I promote Humanism for a reason.

The Atlantic had a great article about how the secularization of the electorate is impacting politics.  If you are unfamiliar with the term, let me translate. More and more people lack religion. Because our beliefs impact our politics, larger groups of people who don’t believe in gods will necessarily impact politics.

The problem, for all my atheist friends who are adamant that promoting atheism will produce humanistic approaches to politics, that doesn’t appear to happen.  Here is the article. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/breaking-faith...

The gist of the article is this. If someone was conservative before losing their faith they are conservative after losing their faith. If they were angry before losing their faith, they are angry afterward. If they were liberal before, they are liberal afterward. Switching to atheism doesn’t change one’s political temperament.

Which is why Humanism is so important and why Humanism needs to be promoted!  If we are going to create a more just world, converting people to atheism isn’t going to accomplish that. Encouraging people to adopt a more humanistic attitude will!

For the readers of my blog who are engaged in atheist activism or who use the term atheism when what you really mean is Humanism, please ask yourself why. Why do you promote atheism. If it is because you think atheism will help people become more humanistic, realize it doesn’t work.  If you want peoplet o be more humanistic, you need to talk to them about and promote Humanism.

If you want to learn more - get the Handy Humanism Handbook: https://humanistlearning.com/jen-hancocks-handy-humanism-handbook/

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Comment by Joan Denoo on May 21, 2017 at 8:08pm

Betrtold, you may be right. Loners can and do make a difference in the world of politics and commerce. Certainly, Ruth makes a difference with her guidance in getting letterx out to the politicians. That is one project I enjoy. The return letters seem to me to be more thoughtful and thorough than the old ones I used to receive. 

A great big CHEERS for Ruth! 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on May 21, 2017 at 5:43pm

Well put.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 21, 2017 at 3:42pm

Bertold, I have trouble with professionals who indicate they belong to some religious institution. I met with an attorney yesterday to get some of my papers lined up, you know, the Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will, and an update on my will. You know the drill, especially after the death of a child. 

The attorney gave a brilliant presentation of the purpose and function of these documents and advised me on some decisions that I can consider, i.e. whether to sell my home, what to do with investments, stuff like that. 

During the casual conversation that followed she indicated that she and her family have generations  lived in this area. She talked a bit about her church involvement. I was going to ask her why she belonged to a church but I didn't because she had another commitment and had to end the discussion. I know what her answer will be, "Because of the community!"

Years ago, while attending a conference, a R.C. nun gave an impressive presentation on the history of women in the R.C. church. I asked her why she belonged to the church and why she worked under the influence of her priests and pope. Her answer was quick, direct, specific, concrete, and understandable, she liked belonging to a community. 

Whenever I ask my question of a practicing church member why they still believe, even as they can recite the history of women in the church, the most frequent answer is that they like belonging to a community. 

I think that is where many non-believers feel a high need, to belong to a community. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 21, 2017 at 1:21pm

At least she is "consistent in her inconsistency." I can handle them. It is people such as tRump who is inconsistent in his inconsistencies with whom I have trouble.

Comment by Michael Penn on May 21, 2017 at 8:21am

Thanks Joan. Once I woke up I realized that your definitions fit how I believe exactly.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 21, 2017 at 1:32am

Humanism defined: a system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters; a belief that stresses the potential value and goodness of human beings; it seeks solely rational ways of solving human problems.

Atheism defined: a rejection of a system of thought that there are god/s or supernatural forces. Atheism is not a disbelief in god/s or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in god/s. 

I am an atheist, I reject the thought that god/s exist. It is not that I disbelieve or deny the existence  of god/s; I lack a belief in god/s. I lack a belief in supernatural power, I lack belief in prayer. I lack  belief in a rescuer, a protector, or a redeamer. 

Comment by Michael Penn on May 20, 2017 at 9:52pm

Michael - I'm not sure that's true.

After that confusing statement you go on to back up what I have said, and for the most part you agree that things which exist can be verified to exist. I'm perfectly aware that being atheist is simply having no belief in gods of any sort. If I disbelieve in gods and yet do claim to believe in the supernatural I've shot myself in the foot. There is zero evidence for supernatural claims just like there is zero evidence for god claims. I reject all such claims on the basis of no evidence.

To believe in the supernatural is a "what if" proposition. Gods are also supernatural. As a former theist who also studied for the ministry I find no evidence of anything supernatural. I need evidence for ET in the same way that I need evidence for gods or pixies. When I say such atheists are "cherry picking" it's because they plainly have no problem solving skills and want to believe in nonsense to begin with. If I throw gods away I will also discard anything brought up in the bible or other so called holy books. All the things that go bump in the night or come from other realms have a basic beginning in such books. Magick, Satan, demons, etc. spring forth in the mind as a "what if" idea. For me personally I have to discard anything supernatural.

Humanism has nothing to do with my thinking here, but I do agree that most thinking persons would not believe in the supernatural.

Comment by Jennifer Hancock on May 20, 2017 at 7:31pm

Michael - I'm not sure that's true.  Regardless, that's why I prefer to say - no supernaturalism. There is only the natural world. If something exists, it is natural and can be verified to exist. This covers both gods and all manner of supernaturally posited nonsense. Atheism is stricly rejection of theism.  I have met atheists who believe in other supernatural things.  As a Humanist, I reject all supernaturalism on a pragmatic as opposed to theological basis. supernatural beliefs hinder problem solving.

Comment by Michael Penn on May 20, 2017 at 6:46pm

This is very true, Bertold, but as an atheist I cannot believe in anything supernatural. My reasoning is that, just like gods, there is no evidence for it. An atheist who believed in ghosts, souls, visiting spacemen, poltergeists, demons, etc. would be a cherry picking atheist. He would be believing what he wants to believe but he would not be credible to me. I need evidence.

Comment by Jennifer Hancock on May 20, 2017 at 3:18pm

Flying Atheist - yeah - The most hostile groups for me to talk to as a Humanist are  atheist groups with a lot of libertarians in it.  Christian groups are surprisingly open to discussing Humanism and the need to keep god out of decision making. But those are liberal Christians. Fundamentalist ones, as Michael Penn notes, aren't all that interested in secular approaches to life. 



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