Humanism, Human Rights and Islam

Human Rights, Humanism and Islam

The relationship between Humanism and Human Rights and a growing movement within Islam.

You can't control how other people think - human rights and humanism

One of the most interesting aspects of my job is fielding queries from scholars and students looking for help on their projects that involve Humanism.

I received on such query from an Egyptian scholar who was looking for information to help him on a book he is working on, relating human rights, Humanism from an Islamic perspective.

Because there is so much fear about Islam in the US, fear that is based on a lot of ignorance and misinformation, I wanted to share with you , what I shared with this scholar so that you will have a better understanding of not only why Humanism is essential to any conversation about Human Rights, but also about why Humanism is relevant to this conversation regardless of the starting point, or in this case, the starting religion. 

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What should we do about Syria?

How should a Humanist Respond to the Syria Conflict?

Since Humanism is about ethics and responsibility and compassion, what is the proper Humanist response to the current crisis?

I received the following question from a fan:

I’m wondering how you, as a Humanist, would respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons and to the idea of a military response by the USA (and/or other nations). – LP

My answer:

Well, not surprisingly, it turns out we Humanists are fairly divided over this issue. That isn’t unusual. We are divided over a lot of things.

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We are a Secular Nation

The US ConstitutionThe 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.

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Hold BP Responsible

and corporate responsibility

Humanists believe in personal responsibility. Realizing that you
need to think before you act because anything and everything you do has consequences
and you should therefore take care to make sure those consequences are good
is a central tenet of the philosophy. Obviously, some behaviors and actions
are more risky then others. But from the Humanist perspective, if you aren’t
willing to pay the price of the consequences of your risky behavior, you should
not engage in it. If you do, then you own it. In other words, if you break it,
you should fix it.

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Is Cheney Delusional?

Is Cheney a True BelieverIs
Cheney a True Believer?


So, I have been thinking a lot about what Cheney must be thinking.
Mostly, I think he is just trying to cover his *ss. After all, he is the central
figure in a conspiracy to commit torture. He is most likely going to go to jail
at some point, unless he can convince the American public that what he did was
legal and necessary. Of course, the more he talks, the more he admits his crimes,
regardless of his motive. But also in the course of his ranting, it has dawned
on me. He might truly believe what he says. Think about it. If he really believed
that there was a link between Saddam and Al Qaida, even though there is no evidence,
then, in his mind, torturing suspects to get them to confess to a link (even
if they made up their stories to stop being water boarded) would have been considered
a success by him. And that may indeed be what he is referring to as evidence
that will vindicate him. I don’t know what is more scary. An evil mastermind,
or someone who truely believes what he thinks he knows that just ain’t so.

Joss Whedon on Humanism

Joss Whedon on Humanism


This is a video of Joss Whedon (creater of Buffy and Serenity) talking about Humanism at Harvard. And yes, lots of Sci Fi writers are Humanists. But I am sharing this because he says something very important about Humanism at the end. And that is that religion isn’t the enemy of Humanism. Hate is.

Rock Throwing Youth

Don't throw rocks at men with guns - it is a stupid thing to doAttention Youth of the World


Don’t throw rocks at men with guns and don’t hang out with people who throw rocks at men with guns.  It is a stupid thing to do that will get you shot.  A case in point is what just happened in Athens.  Some kids were throwing rocks at 2 men with guns (police) and when the men with guns couldn’t convince the kids to stop (the kids resisted arrest by continuing to throw rocks), the men shot into the group and killed one of the kids.  Not to surprising.  I am not saying the actions of the officer are ok, I am just saying if you throw rocks at men with guns, you kind of need to expect them to shoot back at you.  So DON”T THROW ROCKS AT MEN WITH GUNS!

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