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Why the words we choose really do matter. And why harmless teasing is rarely harmless.
Suddenly, I find that I’m a rabid feminist. I didn’t mean to be. I’m actually a Humanist and I really like men. Most men anyway. My husband for sure.
Anyway, a fellow Humanist who will remain nameless because this isn’t about him, called a female politician a cunt who should suck his dick because he was mad she had made a racist comment. I have been banned from this man’s page for pointing out how incredibly rude and sexist his comment was. I’m ok with that. I actually normally like his blog so I was a bit shocked when he banned me over this but if he isn’t ethical enough to admit he made a mistake, and apologize and move on, then so be it. That’s his problem.
Critical Thinking, Compassion, Courage, Commitment
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.
Like almost everyone, I was horrified by the video of a school bus monitor in NY enduring 10 plus minutes of harassment. However, unlike everyone else, I was actually watching it with a technical eye. You see, I am the author of a book called The Bully Vaccine, which takes an operant conditioning approach to ending bullying. The contents of the video show two things. One, what not to do when bullied. And two, school districts need to do a much better job of training their employees on how to handle problems.
This program is designed to help clarify one of the most influential and consequently most maligned philosophies of our time. Humanism has arisen in every culture and in every time and yet very few people know what it is and why it has been so influential.
Written by Jennifer Hancock this Introduction to Humanism DVD is broken into 6 sections covering:
This video serves as a good resource for individuals looking to learn more about the philosophy and for groups looking to provide an introduction to the philosophy for their newer members.
Total viewing time: 41 minutes
I know pro-business types like to claim that regulations are harming businesses and preventing them from competing in the market place. They are wrong. Dangerously wrong. Most common sense regulations actually help businesses while protecting consumers and the environment. Seriously – they do.
For instance, good regulations help ensure public safety, guarantee an even playing field for all business competitors and … here’s the best part … act as a barrier to entry for any new competitors to an industry. What’s not to like! Really. When I was working in big business part of my job was to participate in our industry association. My job was to encourage the industry association to promote more regulation of our industry. We wanted to make it as hard as possible for other people to compete with us. Regulations do exactly that. They are also beneficial to our consumers and the environment. This is what is known as a win-win-win scenario. An additional benefit is that your entire industry won’t get branded with a horrible reputation because one stupid idiot who wanted to get ahead by cheating single handedly creates a mega-disaster. Businesses and industries benefit from regulation! Really, they do.
Religious militias are once again a problem. This time a small
tight knit group came up with the stupendously stupid idea to kill a police
officer as a way to get lots of other officers together at a funeral so they
could kill lots of police at one go. What is stunning isn’t that some insane
person came up with such a boneheaded idea. What is stunning is that none of
his friends said – hey – maybe that isn’t such a good idea. Doubt and skepticism
are Humanist virtues for a reason. They keep us out of trouble.
Ok – so if you have any friends of color – you know this happens. Racial profiling is very common. People get pulled over for driving while black all the time and for those of you who haven’t experienced that, it is VERY different from being pulled over for any other offense. There is an assumption of guilt that cops have when looking at people of color. And then, some cops are just ignorant. For instance, I have a friend here in Tampa who is stopped every night by the same stupid cop outside his own home just because he happens to live in a rich neighborhood. And every night when he asks the cop, in his British accent, what the problem is, the cop apologizes because obviously, my friend is educated because of his British accent and not part of the local riff raff. My friend actually thinks it is funny that after all this time this particular copy doesn’t recognize him as a resident.
I am of course referring to the 3 laws of robotics made famous by Humanist Isaac Asimov. I wanted to write about this because of critiques against Humanism being a situational ethics system – as opposed to an absolute system. All ethic systems have a set of values or rules. Humanist ethics are pretty simple. If it helps, it is good. If it hurts, it is bad. If it does both, try to do the most good and the least harm. Humanists are anti-dogma. We believe that all ethic systems should be held situational-ly because even with the best intentions, absolute ethics cause harm. Granted, holding your value system absolutely does save you the nasty problem of having to think for yourself and you can consider yourselve absolved of guilt if things go poorly if you consider your values absolute which is probably why some people cling to the idea of absolute ethics.