I do. Some days I don't feel like I should go by that title, because I get fed up with all stupid/rude people I have to deal with every day. Then I think, how can I be a humanist if I get annoyed by the general public? I do care for the human race though. I just have my days where I can't deal with being around people. Most days I have to though, even on my days off when I see very few people. I am an introvert btw. You all could probably tell by now. I used to volunteer my time helping out the homeless people. Packaging food for families at a shelter or passing out free meals on X-mas for the homeless. On Thanksgiving as well. Everyone needs a hot meal on the holidays. So, yes, I consider myself a humanist.
I think of myself as a 'womanist' . A term I've never heard of before this class I'm taking. I do think of myself interested in being the best human I can be. Hey a Libra here so I'm many things and I love the insights I've been reading on this site and the humor
Yes, I would say that I have adopted humanism as my value system.
I didn't even know what that meant prior to having searched for other voices that reflected my values. My journey out of Christianity and into humanism was a long and winding road - that Catholic guilt kept me ensnared a lot longer than I wanted and I had no atheist/agnostic friends with whom to discuss my strong doubts about Christianity. My ex-husband was Baptist and not much help. I left the Catholic church and church-hopped a while, trying to find a place that was open and non-judgmental. The most concerns and alarm I had was at a church that embraced Gary Ezzo's Babywise and James Dobson's The Strong Willed Child. No one, ever, was going to tell me how to parent my children (I was a strong willed child who grew up to be a strong willed adult).
I also found myself over the years identifying as polyamorous, which flies in the face of most religions. Yet I needed to understand myself better. I spent some time with a gifted therapist who was unlike anyone I'd ever met before and she embraced Carl Roger's style of therapy (. He fostered genuineness and self-acceptance and empathy in his practice. I picked up a few of his books and found the voice of true kindness and compassion. I saw why I struggled so hard with religion, and there was no place for me there.
I also wondered long and hard if being a scientist meant I had to be hard and cold and super-rational. If there was no place for "magic".
I was wrong about that, too. Carl Sagan is by far my most favorite scientist, because he sees the beauty and magic in the world and what we have been capable of.
"A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts ( still called “leaves” ) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ? Proof that humans can work magic.” – Carl Sagan
Yet he has predicted what is happening right now in America when he wrote The Demon-Haunted World.
"I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...
The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance."
So yeah, humanism is something I can safely say I embrace. It can recognize the failures of humans to do what is right and good and still leave some hope that we can change.
There are more issues to deal with than the welfare of humans- although that is a good starting point. This morning there is a freeing rain- and any animal out in it would be suffering. Then there is the absolute disrespect of the planet; to go into many coffee shops a person must climb over mountains of cigarette buts. Glad to hear you are still volunteering- I have ceased even doing that.