Why Humanism Part 3

In my last article I said I was going to be focusing a little more on why humanism is good.   A philosophy as broad as humanism has many great things about it. (Why Humanism Part 1  and Part 2 ) Here are three more reasons why humanism is the philosophy I embrace:

ancientsHumanism is a philosophy rich in human thought. The best of what the human intellectual has to offer is reflected in it. Thinkers as far back Aristotle have their philosophy reflected in humanism. This makes humanism based on reason and only changing given rational reason to do so. A philosophy that is thought out, reasoned, rationalized, debated, discussed and changed thousands of times of the course of human history is, at the every least, a philosophy worth looking at.

childHumanism puts people first. Even its name reflects this. It just makes sense to put our energies into what’s best for ourselves and humanity as a whole. No time and money wasted on pleasing one or more of the thousands of unprovable Gods. No psychics and quacks taking advantage of the bereaved. No suppressing scientific advances that can only help us. In my about page I say ‘Imagine what kind of world we would live in if everyone put all their time spent worshiping, fighting, killing and hating into making the world a better place instead’ That is exactly what humanism hope to accomplish.

Humanism embraces this life. Even with all its ups and downs humanism makes the life we know we have its primary concern. Humanism rejects the mind-body dualism of religions. The body is not filthy and the mind is not a locus of sinful desires. Neither is the physical something to disconnect from (as in Buddhism). The idea of heaven undermines the beauty and the wonder of the world we live in. Humanism rejects all of this and instead strives to make this life and this world a better place to be.

Humanism is certainly not perfect. In fact some complain that it is too broad and unstructured. Organizations like the Council for Secular Humanism, IHEU and the American Humanist Association has attempted to address this and bring humanism some more formal structure. There are other complaints and criticisms about it that are certainly valid. However upon examination humanism certainly, in this author’s opinion, has a far greater chance of saving humanity from itself then anything else we have so far.

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6 Responses to Why Humanism Part 3

  1. I like the thoughtfulness of your writing. However, I am led to ask, if humanism constantly requires to be changed and updated, how will you know when you arrive at the right answers to your questions? You say that it has a far greater chance of saving humanity than anything else. How can you feel any certainty about that hope when you say that it constantly requires to be readjusted?

    • bryanbr says:

      Humanism doesn’t necessarily require changes and updates it is simply prudent to reexamine beliefs regularly. How do you know you have reached the right answers? That’s up to you. Not everything is for everyone. The idea is to think about it. The big question is, as always, are you happy with it? if yes then you have found the right answers for you.
      So no it doesn’t constantly require adjustment, It is simply changed when given a valid reason to do so and this is really important.
      Thanks for the feedback and kind words.
      Kindly,
      Bryan B

      • Thank you for a clear and logical answer. Your explanation of humanism reminds me of a statement in the book of Joshua that says, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” It was a time of chaos, when families and property, and the nation as a whole, were not safe. That would be my concern with a standard so fluid that each person crafted his own.
        You and I see things from very different perspectives, but I appreciate the opportunity for a deeper dive into your viewpoint.

  2. john zande says:

    100% agree with the conclusion. You hit on it: the thing i like most about humanism is that it does not tolerate the displacement of responsibility.

    • bryanbr says:

      Indeed, We as a civilization need to grown up and take responsibility. Passing the buck to a higher power or your church, or just about anything else is only forgivable amongst children, we are not that anymore.

  3. Pingback: 2 years and counting | Illusions and Delusions

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