The question of exactly what Humanism, for some reason, is very contentious. Some think that Humanism is a non-theistic religion, like the American Ethical Union. The American Humanist Association and the Council for Secular Humanism think that Humanism is a philosophy. To the Unitarian Universalists Humanism is simply one of the traditions they draw on for wisdom. Internationally and at the United Nations Humanism is considered to be an ethical life stance, meaning that it is the functional equivalent of a religion without being a religion. Confused yet? You’re not alone.
Book Review: Pyramids!
Ok – so I don’t normally do book reviews, but… this is a good book. Pyramids! By Avery Hart and Paul Mantell is an activity book for children. The activities are really cool and fun to do. But the reason I wanted to write about it is because; some of the activities are philosophical in nature. Not only that, but they are most definitely Humanistic in Nature. On almost every page, there is an activity titled: Think About it. Right off the bat a book that focuses on making children think about differences is pretty cool. But what it asks kids to think about is what makes this book special.
My First Column!
I am now a freelance columnist for the Bradenton Herald and I write a monthly column about Humanism for them. It replaces their regular Faith Matters feature once a month which is nice because Humanism is so rarely represented in our local papers. Anyway – here is a link to my first column. Feel free to leave a comment or recommend this column to others.
Humanism and Democracy
As we just celebrated our nation’s independence, I thought I would devote my column to the link between Humanism and Democracy. We Humanists love Democracy. This is because Humanism is the philosophic foundation on which all democracies are built. You simply don’t give power to the people unless you believe that people are basically good and can manage their own affairs. This is the fundamental starting point of the Humanist philosophy.
If, on the other hand, you believe people are basically evil and need to be controlled, you tend to set up governments to control them such as dictatorships, monarchies, and various forms of theocracy. From a Humanist perspective democracy is the best form of government as it provides the best guarantee of individual freedom.
The US is a Secular Democracy
Ok – so, if you weren’t aware of it, there a people who consider themselves to be Christian soldiers in America who are fighting a religious war against secularism. Whenever you hear someone say – America is a Christian Nation and that our nation is under attack, you are listening to someone who either views themselves as a Christian warrior, or is influenced by this form of paranoid Christianity.