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What is a humanist?

  1. profile image0
    Baileybearposted 6 years ago

    I've been told I have humanist views.  According to this quiz I do too
    http://www.humanism.org.uk/humanism/are-you-a-humanist

    What exactly is a humanist?  How does the label humanist differ from atheist? Being humanist doesn't mean like to be with humans, but is able what is best for humans, animals, nature?

    1. profile image0
      just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      That's funny. I scored humanist too. I won't tell you what someone told me about humanists once. It didn't bode well for us, if the christians are, in any way, right. Even the most liberal among them.

      1. profile image0
        Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        tell what someone said about humanists.

        1. profile image0
          just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Oh, I had just come into the forums. I was feeling as if I'd been unkind to an atheist, so I decided to pay a compliment to a different belief system, to try to make up for it. I wasn't going to apologize to him, since he'd been just as rude, by my calculations. I said I admired humanism. Someone immediately told me humanism was followed by satan worshipers. I felt a little foolish.

          1. profile image0
            Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            but that doesn't mean all humanists are satan worshippers, surely?

            1. profile image0
              just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I wouldn't think so. It was just the opinion of the guy who posted. People put too much emphasis on names anyway. I'm surprised any of us align ourselves with a name. I find the preconceived notions of others inhibit communication as soon as you slap a label on yourself.

              1. Shadesbreath profile image89
                Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                That is one of the primary problems with language. Language is the symbolic representation of things (tangible and abstract). As with any symbol, it is NOT the thing. It is a code, a stand-in, a shortcut to activate a larger thought process... pick any number of additional attempts to describe it. Look at how much language we need to just to describe the process by which language describes processes and things.

                The difference between dogma and truth--as in personal truth, the kind that we feel when we take a long, deep breath in a private place and actually think something through honestly, willing even to seek out our own mistakes or contemplate someone else's version of what is true--is the difference between a label (language symbol) and the "thing" itself.

                1. profile image0
                  Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  so that's why labels are so problemic - because they are loaded with preconceptions from people's experiences?  Labels help us understand on one hand, and divide on the other

                2. profile image0
                  Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  nicely said.

  2. Onusonus profile image85
    Onusonusposted 6 years ago

    I read the humanist manifesto a while ago. I wasn't impressed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanist_Manifesto

    1. profile image0
      just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I went to your link. I didn't read the third manifesto, but the six major points didn't appear unreasonable statements at all. I'll probably read the whole thing when I get the time. Thanks for posting the link.smile

    2. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I can see why opposition to racism and weapons of mass destruction and support of strong human rights, would be something that you would find unimpressive.

      1. Onusonus profile image85
        Onusonusposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yes we all want racial equality, human rights, and peace. That is why I find it contradictory that one of the tenants of the manifesto is to transcend and replace other religions. some people can innocently interpert that as being an assertation that religion is supposed to naturally evolve into some other advanced form, but the underlying issue is that this precept is actually encouraging humanists to do away with other religions altogether. Hence the cosigners were prominent members of the NEA.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          So - you object to getting rid of racism and weapons of mass destruction on religious grounds?

          No wonder your religion causes so many wars. sad

          1. Onusonus profile image85
            Onusonusposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, that's exactly right. I want churches full of racists and nukes.

            This is why you cause so much conflict sad

  3. habee profile image90
    habeeposted 6 years ago

    The original Humanism movement that started during the Renaissance wasn't about religion. It was about teaching and learning through the humanities and focused on the classical works of ancient Greece and Rome. A few hundred years later, Humanism took on a secular theme.

  4. profile image0
    Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago

    Indeed, humanism encompassed the Romantic passion with social action, that would ultimately benefit humanity without the need to believe in a higher power, but instead the power of the individual to benefit society. This included the Arts and later infused with Logic/Reason. The issue surrounding humanism as a whole is that it actually neglects the ultimate character of the individual, in order to sustain the "greater good" of the collective. In many ways, humanism applies only to the socially elite and educated, while those with little influence become "free slaves".

    A humanist, well a true humanist, is one who would view all of society equally and through the individual expression and collective expression --regardless of social status-- is able to sustain a healthy and productive world. The downside to humanism is it is extremely selfish and in recent history has become about self worth, self expression in spite of the human collective. The originating Arts/Humanities has been replaced with industrialization, scientific advancement, technology and most notable: capitalism. The new structure of humanism is based on excessive use of power, social recognition, sex appeal and instant gratification. Largely, it has caused social deconstruction --which is scary in itself-- since man has only "himself" to answer to.

    The odd thing, the original concept of humanism still exists today, mostly in the form of charities (various foundations for education; Salvation Army, etc) and public education programs. Which that too is coming to a close, at least in the West. Public Health, Public Safety, Public Education and other Humanities programs cannot be sustained, so are now being privatized || capitalized.

    James.

    1. profile image0
      just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well, when you put it that way it doesn't sound like a good philosophy at all. Too bad..The major points listed for the third manifesto sounded considerate. I was surprised because the word itself sounds like it might be a selfish start for a philosophy, if the word strictly applies to yourself; but incredibly generous if you apply it to all the human race.

      1. profile image0
        Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Absolutely.
        "Common Humanism" has pretty much existed since the dawn of man and equally "The Collective Humanist" (New Aged Termed: Collective Consciousness == iSomething)" as well. We note how powerful ideas become and result in massive enslavement, aggression or regression more so than social illumination, unity and peace.

        That measure has not really changed much, only in light of how it is now expressed. Religion used humanism to built massive social structures from every style and archetype ( Egypt, Babylon, Rome, Greece, Mayans and more. Today, The Sciences are doing exactly the same thing in a 360 degree opposite ( Quantum, Q Mechanics, Biology, Botany, Technology, etc ).

        And while I tip my hat to fellow philosophers, new and ancient, most of us are unanimous in stating: humanism is not valid reasoning. Granted a few still cling to the idea in hope. We see humanism as more of an excuse than an ideology. We can excuse ourselves for ignorance; we can excuse the tragedies by seeing the "greater purpose -- the big picture" as equally as we can accuse the elite for taking the Arts and buying them for millions and accuse them for not sharing their knowledge, wealth and appreciation for human expression, outside of privatization, museums and Hollywood stars.

        Indian friend of mine wrote a paper on humanism that floored me years ago. In summary, he explains how, on a drive through the country, he and his friends noticed how the weak and strong worked side by side. Then a massive monsoon arose and the stronger ones scattered in all directions, while the weaker ones huddled together under a rugged, old, fallen tree. As the hours passed, the weaker ones spoke about great things, beautiful dreams and ideas. While the strong one isolated themselves for fear of the monsoon and looting of their precious things by the weaker collective..."

        James.

        1. profile image0
          just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          So, James. You know I respect your knowledge immensely. How do we, as the human race, take the first steps in moving to a better way. In your opinion.

          1. profile image0
            Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Hey j_c,
            Well, at the risk of being dogmatically piled on, by some who might be reading, my short opinion would begin with this:

            For the individual (I) and collective human race (We) to exceed present circumstances and limitations, spawned by division of ideas --most notably between the superpowers of equation and sensation (this is what I coined The Ism) -- we must first come to the focal point. A point between the convex-concave view. A place where we accept full responsibility, as well as, full credit for being a human being. Once the I and We are on the same playing field, then begins the formation of the how; the when [a better way].

            Removing the "Berlin Wall" of Duality inside the house will not suffice, as it will only make more space for the clutter; nor will sitting on the roof of Quality --at least not for very long.

            Quality is where humanity is today, I believe. They are balancing on the Roof of Quality, enjoying the 'artificial sunshine' a little more than normal with their very cool shades and gadgets (since inside the house are some very old, smelly, moldy artifacts, dusty tapestries and things).

            This is the focal point: "bulldozing the entire house", despite mainstream's firm and very expressive belief in a "back to the cave we go" event. Both the I and the We, together, must push the "needle" into the balloon. That is the starting point.

            [that is the short short version].

            James.

            1. profile image0
              just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              James, I believe the statement was I respect your intellect. I did not state that if could always follow it. smile

              But, I think I do get what your saying here. Think being the key word in that sentence. I have a very difficult time with imaginative ways to state things. I'm more black and white in the way I see and think. Probably a huge part of my roadblock on the subject of spirituality.

              1. profile image0
                Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I was a very black & white thinker  with my strict christian upbringing.  I'm see a lot more colours in between nowadays

              2. profile image0
                Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                No worries.
                Society needs to push the reset button.
                My personal view is that reset button is called: spirit.
                Once we stop using our human thinking, methods, gadgets to achieve a better society and reconnect to the spirit, humanity will change completely and in changing, remove the illusion, the plank in their eye so to speak.

                James.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Sure. Stop using our thinking - that aught to do it. lol lol

                  It is our thinking that can save us. Not listening to drivel that has/is/will cause our downfall would be a great place to start.

                  No wonder your esoteric/hubristic authority/religion causes so many conflicts.

                  We can choose to think our way through - encouraging nonsense and reverence for failed religion is not the way.

                  Think James Think. Stop spouting nonsense and think. You can do it - I know you can.

                2. profile image0
                  Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  now 'spirit' is a loaded word with lots of negative connotations

                3. profile image0
                  just_curiousposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  That, I get. Agree completely. smile

    2. ceciliabeltran profile image85
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      the growing down, as hillman suggests.

      1. profile image0
        Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Hey Ceci.
        I may be wrong, but that is the Acorn Theory?

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image85
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Absolutely lol

    3. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      now, I don't actually view all humans equally - just being honest.  I hope that even the worst 'scum of society' have a hope of making a positive contribution, but I think some people just are a 'lost cause'.  Christianity only allowed me to pretend that murderers matter. 
      I care about animals more than humans, so does that mean I can't be humanist?
      I believe in ethics more than morals; understanding more than ultimate truth.

      1. profile image0
        Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Bailey,
        Is actually identical, as general Christianity also considers much of society 'evil' or as you said 'scum of society' a lost cause. This is why so much "hell, fire and brimstone" is emanated in their writings, teachings --while at the same time they want to 'see people saved' aka 'make the world a better place'.
        In truth all religions follow this pretense. Humanism expressed itself through early religions this way. It has progressed since then, but really never let go of its core. To me, science is the alter ego of religious humanism, making it just as 'good-bad'.

        I know it does not often sit well with people when I say: "humanism is the problem, not the solution", but considering how society is today and its "evolution" over the last ( 248,000 or 6,000 ) years, gives clear insight to validate my point.

        Can humanism become Altruism? That would be a good starting point. That would really be the needle in the balloon.

        smile
        James.

        1. profile image0
          Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I think christians write off more of society as 'evil' than atheists do. There are plenty of decent people that christians tell are going to hell

          1. profile image0
            Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I cannot disagree with that. It is an unfortunate 'side effect' of humanism's failure. When I say failure, I mean 'the betterment of society' by sensational methods, which is what religion is. But also, it is not reason to be angry with them nor they angry at themselves or angry at the 'opposition'. It is one side of The System that did not work (and could not work). Equally, I have never seen just cause for Atheist or Determinist to mistreat or belittle religion either, which makes 'them' also look 'bad' in the eyes of society overall.

            I am inclined to believe the intellectuals of this world, the core unbiased philosophers, tend to act as mediators and referee's between this "Odd Couple" of sensation and equation. After studying and observing humanism from history up to present day, we cannot 'see' how determinism, atheism, socialism or any of the applied Isms has any clear direction and solution for humanity. We are inclined to suggest a complete 'let go' of all humanism. Not Anarchy by any means, but certainly a liberation from individual and social slavery/tyranny ruthlessly, mechanically and thoughtlessly applied by both science and religion.

            James.

  5. Will Apse profile image89
    Will Apseposted 6 years ago

    Humanists are Christians who don't necessarily believe in God. Don't tell the atheist wing this. It will upset the weaker minded ones.

    1. profile image0
      Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Very nicely stated, Will, although my edit would be Heavy Theologies v just Christians. My conclusion is: Atheism borders humanism and altruism.

      James.

      1. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You guys need to invest in a decent dictionary. lol

        1. Druid Dude profile image61
          Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Humanists look at the world without using God as an implement, this is why belief is not a requirement. They allow God to take a well deserved vacation. Although, He does help those who help themselves. Hates it when people run to him with every little boo-boo.

        2. profile image0
          Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Why is that?
          Humanism is the expression of the betterment of all humanity via certain objects, tools, logistics, etc namely education of the Arts and Sciences; Altruism is the act of selflessness toward another human being, without reward, while still remaining true to the virtue of duty & responsibility. To the atheist, the former and later do not require "Third Party Intervention", which is why they dismiss the deity concept.

          In your case, you use the deity concept as an excuse for dismissal, since "gaut dunnit duznt apply". Which is a weird paradox. But that just makes you a Determinist --even an Advocate Determinist-- and not an Atheist. A Determinist only is concerned with the superficial collective humanity. They are concerned about more the self and how the self will be effected versus the entire collective effect. (i.e. As long as I'm okay, everything is good; just don't make my okay not okay by intruding on my space with your nonsense; but I can intrude on your nonsense at will since it is silly and I'm okay), right? And Determinism is deeply rooted in conflict --historically.

          Besides, if they are not humanist nor altruistic, it would make an atheist a Selfist (and they certainly do not want to be told told that, now do they).

          James.

          1. profile image0
            Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I think we're all self-centred ultimately, but some try to fool themselves that they care more about others than themselves

    2. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      sounds contradictory with the way christians define christians.  Unless you mean a christian to be a person that is considerate of the welfare of others, like what the word christian used to be about.
      So you consider an atheist with ethics to be the same as a christian that doesn't believe in god?

      1. Druid Dude profile image61
        Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Whoa Nellie! If a Christian doesn't believe in God, then they aren't Christian. I believe that a moral person doesn't have to believe in God, That God would rather that we lived by the Law without having to be told to do so, otherwise Adam would have been the Lawgiver, not Moses. I believe that God would rather that he was second nature to us, that we simply enjoy the world and each other. The less we feel the need to call on him, the better we are coping with the material plane. We haven't always been on the material plane, we spend most of eternity on the spiritual plane. Life and creation are to be enjoyed. How can something be enjoyed with the constant threat of annihilation hanging over our heads like the Sword Of Damocles. Hell was a construct...it was never created. The new thought path is that this is hell, right here. This is also heaven. It really boils down to whether the glass is half full, or half empty. The glass is half full when I am pouring liquid into it. It is half empty when I am drinking from it.

  6. Shadesbreath profile image89
    Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago

    You guys are focused on what small groups of people have done to humanism in recent centuries. Originally it was about thinking and reason, about spending time cultivating one's intellect, seeking honest approaches to problem solving that centered on knowledge and on shared human interest and values, and also without a god being mandatory (meaning god/gods are not excluded either). All this manifesto stuff is just a handful of people here or there trying to start this movement or that. Which is fine, but it doesn't have much to do with what humanism "is" in any meaningful way.

    1. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      here's a term called secular humanism:
      http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.ph … ction=main
      I pretty much agree with this. But does this label comes with valid negatives too?

      1. Shadesbreath profile image89
        Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You'll notice that definition is only 30 years old. Humanism has its roots in early Renaissance thinking (and I would argue those roots were actually seeded in Greece well before that). All this other stuff is trying to shove it into a corner and make into something else, something more complicated than just the pursuit of common good and reasonable solutions. People just can't be happy with the idea of an honest, compassionate, thoughtfully disciplined approach to life. They always have to narrow it down some more. Take some ideas out of play. Toss in some extra rules or caveats. Stuff in their insipid two cents. Until humans somehow evolve out of that tendency, I suspect we'll always have justification for exploiting or killing each other.

    2. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I wholeheartedly agree with shadesbreath.

      1. Druid Dude profile image61
        Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        But, I think it takes a concentrated effort and will, not an evolutionary "bump". We have the wish to see that day come. We simply have to seriously make it happen. We are our own salvation, but only if we act.

        1. Shadesbreath profile image89
          Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I would add to that by saying we all have to act at the same time.

          Lots of movements have begun by well-meaning peoples, but the bad apple factor has made the barrel of humanity a vessel of redundancy.

  7. profile image69
    paarsurreyposted 6 years ago

    What is a humanist?

    I think it has come to be a misnomer of the atheists; the word skeptic more suits on them; they have a right to call themselves whatever they want out of their free will though.

    1. profile image69
      paarsurreyposted 6 years ago in reply to this
  8. earnestshub profile image87
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    What happened Parra? It used to be the zionists, the freemasons and a whole bunch of others you went on about endlessly. Now the word atheist is being thrown at everything.

    If you are gonna make another anti-atheist thread, How about "Are atheists the reason for my tomato crop failing?"

    Are you being pursued by atheists now? lol

  9. profile image69
    paarsurreyposted 6 years ago

    I think the Atheists should settle on the name of Skeptic- the one always in doubt; never certain.

    They do hardly any humanist works.

    1. earnestshub profile image87
      earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Now you know what the atheists do all day long.

      I've underestimated you............ obviously you are a great genius! lol lol lol

    2. superwags profile image81
      superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      But you could just as easily be called a sceptic about Thor, Apollo or Hanuman. Atheist works better as it states that we are sceptical (or non-believing) in any god.

      You atheist about thousands of gods; we just go one god further!

    3. Daniel Carter profile image91
      Daniel Carterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The athiests here on HP very often have offered help to other hubbers so that they could achieve success here. They have offered friendship, support in times of tragedy and loss, and much more. Believers have also offered such things, but there is a cross section of them that have instead only spouted judgment, condemnation, and statements such as "if you weren't living in sin and offending God, this wouldn't have happened to you."

      I think what you have stated here is a generalization that has no foundation of truth in the least.

  10. Daniel Carter profile image91
    Daniel Carterposted 6 years ago

    Apparently, according to the test, I'm a humanist. However, I tend to flee from any group or organization that wants to lump me in with them. I'm not a joiner of anything. As for the rest, whether or not others are or aren't humanists, I simply don't care. People will choose the path in life that they feel they must. Trying to convince them otherwise, based on my experience is simply futile. Hence, all this grouping and organizing as collectives seems ludicrous to me.

  11. Greek One profile image78
    Greek Oneposted 6 years ago

    Are humanists in any way affiliated with the federation?

    http://api.ning.com/files/VXRBLQ9hAFRPuZgo8I9kNco7y7Au3EHZsDrZ9PzZiAbQj0BpKR85DT95eBWo1bCs2UnHfNjlLhhH3b9bYdtx9VWAcF6wJKmA/Happy20Humanist.jpg

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KZ0y9S0DL.jpg

  12. DrMikeFitzpatrick profile image60
    DrMikeFitzpatrickposted 6 years ago

    maybe this will help?

    http://www.icanlivemore.com/course1.html

    Dr. Mike (free-nothing for sale!)

 
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