do. It is the greatest feeling to be so free to say exactly how you feel. I also went to the Skeptics Conference in Las Vega this year. It was amazing with Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss and others who are well known practicing atheists on the program.

2

I am a member of Omaha Metropolitan Area Humanists Association (OMAHA) and pretty much consider myself as much a Humanist (or secular humanist) as much as a atheist.

As in "Omaha, NE?" It'd be great to meet like minded others here.

YES!! As in NE. We have First Friday's at Ragazzi's at 156th and Maple. Great group of people. Check them out on Meetup.com or [omahahumanists.org]

And welcome to this forum, glad to see more Nebraska people coming out of the closet 🙂

I should start attending ! @HippieChick58

@Ohub Yes you should!! It is a great group of people. We usually have 4 or 5 tables pushed together. Let me know if you are going to come and I'll try to keep an eye out for you.

2

I wonder if humanism hasn't gone the way of feminism. That is to say that as more people have naturally come to value some of the virtues it espouses the movement itself, and what defines it, has simply taken a backseat in the public eye perhaps allowing it to become misunderstood and maligned in some quarters.

In many respects I am a humanist, and yet it is never the first word on my mind when I try to define myself.

3

I joined the Humanism community a few years ago, but let my membership lapse. If I was to join a community today, Humanism would be the group. I still receive their emails all the time. I have a niece and nephew who attend a Humanism center in their town. I can see Humanism being the eventual "church" of society if people finally give up Religion.

1

Ironically, I consider myself both a secular and spiritual humanist, though as an artist I lean more toward the spiritual. "Humanist" is enough of a label for me however.

I don't equate "spiritual" with "supernatural" however, as many SHs do. (It is, after all, a multifaceted philosophy.) I see such "spiritual phenomenon as creativity, empathy, insight,...ESP, EVP, ghosts,...as all very natural but as yet unexplained events.

Could you cite your source? I'm just curious.

I got this info from this local site, but it was a long time ago. Don't know if it's still there.

No, it isn't there. I'll see if they've moved it somewhere else.

If you Google secular humanism you'll find heaps of links.
The Victorian Humanist site has been completely reworked.
You can find it here if you're interested.

4

Yes, I consider myself a humanist. And yes, inexplicably, as I've never heard this term before, its tenants very much describe my moral compass. Thank you for the opportunity to explore this concept more fully by bring it to my attention.

There is a Humanist magazine that comes out monthly that is just full of events, articles and people. You might like it.

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