Far More Than Atheism

Secular humanism is nonreligious, but it differs greatly from both atheism and religious humanism.

acolytejohn

03/08/2004 04:12:25 PM

God is behind all religion.God has been the same for ever if that is so than the teachings that Christ brought from the Father are older than chreation its self.Thats why it is all the same in the end.

JahSwamo

03/01/2004 11:30:04 PM

God is a really big subject. I agree that there is existence beyond what we now know. "Outside box" of our reality. Where will arguing about these things get us? The beauty of Judaism is not that we have a creed in which one must believe, but that there is a way of life which can make a person a mensch. How to do that? Hillel said Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. All the rest is commentary. God doesn't really enter into it.

Norm_uk

11/11/2003 12:54:43 AM

Man is a religious animal as one prominant ancient mind once penned. We have had religion for tens of thousands of years and have enjoyed nothing but war, hate, genocide, repression, conquest and regression. Since Jesus, who apparent gives peace came, we have seen more war, pestilence, hunger, hate and genocide than anytime in recorded history. Religion + Politics = War...everytime

Renee132

08/25/2003 01:34:31 AM

Yeah, this is a deep subject. It can, however, be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. I challenge anyone reading this article to take a look at the big picture here. Some claim anti-religion, some claim non-religion. A big stink has been made about how different the two are when both fall under the atheist category. Neither one believes in God. Let's get down to business when we write these articles instead of feeding everyone a balogna sandwich. Let's really work on this.

ichi_shiroi_tora

01/22/2003 04:02:56 AM

"How can anyone not see evidence of a creator/higher being? For crying out loud do you really think some big bang created out of nothing..." It. Doesn't. Matter. If someone decides to doubt there is a higher being or creator, it won't change anything. Not in my non-Bible/Testment belief =) It doesn't make any difference, what is there will probably continue to be there. I'm very sorry for the numerous posts but it's my first time here. I hopped on over through a quiz (and I just laughed and laughed at "my religion" that I got at 100%), took a look through Atheism/Agnostic in my curiousity, and read through this article replying to all the replies. I'm very bad at keeping up with message boards so I might not ever stop by again but I just wanted to throw what I had out there. By chance have any of you read Daniel Quinn? For those that doubt a little or fall in with a few similar views on humanism or know we live building pyramids, I suggest you try him out. ~tora

ichi_shiroi_tora

01/22/2003 03:57:44 AM

"I recognize that society likes to lump people in categories but it can get dangerous. I think people are doing themselves a grave disservice when they objectify themselves or describe themselves, especially based on sexuality." Too true. "I'm with Bravo88. I don't see sufficient evidence in any creator. If anyone wants to convince me, they're welcome to try, but I have no interest in trying to convince anyone that there isn't any. Maybe many other secular humanists feel the same way. But I still worry about the label. Deciding to stand with a group because of SOME shared beliefs leads to incredibly stupid situations like all republicans or democrats voting for a bill just because it was introduced by a member of their party. Never mind whether or not it makes the slightest sense." Hence why I've forgone having a religion. I tried but found each lacking in many ways.

ichi_shiroi_tora

01/22/2003 03:56:46 AM

"People of the past have wealth and palaces, but no hospitals until the rise of Christianity. Science has risen and fallen until the Christian monks in the Middle Ages started the systematic collection of knowledge in search of the truth." Science is just another way of reading the truth, it's not something people questioned and was obviously looked at because after everything else, the questions arose. Nobody ever doubted that if you drop something it falls to the ground. But it took a genius to define that as a law. "Prosperity of the few at the cost of many. Do we want to go in that secular direction, and the struggle for survival, power, and pleasure?" ...you mean we're not doing that right now? I'm doing just as well as the next guy? We're not all struggling to become those few at the top?

ichi_shiroi_tora

01/22/2003 03:55:38 AM

"If one cannot see the window of religion as being an integral part of humanity, I believe the debate is over with. The problem with this debate is a monetary one.(surprise!) Is religion defined metaphysically..." I agree completely. Well said. "Historically, there is no sustainable peace and prosperity apart from Jesus." There's not? Really? You mean, if the earth really was created 4.6 billion years ago, man was never living peacefully for those 3 million years he was man before Christ came? Crime, war, genocide, poverty, suicide, murder, rape, sexism, racism, and environmental destruction are as bad if not worse than they were before Christ came. I have seen no sustainable peace nor prosperity that was not not there before him.

ichi_shiroi_tora

01/22/2003 03:54:09 AM

"I would think an ethical system founded around rationality would shun a name like "humanism" which seems to hold to the religious belief in humanity as intrinsically or morally superior to the other species. This is why I would not want to call myself a humanist." http://Dictionary.com states definition for "humanism": A system of thought that centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth. Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans: “the newest flower on the vine of corporate humanism”. That sounds like something intricate to any species' survival, not promoting the superiority of it over others. It's not just a religious belief either. I think most Atheists, Agnostics, and nonreligious people are stuck in this story of "man is better". That's why most of these religions were created in the first place.

ichi_shiroi_tora

01/22/2003 03:53:04 AM

"it teaches the separation of life from religion" I also have no idea what you're trying to say. You can't separate religion from life. For as long as we've been homo sapien sapiens we have been aware of this something else, something that resonants in no other species so far(no, that's not a superiority problem, there IS a difference between humans and other life).

ichi_shiroi_tora

01/22/2003 03:49:45 AM

"2. If being gay is wrong because you can't reproduce, doesn't that imply that every sex act between a man and a woman have as it goal reproduction ? What if a a spouse is incapable of reproduciton, does that mean they should not have sex ? Also considering the growth of population and the stress on the enviorment, homsexuality could be considered a plus rather than a minus." Exactly ^_^

themarirev

11/21/2002 12:14:58 PM

Mirkinti 'Simple enough: If it causes harm, it's wrong; if it doesn't, it's not. I think this is really the basis of most people's moral judgements... whether or not they realize it." Ah, if it were indeed that simple. The reality is we have a metaphysical learning tool that is the axis for all wisdom. It is called Yin and Yang. Even though we all use this tool, it is an independent tool for each of us. Therefore we have terms like, "murder", "capital punishment" and "collateral damage" or "an eye foe an eye" to express the "moral value" of killing. The best that can be done is a effort to reduce harm. For as long as we exsist, so shall it. Rev

themarirev

11/21/2002 12:13:13 PM

purple333 While I agree with your validation of God, i.e. the flowers, a rainbow, the growing from a Y cromasone into a fetus and then a child. But lao.tzu has a valid point. If God HAD TO be a part of creation, then it stands to reason, who or what is greater or rather, created God? Or did God come out of nothing? Proof of the exsitance of God has never come to us from others, but from within. Therefore physical reality nor theologic philosophy can be used for definition of metaphyical properties. Indeed, with my experience, I have seen religion placing a wall between God and Gods child, more then bringing them into a true "fold." Rev

Mirkinti

11/21/2002 08:35:37 AM

rawlings, Simple enough: If it causes harm, it's wrong; if it doesn't, it's not. I think this is really the basis of most people's moral judgements... whether or not they realize it. purple333, If something can't come from nothing, then where did God come from? And if you actually think the Big Bang created "flowers / air / animals / oceans / people," just like that... well, you really need to do some reading.

purple333

11/21/2002 08:00:47 AM

How can anyone not see evidence of a creator/higher being? For crying out loud do you really think some big bang created out of nothing, made flowers/air/animals/oceans, people etc? The Big Bang had to have come from something - you don't get a huge explosion out of nothing!!!! Anyway there are valid points in most schools of thought on anything religion/parenting/education even politics so why label ourselves as this or that group why not instead take the points with which we agree from eac & so create a view which we agree wholeheartedly & with which we are comfortable.

lao.tzu

11/20/2002 06:23:05 PM

I'm with Bravo88. I don't see sufficient evidence in any creator. If anyone wants to convince me, they're welcome to try, but I have no interest in trying to convince anyone that there isn't any. Maybe many other secular humanists feel the same way. But I still worry about the label. Deciding to stand with a group because of SOME shared beliefs leads to incredibly stupid situations like all republicans or democrats voting for a bill just because it was introduced by a member of their party. Never mind whether or not it makes the slightest sense. Mind you, I'll still check out secular humanist sites/chat rooms/etc, since I'll find more common ground there than on most sites with any religious background.

Bravo88

11/20/2002 04:49:04 PM

I've never understood the idea of describing oneself based on one attribute or upon an activity one does. I recognize that society likes to lump people in categories but it can get dangerous. I think people are doing themselves a grave disservice when they objectify themselves or describe themselves, especially based on sexuality. It is one thing to acknowledge a fact, that one is a woman or a man. To build a lifestyle and identity on something such as one's sexuality, especially if it causes or allows one to indulge in destructive or disrespectful behaviour, this is ultimately harmful to oneself. Having said that, we all have the choice to do as we please.

Bravo88

11/20/2002 04:40:09 PM

Based on OWLNYC's statements, the best hands would be those that do and pray then. Personally, I'm not sure it's a good idea comparing one to another. Doing so can bring up the problem of pride as there is always someone greater or lesser than oneself.

Eudaimonist

11/20/2002 02:00:39 PM

I'm glad that belief.net is giving some airtime to secular ways of life. I'm a member of a rational moral group called the Fellowship of Reason, and while we don't call ourselves "secular humanists" (we prefer to call ourselves "Eudaimonists"), we applaud Paul Kurtz for promoting a secular and rational moral approach to increasing human well-being.

themarirev

11/20/2002 01:03:34 PM

valueadder >>>Historically, there is no sustainable peace and prosperity apart from Jesus<<< I would have to agree, as long as this statement does not extend to Christianity. For the ongoing atrosities of Christains are quite well documented even in the face of harsh denials. This only proves the ideology has continued to take a back seat the "vengence of the Lord" as perpetrated by man. His commandment of treat others as you would wish to be treated has changed to treat others as you want them to be treated, not as you would want others to treat you. Jesus was secular in his ideology, i.e apart from the accepted religions of the day. That we are to share Gods love with others, not turn our lives over to those who claim Gods divine rightousness. A person does not need to be a follower of Abrahamic philosophies to be a believer in Jesus' ministry. Just as Jesus needed more then teaching from the torah in the temple. Being just a plain ole child of God without religious denotion is just fine. Rev

themarirev

11/20/2002 12:47:39 PM

valueadder >> A man stands behind a woman. Unbeknownst to him, she is pregnant. Therefore he sees only two. The mother to be does not know there is a man behind her. Therefore she and her child are the two in her perception. There only real answer is known by God. Even though these humans within their own perceptions they are only "two" possible, God knows there are three of Gods children there. Humanism is not looking to find less, but to explore more. Rev

valueadder

11/20/2002 01:17:16 AM

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious Son, the Most Merciful Holy Spirit. Historically, there is no sustainable peace and prosperity apart from Jesus. People of the past have wealth and palaces, but no hospitals until the rise of Christianity. Science has risen and fallen until the Christian monks in the Middle Ages started the systematic collection of knowledge in search of the truth. No wonder universities like Harvard and Yale were built to serve Christ. Harvard University was named after Reverend John Harvard. Secular China & Russia & French Revolution. Prosperity of the few at the cost of many. Do we want to go in that secular direction, and the struggle for survival, power, and pleasure? I prefer the Christian ideology of peace and prosperity for all through agape-love under a leader who exemplifies and teaches agape.

valueadder

11/20/2002 01:10:11 AM

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious Son, and the Most Merciful Holy Spirit. Like Confucius, I like to live in a way that benefit society and the world. However, Confucius worshipped Dao/ShangDi, the Crucified God. By cornering oneself as secular, we are eliminating a possibility, like calculating 1+1=? while eliminating 2 from the possible solution. Where would the world be if scientists do you think beyond the boundary of the present?

themarirev

11/19/2002 11:16:00 PM

If one cannot see the window of religion as being an intrigle part of humanaity, I believe the debate is over with. The problem with this debate is a monatary one.(surprise!) Is religion defined metaphysically or materialisticly? Is it part of a ongoing group of ideologic or theologic thought or is it the ongoing individual personal relationship with the universe around you...as you feel within? Should semantics make a big difference? I feel the worst thing any humanist can do is try to fit all of lifes answers into a black and white box because there's alot grey out here ...and blues...and purples...and yellows...and browns and reds... all individual and yet, all covering the same species exact reproduction. I hope one day, a man will not be judged by the color of his skin or the context of his religion, but by the content of his character. Rev

owlnyc

11/19/2002 04:32:53 PM

Some ideas of humanism are : The main purpose of religion is the production of good men and women. Deed not creed Hands that do are better than hands that pray. Bringing out the best in others, brings out the best in ourselves.

owlnyc

11/19/2002 04:28:55 PM

There is a rather heated debate amongst humanists as to wether secular humanism is a religion or not. The magazine Reason I think is covering the debate. Secular humanists do not reject all religous principles out of hand, but measure them first as to how they affect the wellbeing of society and the individual. Similar to the premisee , is the law made for man or man for the law.

owlnyc

11/19/2002 04:01:39 PM

jedijen, 1. not all xtians believe in a scientific point of view, especially when it clashes with their own particular dogma. Creationist still haven't learned the lesson of the R.C. and galalieo. The lesson being that the bible is not a science book. 2. If being gay is wrong because you can't reproduce, doesn't that imply that every sex act between a man and a woman have as it goal reproduction ? What if a a spouse is incapable of reproduciton, does that mean they should not have sex ? Also considering the growth of population and the stress on the enviorment, homsexuality could be considered a plus rather than a minus.

themarirev

11/19/2002 03:52:09 PM

Here's an oxymoronic postion for the author. I am a "Clerical Secular Humanist". Though I call myself an "Ergonomical Minister". That is, I minister to the soul of the human body, not the spirit of the religious body. I promote the completely independent relationship with ones own perception of their creator, for I am no ones judge. If a persons perception goes no farther then their intellect, then that is where it should be for their journey...or not, as they chose to see it. I trust promotion of humanism will led to greater respect for other species. I have been called to speak out for the independent relationship with or with out a perception of God, for God is there in my life and will still be there for them when their time is right. I am merely called to serve love, not "justice". Unlike other ministers, I am human enough to humble myself before God and admit "I could be wrong." Rev

jedijen

11/19/2002 02:36:42 PM

For that gay topic you guys are/where talking about, i believe in a scientific point of you, which christians believe, but not from this perspective. Okay- we reproduce , advance and evolve and in order to reproduce you need to have a woman and a man- combination to produce offspring, man and man and woman and woman cannot do so , therefore, i believe being gay is wrong in the sense that you cannot reproduce, even though technology and time can prove otherwise;)

rawlings

11/19/2002 01:23:02 PM

I'm curious. Where does a "secular humanist" get his/her morals? I agree with you, Mirkinti, when you say, "I wouldn't make moral determinations based on biology." Mirkinti, how then do you know (personally) what's right or wrong?

Mirkinti

11/19/2002 02:06:08 AM

Actually, speaking as a secular humanist, I wouldn't make moral determinations based on biology. There's a genuine slippery slope there, and no reason to go down it. No, being gay isn't morally wrong, but it has nothing to do with its cause. Being gay doesn't harm anyone. Therefore, it's not immoral.

megusic

11/19/2002 01:39:41 AM

uh, how has science proven that god made anyone gay??

edelphi

11/06/2002 04:52:36 PM

I would think an ethical system founded around rationality would shun a name like "humanism" which seems to hold to the religious belief in humanity as intrinsically or morally superior to the other species. This is why I would not want to call myself a humanist.

mbwalz

11/05/2002 09:17:17 AM

A secular humanist comes to the conclusion that being gay is not morally wrong since it is a biological thing, something you are born with, proven by science. This differs from a religious person who looks to God's words (from the Bible, etc) to tell them whether being gay moral or immoral. For me, a religious humanist can come to the same conclusion about the gay person's morality as the secular humanist, but still believe in God. For instance, I look at the fact that God makes some people gay (as proven by science) and therefore gay people are moral.

tous

11/04/2002 07:48:18 PM

TReed I believe the article is stating quite clearly that there is *not* an acknowledgment for a creator, not even an implied one. As for "separation of life from religion", I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. I think the article is not so much talking about a separation as much as it is encouraging an engagement/confrontation of religious claims. The secular humanists have considered the religious claims and found them wanting, to say the least. In addition, secular humanists are saying that they have found a way of living that is moral and ethical without having to "believe" in anything supernatural and beyond empiricle observation (that which can be verifiably measured, tested, within the realm of the senses, within the realm of reason, etc.)

TReed

10/29/2002 09:56:15 PM

okay, i got it, secular humanism is not religions, thats obvious, it teaches the seaparation of life from religion... that means there is some sort of acknowldgement of a creator, right? if its a separation that it...

heathergirl

10/15/2002 06:53:27 AM

I always appreciate the vast diversity of human belief and experience... it in-and-of-itself is a really great checks and balances system. I think that it is important that we all question and critique EVERYTHING -- so, I say, thank goodness for secular humanists who will take the time and energy to critique and question religions. It is extremely important.

qw1212

10/08/2002 12:06:22 PM

It is about time beliefnet gave equal time to secular humanists, to balance out the amount from the believers in superstitious religions.

EDENCH

10/08/2002 10:48:51 AM

Everyone has doubts.

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