Reason Being


Duluth, MN

United States

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  • Phil

    Hi Reason, I've arrived.

    I love the Hitchens quote above.

    I may be secular, but the humanist part I'm not sure about. How does humanist add to the idea that one rejects ghosts and magic and sees more effective and humane solutions to problems. Does humanism imply compassion?

  • Phil

    I don't think humanism adds compassion to mix. To me, a good definition of humanism can be found here ( The topic of compassion leads me down the road of morality. That is a slippery slope when it comes to defining the source, in that I do not think there is a universal answer among people who reject religion as the source. My personal answer is that morality (including things such as compassion) is a part of our evolution. Somewhere along the way we learned some basic principles to help the species survive. My short answer would be to lump compassion in that evolution. RB


    I certainly agree with the biological being the raw material of any ethical valuation. I am a biologist.

    My experience with the term humanism is as it represents a let's all get along and sing Kumbaya Unitarian kind of thing. I use science-based models but certainly enjoy fantasy and irrational hope like anyone else, with the standard sensibilities of the Western middle class.

    And as Hawking recently wrote - philosophy is dead.

  • Phil

    Humanism is defined, in part, to "embrace justice and ethics?" This seems to leave the door open to an ether of natural good and evil. Can't we just go with secular, using biology to better understand our nature and choices?

    Nah, if I were to use the term, people might get the wrong idea - most likely get the impression that I'm an accomodationist. I'm Not.