There are no good reasons for your ethics

There can be no reasons

There is no absolute basis for ethics. It is all subjective and it’s all situational. Get over it and get on with trying to be a good person.

Your brain is a gooshy mess. Don't expect perfection from it.

The main drawback of being a “philosopher” for a living is that you have to deal with minutia experts. These are people who are a bit obsessive about making sure everything in their philosophy fits perfectly.  Even if they like something and agree with it in principal and practice it as a person, they feel compelled to seek out the nooks and crannies to satisfy themselves that everything is as they should be. What they seek is a perfect philosophy. The problem is that there is no such thing as a perfect philosophy. 

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Accepting Your Existence

Accepting Existence:

What do nihilism and existentialism have to do with Humanism?

Humanism is a choice

I get asked a lot of questions. Often times they are people who are trying to prove to me that Humanism is a flawed philosophy. I’m not sure what they hope to accomplish. Sometimes I think people are genuinely struggling to make sense of the big existential questions and they don’t know how to solve the problems they have identified as existentially important.

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Spiritual Malpractice

Spiritual Malpractice

Why meaning well isn’t enough. When it comes to helping people overcome adversity – this could be a matter of life and death and if you don’t know what you are doing you can make matters worse.

Not all religious belief is harmless. Some causes real harm and damage

I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately on bullying: specifically on how to get bullying to stop using operant conditioning. While most of the people I do panel discussions all know what they are talking about and are giving out advice that is based on sound science and proven best practices, there always seems to be someone whose approach is spiritual. Without exception, these “spiritual” helpers just want to share the “wisdom” they gained from being abused themselves. They teach the techniques that helped them survive the experience emotionally, but with scars.  The advice they give isn’t just bad, it’s dangerous.

Here is why.

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More work needs to be done

More work needs to be done

As a mother and as a Humanist the following statistic is upsetting. We Humanists need to do more!

No child should ever be discarded

According to a study done last year (see: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/07/12/515641/study-40-percent-of-homeless-youth-are-lgbt-family-rejection-is-leading-cause/?mobile=nc) 40% of homeless youth are LGBT and one of the main reasons they are homeless is because their family rejected them!

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Because I said so – a lesson in Humanistic Parenting

Because I said so

Why kids not only have a right to know why there are rules, they need to know. A lesson in Humanistic Parenting.

Humanistic Parenting - discipline with reason, not fear

I am a Humanist parent. Recently I read an essay by Jon Rosemond, a parenting expert, who was talking about how important it is for a parent to say, “because I said so” to a child. His reasoning is that kids need to learn to respect authority because in the real world, they are going to need to obey authority. Also, he thinks kids aren’t capable of understanding an adult’s reasoning so there is no point in sharing your reasoning with a child.

Grrrrrrr

He’s wrong on both counts.

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The 4 Cs of Humanism – Defining Humanism

The 4 C’s of Humanism

Critical Thinking, Compassion, Courage, Commitment

Th 4 Cs' of Humanism

Defining Humanism is such a difficult thing to do. There is no easy way to say – this is what Humanism is and have that be the end of it. It is a life philosophy. It is vibrant and full of nuance, and that’s why it works so well. 

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Humanism and Supernaturalism

Humanism and Supernaturalism

Humanism is a natural philosophy meaning it rejects supernaturalism. Here’s why.

Everything that happens is natural. Supernaturalism is unnecessary.

Every once in a while I get a student who contacts me to interview me for a paper they are doing. The latest was a student who wanted to know what role, if any, supernaturalism plays in the Humanist philosophy. Because I thought these were excellent questions, I’ve decided to post her questions and my answers here.

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The Gibran Fallacy

What do Aaron Schwartz, Khalil Gibran and Voltaire have in common?

Your expectations color your reality. Having realistic expectations about what life is supposed to be like will save you a lot of grief.

The fallacy is in thinking that you have to stay deeply troubled all the time to be authentic

I hadn’t heard about Aaron Schwartz before he committed suicide. Afterwards, however, I became aware that at least part of the reason he killed himself was because he was being prosecuted for a really silly crime that really didn’t warrant the excessive approach the prosecutor was taking.

However, the recent article in the New Yorker on Aaron provides a really interesting portrait of this young man. (see: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/03/11/130311fa_fact_macfarquhar ) As I read it I realized, part of his problem was that he suffered from what I like to think of as the Gibran fallacy.

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