A very short explanation of secular humanism

There are some interesting topics going on at their Facebook page and theirwebsite. Note...you don't have to be an atheist to be a humanist...though there really aren't that many who aren't. The only thing missing from the very brief explanation is the "secularism" part...which I admit is implied...but I think is very important.

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Comment by Simon Mathews on July 27, 2016 at 4:58am

What's amazing about this is that these three things have to collectively have a name - an ism that people subscribe to. They should be just what we all do.

Comment by Davis Goodman on July 27, 2016 at 5:54am


Comment by SteveInCO on July 27, 2016 at 10:35am

Simon, it's an "ism" to make it quick to describe.  If someone had to recite those three points to explain to someone how they behaved, instead of just saying "I'm a humanist" (-ist just being the form that means a person who practices -ism) it'd get tedious.  So the label just serves as a sort of "pronoun" or substitute for the full description (in point of fact so do all non-proper nouns).

Imagine if one needed to recite the full humanist manifesto:  http://americanhumanist.org/humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_III

It does become problematic when someone decides to go around being the purity police and saying "I'm the arbiter of what X-ism is and don't you dare call yourself an X-ist unless you do it exactly as I say."  (In some cases there's a little bit of reason one can claim to a high degree of specificity, but those are pretty extraordinary, exceptions rather than the rule.)

Comment by Gregg RThomas on July 27, 2016 at 9:43pm

I take exception to the first part of #3.  Human flourishing has destroyed most of this planet already.  Why keep going.  On a cosmic basis the human race is a destructive planetary disease.

Comment by Unseen on July 28, 2016 at 5:46pm

Gregg RThomas +1

Hate to say it, but we stand in need of a major plague or WW3 or we'll take the planet down completely unintentionally, the way an overpopulation of deer can destroy a forest.

Comment by Davis Goodman on July 28, 2016 at 7:16pm
There are some humanist manifestos (several with different famous humanists signing one or the other) but in reality I think they are grand elaborations on the principles of secularism, human dignity and reason. None of those manifestos rare representative of secular humanism and what humanist organizations do which is advocate the above however they like. It is a total -ism and one of the very few I'd ever identify as I cannot think of a better set of axioms that form the base of a deontological ethic.

Human flourishing is a strange way to word it. Im not sure they mean polluting the world when they say flourishing but ensuring people have the basic necessities and aren't held back (especially marginalised groups like minorities, women, homosexuals). Dignity.
Comment by Unseen on July 28, 2016 at 8:41pm

I'm trying to imagine an interpretation of "flourishing" that would reduce the number of human beings, which is something the world desperately needs.

Comment by Davis Goodman on July 29, 2016 at 7:39am

Okay Unseen. Shall we start with you?

Comment by Simon Paynton on July 29, 2016 at 8:27am

Reduce the birth rate and increase health. 

Comment by Simon Mathews on July 29, 2016 at 8:33am

Awww, Davis, that's not nice.


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