What is Secular Humanism?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Wry Catcher, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    Secular Humanism is a term which has come into use in the last thirty years to describe a world view with the following elements and principles:

    A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

    Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

    A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.

    A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

    A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

    A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

    A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

    Discuss
     
  2. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    Excellent topic, Wry.

    What secular humanism means to me, is the civil ethics behind the formation of our government. It is ethics, without religion.
     
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  3. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    I agree, it is ethics sans organized religion; a very healthy way to experience and interact with the world IMO.
     
  4. Wry Catcher
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    Can anyone explain why the values in the OP have come under attack?
     
  5. Ringel05
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    Ringel05 Diamond Member

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    Because of human nature. Some have taken it farther than that definition and use it as an a basis and excuse to attack those who profess a personal "religious" foundation. So it's not the values that are under attack........ Should be obvious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  6. G.T.
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    Because those with Religion tend to believe that Morals are Universal/Absolute and can only come from God, but not from mere mankind.

    They are offended when it is suggested that man can be inherently good without the existence of God.
     
  7. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Sky Dancer wins today's MOST SUCCINCTLY PUT award.
     
  8. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    I see you have faith in the "official" definition of secular humanism. What do you think about the reality that secular humanism is actually dogmatic about its positions? The most serious dogmatism comes from their rejection of theism entirely, and the belief that "Supernatural beings are a human creation." I do not know about you, but that seems like a direct contradiction of the definition you just posted.

    Science does not, and never can, have the answers. The essence of science is questioning everything. Scientists take the data available, look at various theories, and select the one that works best. They then keep looking, find data that does not fit the theory, and use a new one that works better. This continues forever, and very few humans can accept this, which is why secular humanists ultimately rejects science.

    Secular humanists, like everyone else, need to believe that some things are certain. Even Kurtz recognized this need, even if he did not articulate it, which is why he made moral values and the quest to encourage them part of his Declaration of Secular Humanism. Feeling the need for morals and values, and rejecting the concept of them being imposed from above, he decided to impose them upon others himself, making himself the moral equivalent of the Pope and the human leaders of all the religions he rejected.

    Secular humanism is a religion without the trappings worshiping a god. That is why so agnostics and atheists join it. Most of them see the hypocrisy and elect to reject it.
     
  9. Quantum Windbag
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    Only if you define religion as a belief in supernatural beings, which would exclude Buddhism. If you define religion in a way that includes Buddhism you will find that SH fits rather nicely.
     

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