Independence of Mind
Freethought, the independence of mind, is central to the quest for peace, but it isn’t enough.
At the end of World War II, artists and intellectuals joined with French dramatist Romain Rolland to declare an independence of mind. Its purpose was to encourage artists to declare independence from the states that used their art for propaganda to promote war, hate and divisiveness.
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Black Lives Matter – Again
I have no idea why this is a controversial issue among Humanists. But it apparently is.
The summer 2015 issue of The Humanist Magazine was on whether black lives matter to Humanists. http://thehumanist.com/ – The conclusion of the magazine was yes, of course they do. For me also the answer is yes of course. If Humanism is silent on the main civil rights issue of our time, then it has no claim to ethics at all.
Unfortunately, some “humanists” think Humanism is only about not being religious and that we should restrict ourselves to that topic. I disagree. If you are only interested in being an atheist, then you are an atheist, not a Humanist. Humanism is about the applied ethics of compassion! Ours is not a religious ethic, but it is a compassionate ethic and that is what defines us a Humanists! Failure to act on our compassion is a failure of our ethics. Humanism is about human agency. It’s about doing something to fix the problems of the world and to make the world better, for all humans and not just for a subset of them.
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Books you should read
By Dale McGowan. Everyday Humanism seeks to move the discussion of humanism’s positive contributions to life away from the macro-level to focus on the everyday.
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Are you a good person?
Why striving to be good will help you be happy.
Being good is a moral judgement. And the funny thing about morality is it is all about how we judge other people. Other people either help us or hurt us. If they help us – we deem them good. If they hurt us – we deem them bad. These moral judgements are entirely subjective based on our own feelings and perspective centered on what is good for us.
This is why it’s so darned difficult to define what it means to be good. We know how we would like to be treated, but that doesn’t mean other people want to be treated that way.
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What to do if angry atheism isn’t working for you
My Humanism is not a secret. I am quite open about it. It’s what I do. I’m also an atheist. I don’t make a secret about that either. I’ve been atheist since I was a teenager and before that I was agnostic. I was never a believer.
I meet a lot of people in the course of my work. Some are very comfortable in their faith and they are looking for ways to improve their thinking and ways to integrate their values more thoroughly into their day to day lives. Some are people who are questioning their faith and are looking for ways to build an ethical system to replace the one that isn’t working well for them. And still others have abandoned their faith altogether and are looking for a way to express their secular values without the anger that dominates the “angry atheist” movement. It is to this last group that this essay is addressed.
For those of you who have found atheism but who are looking for a way to be atheist without being angry. I’ve got great news for you. There is no right way to be an atheist. Some atheists are angry – sure. Some aren’t. It’s the same with every group actually. As my dad always says – no group corners the market in stupidity.
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11 Principles of Humanist Ethics
A statement by the great Humanist Corliss Lamont on the main principles of the Humanist philosophy.
Taken from his essay: The Affirmative Ethics of Humanism – http://www.corliss-lamont.org/ethics.htm
There is much that can be said about Humanist ethics. But here are eleven main and succinct points proposed for your consideration.
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Do Humanists have any monuments or buildings they consider sacred or places they go on pilgrimage?
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Meditation as a Humanist Practice
Questions and answers about why Humanists meditate – from a Humanist perspective. As more and more Humanists take up meditation – I thought it would be helpful to discuss why and how I consider meditation to be a basic life skill.
This post comes in the form of a Q&A from a reporter. I thought I would share my answers here.
I am 48 and practice meditation. I am also a Humanist – so I practice a non-woo form of meditation. I consider it an important part of my practice as a Humanist.
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Explaining Humanism to a Catholic Seminary Student
I was asked by a seminary student to answer some questions about Humanism for a report he was doing. I am sharing them here because I figure others may have similar questions and because it was interesting to me to see what sorts of questions were asked, because, honestly – I had to translate some of them to answer them because the worldviews and assumptions about how things work is so different. Anyway – here are the questions and my answers.
1) How do you see yourself in a leadership position?
I am a Humanist educator. I teach people about the philosophy. Leadership is not how I would describe myself. I used to be the executive director for a Humanist non-profit, so I supposed I was a leader then, but mostly – I was someone who spoke on behalf of other humanists at their request. Again, more spokesperson than leader.
2) Who is the leader of this religion?
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Questions for God
I was asked the question and I thought it was a good one – so I am asking it and answering it here.
Assuming that God exists and you were to meet Him face to face, what one question would you ask Him?
I am a Humanist – been an atheist since I was 17. Was agnostic before that. Raised as a freethinker (3rd generation)
In order to answer the question of what question I would ask, I first have to ask a question. And that question is “which specific god you have in mind?”
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