Monday, November 2, 2009

humanists and atheists

"Humanists are right to think that there is more to life than atheism, but wrong to think that they are the ones to provide it," says humanist Austin Dacey (and D.J. Grothe agrees). The gist of his view, I gather, is that humanism is not an alternative religion and should not aspire to be one. "The point should be to make the mainstream culture more secular and humanistic, not to create a new secular humanist subculture."

Well ok, I guess. We'll talk about it in the "Atheism and Spirituality" course. But it seems to me there's no reason why humanists should not be happy to embrace the claim that a more humanistic mainstream culture would also be more (naturalistically) "spiritual." And there's every reason why they should be averse to reinforcing the popular prejudice that humanists, atheists, and secularists generally are best defined by their aversions. Tell the people what you're for, if you really want to move the culture forward.

But maybe such sentiments mark me as a spiritual humanist, rather than a secular one. Guess it's time to go back to the old Humanist Manifesto, the movement's seminal (non?-) sacred text.

But wait... those humanists called themselves "religious." (Their first affirmation: "Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.")

Is there such a thing as a humanist fundamentalist?! This is going to be a very interesting course, I can't wait.

No comments: Accelerating Intelligence News