Please help me resolve a dispute: Do you think a person must be secular in order to be a humanist?
Many atheists now sailing under the flag of „humanism“ do not realize that "humanism" is only the continuation of Christianity by other means. Since Feuerbach and Freud we know that the gods are merely projections of the human mind, and that we worship ourselves in the image of "gods".
Durkheim applied this to society: In the form of religions, the collectives, the societies celebrate themselves and thus secure their cohesion.
The humanist ideology renounces all this traditional religious hullabaloo; it does not take the detour via the gods, but here humans worship themselves unabashedly by inventing a special "dignity" that sets us apart from the rest of nature. This „dignity“ is nowhere to be found in nature, it is a fiction, just like Zeus or Vishnu are fictions. Atheists are ready to acknowledge that these gods are figments of imagination, but they fail to realize that the same holds true for the intellectual core of humanism.
Rather than being a specific doctrine on its own, Humanism is more a general life stance or attitude that upholds human reason, ethics and justice, and is a component of a variety of more specific philosophical systems, and is incorporated into some religious schools of thought. It is an optimistic attitude to life whose ultimate goal is human flourishing (see the section on Eudaimonism), doing good and living well in the here and now, and leaving the world better for those who come after.
I am a member of the Church of Spiritual Humanism. Secular simply means not spiritual or religious. I do consider myself to be "humanistically" spiritual. Note: I have to be a spiritual minister to be licensed to perform marriages. Though I also tout myself as a secular celebrant. Fuzzy lines.
I feel it is the human spirit which can tune into humanism. You can also be totally secular and pragmatic as a humanist. Humanism is just that - and a person can be spiritual or secular to believe in and follow its tenets. It's all how you define "spiritual" which has been discussed many times on this site.
I don't believe you can be religious with supernatural deities and be a humanist, but perhaps humanitarian.
Humanism is fundamentally just about contributing to a world that's good for people of all stripes. (To paraphrase, in any case.) On that level, whether on is secular or not is a slightly moot point, hence my "no" vote.
However, it's worth mentioning that much of what secular humanists (and by extension the majority of humanists overall) propose is incompatible with most religious views, especially with respect to proselytizing and their concepts of the afterlife. Making a world that's good for people of varying (or no) religions often means disregarding these notions or at least restricting them to specific social situations.
Definitely. You cannot put your group above others and call yourself secular. Humanist to me is empowering individual freedoms to counter "the group" rather than group freedoms dictating an individuals freedoms. All individual humans have worth in other words.